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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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Nov. 09: Dungan People in Kazakhstan

Chinese, Muslim, and Russian – a mixture of these cultures might make your head spin! The Dungan people live in Kazakhstan, formerly part of the USSR, located on the north-western Chinese border. The Dungan people originated in China, migrating to Kazakhstan in the 19th century.

The Dungans are primarily farmers, living on community farms where everyone plays a part. The farms are the center of Dungan villages, though they more closely resemble small cities. Each is complete with electricity, plumbing, and cooking gas as well as schools, nurseries, general stores, a hospital, a post office, and more. Those Dungans that do not live on the farms themselves can be found in comfortable extended-family homes. Due to their easy access to meat and vegetables, the Dungan people are considered to be among the wealthier Muslim ethnic groups in China.

Sunni Islam is the primary religion of the Dungan people. The older Dungans are strict adherents, though the younger people tend to forgo religion, remaining indifferent until middle adulthood. The Dungan people have yet to receive significant exposure to the gospel.

Pray that the Dungans of Kazakhstan would be introduced to the good news. Pray that the Lord would show himself to the Dungan people in dreams and visions, and that workers would be sent into the fields. Pray for the Holy Spirit to direct and empower work amongst the Dungans that is developing in other locations.

 

Ps 119:45, NLT

I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.

Pray for the Dungan people to find freedom in obedience to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Nov. 10: Ingush People in Kazakhstan

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world, John 16:33, NLT

The Ingush people have suffered greatly at the hands of Russia. Only Jesus can bring them true peace and victory over anger and bitterness. Originally from Russia’s Caucasus region, the Ingush number over 420,000 in that region, with approximately 20,000 more in Kazakhstan where they were deported during WWII.

Though living in continual hardship, the Ingush have a history rich in storytelling, music, dance, art, and wood carving. A strongly traditional people in customs and behavior, they are nonetheless considered well-educated and sophisticated in the modern world.

The Ingush people are Sunni Muslims, with many following Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. The Ingush hold strongly to their Islamic beliefs, which forms a key component of cultural tradition and their ethnic identity. There are very few followers of Christ among the Ingush in Russia, and no believers among them in Kazakhstan. The Ingush language contains only Bible portions along with the JESUS Film and audio recordings about Jesus.

Pray for faithful intercessors for the Ingush people. Ask for Spirit-filled witnesses to bring Jesus’ grace, peace, and self-giving love to Kazakhstan’s Ingush. Pray for a complete Ingush-language Bible to transform hearts. Ask for dreams, visions, and supernatural breakthrough to help bring the Ingush to Christ. Pray for disciple-making movements among Ingush peoples.

 

Ex 18:8, NET

Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to Egypt for Israel’s sake, and all the hardship that had come on them along the way, and how the Lord had delivered them.

Pray for the Lord to deliver the Ingush and other peoples who face hardship and oppression.

 

Nov. 11: Kyrgyz of Kyrgyzstan

For what are the Kyrgyz famous? The Kyrgyz are famous for having the world’s longest ballad with over half a million verses! It may connect them to Manasseh in Gen. 48:1. They differ from other Muslim peoples in wanting to convert Christians to Islam by love, sympathy, and shame, the latter an important aspect of their society.

Once a Caucasoid people who were blue-eyed and red-headed, they are now a Turkic-speaking people of Mongoloid stock who were pushed from nomadism into urban living under the Soviets. Most, however, remain pastoralists. 

Originally said to worship fire and cremate their dead, they are now Sunni and Sufi Muslims. Because much of their Islam is folk-Islam mixed with shamanism, they have been undergoing an Islamic revival where they are re-learning to be Muslims. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, some 3,000 new mosques have been built. Yet there is good news: Since the collapse of the USSR 25 years ago, the number of Kyrgyz believers has risen considerably. Some estimate that there are now 3,000 Kyrgyz believers.

