Introduction / History "What language are you speaking?" the spice seller asked us at the Thursday market in Manas-Kent, Dagestan. "We're speaking English," we replied. "And what language were you speaking?" we asked. "Dargin," he said. Our introductions continued, with my Russian host trying out the short phrases of Dargin he has collected. We sniffed each type of chebretz (dried herbs & mountain grasses for tea), and chose our preferred flavors. He exclaimed, "Oh, THAT grass is from MY village!" which led to our question, "Where is that?" "Well, you know how I said I speak Dargin. But really, I am Kaitag! My home language is the Kaitag language. Those grasses are from my home village of Madjalis! You will have the healthiest tea in all of Dagestan," he boasted.
Muktar, proudly escorting us as his new guests, walked us to our car even checking to make sure the tires were OK. He helped load our meat and purchases into the trunk. He wrapped his arm around the driver and in a nose-to-nose whisper said, "It's essential that you live for God, dear brother. You must set your life apart for God." We exchanged phone numbers in hopes that a time would come when his sincere invitation to "come to our village" could be taken up. Getting there is complicated – so many little moments have to line up just so. Being among the Kaitag is like their embroidery – requiring relational precision, and alignment of timing and permissions – difficult, but when it comes together, Beautiful!
When a Muslim Sufi mystic says your life must be set apart for God, the door is wide open to talk about the fullness of God's Word – that to be fully set apart, the prophets pointed us to trust in Jesus (whom Muslims call Isa al-Masih) as the way, the truth, the light. In our hearts, we must set apart Christ as Lord (1 Peter 3:15).
Prayer Points Pray for the light of Christ to come into the 24 Kaitag villages: Madjalis (Kaitag capital), Sanchi, Gazeya, Karatsan, Barshamai, Jhibakhni, Jhavgat, Jhirabachi, Kulidjha, Adaga, Antil', Varseet, Kirki, Gool'bii, Shileyagi, Shilansha, Khungeya, Akhmedkent, Surgeya, Mizhigli, Dooregi, Bazhlukh, Mashatlii, and Pilyaki. * Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.