But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. (Matthew 19:14-15). There are millions of extremely traumatized refugee children. Orphaned survivors of any ongoing humanitarian crisis experience post-traumatic stress, but the traumatised children of Syria’s war have experienced more trauma than those in the medical profession that cares for them have ever seen. They have witnessed dismembered human beings who used to be their parents or siblings. Sometimes, only one or two people survive out of a family of 5 to 10. They may also have physical wounds, severe injuries or amputations. Somehow, some survivors make it to refugee camps. Traumatised Syrian children will have an impact on the world in the future.
- For more work to be done amongst traumatised refugee-children.
- For more teachers, psychologists, teaching materials and schools.
- For feeding schemes and safe places for the many war orphans.
- For protection against the sexual abuse of children (both boys and girls) and that God will protect children against all forms of child labour.
- For the children to come to Jesus and see Him as their Friend and Saviour.
- Thank God for revealing Himself to the children.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7). Muslims in South Africa are predominantly Sunni and most practise Sufism – a mystical aspect of Islam that focuses on devotion to Allah through music (Qawali), honouring Sufi saints in festivals called “Urs Sharif”, and in other ways. As a minority group in South Africa, Muslims have varying attitudes towards the non-Muslim environment in which they find themselves. The three most common responses are (a) they adapt to the non-Muslim environment and integrate with it. For example, they send their children to school with non-Muslims, they work alongside non-Muslims, and they adjust their lifestyle to suit their environment. (b) Many Muslims participate in the non-Muslim environment but try to influence non-Muslims towards Islam. (c) Other Muslims separate themselves from the non-Muslim environment, and send their children to Islamic schools, do business only with Muslims and generally just socialise with Muslims. Although there is much nominalism amongst South African Muslims, a strong Muslim identity exists and a sense of being part of the Ummah (community of Islam) in South Africa. This tends to cause Muslims to resist the gospel. Many Muslims prefer not to enter into conversation concerning the gospel, even if they are friendly with Christians at a social level.
- For Christians in South Africa to have wisdom and sensitivity when approaching Muslims regarding their respective beliefs and practices.
- For Muslims in South Africa to be open and receptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and through hearing it, believe and be saved.
- For grace for the gospel message to reach every geographical area in South Africa and touch even the most resistant of individuals.
- For open doors to share the love of Jesus through dreams, visions, healings and miracles.
Day 18: 2 June – Somalis in South Africa
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). Somalis come from a country where missionaries are not welcome, and more often than not, they are killed for sharing the gospel. Somalis have grown up with nothing but Islam (and the doctrines of Islam). Al Shabaab is a very radical group that kills many Christians, and even Muslims, if they feel that they are not radical enough. The unending war in Somalia has resulted in Somalis leaving their country and being exposed to Christians and the Christian faith in the nations where they have found refuge. Some Somalis who fled to South Africa, have been in the country for 20 years, but very little has been done to reach them with the gospel! Some Somalis are unable to speak English, so they stay within Somali circles.
- That the Lord will raise up the church in areas that have become “Somali gathering points” to share the gospel with Somalis.
- That believers will look for opportunities to serve Somalis by offering English, sewing or cooking classes, with the intention of sharing God’s love for a sinful world.
- That the church in townships will see Somalis as people that need to be converted and take responsibility for evangelising them. That God would protect Somali shops from being looted and shopowners killed.
- For believers in South Africa to make use of opportunities to share the gospel with Somalis, as they do not stay in one place for too long. May we, as believers, reach them for Christ so that when they move to their next destination, they can serve as missionaries of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Thank God for the handful of persistent Christian workers amongst the Somalis – they have seen some fruit. Pray for them not to lose hope but to press on with the mission God has given them.
The Sudanese government is very anti-Christian towards anything or anyone that is non-Muslim. The president has said he wants to make the north of the country 100% Muslim. Very often, pastors are imprisoned, church buildings and property confiscated or simply burned down. When pastors refuse to cancel church services, they are arrested under charges of public disturbance. Pressure on the church is mounting, and the government constantly interferes with church affairs. There are several unreached people groups in Sudan. Workers are needed to reach them. People from rural areas who move to cities, are an open door for the church. As people move to cities, they typically look to the church for assistance. Many are farmers, who find it difficult to find work in cities. This is an opportunity for the church to reach many with the gospel of salvation.
- For Christians in Sudan to reach out to these groups, and for material, such as audio Bibles, the JESUS Film and Bibles to be available.
- For support of the Sudanese church: Funding, education, church buildings, etc.
- For the church to stand firm under pressure.
- For more pressure on the authorities and for foreign governments to speak out against what is happening in Sudan and take active steps to force the government to change its policies. (The influence of foreign powers, such as pressure from the American government, is a great help in curbing all forms of attack on the church.)
- For a revival of prayer amongst Christians in Sudan.