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The Global Prayer Digest is a daily devotional encouraging prayer for Unreached Peoples.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures (formerly the US Center for World Mission), this devotional is available as a daily subscription from the GPD website (see link above). 

Keith Carey, the editor-in-chief of the Global Prayer Digest, has graciously given me permission to post their daily devotions here in order to encourage more prayer for the Unreached Peoples.  Please join in the prayer for the gospel to go to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14).  If you find these devotions helpful, you can subscribe to their daily e-mail or to the printed publication - or just check them out here on Pray.Network!  Past monthly issues of the GPD are also available on their site.

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Jan. 12: Piracy in Somalia

Piracy may conjure up romantic visions of swashbuckling men coming to the rescue of damsels in distress, but in reality, it is far different. Somalia is world famous or rather infamous for its pirates that have preyed upon merchant vessels traversing the Horn of Africa, holding hostages and demanding ransoms.

The question is why did this new “industry” suddenly appear in Somalia after 1991? The government collapsed, and along with it, Somalia’s coastguard. Civil war ensued, and there was no one protecting the coastline. This situation was all that was needed for illegal trawlers from countries all over the world to poach Somalia’s fishing banks. Plentiful fish soon disappeared. Along with overfishing, illegal trawlers dumped toxic waste into the waters which soon became so polluted that the remaining fish were killed. Villages that once thrived because of fishing were left starving and destitute. Pirates filled the void left by the government. Some refer to themselves as the “coastguard,” since they controlled part of the coastline for their own use.

More than 1,300 young Somali men have been jailed in prisons abroad for piracy since 2005, most given life sentences. They have no family to visit them, a double tragedy.

Pray for Christian workers to develop alternative trades and work opportunities that can bring hope to these desperate people. Pray that Somalis will learn of and embrace Jesus Christ who motivates people to help others find abundant life.

 

Lev 26:6, NLT

I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land.

Pray for the Lord to drive out dangerous forces in Somalia that victimize the innocent.

Pray for missionaries to be able to witness to desperate young Somali men in jail.

Jan. 14: Coastal Dumping Ground

An old adage says, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but in the case of Somalia, the trash brings with it disease, death, and economic dysfunction. One video from 2016 shows the coastline of Mogadishu littered with all kinds of plastic waste. Desperate Somalis are scavenging the garbage looking for anything salvageable, while hosts of little boys are playing in the plastic trashed waters.

With scant government resources, garbage is a mounting problem in Somalia. A Tsunami surge in 2004 carried hazardous waste containers to Somalia’s shores. According to the UN, some firms took advantage of Somalia’s lack of a functioning government to dump waste off its coast. Unfortunately, the industrialized countries of the world have used 20 underdeveloped countries in the world as their dumping ground for toxic waste, and Somalia is one of them.

To compound the problem, a Somalia government official agreed to take Lebanon’s industrial waste several years ago. When the agreement was discovered, Somalia backed out, as did Lebanon. However, the mere attempt on the part of Somalia officials indicates the lack of integrity involved in the country’s dysfunctional government.

Pray for international agencies to take positive steps in enforcing illegal as well as legal toxic dumping in Somalia. Pray, too, that Somalis will see the need to take responsibility for cleaning up their own living areas.

 

Is 1:7, NLT

Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes and destroy everything they see.

Pray for the people of Somalia to heed God’s warning through the prophet Isaiah and understand that they can improve their lot by listening to Him!

Jan. 15: Somalis in Somalia

Do you know which country has the largest population of camels? Somalia! There is one camel for every 2.5 humans. The camel is a Somali’s “car,” his “bank account,” and his “food pantry.” Camel milk is a major source of nutrition and herdsmen may drink up to ten quarts a day. Camel meat is savored at celebrations, and the fatty hump is the most prized portion. Interestingly, the name of the people comes from “so maal,” which is an expression of hospitality meaning “Go milk a beast for yourself!”

In Somalia, the largest ethnic group are the Somalis, making up 85 percent of the population. They range from well-to-do, educated urbanites to nomads struggling for basic necessities such as water. The majority of the population are on the lower end of the economic spectrum, and very few children go to school. Since the language did not have a written script until 1972, many adults are illiterate.

