Praying Through the Window III -- October, 1997

The Unreached Peoples

Day 29

Malinke Homeland: West Africa
Religion: Islam, Animism

More than half of the seven million Malinke can be found in the two countries of Mali and Guinea. Many live in remote villages that are not accessible by roads. Tribal members sometimes find it difficult to relate to one another because groups are separated by hundreds of miles. Not only are tribes scattered long distances, they are often isolated from facilities like schools and hospitals. When the Malinke first become ill, they call on spirits for protection and healing. Islamic holy men in the villages say special prayers and give advice. Medicine is sought only when these fetishes and incantations have failed.

The spirits who live among the Malinke do not want men, women, and children to give worship to Jesus Christ. Lord, release these people.

Soninke Homeland: Mali, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire
Religion: Islam, Animism

More than a million West Africans living in six countries belong to the Soninke group of peoples, although many speak the languages of surrounding tribes. Converted to Islam in the 11th century, these Muslims have been active in propagating their religion. Today many of West Africa's most learned Islamic scholars are Soninke. The average Soninke villager is highly aware of spiritual forces, which he seeks to control through a complex system of charms and spells, relying also on the protection of the Muslim saint appointed as his spiritual guardian on the day he was named. Like so many other West African peoples living on the Sahara's fragile edge, the Soninke are slowly migrating south to find fertile land. Many young men travel to European cities like Paris, where they work as dishwashers or manual laborers and earn money to send home to their families.

Lord Jesus, speed the day when many Soninke worship you and boldly teach your truth.

Susu Homeland: Guinea, Sierra Leone
Religion: Islam, Animism

Most of the nearly one million Susu people live in Guinea, West Africa, where they comprise ten percent of the population. The rest, in Sierra Leone, are not far away. Close-knit Susu villagers work together to fish, produce salt, grow rice, pineapples, mangoes, and coconuts. Most children, busy helping their parents with the harvest, have no time to attend school. Several ministry efforts have sparked a desire for the Bible in the Susu language, but many Susu are illiterate.

Christ, help the several churches who have "adopted" the Susu, committing to pray faithfully for them until growing churches exist among them.

Dioula Homeland: Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso
Religion: Islam, Animism

Mamadou sits on the river bank, looking across the water to the lush forests on the other side. His family has lived by this river, in Cote d'Ivoire, for many generations, but today his only son leaves for the city where he will study at the university. Mamadou wonders if village life will have any attraction for the boy once he experiences life in the modern city. Traditionally the strength of Dioula society is the family. A man can take as many as five wives; the children they bear him are the only security he has against the difficulties of old age. He trains his sons in the secrets of his own trade, that they may be able to care for him when he is old. Today more Dioula are going to school or moving away from their families to pursue careers in the city. Family no longer plays the role it once did. Many young Dioula are looking to money for security instead. Others hope that Islamic fundamentalism or a revival of traditional religions will restore stability to their society.

Father, give the Dioula the hope of the gospel and bring many of them into your eternal family!

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