Daily Topic for December 24, 2010

Luke 2:8
There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby…. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them.

In this verse we can see God’s focus on the insignificant and weak people of society. God determined to first send His angels to these humble shepherds in the fields, rather than to reveal His glory to the proud religious leaders in the Temple. How quickly those shepherds hurried to Bethlehem to see Christ the Lord! Thousands of peoples today are equally eager to respond to the good news. Are the Siwa Berbers, who have the same low status as these shepherds, among them?

Pray that we will never see anyone as being too insignificant to hear the gospel.

Siwa Berbers in Egypt

by JWS

Palm trees in the middle of the Sahara Desert? It’s not a mirage, it’s the Siwa Oasis! In one of the world’s driest areas, the Siwa people live among refreshing pools of water, date palms and olive groves. Their primary means of support is farming; over 120 varieties of dates, olives and other crops are harvested there. Today, a tarmac road replaces the ancient caravan routes, and trucks carry the harvest across the desert to distant cities. Beneath the oasis lies the Nubian Aquifer, an enormous but finite supply of water. Tourists, technology, growth, and commercial development threaten the delicate ecosystems and the precious water reserves on which the oasis depends. Eager for more profit, some farmers dig carefully concealed, illegal private wells. According to BBC News, “Mounir Neamatalla runs a lodge in Siwa, a hotel complex built with mud brick, a model of sustainable development. He is now fighting a lonely battle to preserve the unique Berber culture and the precious water reserves on which the oasis survives.”

Over the centuries, the Siwa people resisted foreign invasions, but fell victim to the Arab conquests of the seventh century. Some of the people fled into the desert, while most submitted to the Arab conquerors. They embraced Islam and today the majority are Sunni Muslims. Although they observe the fundamentals of Islam, many pre-Islamic pagan beliefs still persist.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray for the Siwa people to respect and preserve the beautiful oasis that God created. Pray they will embrace the Savior who gives living water.

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