Somalis are Muslims who believe that their religious leaders have the power to bless and curse. This power lingers around tombs and helps cure illness upon a visit to the tomb. Under one percent of Somalis follow Christ, and these believers are despised by their countrymen.

Pray for the Christian Somalis to stay faithful. May God soften Somali hearts to be receptive to the gospel. May Somalis hear the word, and respond to it by teaching others His ways.

 

Ezra 3:1, NLT

In early autumn when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled in Jerusalem with a unified purpose.

Pray for the peoples of Somalia to come together with the united purpose of building a nation to glorify the King of kings.

Jan. 16: Tunni in Somalia

The Tunni people are a sub-group of the Somali. There are only 30,000 of them, and they live in the southern part of the country, between the Juba and Shebelle Rivers. This area is some of the richest agricultural land in Somalia. The Tunni are primarily farmers, growing bananas, sugarcane, corn, beans, and fruit. The people farm cooperatively; men are recruited into work parties that are supervised by a chief, who is paid in gifts and coffee. The chief may command the men to appear for work at any time. While women are not part of the work teams, they help in the fields and grind grain for flour.

Tunni homes are round huts with mud walls and cone-shaped grass roofs. Inside each hut, rooms are created by curtains. The husband sleeps facing the door, while the wife is protected by being on the more secluded side. Tunni dress resembles a Roman toga, the cloth of which is saturated with butter that protects against damp and cold. Jewelry for the women includes necklaces, bracelets, and anklets made of pearl, leather or silver.

Though 100 percent Muslim, they have but a shallow knowledge of their religion. Few have ever heard the gospel.

As no Christian resources are available to these people, pray for God to send loving believers to share Jesus with them. May He save chiefs who will, in turn, lead their people to Christ.

 

Is 1:5-6, NLT

Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? Your head is injured, and your heart is sick. You are battered from head to foot—covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—without any soothing ointments or bandages. Your country lies in ruins, and your towns are burned.
Pray for all Somali peoples to look up and see the Lord. Pray for them to be willing to accept His help through His children.

Jan. 17: Garre in Somalia

Like the Tunni in yesterday’s reading, the Garre are also a sub-tribe of the larger Somali ethnic group. There are 80,000 of them. This is still a very small number, and they lack political clout. The Garre have been targets of exploitation whose farms have been taken by warring factions. They migrate seasonally with their camels, sheep, and goats. Their portable tents are made of bent saplings covered with animal skins or woven mats. In order to maximize shared resources, Garre communities spread out evenly across a swath of land so that individual families will have enough pasture and water for their herds.

The Garre people speak Arabic as a second language and are entirely Muslim. Divorce rates, unfortunately, are high, with the men taking the sons and the women taking the daughters with them after the breakup. Other life challenges facing the Garre are drought and insufficient health care. To gain some relief from the stresses of their lives, the people commonly chew a mild narcotic named qat.

Please pray for God to send His ambassadors to help the Garre take care of their physical and spiritual needs. Ask Him to raise up African believers with the burden to reach the Garre people no matter what it takes.

 

Is 41: 8-9, NLT

But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham my friend, I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, “You are my servant.” For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.

Pray for the Garre people to find a new purpose: To serve the Lord with all their hearts!

Jan. 18: Rahanweyu People (A Frontier People)

(This story illustrates things that could happen to this people group.)

It had to be done thought Kashin. His wife and children would need meat if they were going to reach the refugee camp. So he swung the ax and killed the family goat.

Kashin was a member of the Rahanweyu people group in Somalia. He and his family would have to travel across hundreds of miles of burning desert to reach the safety of the refugee camp. They would also have to avoid the various armed groups fighting for control of the country. 

The Rahanweyu have been decimated by both famine and civil war. Since 1991 500,000 Rahanweyu people have been killed in the fighting that erupted after the collapse of Somalia’s government.

Almost all Rahanweyu are Muslims. Very few of them have heard that Jesus Christ is the only source of salvation. 

Pray for the restoration of peace in Somalia. May there also be an end to the drought in that country. Pray for faithful workers to take the message of salvation to this people group. Ask God to break the hold that Islam has on the Rahanweyu and replace it with a spiritual hunger that will lead to Jesus Christ. Pray for many of their clan and family leaders to be drawn to the Lord.

