Jul 1: Bakary wakes up early; he planned to weed his peanut
field by hand today. In the distance he hears
the rumble of thunder; he wonít get his field weeded today, but
he may just have a much needed day of physical rest. As he stays
around his house today, pray that Bakary will listen to the
chronological Bible lessons aired every Sunday afternoon on the
local radio station. Pray that his heart will be touched
by the Truth.
Mon, Jul 2: Kadiís older sister, Nyima,
has raised ten children. Kadiís own first daughter is named after
Nyima. Kadi has always looked up to her sister as a wise woman.
Over the years, Nyima has taken care of other peopleís children
(not uncommon with MNK society), "training" them to
be obedient and respectful. But this has not been without cost
to Nyimaís own family. She came to visit Kadi last week and told
her how her own children were getting into different kinds of
trouble, skipping school, etc., basically "taking up the
bad habits" of these other children. Now she is frustrated.
She canít send the children away without shaming herself or the
parents of the children. Pray for MNK parents that they would
seek the wisdom of our Heavenly Father over earthly wisdom.
Tue, Jul 3: Bakaryís uncle is paying
for Modou, Bintaís 2nd son, to study at the government
school. With this education Modou should earn enough money to
support his father, his mothers, and his siblings later in life.
While studying in the very poorly equipped school library, Modou
comes across a Bible. Rather than tossing the book aside, he
begins reading from the middle, about Godís love Ė Ps
118 Ė Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures
forever. Pray that we will be able to place at least
one Bible in every school where the MNK live during our School
Bible Distribution plan.
Wed, Jul 4: Sali,
Bakaryís mother, garners
a lot of respect from the younger women, but she still feels
like she must work hard physically in order to justify her place
in the village. Going out to the rice field is extremely difficult
for her, yet she goes at least twice a week, remembering what
it was like when she was younger. As she ages, she thinks about
death, and whether or not God will look favorably upon her. Pray
that MNKs will seek to know their Creator in a personal way before
they stand before Him in judgment.
Thu, Jul 5: In
Bakaryís small village,
which doesnít have electricity, running water, or telephone service,
there are three small, battery-powered televisions. Nightly these
TVs are brought out so that the villagers can watch the programs
aired on the one, government-owned station. These programs include
a weekly, low-budget South American soap opera. The morals practiced
on this show are accepted to be the morals of ALL westerners.
The village adults equate westerners with Christianity. Pray
that these misconceptions will not be a barrier to western missionaries
and volunteers who are endeavoring to provide a true Christ-like
Fri, Jul 6: Bakary took his father,
Lamin, to the government hospital for treatment of a bad cough.
While there they met up with a Toubab they have known for years,
who offered to drive Lamin back to his village. All the way home,
Lamin praised the Toubab, blessing him and his family. The Toubab
tried to explain that God has already blessed him through Jesus,
but his MNK language skills are limited. Pray for clarity
of speech and thought as we work in another language; pray that
our MNK language skills will be multiplied by the Lord to enable
MNKs to hear the message of salvation clearly.
Sat, Jul 7: The
birth of Bintaís brotherís
first child was very special, but even more so since it was a
boy! Binta went to great inconvenience to travel to his village
for the special naming ceremony. All the men from the surrounding
villages came and prayed for the health and welfare of this baby
and his parents. These kinds of events are very important to
MNK society. While there, Binta heard tales about two Toubabs
who walked through the area; they brought nothing with them;
they wanted nothing; they just came to pray for the villages.
Binta shared these stories with her family when she went home. Pray
for the villages touched by the PrayerWalk; pray that the people
will be anxious to hear teachings from these men of God.
Sun, Jul 8: A
stranger came to the village today. He walked around, greeting
everyone; he had business with
the elder men of the village, specifically Bakary. Now as he
is leaving, Fatouís daughter, Mariyama, sees kola nuts in her
fatherís house. This can mean several things, but the one which
frightens her the most is that he has come on behalf of someone
who wants to marry her. This could be a man anywhere from five
to twenty-five years older than she. She will probably be the
last one informed of any decision made concerning her future. Pray
for Mariyama to seek the true face of the Living God, the One
who never disappoints.
