Have you heard of the Masalit people who live in the harsh climate and terrain of Sudan? They rarely have healthy food to eat or clean drinking water. There’s also no bible in their language. No audio of it available to them and no films that they could understand which might explain the gospel.
How about the Shilha of Southern Morrocco? Did you know that the health care where they live is less than adequate and their opportunity for education is next to none? Did you know that though they do have a bible in their language that their country is closed to christian missionaries so there is no one available to disciple them, to encourage them, to teach them?
I didn’t either. Until just a few weeks ago.
I wanted to start this year off with a very strong emphasis on prayer and it led me to read much on how we could pray better for our world. Jesus own words say that we are to make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19) Yet, I find so often that my prayers seem to terminate on me. Or are only as far reaching as my circle of people or my teeny tiny little corner of the world and that bothered me. But I also didn’t know how to change that. I wanted to be involved in foreign missions whether or not I was setting out across the world and I knew that praying for unreached people was a start!
So I set out in search of ways in which I could learn about those people in our world who are in need of much prayer and it led me to Global Frontier Missions and to The Joshua Project. Because of these organizations our family now knows about the Shilha and the Masalit, both unreached people groups and both living in extreme conditions. We know now how we can pray for them, for food and clean water, that they would endure the harsh climates, that they would be peaceful with neighbouring tribes and that there would be those willing to go to these places to share the gospel with them as they thrive on oral language, story telling. We pray that someone would say yes to learning their language and say yes to translating the bible for them. We pray that there would be those who are bold enough to embrace them. Love them and love Christ enough to possibly venture across the world to them. (Luke 10:2) We pray that the 1% of the population who do know God would find each other and fellowship and that they would be able to share. We pray that this people group would know, love and follow Jesus.
We wouldn’t know these things or how to pray for these people groups if we didn’t give time to learning. But now we know, and so we pray.
Each week we add a new people group to pray for. Making us aware that not everyone lives as we do. Making us so much more content with what we have. For how could we possibly be discontent with so much when each week we read these stories of others who are simply struggling to survive or who are so hostile or who live in danger each day and even if they should come to know Christ, would not be able to worship Him freely.
So we’re praying for our world in new ways, this little family of ours.
In order to help bring it a bit closer, a bit more tangible I got a world map that we put up and the kids search each week for where the people we’re praying for live. I also scored in finding an old globe at a thrift store and so they keep that in their room and from time to time I see them searching for Morrocco and for Sudan. Over the next weeks they’ll have more places to search for. More people to learn about and more people to pray for.
It’s exciting, to be a part of praying for the world. But as a mom I’ll be honest and admit that this is opening my children’s eyes to what’s needed in many, many parts of the world. It terrifies me to think that maybe, just maybe, they might be the ones drawn to go to one of these groups. Sure, we’re praying for someone to go to them, but what would that look like if that someone was one of us? I haven’t yet been bold enough to pray that it would be. And I’m trying to avoid the words of Luke 10:3 at this point. Baby steps, right?