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Day 20, July 28: Pakistan's Chitral

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Day 20, July 28: Pakistan's Chitral

Fear of militant extremists: Pakistan’s Chitral

An “Eldorado for linguists” — this is what Chitral, a mountain valley in north-west Pakistan, is called. Almost a dozen languages are spoken there. Khowar, or “language of the Kho”, is the major language, with around 300,000 speakers.

Chitral is nestled between the high peaks of the Hindu Kush and the Hindu Raj. In winter, the passes are blocked by deep snow. Many lost their lives trying to cross the snowblocked passes, and finally a tunnel has been built, making access to the valley somewhat easier. If you can manage the trip, you will be rewarded by meeting the friendly people, also renowned for being peace-loving. While some regions in Pakistan have been ruled by militant extremists, this region has been spared such terror for a long time. However, there is growing sense of fear in the valley that this could change.

Solidarity

In such a harsh part of the world it is little wonder that the people are poor and unemployed. Some men live and work as migrant workers in oil-rich Gulf states. Often, the male is responsible for his mother, grandmother, wife, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. They send money home — mutual support is essential for survival. An individual on his or her own would be lost in that breathtakingly beautiful, but also rough and harsh, mountain area.

Are there already some followers of Jesus in that region? Should it not be possible for God to build His church there? His Word has not been translated into Khowar yet. There is a great need in the valley of Chitral.

Prayer ideas:

* Pray for the peoples of Chitral to receive dreams and visions of Jesus. “’In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.’” (Acts 2:17)

* Pray for protection of the valley against attacks by militant extremists. “I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1–2)

* Pray for the translation of the Scriptures into Khowar.

* Pray for more local and expatriate believers willing to work in Chitral. “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” (John 3:34)

Further Reading