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MIGRANTS DIRECTED

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GOD DIRECTS MIGRANTS 

Scriptures: Genesis 11:1-9, Exodus 13:21–22, Matthew 2:13–15, Acts 8:1–3

Memory verse: Genesis 11:9
"From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth."

Lead—In

The Bible teaches that God is sovereign. Sovereign means supreme in rank, power and authority. God is a sovereign ruler who can do anything He wants that is within the boundaries of His character. He is in control of everything!

One aspect of life that is prominent in our world today is the migration of people from one place to another location. Every tribe is represented among the migrants.

Ask: What are some examples of migration written about in the Bible? (Allow responses.)

Some examples would be:

  • the deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 13:21–22),
  • Mary and Joseph fleeing from Bethlehem with baby Jesus (Matthew 2:13–15),
  • believers running from Jerusalem due to the persecution led by Saul of Tarsus (Acts 8:1–3).  (Ask students to read the three selections of Scripture.)

Ask: What are some examples of migrants currently on the move in our country or across our continent?

Hearing God's Word

Migration began at the tower of Babel. (Ask a student to read Genesis 11:1-9.) People living on earth at that time were speaking one language. They decided to build a tower and city to keep them united and to show they were self-reliant—no longer dependent upon God's assistance.

This displeased the Sovereign Lord who came down and caused them to begin speaking different languages. This created confusion and stopped the building of the tower. Then, the Lord scattered the various language groups and placed them in locations all around the world. (Ask the class to say the memory verse.)

God Directs Migrants

The important thing to recognize is that God initiated migration at Babel and directed their movement to certain locations. God also guided the children of Israel with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night on their way to the Promise Land. God spoke through His angelic messenger that directed Mary and Joseph to Egypt for the security of their family. God used the migration of believers out of Jerusalem to spread the gospel and grow the church to tens of thousands of believers, "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed" (Acts 21.20).

God's Plan Includes Migrants

God's dealing with tribes, peoples and nations on the move is clearly revealed in the book of Isaiah. He instigates, provokes the nations to move, and leads them in relocating. The following verses emphasize this fact:

Isaiah 5:26, "He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth. Here they come, swiftly and speedily!" God was saying to the distant nations, "I want you, you are needed, you are welcome. He whistled in order to get their attention. The migrants responded and came quickly.

Isaiah 49:22, "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: 'See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples...." Notice that it is God who is "beckoning" and it is "His" banner being lifted up. The migrants’ coming is certainly a "God thing."

Isaiah 66:18, "And I, because of what they have planned and done, am about to come and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory." Again, notice that it is God who is "gathering" migrants from all nations and languages.

Ask: If God is directing the movement of migrants, what is He trying to achieve? What is His purpose? (Allow responses.)

God's Messenger to Migrants

Migrants coming from villages to settle in cities may be making a positive move. Youth may seek a better life by looking for a good job. Immigrants from other countries may gain from Africa's natural resources. Often migration positions people to receive the good news of the gospel. (Ask a student to read Matthew 4:13-17.)

You, as a born again believer, are God's messenger to the migrants in your community. Extend a welcome to them. Offer to help with the adjustments of getting established in a new area. Get acquainted. Enjoy fellowship with them and become their friends. Introduce them to Jesus and sow the seed of the gospel message.

Accepting God's Word

God is the one who has sent migrants, strangers, into your neighbourhood. Their children are your classmates at school. Do you know their names? Have you asked them about the home they left behind, their parents, their brothers and sisters? Have you become their friend? Have you invited them to your church and youth meeting? Have you told them how you accepted Jesus as your personal Saviour?

Isaiah 66:18 says that the migrants "will come and see my glory." Jesus is God's revelation of His glory. Can your new friends see Jesus living in you? Let your words and actions be God's message to migrants.

Present the information about the Tigre tribe given below. Show the video, if possible.

Meet the Tigre

LOCATION

Eritrea 1,566,000
Sudan 20,000

RELIGION

Islam: 95%
Born-again Believers: 0.05%

SEE THE VIDEO
http://linkupafrica.com/media-gallery/detail/70/1119

The Tigre are traditionally nomadic shepherds who live in Eritrea and north-eastern Sudan. They are distinguished from other regional peoples by the fact that they possess hereditary slaves. Historically, most of the Tigre have been scattered between Eritrea's northern highlands and western lowlands. They have shifted somewhat into Sudan in search of water and grazing lands.

The Tigre, descendants of the ancient Egyptians, are generally tall and have narrow noses and brown skin. As their language, Tigre, has no script of its own, most literate Tigre write in Arabic. The Tigre in Eritrea have suffered from recent droughts, famine, and civil war. Although many are still nomads, most are semi-nomadic; others have become settled farmers.

The first Tigre converts to Islam were those who lived on islands in the Red Sea and were converted in the seventh century. During the 1800s, most of the remaining Tigre converted to Islam due to the influence of Muslim Arab missionaries. The Tigre were the first Christians in Sub-Sahara Africa and only converted to Islam some 200 years ago.

ASSESSMENT

Although 95% of the Tigre profess to be Sunni Muslims, most of them practice folk Islam, which is a blend of Islam and ethnic beliefs. Their traditional beliefs include animal sacrifices and rain-making rituals.

The Tigre believe in an evil spirit named Zar, who possesses people and causes accidents, illnesses, and sometimes death. The people depend on shamans to cure the sick, communicate with the spirits, and control events. The shamans also exorcise demons and perform services by entering into a trance.

APPEAL

Little progress has been made in spreading the gospel among the Tigre. There are a few believers in small churches scattered throughout the Tigre in Eritrea. Gospel seed has been sown. We believe it will germinate and yield fruit. "A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how" (Mark 4:26-27).  Messengers are needed to sow more seed and to nurture the existing believers. May God's plan for the Tigre be fulfilled.

MORE INFORMATION: www.linkupafrica.com

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for the Tigre Tribe

1. Lord to prepare Tigre minds and hearts to receive the gospel message,
2. Many Tigre to express an interest in being saved,
3. Local believers to reach out to them and lead them into God's Kingdom.

Prayer Promise

"Still other seed fell on good soil...and produced a crop" (Mark 4:8).

Remember: GOD DIRECTS MIGRANTS

Memory verse: Genesis 11:9
"From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth."

1. God directs the movement of migrants.
2. God positions migrants in order for them to hear the gospel.
3. Jesus wants me to introduce Him to the migrants near me.

Pray for the Tigre tribe.

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Study 1 | Migrants—Proverbs | africaatts.org/go-teach

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