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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.
Did you know that not all Indians originated in India? The Mogul Dynasty was Mongolian from Central Asia. So, too, are today's people, the Hindu Yadavs, of north India, some 58 million strong. They may be the same as Chamars, who changed their name to Jadav to avoid the caste stigma associated with working with cow hides. Still they are associated with cattle, dairies, and day labor. However, there are some among them who are businessmen, teachers, physicians, engineers, and politicians. Although knowledgeable in their oral tradition, many need better education in order to improve their lives as job markets change. They are known as a people who make group decisions, especially concerning self-betterment.
Today we are asked to pray for the construction of more flood-protected water stations with toilets for Yadav settlements, so they may have safe water during flooding season. We should also pray that as a group the Yadavs will decide to follow Jesus without turning back. To that end, pray that mission agencies will seek to evangelize them, that engineers and water experts will quietly witness to that end, and that the Holy Spirit will empower those efforts.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the untended harvest fields from all the people groups we prayed for this month.
Basic Facts About Indonesia
Islam was first adopted by Indonesians in northern Sumatra Island (see days 6-13) in the 13th century, through the influence of traders. It became the country's dominant religion by the 16th century.
Big Need And Big Opportunity
Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world with over 17,000 islands and approximately 249 million people. There are five main islands: Java, Sumatra, Borneo (which is shared with Malaysia), Sulawesi, and Papua (which is shared with Papua New Guinea). The capital, Jakarta, is the nation’s largest city and is located on Java. Jakarta is one of the largest cities in the world. Officially, Jakarta’s population is a little over 10 million, but when you add in the metro area and consider the many homeless people, the actual population is over 20 million. The country is very spread out. If you were to put a map of Indonesia on top of a map of the U.S., the top of Sumatra would be out beyond Washington State, and Papua would be out in the ocean beyond the North Carolina coast!
Indonesia: Unity in Diversity
Indonesia’s motto is “Unity in Diversity.” Indonesia is made up of many different people groups, over 770, to be exact! These people groups total 257,405,000, making Indonesia the fourth most populous country in the world. The Javanese and the Sundanese are the largest ethnic groups that live on Java and comprise much of the government. Although the national language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), most ethnic groups have their own language, many of which are very different from Indonesian. In fact, there are a total of 707 living languages in Indonesia. The only country that has more languages than Indonesia is Papua New Guinea. In school and public life, Indonesian is used; however, at home the native language of the people group is often spoken. If one is in a village, there is a good chance he will hear a local language instead of Indonesian.
Indonesia: Then and Now
Indonesia has only been an independent country since August 17, 1945. In 1602 Indonesia came under Dutch rule as part of the Dutch East India Company, and then became a nationalized colony of the Netherlands in 1800 as part of the Dutch East Indies. During World War II, Indonesia was taken over by Japan. Four million people died from famine and forced labor during the Japanese occupation. Two days after Japan surrendered, Indonesia declared its independence. The Netherlands tried to reestablish power, but the Indonesians resisted, going so far as to burn part of the city of Bandung to keep the Dutch from taking it. The conflict ended in December 1949, when the Dutch formally recognized Indonesia as an independent country. (Wikipedia)
Indonesia is now a democratic republic. Recently, many have been encouraged by the political climate of Indonesia. The mayors of Bandung and Surabaya, two of the major cities in Indonesia, have taken a stance against corruption and are changing laws to make the cities cleaner and force civil servants to take their jobs more seriously. There have also been major changes in Jakarta. In 2012, Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, became the governor of Jakarta, along with Basuki Purnama (Ahok), as his lieutenant governor. They immediately began making changes in Jakarta, cleaning up the city and ridding it of corruption. Jokowi is a former furniture seller, and Ahok is a Chinese-Indonesian Christian, so the two were a unique pair to be in charge of Jakarta. Jokowi was so well-liked that when the presidential election came about, he received much support, so he ran for president, and won. This forced Ahok into the governor role, and he has continued the changes that Jokowi began in Jakarta. Jokowi is now making changes across the country. Although he had a difficult first year as president, things are beginning to turn around, and great strides are being made, especially in the economy.
Indonesia: Beauty and Difficulty
Today, many Europeans and Australians travel to Indonesia for leisure. Indonesia is a lush, tropical country with palm trees, white sandy beaches, and clear, turquoise water. The country has the most active volcanoes of any in the world. Indonesia has been working hard to improve its tourist industry. Recently, Indonesia has been putting more emphasis on tourism, and they are focusing on making areas other than Bali attractive to foreigners for vacation.
In the midst of the beautiful beaches and palm trees, there is much poverty. Indonesians are among some of the poorest in the world. Furthermore, Indonesia has the largest number of people living near active volcanoes. As a result, the country has experienced many natural catastrophes, including the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia on December 26, 2004. Being one of the hardest hit areas, Banda Aceh has still not recovered from the tsunami. There have been other major natural disasters since then. One of the most significant is the eruption of Mt. Sinabung in North Sumatra. It erupted multiple times from September 2013 to February 2014. It erupted again in October 2014, and for the past year, it has erupted almost continuously (Wikipedia). As a result, over 10,000 people have been evacuated, and fields, homes, and churches are now covered in ash. Another volcano that has caused major problems in Indonesia is Lusi, a mud volcano in East Java. In 2006, a rice paddy broke open and began spewing mud. Since then, 40,000 people were displaced because the mud destroyed an entire village (The New York Times).
We are all familiar with the story from Genesis three where Satan in the form of a talking snake deceives Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. In the creation story of the Banjar people, the snake is the hero, not the villain!
The Banjar live on the southern and eastern coast of the island of Borneo in the nation of Indonesia. They are known as “water people” because they live on the coast of the sea and along rivers. Their houses are often built on stilts along the sides of the rivers. The Banjar make their living by agriculture, fishing, trade, and transportation. They are generally not open to outsiders who come to visit or do business with them.
Islam is a huge part of Banjar identity. They consider themselves among the most devout Muslims in Indonesia. They have been Muslims for 500 years. There are a very small number of believers among the Banjar.
Pray that God leads linguists to translate the New Testament into the Banjar language. Pray that the tiny number of believers would find each other and be kept safe from Muslim persecution. Pray that the Banjar would turn towards the grace and forgiveness of God found in Christ and begin a disciple-making movement that will result in their families and communities being blessed.
Ex 2:10, NIV
When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
Pray that as Pharaoh’s daughter saved the baby Moses, the Banjar might be saved from their sinful condition by our gracious God.
Have you ever seen a beautiful fabric called batik? The art of decorating cloth in this way, using wax and dye, has been practiced for centuries in Java, Indonesia. Batik is part of an ancient tradition, and some of the finest batik cloth in the world is still made there. The word batik originates from the Javanese tik and means to dot. Some of the best batik on Java comes from the western part of the island, the land of the Banten people. They had their own kingdom until the coming of the Dutch in the 17th century.
Today most Banten are involved in agriculture and trade. They grow rice, coffee, cloves, beans, vegetables, and bananas. The Banten have been Muslims since the 15th century. They still practice elements of folk religion including magic and the appeasing of evil spirits. The rich culture and hospitality of the Bantenese bring thousands of tourists a year to their region. The vast majority of the Banten are Muslims, but there is a very small group who believe in Christ.
Pray that each Banten person will have the opportunity to hear about Isa or Jesus in a way he or she can understand. Pray that the believers among the Banten grow spiritually and are trained to share the good news. Pray God opens the spiritual eyes of Banten leaders so they can bring their villages and families to the Savior.
Ps 27:8, NIV
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Pray that the Banten will seek the face of the Lord.