 

Matt 21:42, NLT

Then Jesus asked them, “Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.’

Pray that Jesus Christ will become the cornerstone in the lives of the Rahanweyu people when they hear of His blessings and provisions.

Jan. 19: Jiiddo People

(This story illustrates things that could happen to this people group.)

Sultan Aliyow walked into the office in Minnesota. "May I help you?" asked the secretary. "I hope so. I am Sultan Aliyow, leader of the Jiiddo in Somalia. My people are starving. Can you help them?" "We'll try," said the secretary. "Saving Our Starving Children organization is always ready to provide food to those who need it." " Thank you," replied the sultan. He set an appointment to speak with the director of this Christian non-profit.

The Jiiddo people group has been at war with the neighboring Gare people since 1991 when the government of Somalia collapsed. The fighting has made it difficult to grow crops or herd animals. Such conditions caused Sultan Aliyow to flee Somalia and to take refuge in Minnesota. Save Our Starving Children has been supplying food to the Jiiddos in Somalia.

Almost all Jiido are Sunni Muslims who have put their hope in the teachings of Mohammed. It is nearly impossible for them to hear about Jesus Christ inside Somalia. The Bible has yet to be translated into the Jiiddo language.

Pray that the good workers of Saving Our Starving Children will take Christ’s name to the unsaved Jiiddo people in the US and in Somalia. Pray that they will become disciples of Christ who will, in turn, make other disciples. Pray that they will have God’s word in their own language.

 

Neh 4:17, NLT

who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.

Pray for the tenacity this year to use prayer as a weapon of war against those who oppose the unreached people groups.

Jan. 20: Dabarre Clan

(This story illustrates things that could happen to this people group.)

The Dabarre chief saw the men standing outside his hut in Somalia. “My bananas need to be harvested. Follow me to the grove." The men followed their chief into the banana grove and began picking the bright yellow fruit.

The Dabarre people group grows lots of bananas. In recent years the failure of other crops and the death of the cattle herds have made this people group more dependent on bananas than ever before.

Some Somali people groups have more resources than others. The tribes that grow bananas can compensate for the loss of their other crops and herds by exporting this popular fruit and using it as a food source. For such tribes the size of the banana crop may be the difference between survival and starvation.

The Dabarre are almost completely Sunni Muslim. They seek for truth in the teachings of Mohammed, not knowing that Jesus Christ IS the truth. 

Pray that the Dabarre will come to see Jesus Christ as their resurrection and life. Therefore, He has victory over death. Pray that somehow believers will be able to go to the Dabarre people as His ambassadors. Pray also that the Bible would be translated into the Dabarre language.

 

Neh 2:4-5, NLT

The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?” With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied, “If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.”

Remember to take the opportunity for quick prayers this year, even in the heat of action.

Jan. 21: Somali Bantu People in Somalia

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal 3:28-29, NIV

Somali Bantus are descendants of people captured in southeastern Africa and sold into slavery in Somalia. Today they primarily reside in southern Somalia, though some have fled the country. They are ethnically, physically, and culturally distinct from Somalis and have remained marginalized.

Many Somali Bantus have retained their ancestral social structures with their tribe of origin and are mainly subsistence farmers

Most Somali Bantus have converted to Islam which they first began embracing in order to escape slavery. However, many have retained their ancestral animist traditions, including the practice of spirit possession dances, animism, and the use of magic and curses. It was never Almighty God’s intent that people live this way! He died to set men free from sin and all oppression.

Although there are Christian written, visual, and audio resources in their Maay language, only a small number follow Jesus Christ and these are persecuted.

Pray that this persecution will lead to spiritual growth and the spreading of the gospel. Ask God to raise up prayer teams to break up the soil through worship and intercession. Ask the Lord to raise up a strong church planting movement among the Somali Bantu people.

 

Neh 5:9, NLT

Then I pressed further, “What you are doing is not right! Should you not walk in the fear of our God in order to avoid being mocked by enemy nations? 

Pray for a sincere fear of the Lord on the part of those who oppress the weak in Somalia.

