Praying Through the Window III -- October, 1997

The Unreached Peoples

Day 2

Sundanese Homeland: West Java, Indonesia
Religion: Islam

While the Sundanese are Muslim, their religious system is flavored by Animist, Buddhist, and Hindu rituals passed down from one generation to the next. Special ceremonies mark the birth of a child, its first steps, circumcision, marriage, and burial. These rituals address the life beyond as well. Sundanese respect the powers of the dead and pay homage to unseen spectators. Haunted by spirits from the tops of trees or behind graves, they appeal to their ancestors for help and intercession in times of trouble. Early Christian missionaries labored faithfully among the Sundanese, but failed to pay attention to the Sundanese culture. This resulted in the Sundanese viewing the gospel as European, and the converts to Christianity as people who reject Sundanese ways.

Lord of the Harvest, send out more workers to do evangelism and church-planting among Sundanese in culturally sensitive ways.

Madurese Homeland: East Java, Indonesia
Religion: Islam

As one of the four largest peoples in this Muslim nation, the 12 million Madurese are key to seeing God's kingdom established in Southeast Asia. The majority of the Madurese have migrated to the eastern part of the island of Java in search of a more prosperous lifestyle. Those who remain on the island of Madura protect their traditional way of life from modernity and secularism. Nearly 100 percent of the Madurese are Muslim. Many live in small villages, where they are strongly loyal to uluma, religious leaders with mystical powers. The few Madurese who have embraced Christ often must seek refuge from angered family members. However, recent reports say that the young Madurese men are more willing to hear the gospel now than ever.

Father, we pray that your Holy Spirit would soon draw many of these young men to call on Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Balinese Homeland: Bali, Indonesia
Religion: Hinduism

Bali is a Hindu island in the predominantly Muslim nation of Indonesia. Resplendent with natural beauty, the island draws more than a million tourists each year. Balinese culture is held together by a sense of collective responsibility structured around intricate rituals. Beneath the lush emerald foliage and brilliant tropical flowers the Balinese give themselves to gods and ancestors through beautiful but demonic ceremonies. It is difficult for Balinese to follow Jesus because of the ostracism and persecution this would cause. Less than one percent of the 3.8 million Balinese are Christian. The whole Bible was published in Balinese in 1990.

Lord of the creation, we pray that you might redeem the richness and creativity of Balinese culture and use it to bring glory to your name.

Sasak Homeland: Lombok, Indonesia
Religion: Islam, Animism

Sasak society is woven around religion-or, more precisely, religions. The Sasak have been affected by Islam, Hinduism, and a unique animistic religion called Wektu Tulu which is practiced only on Lombok island, the Sasak homeland. A group called the Wektu Lima Sasak adhere to the more orthodox beliefs and rituals of Islam. Lima means "five," and refers to a the five pillars of Islam which believers must follow. In contrast, Wektu Telu Sasaks keep only the first tenet of Islam; that is, the belief in Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet. They pray in their own language and whenever they choose, composing their own prayers in their hearts. Instead of building mosques they designate prayer corners or small rooms facing Mecca in all of their public buildings. Unlike the orthodox, Wektu Telu Sasaks eat pork; they consider everything that comes from Allah to be good.

God of the Sasaks, reveal your son to the Sasak in powerful ways that they might worship you in spirit and in truth.

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