Why did God not choose the easy road? Why did he not just put the Israelites on the road to the promised land? Why did they have to head out into the desert?
"If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt" (13:17). As it turns out, God knew them better than they knew themselves. We often see the people complaining in the desert, but they did not turn back; God knew they would really turn around if they had to make battle.
Thus, he sent the pillar of cloud and fire. They could follow it for direction, and when the Egyptians had changed their minds and came out to kill the Israelites, the cloud was the Lord's defense for them.
God also knows the Dong people. He knows them better than any missionary, better than DongTeam.org, better than any people group profile or strategy to share with them the Gospel. God knows what they will need to accept him and what they will need to grow in him. Let us turn to him and ask him to continue preparing exactly what is needed for the Dong people.
Father, you understand the Dong people, know their needs, and know how to provide for them. May it be in your plan to draw them out of their current slavery and find the freedom of life in Christ. We know you have already planned to provide what they will need to turn to you and believe in you, and we come to praise you for your knowledge, understanding, and love. May our prayers honor you and glorify you as you do your work among the Dong. May your will be done.