Pray that the Scriptures, the JESUS Film, and Christian radio will find a receptive audience among the Kyrgyz people. Pray that Kyrgyz believers will renounce the demonic, see through the efforts of Muslim evangelists, and be strengthened in their faith. Pray for a disciple making movement to move rapidly among the Kyrgyz.

 

Ex 18:9-12, NET

Jethro rejoiced because of all the good that the Lord had done for Israel, whom he had delivered from the hand of Egypt. Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord who has delivered you from the hand of Egypt, and from the hand of Pharaoh, who has delivered the people from the Egyptians’ control! Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods, for in the thing in which they dealt proudly against them he has destroyed them.” Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron and all the elders of Israel came to eat food with the father-in-law of Moses before God.

Pray that even now the demise of the USSR will serve as a testimony of the Lord’s grace and mercy to those under oppression.

 

Nov. 12: Bashkir People in Kyrgyzstan

It is said that if one scratches a Russian one finds a Tatar. But when is a Tatar not a Tatar? The answer is if one is Bashkir, another Caucasoid-Mongoloid Turkic people who live in the Ural Mountains. Under the Soviets they became a distinct people group. In addition to Russia, they also live in Kazakhstan as well as Kyrgyzstan. Like yesterday’s Kyrgyz, the Bashkirs are mostly Muslim, for whom the village is key to their male-dominated society. They have 100 mosques, one of which looks like a church, the steeple being the minaret! They number some 3,200 in Kyrgyzstan.

In the 1700s, the Russian Orthodox Church evangelized them with little success. Those few Orthodox Christians among them are known today as Nagaibaks. Clearly the Bashkirs remain an unreached, unengaged Sunni Muslim people group.

Pray that the JESUS Film in the Bashkir language will become widely available to them. Pray that God will strengthen and give evangelistic zeal to the few missionary evangelists to this people. Pray for intercessory prayer warriors to regularly pray for the Bashkirs. Pray for spiritual openness to the gospel among Muslim Bashkirs. Pray that the gospel becomes contextualized for them so that they can accept Jesus without thinking that they also have to adopt someone else’s culture as well.

 

Gal 5:8, NLT

It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.

Pray that the Bashkir people will choose the God who gives freedom from sin over any god who demands obedience to laws and rigid obedience.

Nov. 13: Crimean Tatars of Kyrgyzstan and Russia

“Get out! Quick!” Shouts and the sounds of soldier’s boots rang through the house. Arire sat up in bed in sudden shock, her heart pounding. What was happening? The orders of the Soviet soldiers could not be ignored. Arire desperately grabbed what few clothes and belongings she could before she and her family were forced out of their home.

It was May 18, 1944. Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin, had ordered the deportation of every Crimean Tatar from their homeland as punishment for supposed collaboration with the Nazis. Starting that day, 200,000 people were loaded onto trains and taken to Soviet Central Asia. Thousands died along the way.

Today, their descendants still live there. Among countries in the region, Kyrgyzstan was once home to about 45,000 Tatars, but this number has decreased, as many have at last returned to Crimea. The ones that remain continue to hold onto their own language and customs.

All Crimean Tatars, in Kyrgyzstan or elsewhere, are Sunni Muslims. There are not yet any disciples of Christ found among them in Kyrgyzstan, and there are no current effort to reach them. The Tatars in Kyrgyzstan are far from Christ, as they are far from their homeland.

Pray that just as the Crimean Tatars in Kyrgyzstan desire to return to Crimea, they would also desire to “return” into the presence of the God who seeks them. Pray that this desire would be satisfied and that they would find their true home in Christ.

 

2 Sam 22:33, NET

The one true God is my mighty refuge; he removes the obstacles in my way.

Pray that the Lord will soon become the refuge for the Crimean Tatars of Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

Nov. 14: Dargin People in Kyrgyzstan

At a glance, Kyrgyzstan is rich with beautiful landscapes. Lush green pastures, jewel colored rivers, snowcapped mountains, and fascinating architecture paint a lovely picture of this country. But just below the surface level lies populations of people groups that have yet to discover the beauty of the Kingdom of God. 