Mon, Jul 9: Fatou
is very concerned about her only son, Ibrima. He cut his leg
with his short-handled
hoe while working in his peanut field two days ago. Only a small
nick at first, an infection has developed rapidly. Ibrima refuses
to go to the hospital for medicine; "Itís not that bad," he
tells his mother. But Fatou can see the swelling in his leg and
the slight limp. This time of year skin infections are prevalent
and dangerous. Pray that MNKs will seek not only medical care
for their bodies, but the spiritual care for their souls offered
by numerous mission-supported medical clinics.
Tue, Jul 10: It
is very late when Bakary is awakened by the sound of a man
calling his name at his door.
No one comes out this time of night except to bring bad news:
there has been a death in the neighboring village. Bakary goes
to the menís houses and informs them that his uncle has died.
He will wait until morning to tell the women. They will dress
early and walk to the village, arriving in time for the burial.
Many prayers will be offered on behalf of this dead man, hoping
to earn him adequate grace to enter heaven. There are no assurances
in Islam. Pray that the God of Hope and Assurance will reveal
Himself to those who are seeking Him.
Wed, Jul 11: Peace is everything.
Sali has heard that expression ever since she can remember. But,
now, as the elder woman in the compound, she has a much better
understanding of its importance. Having three women married to
the same man living in the same house presents numerous challenges,
not the least of which is dealing with jealousy and strife. Saliís
job is to maintain harmony among these three women, to help them
understand their place in society, especially as it relates to
men. Pray that God will reveal Himself to Sali so that she
will comprehend a womanís individual value in Godís eyes, and
be able to share that with younger women.
Thu, Jul 12: While
in town yesterday, Binta was given a piece of paper with writing
on it. She was
told it comes from Godís Word; unfortunately Binta is illiterate.
She knows that her father-in-law, Lamin, can read, so she brings
it home to him. But Lamin can only read Arabic script writing;
he cannot read Roman script. Binta is troubled at not being able
to understand what is written on this piece of paper; the bearer
made it seem like a very important message. She gave it to Fatouís
daughter, Hawa, who went to the government school for four years.
While Hawa can read the words, she has no comprehension of the
meaning. Pray for the production and distribution of the Word
of God in the MNK language (Arabic script, Roman script, and
audio) so that the Message can be heard.
Fri, Jul 13: Okay,
itís Friday the 13th!
Are there things we avoid doing today because it is considered bad
luck? Do you avoid cracks in the sidewalk? Will you walk
under a ladder? What happens if you see a black cat? Superstitions
abound in every culture, including the MNK. They donít leave
their windows open at night (irregardless of the temperature)
because cats turn into witches and steal their children. They
donít leave cut hair lying around to be picked up and used in
a charm against the owner. If they knowingly misstate the truth,
they are quick to ask forgiveness of the good angel that sits
on their shoulder so that it wonít be held against them on the
Day of Judgment. They live in abject fear of the unknown. Pray
that the MNK will come to truly know the verse: Greater is He
that is within us than he that is within the world.
Sat, Jul 14: Fatouís
eldest daughter, Adama, is about to give birth to her first
child. Both mother
and daughter are quite frightened: one from knowledge, one from
ignorance. For this instance in life, Islam offers little hope
or words of comfort; neither does the myriad of superstitious
beliefs still found in this society. Pray for the Scripture
radio spots to offer truth, hope, and comfort to the hearers;
pray for the timely production and airing of these.
Sun, Jul 15: A
fight breaks out in Bakaryís
compound. While not unusual, fighting among wives is considered
a great shame. That evening, Bakary sat down to contemplate what
went on, what went wrong. Just two months ago he completed this
new house for his mother, his wives and his children to live
in. He even called an Islamic teacher to come and offer special
prayers for the house and those who reside there. This teacher
climbed up on a ladder, took a piece of paper on which he had
written secret things and stuffed it into the eaves of the house;
then he cemented it up. Why hadnít those prayers worked? Pray
for Bakary and all MNK men to see their need to put their trust
in God alone, who is the same today as He was yesterday as He
will be tomorrow.
Mon, Jul 16: Sali
walked to a neighborís
home yesterday to check on a young pregnant woman. The young
woman, 17, was in good spirits; her husband traveled that morning
but was expected back sometime tomorrow. But sometime during
the night, she began having pains. When Sali checked on her this
morning she was working quite hard to deliver this baby, but
Saliís experience told her it was going to be several more hours.
