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5 hours ago

Wednesday 20th February

Afar people in East Africa Pop: 2.5 million Islam: 99%

South of the Red Sea lies a vast lowland desert where the world’s highest temperatures have been recorded. This land is home to the Afar nomadic pastoralists. They live in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Eritr...

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1 day ago

Tuesday 19th February

Nomads in Somalia

This article from the Global Prayer Digest illustrates problems faced by the nomads in Somalia.

“I was once master of myself.” Faarax, a nomad, was telling an aid worker how hard life had become for him and his family in Somal...

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2 days ago

Monday 18th February

The challenge of reaching nomadic pastoralists

Malcolm Hunter spent many years serving in North Africa with SIM (an international mission organisation). He founded the Nomadic Research Programme. In an article published in the International Journal of Frontier...

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5 days ago

Friday 15th February

Turkmen Pop: 7.8 million

The majority of Turkmen, 4.8 million, live in Turkmenistan, which is located in south Central Asia along the Caspian Sea. Many others live in the surrounding Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

Their...

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6 days ago

Thursday 14th February

A trip among nomads in Central Asia - from a Frontiers worker (continued)

“Eighteen young people spent five weeks trekking across barren deserts and high mountain pastures on this five week trip.

A total of nineteen mentors (including three Central...

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1 week ago

Wednesday 13th February

A trip among nomads in Central Asia - from a Frontiers worker

“Malcolm Hunter, founder of the Nomadic Peoples Network, saw the need among the millions of unengaged nomads as an injustice and cried out to God. Malcolm’s dream was to train and mobilise mor...

Read More

5 hours ago

Wednesday 20th February

Afar people in East Africa Pop: 2.5 million Islam: 99%

South of the Red Sea lies a vast lowland desert where the world’s highest temperatures have been recorded. This land is home to the Afar nomadic pastoralists. They live in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The have learned to survive in one of the world’s harshest environments. They efficiently move herds of cattle, camels, goats and sheep in search of scarce grazing and an adequate water source for their animals.

The Ethiopian highlands get monsoon rain from July to September and some of it reaches the lowland deserts. Nomads take advantage of this and whole families move out into the dryer eastern regions as soon as pools of water and grass appear. Each family loads everything it owns, including their portable house, on one camel. When the pools in the desert dry up, everyone comes back to where rivers from the highlands provide water.

During the dry season when it rains in some areas, the male herders take their herds there even if it is far away.

Men must take risks to protect themselves and their animals from predators and raids from neighbouring clans and tribes.

Women prepare food, fetch water, build the house and take it down prior to the next move. Young boys and girls herd the kids and lambs, while the older boys tend the calves and young camels. Women and older girls are often responsible for herding sheep and goats.

These days, many of the traditionally nomadic peoples find their way of life threatened as available grazing land decreases. Because of this threat and various outside development efforts, some Afar are beginning to settle down around urban areas.

For hundreds of years, Afar have followed the culture and practice of Islam and continue to do so today, observing the five pillars of Islam. Yet God is moving among the Afar and today there are believers among them.

• Ask God to send His Spirit to guide nomadic desert people to know Jesus as their Saviour.

• Pray for peace between neighbouring tribes and that the life-changing power of Jesus will enable them to live in harmony.

• Pray for gospel workers with a heart to go and live among the Afar people.

• Pray for the small number of Afar believers and ask God to give them opportunities to share Christ with their own people.

Source: Information from the Afar Team

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1 day ago

Tuesday 19th February

Nomads in Somalia

This article from the Global Prayer Digest illustrates problems faced by the nomads in Somalia.

“I was once master of myself.” Faarax, a nomad, was telling an aid worker how hard life had become for him and his family in Somalia.

“The economy was good and I had many animals including several camels. But over the years the droughts and war have destroyed almost everything I had. I now only have 12 skinny sheep; at one time I had a 100! My sheep are too weak for me to herd them to a better place to graze. My wife, six children and I have to depend on the rice given to us from the UN. One good thing is my children have been able to go to school. I pray to Allah that their lives will be better than mine.”

In Somalia less than a tenth of the land is suitable for farming, so the majority of Somalis are predominantly nomads. The camel is especially important as it provides the family with milk and does not require much water. War, political upheaval and droughts have placed a great burden on these nomads. The older generation now feels that the only hope for the future of their children is to learn new ways of earning a living through education.

• Pray that God will send His servants to these nomadic people to help them both economically and spiritually.
• Pray in particular for vets and teachers to go to this mission field.
• Pray that, as Somalia’s nomads go through a painful time of change, they will find their purpose: to joyfully worship the Lord and follow Him all the days of their lives.

“Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you!” Ezra 1:3
Source: http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/nomadism-in-somalia/

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2 days ago

Monday 18th February

The challenge of reaching nomadic pastoralists

Malcolm Hunter spent many years serving in North Africa with SIM (an international mission organisation). He founded the Nomadic Research Programme. In an article published in the International Journal of Frontier Missions, he wrote:

“Bedouin with TV aerials sprouting over their tents. Tuaregs giving up their camels to drive around the Sahara in Toyota Land Cruisers – only their enigmatic eyes peering out between their turbans and veils. Maasai warriors in full regalia and flowing mud-plastered hair, hurling sticks at one another and performing their flatfooted dances for money every afternoon for the benefit of camera-toting tourists.