A small population of less than 3,500, the Dargin people live in the mountainous and landlocked country of Kyrgyzstan as well as in southern Russia. This country was once part of the Soviet Union and gained independence in December, 1991. 

Since that date, Kyrgyzstan has ranked high on the corrupt countries index, and it is the second poorest country in Central Asia. These issues cause the Dargins and other people groups to eke out a living at the foundational level. Most live in yurts and live through farming and herding.

The Dargins were introduced to Islam in the 8th century and have largely followed the Sunni sect of that religion. It is common to see them partaking in traditional rituals not commonly associated with Islam. For example, they participate in agriculture ceremonies, ward off evil spirits, and practice magic. Though they have access to the Bible in their language, Dargwa, they remain unreached and unengaged. 

Pray there would be in an influx of outreach in Kyrgyzstan among the Dargin people. May they come to know the Lord’s beauty as their deliverer and provider. Pray for a spiritual breakthrough that will produce a disciple making movement among the Dargins.

 

1 Sam 17:8, NLT

Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me!”

Pray for the Lord to raise up believers who will fight the “Goliath” of corruption in Kyrgyzstan for the glory the Lord.

Nov. 15: Karachay People of Kyrgyzstan

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6: 12, NIV

The Karachay people have a history marked with warfare and political oppression. Today, with the exception of 50 known Jesus followers, the entirety of the Karachay’s population follows Islam. This spiritual background dates back to the 14th Century when the Karachays were conquered and forcibly converted to Islam. Five hundred years later, the Karachay were conquered by Russia. Soviet dictator Josef Stalin deported the Karachays to Central Asia, a tragic event that led to the death of 35 percent of their population.

Today, the Karachay people have repopulated the southwestern Russian province of Karachay-Cherkessia, though some remain in Kyrgyzstan. The Karachay community highly regard their Islamic cultural identity and traditions and are divided into clans known as tukums. There is a strong sense of duty and loyalty within tukums, though the confines of their religious traditions leave little room for forgiving grace. In Karachay culture, the need to take vengeance is considered the norm, and cowardice is considered the most appalling characteristic for a male.

Pray for the liberation from spiritual forces of evil and bondage afflicting the Karachay people. Pray that the courage and majesty of Jesus’ selfless death on the cross would win hearts among them.

 

Jn 1:17, NET

For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ.

Pray for the Karachay people of Kazakhstan to embrace the grace and truth that comes only from Jesus Christ.

Nov. 16: Burkhara Jews in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

Sarah, an Israeli visiting some relatives in Bukhara, Uzbekistan for the first time was shocked to see almost no one was attending the Sabbath services at the old synagogue in the center of the city. She asked the young Jewish community leader why no one was attending. He replied, “There are so few of us. We should be listed as an endangered species. We can’t always get enough people for a synagogue service that requires at least 10 men to come.”

The youngest man in the synagogue is 21 years old, and he wants to be a rabbi. To do this, he will have to leave for Israel or Russia because in Bukhara there is no Jewish religious study institution. 

The Burkhara Jews are of Persian descent, and they originate in Central Asia. The largest number in Central Asia live in Uzbekistan. Almost all those who once lived in Kyrgyzstan have left for Israel. Today most of their families are living in Israel or America. Why are they leaving Central Asia? Persecution is increasing, and Burkhara Jews are finding it harder to find work. 

Pray that Messianic Jewish believers will reach out to the Bukhara Jews. Pray that they will disciple them in the ways of the Lord. Pray that all Bukharas will have the chance to experience the saving grace of their Messiah Jesus.

 

Rom 1:16, NET

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to reach the Jewish Burkhara people in Uzbekistan and Israel.