The young woman is tired and frightened; the elders have all
come to check on her today and pray a blessing on her; she puts
on a good face. The women who check on her all have great sympathy
for her, and tie different amulets to both her body and her bed
to take away the pain, keep the evil spirits away, etc. Pray
that the MNK will recognize their total dependency on God and
give every part of their lives to Him, including those completely
out of their control.
Tue, Jul 17: On the way to the rice
field, the women tell stories they have known since childhood.
One is about a particular field where a deadly snake rises up
out of the mist at dawn and dusk and eats whomever is walking
by. They laugh as they tell the story, embellishing it as their
own mothers did. But there is one aspect they do not talk about:
whether or not it is true. If they say it is not true, then they
are calling their elders liars. But what if it is true? Pray
that the MNK will be set free from the fears that bind them in
Wed, Jul 18: Bintaís eldest son, Lamin,
was sent by his father at the age of 8 to an Islamic teacher.
Lamin has been taught to read and write Arabic. He has learned
to read the sermons for each specific holiday. He has learned
to recite the correct prayers and blessings for every occasion.
Binta is very proud of her son, confident his life will be pleasing
to God, ensuring salvation for her and his future family. Though
his head is full of knowledge, true peace evades Laminís heart. Pray
that Laminís heart will seek the One who holds all truth and
Thu, Jul 19: Bakaryís sisterís husband
died 10 days ago. She and her five children have returned home
to her fatherís compound to complete the MNK mourning rituals.
After the special 40th day prayer day, the elders
will begin to look for a new husband for her. She must marry;
after all, a woman only receives Godís favor as a wife, not an
individual. She will be presented with three options. First,
she can marry one of her husbandís brothers; it wonít be Bakary
because he already has three wives. Second, she can marry another
male member of her husbandís family. Third, she can marry someone
from outside the family who shows interest in her. Her greatest
concern is for her children; a man is not responsible for the
care of children not his own. Her father (Lamin) and Sali will
give her guidance in this decision-making process. Pray that
MNK society will comprehend the individualís value before God
and see the family unit as Godís special gift to us.
Fri, Jul 20: Bakary
decided to go to town for the weekly Friday prayers today.
As he was entering
the mosque with all the other men, he walked past dozens of beggars.
One of the pillars of Islam is giving alms to the poor; therefore,
by giving to these beggars, Bakary is fulfilling one of his obligations
required for salvation. He does not understand that Godís forgiveness
cannot be bought. Pray that MNK men will hear and accept that
Godís Way of Salvation has already been provided through His
Sat, Jul 21: Fatouís youngest son, Ibrima,
took something from Kadiís oldest child, Ebou. There is much
denying and accusing going on when Binta walks up. She handles
the situation between the boys and that is the end of it. Or
is it? In truth, Binta knows what really happened, but to tell
Fatou that her son, Ibrima, was a thief would hurt Fatou terribly.
Since she was a small girl she has known that it is better to
tell a lie that is kind than to tell a truth that is painful.
That is the MNK way! Pray that MNK society will be convicted
by the truths found in Scripture; pray that these truths will
weave themselves into everyday life; pray for revelation from
the God of Truth.
Sun, Jul 22: On
the surface the MNK appear happy, but to the outsider, how
can that be? They have nothing.
They live without running water; they live without electricity.
The women cook meals in pots on a wood fire. The men work hard
planting, weeding, and harvesting crops by hand. Their houses
are made of mud and thatch roof; they donít have windows with
screens to keep out the insects. But what really is confusing
is that they seem happy with the status quo of Islam that says
God does good and evil in peopleís lives; people are helpless
pawns. God has no interest in the mundane aspects of their lives;
they donít consider praying about a cough, an injury, or a birth. Pray
that God will become real to the MNK, a personal God, a caring
God, one whose foremost desire is for His children to know Him.
Mon, Jul 23: Sali,
Fatou, Binta, Kadi and other women are listening to Bible stories
being told by
a Toubab missionary from a nearby town. At the story of Adam & Eve,
they try to explain that although Eve did eat the apple, God
sent an angel who stuck his hand down Adamís throat, thereby
preventing Adam from swallowing the apple Ė hence menís Adamís
apple. Rather than argue the point, the Toubab rereads what
Scripture says and admonishes her friends to daily ask God for
the revelation of Truth. Pray that our MNK friends will be
able to distinguish the complete Truth from Satanís twisted truth.