These and a few other weird and wonderful aberrations of the twenty first century are what most people know of nomadic pastoralist societies. For every one of these commercial manifestations, there are thousands of authentic herdsmen, women, boys and girls living a very similar existence to that of our well-documented pastoralist predecessors, Abraham, Jacob and Isaac. They are little known and often live in uncongenial places where tourist buses do not go.

For Christians, these shepherds of the remotest deserts and mountains are not just colourful reminders of the earliest ancestors of our faith but a striking challenge to that faith. They are not just a bizarre anachronism in human society which will disappear if we ignore them. They are the natural descendants and successors of many races who have learned to survive and make a living on some of the world’s most undesirable land, not just in Africa but on all five continents.

There are few pastoralists on earth who can live exclusively as nomads; most are semi-nomadic, operating somewhere along a continuum from pure nomadism to agro-pastoralism. Agro-pastoralism has become so much the norm that it is impossible to define nomads as those who do not cultivate. There have always been examples of this mixed form of agriculture (a harvest from digging in the dirt and a harvest on the hoof).

Nomadic pastoralists can be found in desert or semi-arid regions of the world, as well as the mountains and high plateaus. Many are Muslim because Islam is usually seen as a religion suitable for nomads. All they need is a prayer mat so they can pray anywhere.

Reaching such people is very difficult and challenging for gospel workers. Nomadic pastoralists most commonly appreciate animal and human medicine input. This would have to come from professionals who were willing to go to them. However, of all the people in the world, they are probably the most God-conscious but culturally the most remote from the Western church. If the command and promise of the Lord Jesus is taken seriously, that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world to every ethnic group (Matt 24:14), then these nomadic groups must be included and effective evangelical strategies must be found and employed.”

• Pray for gospel workers who are trained professionals and are willing to go and share the love of God with nomadic people across the world.

• Let’s pray for the church to take the command and promise of Jesus seriously to reach nomadic people where they are and to find effective ways to do this.

• Let’s ask that God will lay nomads on peoples’ hearts, to pray and intercede for them, so that there will be breakthroughs among the nomadic peoples across the world.

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matt 24:14

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5 days ago

Friday 15th February

Turkmen Pop: 7.8 million

The majority of Turkmen, 4.8 million, live in Turkmenistan, which is located in south Central Asia along the Caspian Sea. Many others live in the surrounding Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

Their culture has been strongly influenced in the past by both the Turkic conquerors, who imposed their language on them, and the Arabs, who forced them to convert to Islam. Long ago, they developed a strong ethnic identity as ‘children of the desert’ because they would plunder rich caravans of Persian traders.

In the 17th century, the Turkmen, or Trukhmens as they were called in Russia, migrated into the Caucasus in Central Asia.

For centuries the Turkmen lived as nomadic herdsmen. However, seventy years of Soviet rule virtually eliminated their nomadic lifestyle. The socialisation of farmland has changed their traditional settlement patterns, and movement into the cities has naturally weakened their customs and traditions.

Nomadic Turkmen are known as charwa. They raise sheep and goats for sale in town markets. When the pasture dries up during the summer and autumn they stay in camps near the permanent water sources. When it rains they move short distances to use the growing grass. During the summer when shepherding is less intensive, the flocks are left in the hands of the younger men, while other family members engage in limited cultivation. They also grow cotton and then weave and sell perhaps the finest carpets in Central Asia.

The Turkmen are a proud people who have never really been loved by anyone, have suffered much and have had very little Christian witness. A gospel witness to Turkmen will be most effective coming from other Turkmen who are culturally sensitive. Turkmen pastors face great hardship and persecution. Some have been fined, beaten and put in jail.

• Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to live among the Turkmen and share with them the love of Christ.

• Pray for a gospel witness among every Turkmen tribe, clan and family.

• Ask God to strengthen, encourage and protect the small number of Turkmen believers and ask that they will have courage, joy and opportunities to share the gospel with their own people.

Source of some material: https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/15654/TX
David Phillips book “People on the move”

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6 days ago

Thursday 14th February

A trip among nomads in Central Asia - from a Frontiers worker (continued)

“Eighteen young people spent five weeks trekking across barren deserts and high mountain pastures on this five week trip.

A total of nineteen mentors (including three Central Asian Muslim background believers) dropped into the teams for a few weeks each.

On one memorable day in Kyrgyzstan, a Kyrgyz pastor invited six trekkers and four mentors to his sister’s village home. As we arrived, our hosts seated us in order of our age and served a grand spread of tea, dates, apples, plums, dried apricots, prunes, biscuits, varieties of flaky pastries, and berry sauces to spoon in to the tea.
Afterwards, as they gave us a tour of the compound, we noticed a sheep grazing near the kitchen building. After some introductory explanations, two men laid the sheep down, cut the sheep’s throat, and drained its blood. One of the students commented on how silently the sheep approached its slaughter.

