Daily Topic for January 19, 2010

Proverbs 5:16
Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public square?

Though the context of this proverb is faithfulness to one’s wife, it’s an excellent analogy that water-needy peoples like the Sonjos can understand. Like many other peoples who must conserve this precious resource, the Sonjos can understand from this proverb why it’s so important to remain faithful in marriage. By extension, they can also understand how unfaithfulness in marriage has parallels with unfaithfulness to the One True God.

Pray that the Sonjo people will soon understand how crucial it is to be faithful to the God who created them.

Sonjo People

by JWS

For centuries, thousands of Sonjo people have farmed the same area of land in northeast Tanzania. How do they manage to produce crops year after year from the same land with unreliable rainfall? They rotate the crops, they allow fields to rest on alternate years, and they carefully manage their small amount of annual rainfall with a primitive but effective irrigation system.

The Sonjo people view rainfall as the overflow from a heavenly irrigation system; they consider natural springs sacred. Proof lies in the predictability of their flow. Springs have never been known to fail and are thus conceived of in a different category from unpredictable blessings such as rain or health. Farmers voluntarily join together to repair and maintain the irrigation system after the annual flood season. Maintenance of the system requires no sophisticated tools, spare parts or great sums of money. Their dependence on irrigation creates unity of purpose and helps to preserve their traditional way of life.

They practice forms of folk religion, primarily animism. Christian missions have worked among the Sonjo people for 60 years. Despite their efforts, few have put their trust in Jesus. Intent upon preserving their traditional way of life, the Sonjos have simply merged elements of Christianity into their folk religion.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that spiritual seeds planted by earlier missionaries will be watered by a new generation of culturally-sensitive workers, and that the Sonjo people will grow to know, love and obey Jesus Christ.

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