Tue, Jul 24: This
is the rainy season. Normally it rains at least three times
a week, but it hasnít rained now for nine
days. People are praying in their homes for rain; prayers for
rain have been offered in the local mosques; prayers have even
been offered by the countryís Islamic leader. But still, no rain.
The people cannot understand why God isnít answering their prayers. Pray
for opportunities for Believers to pray in the name of Jesus
and for God to receive all glory for His answers.
Wed, Jul 25: Modou
came home very excited from school today. His sports teacher
said that a group of American
college students will be coming to their school next month to
teach them the finer points of volleyball, and to host a volleyball
competition for the schools in the area. Modouís excitement stems
from many directions: getting the chance to meet Toubabs and
perhaps getting something from them; learning how to play volleyball
better; maybe developing a link with this college and being able
to go to America for college as well! Pray for the American
college students to teach appropriate volleyball skills, have
fun and interact with the local students, and share the true
source of their joy!
Thu, Jul 26: Bakary and his good friend
went to town this morning. They came upon a new shop in the market;
it was called A Place of Peace. Inside they met a man
who talked with them about every day life and related stories
from the Old Testament, a part of Godís Word Muslims are told
to listen to. They heard him take stories about Abraham and Noah
and make it apply to their lives in the village. They came away
a bit confused, yet hungry to know more about these stories. Pray
that their hearts will remain unsettled until they find the Truth;
pray that those working among the MNK will be able to make the
Bible alive and applicable!
Fri, Jul 27: Coming
home from town, Fatou hears some gossip she would rather not
have heard. Her
husbandís brother is accused of taking a cow that belongs to
another man. That man has gone to the police to have the brother-in-law
arrested. At this point, the elders become involved. It doesnít
really matter now whether or not the cow was stolen. What matters
is the restoration of relationships and that everyone shakes
hands. The elders will sit down together and hash out the compensation,
sometimes including the accused and the accuser, sometimes not.
Forgiveness will be required, but not easily accomplished as
the MNK believe in revenge and retaliation. Pray that the
God of Righteousness and Justice will be revealed to these MNK
Sat, Jul 28: The
sky is very dark and the wind picks up. The rain begins about
8:30 in the morning
and continues all day. The women canít go out to the rice field;
they are grateful; the work is hard. The vegetable gardens are
watered by the rain. The women even set out their buckets to
collect the rainwater; now they donít have to go to the well
for drinking and bathing water. Pray that the MNK will have
grateful hearts for Godís blessings; pray that they will come
to know the God who desires to have a personal relationship with
Sun, Jul 29: Another religious festival
looms on the horizon. For Bakary, it is a time of heavy obligation,
as he is expected to provide a goat for his family, as well as
new clothes for all of his children and wives. For Fatou, Binta,
and Kadi it is a time of expectation and disappointment. If Bakary
gives clothes to Binta, he must also give them to both Fatou
and Kadi; there can be no favoritism. Consequently, no one will
get them. This is a bitter embarrassment for the women as their
husband does not completely fulfill his obligations. For the
youngest children it is thrilling as they receive new clothes.
No one gives a thought to the religious aspect of all this; only
the outward appearances. Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal
to the MNK that we are to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
Mon, Jul 30: The
youngest child kicks the dog. The oldest child beats the youngest
The youngest wife beats the oldest child, not necessarily her
own. The first wife chastises the youngest wife. The old women
admonish the first wife to have patience with the youngest wife.
The husband gets angry with his best friend and beats one of
his wives. The elders admonish him to seek peace; how can he
be an example to his wives if he is angry with his best friend?
The elders get upset with the neighboring villageÖ Pray that
the MNK will find true Peace in their lives and everyday situations.
Tue, Jul 31: A
relative of Laminís comes
to visit for a few days from the capital, bringing with him a
few gifts. One of these gifts is a cassette tape of kora music,
the traditional Mandinka musical instrument. Yet this is not
typical kora music for two reasons: one, the kora is being played
and the words sung by a woman, and two, this woman is a Toubab!
Her ministry has been telling Godís story by putting Scripture
to music. Pray that when MNKís like Lamin hear the word of
God sung in this time-honored tradition, it will impact their
hearts in a personal way.