Some men began skinning and gutting the sheep and the women took internal organs away to clean. As the butchers and cooks carried on with their messy work, our hosts explained the significance their culture gives to the way the sheep is cut into parts and how and why it would be divided among certain families in the community.

Several hours later, they ushered us to the dining area, then seated us (in age order again, of course) for a great feast of lamb. A pitcher of water, a large bowl, and a towel were brought in. Water was poured over each person’s hands while we rubbed and then carefully squeezed water off our hands without shaking or splattering just as the pastor demonstrated. Portions from the fat tail were served to the oldest man, the oldest woman, and the youngest among us. The final dish was finely chopped meat with noodles, and it was all washed down with a fermented mare’s milk or a greasy broth.

After we had expressed our appreciation for very full bellies, we were ushered into another room for yet more tea and snacks!

Experiences like this gave our truck trekkers a taste of life among Central Asian nomads – helping them learn to think like a nomad so that they can learn to “put the church on the back of a camel.”

After the trip as we debriefed, tears, anxious facial expressions, frustrations and fears poured out. The students admitted that the trip was very hard – “at times too hard.”

But joy and hope poured out, too. Participants emphatically said that it changed them for the better and they were very glad they came.
Six are now praying seriously about how God might use them among nomads in the future. All participants said they were at least considering long-term service or will advocate on behalf of nomads in their churches at home.

Praise God, just in the past few days we’ve heard from one of the participants, an existing Frontiers member, who has started working among nomads in Northeast Africa.

As a result of all this, I and others have committed to another trip in the future, this time across the Sahel of Africa.”

• Let’s pray for all the young people who went on this trip, that they will see how God is using this experience in their lives for the cause of reaching nomads.

• Pray for the six young people who are seriously seeking God about the path He has mapped out for them regarding nomads. May they know his leading and guidance.

• Let’s pray for the Frontiers worker who has started working among nomads in Northeast Africa, that he will know God’s protection, favour and blessing in his ministry.

• Let’s pray for the planned trip across the Sahel of Africa, that God will go before it and prepare the way.

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1 week ago

Wednesday 13th February

A trip among nomads in Central Asia - from a Frontiers worker

“Malcolm Hunter, founder of the Nomadic Peoples Network, saw the need among the millions of unengaged nomads as an injustice and cried out to God. Malcolm’s dream was to train and mobilise more workers for these nomadic peoples. Malcolm shared his vision for a mobile workshop to initiate new workers at the Nomadic Peoples Network conference in 2015. Last year, a consortium of agencies ran a truck adventure trekking from one nomadic group to another – crossing Central Asia from Tiblisi, Georgia to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and back again.
The truck venture was the culmination of Malcolm’s dream.
A number of organisations like Frontiers were involved, providing the logistical support and recruiting the participants.
The truck venture was an experiment to expose potential new workers to nomads and their lifestyles, and train them on how to reach nomads.
At the same time we mobilisers, including Frontiers, wrestled with the question of how to recruit and equip the right people to effectively engage nomads. Our goals were to attract adventurous, Jesus-following learners with a pioneering spirit; to expose them to challenges to test whether they’re cross-culturally adept, persistent in prayer, cohesive team players, and able to endure hardship. We also aimed to train them to recognise and appreciate nomadic cultures, thrive on the move, learn from nomadic culture, and minister to them appropriately. We sought to help them see the spiritual dynamics of the good news for nomads in community relationships rather than in buildings and institutions. We helped them consider how their gifts and occupational interests might be used in such settings, and we prayed for each of the countries and peoples we encountered.
Nomads are even more likely than other Muslim peoples to have no one engaging with them. That’s probably because they present unique challenges. One national believer who’s seeking to work among Southeast Asian nomads asked me, “How can you plant a church when the people don’t stay put?”
Our trip across Central Asia sought to expose potential candidates to such quandaries of working among nomads.”
• Father we thank you for Malcolm Hunter and his passion and heart for nomadic peoples. We ask you to bless, encourage and equip him for the ministry you have given him.

• We thank you for Malcolm’s vision to train and mobilise more workers to reach nomadic peoples. We pray for much fruit from this trip.

• Pray for the different agencies involved in this trip, that they will catch the vision in even greater measure and take the task of reaching nomads to a greater audience.

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My Life Overseas: They Come for the Water Overlay

My Life Overseas: They Come for the Water 18th Feb 2019

Many things on the field aren’t much different than things in the U.S. A field worker shares about ants, utensils, and laundry day.

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Wednesday 20th February

Afar people in East Africa Pop: 2.5 million Islam: 99%

South of the Red Sea lies a vast lowland desert where the world’s highest temperatures have been rec...

Pray Now
Called to the Nations Overlay 09 Feb 2019 09:00 - 20:30
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Called to the Nations

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