Jan. 22: Midgan People in Somalia

How would you like a job where you would have to endure the stench of decaying carcasses and chemicals to tan cow hides into leather? Somalia’s Midgan people have to do this to earn a living. The more fortunate Midgans are barbers or blacksmiths.

Midgans must live in separate communities because other peoples in Somalia consider them dirty or polluted. Other Somali clans and ethnic groups will not intermarry with them. Traditionally, they have been forbidden to own land and livestock, and even today, they cannot participate in local business or politics. Rape by other clans is a common occurrence, and it usually goes unpunished. Midgan children do not go to school because they cannot afford fees and are at risk of mistreatment by other children.

Midgan people believe the world is filled with various spirits that must be appeased or placated. They are not Sunni Muslims like the majority Somali population. They speak Somali, a language that has many Christian resources, but they remain unreached.

Pray that the oppressed Midgan people will look to the Lord for the dignity that He gave them. Pray for the Lord to bless the Midgan people with abundant spiritual and physical wealth. Pray that they will soon become a people turned around by the Lord in such a way that others will take notice of what God can do for a community.

 

Neh 5:5, NLT

We belong to the same family as those who are wealthy, and our children are just like theirs. Yet we must sell our children into slavery just to get enough money to live. We have already sold some of our daughters, and we are helpless to do anything about it, for our fields and vineyards are already mortgaged to others.”

Pray for justice and mercy to reign in Somalia!

Jan. 23: Aweer People of Kenya and Somalia

Imagine what it would be like to be one of only 200 of your people left, and you spoke a language also threatened with extinction. Imagine living in fear, bound by Islamic and animistic traditions. Imagine having no Bible.

Aweer people are an ethnic group inhabiting the Coastal Province in southeastern Kenya and southern Somalia. Aweer are historically known as Boni or Sanye, derogatory terms for low-caste groups. Some men have more than one wife; each wife has her own house in which she lives with her children. The husband does not have his own home but lives with each wife periodically.
Aweer in Kenya are indigenous foragers, traditionally subsisting on hunting, gathering, and collecting honey. They also continue to engage in many of their traditional hunter-gatherer practices, utilizing the nearby forests for the collection of wild honey, plants for traditional medicine and building materials. They sometimes have bush meat to supplement their diet.

Pray for Aweer people to see the difference in their gods and our Almighty God, who loves them and paid the penalty for their sins. Pray for opportunity for Aweer people to be blessed by the Savior who accepts all people equally. Pray for believers in Africa to go the Aweer people and teach them to obey His commands. Pray for a disciple-making movement to emerge among Aweer people in Somalia.

 

Neh 9:20, NLT

You sent your good Spirit to instruct them, and you did not stop giving them manna from heaven or water for their thirst.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide everyone in Somalia who is willing to listen and learn from the true God of heaven.

Jan. 24: Mushunguli People

To say that the Mushungulis of Somalia have a difficult life would be an understatement. In recent years their homeland has been ruled by the terrorist organization al-Shabaab. While some Mushunguli support al-Shabaab, many men have been forced against their will to work or fight for them, and many women are forced to “marry” terrorist fighters. Others attempt to grow crops so they can survive. They are often treated like slaves by the other Somalis.

Millions of dollars of food and other essential supplies have been donated to Somalia by the United Nations and Christian agencies. But, unfortunately, much of it ends up in the hands of terrorists or clan militias. Conditions have been so bad for the Mushungulis that many have fled to refugee camps in Kenya. Several thousand Mushunguli refugees have made it to American cities.

Over 99 percent of the Mushungulis are Muslims.  But there are some believers and in Somalia, these believers face terrible persecution from al-Shabaab. Even as refugees they are still cast out from their communities.

Pray that the few believers would grow in their faith and become the leaders of Mushunguli churches in Kenya and Somalia. Pray that the Mushungulis living in refugee camps in Kenya will be given an opportunity to rebuild their lives, and a chance to hear the gospel. Pray that the Mushungulis living in the USA would be befriended by American believers and discipled in the ways of the Savior.

 

John 11:35 ESV

Jesus wept.

As Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus, so He is weeping over the hardships and deaths of the Mushunguli people in Somalia. Pray for peace in Somalia so that international and Christian aid may reach the Mushungulis.

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