Nov. 17: Tibetan Buddhist Kalmyk-Oirat People in Kyrgyzstan

The Kalmyk man was doing all he could to distract his Russian opponent during a chess tournament. He muttered, “This game has helped raise the image of Kalmykia. We may be a small place, but when it comes to chess, we can beat anyone, especially Russians. I prayed to Tsaham Avga (a Mongol deity) before we started and he will help me beat you.” The Russian glanced at him with a crooked smile.

The 460,000 Kalmyk-Oirat of Kyrgyzstan are descendants of the Mongols. Their Mongolian name means “the people moving away,” which is what they did when they originally left their home land in the Altai Region which was then in western Mongolia. Although some Kalmyks are successful in trade and business, the majority still live through herding and farming. Kalmykia is a poor region. Russian companies working there are doing very little to help the local people. Political corruption is a major problem, and Kalmykia has a high debt.

Kalmyks are known for being experts at the game of chess. They are devoted to their Tibetan Buddhist religion, and some seek the help of shamans. There are no known followers of Christ among them. 

Pray the Lord will bring prepared ambassadors of Christ to touch the lives of the Kalmyk people who need the guidance and grace of the living God. Pray for them to find new life in Jesus.

 

Eph 1:7, NLT

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his son and forgave our sins.

Pray that the Tibetan Buddhist Kalmyk-Oirat people will soon find the spiritual freedom they need by depending on the blood of Christ and his resurrection victory.

Nov. 18: Khalka Mongol in Kyrgyzstan

Under Genghis Khan and his successors, Kyrgyzstan became part of a warlike imperial nation and the largest land empire in history. Khalka Mongols, be they in Mongolia or Kyrgyzstan, take pride in the size of this 13th century empire. The Mongol Empire only lasted a little more than 100 years, but some of the Mongols remained in places where they had conquered. There are only 100 Khalka Mongols in Kyrgyzstan today, though there are about two million in Mongolia.

Shamanism and ancestor worship are significant forces beneath the thin façade of Islam among Khalka Mongols in Kyrgyzstan. Many Kyrgyz are held back from faith by fear of alienation from their families, fear of not being given a proper burial, and by negative propaganda. The primary language of the Khalka Mongols is Halh Mongolian. Resources include the Bible, the JESUS Film, GRN and radio.

Kyrgyzstan is very mountainous and isolated from major trade routes. For centuries, foreigners, most recently the Russians, imposed foreign religions and ideologies on all people in Kyrgyzstan. Sadly, Christianity is associated with these occupiers.

Pray that culturally sensitive servants will do what is necessary to reach the Khalka Mongol people, and teach them to wage warfare against their many strongholds with spiritual weapons.

 

2 Cor 10:3, 4, ESV

Though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. Weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 

Pray for the Khalka believers, wherever they may live, to find spiritual victory in the Holy Spirit.

Nov. 19: Uighurs in Kyrgyzstan

(This is intended to explain the beliefs of this group.)

The young man in Kyrgystan walked around the corner and found himself in the middle of a rally. A man was up front yelling at the crowd. “We were once a noble people!” he was shouting. “We were once the link between Europe and Asia. The Uighur people had purpose and meaning. But now…” The man paused to shake his head. “Now we are being repressed, mistreated, and marginalized.”Someone in the crowd shouted, “We should fight back!” The man nodded. “Yes. We must fight back. We must stand up for ourselves, for our heritage, and for our children!”

Once known as the “middlemen” between east and west along the Silk Road, the Uighurs have been pushed from their homeland in China, and now about 60,000 of them live to the west of China in Kyrgyzstan. There are only 400 known believers among the Uighur population in Kyrgyzstan.

Pray for the 400 believers to be bold and loving witnesses among the Uighurs. Pray for the Lord to speak to the hearts of the Uighurs in Kyrgyzstan. Pray for them to have the opportunity to hear the gospel message. Ask the Lord to encourage those working on the Uighur Bible translation and help them complete it soon.

 

Ps 119:42, NLT

Then I can answer those who taunt me, for I trust in your word.

Pray that the Lord will raise up Uighur believers who will stand up strong for him, and trust in his word no matter how they are mistreated.

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