Mon, Aug 1: For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. – Romans 15:4 Scripture is timeless; Scripture is instructive; Scripture is true. Everything in Scripture was written to teach us, not to confuse us. At least one chronological Bible storying group will begin this week with at least one MNK woman. Pray for this MNK woman to become hungry for the Book of Truth and to seek life’s answers from it; pray that she will invite her friends to learn as well.
Tue, Aug 2: A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. – Proverbs 11:16 Inflation is a universal problem, and it is no different among the MNK. Prices in the market go sky-high as food becomes scarce prior to harvest. The value of the local currency goes up and down on the world market, but the amount of money Binta has to spend every day at the market remains the same. Binta needs to buy carrots and cabbage to feed Bakary’s large family. While sympathetic to her plight, the sellers in the market are unwilling to cut her any slack. Pray that God would multiply Binta’s money sufficiently to provide for her family; pray that Binta would accept the Truth she hears about God.
Wed, Aug 3: Jesus said, “He who has ears, let him hear!” – Matthew 13:43 Tonight’s radio broadcast (Lesson 73) is entitled Important Parables. MNKs will hear the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8) and the Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13). Following the reading of the parables, the focus will be on discerning the meaning of the good seed (the Word of God), hard soil (our hearts), the Sower (Jesus), the wheat (the children of God), the enemy (Satan) and the weeds (those who do not belong to God). Pray for Satan to be bound from those listening to these teachings and for hearing ears.
Thu, Aug 4: He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son. – Proverbs 10:5 As Bakary worked in his field this morning, he wondered when Ibrima would come back to the village to help him. After the boys go off to school, they don’t want to spend their time in the fields; they want to get government jobs, or jobs with aid agencies; they want to make a lot of money and move away from the difficult life in the village. Bakary knows this…it was that way when he was a boy. Still Bakary must feed and care for his family, his parents, and his children...all on the income of a rural subsistence farmer. Pray that the words of Scripture will encourage Bakary and provide him the avenue to come to know God.
Fri, Aug 5: Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. – Proverbs 17:14 Kadi heard talk today in the market against Fatou. She knows she was recognized as the 3rd wife to Fatou; she knows she should have spoken in Fatou’s defense; yet she didn’t. Walking home she remembered the verse she heard on the radio last night. She remembers how her mother used to walk away whenever arguments broke out among the women; this is not the typical Mandinka way, but it certainly was her mother’s way. Is it the right way? Is it God’s way? Pray that MNK women will be able to let go of the Mandinka way and discover God’s Way.
Sat, Aug 6: The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. – Proverbs 14:20 Yesterday afternoon, instead of going to town for prayers, Bakary stayed home with his father and the other old men of the village. After prayers, they spent the afternoon talking about one of the wealthiest men in town, Samba. In the past, Samba was a good friend to Lamin, but things are different now. At first the men all criticized Samba, then they made fun of him; eventually, however, they have come to agree that Samba must be a very lonely man, for he apparently no longer has any real friends. Everyone is always asking Samba for something, coming to him to solve every problem...this is the Mandinka way. Pray for the tremendous love God has for the individual to become part of MNK daily life, irregardless of financial stature.
Sun, Aug 7: The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. – Proverbs 15:3 Fatou wonders, “What is evil? Who is wicked? Who are the good?” Surely the wicked are those who steal, lie, cheat, those who do not keep the fast, those who need to repent and return to the Islamic road…those are the evil ones. The MNK have a proverb: Revenge is not witchcraft. In other words, to repay evil for evil is not bad. Yet who decides which evil is to be repaid? Who determines what is good? Who is good? Pray for Fatou and other MNK women to come to the understanding that God alone is Good, and that His eyes are, indeed, everywhere.
Mon, Aug 8: He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet. –Proverbs 27:7 The process of translating Scripture is a multifaceted one. And the responsibilities that go along with this task are unparalleled within the missionary community. Finding believing MNK men and women to participate in this goal is difficult. MNK believers are subject to the exact same kinds of temptations as every other believer, and if a translator’s life is not a positive witness, the translation may be criticized. Pray for God to raise up strong MNK believers who will be able, by God’s grace and power, to live spirit-filled and spirit-protected lives.
Tue, Aug 9: Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. – Proverbs 1:8 While at school today, Modou heard these words spoken by one of his teachers. He wonders if these are words from the holy Qu’ran. They seem very familiar, similar to the MNK proverb: What an elder can see while sitting, a child cannot see even if he stands up. In other words, listen to your father, he has wisdom and knowledge you do not yet hold. Pray for MNK society to take its many strong family values and move them to the True Path of God.
Wed, Aug 10: Jesus said, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.” – John 6:27 Tonight’s radio broadcast (Lesson 74) is entitled The Food that Gives Eternal Life. These are confusing words to MNK farmers as they toil daily caring for their fields of corn, millet, peanuts and rice. The lesson explains that Jesus’ difficult teachings caused many who followed Him to wander away, but those who remained did so because they were convinced that He was the Messiah, the Holy One from God. Pray for MNKs as they listen to these words tonight to also believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Holy One from God, and that there is no other way to peace with God.
Thu, Aug 11: A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless. – Proverbs 14:16 The headmaster at the school was so angry that he broke the cane (stick) while disciplining (beating) the young man. The boy had said he didn’t want to go to Qu’ranic classes anymore; he wanted to attend the Bible Knowledge (BK) classes. But this boy’s father is an Islamic prayer leader; the headmaster would have been in a lot of trouble if he had agreed. Sadly he allowed his fear and anger to get out of hand. Fortunately the BK teacher passed by the headmaster’s office and was able to quiet the situation. Pray for Christians who interact with Mandinka Muslims to have wisdom, patience and God’s spirit prevalent every time they open their mouths.
Fri, Aug 12: In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality. – Proverbs 12:28 The way of righteousness…that is the name of the radio broadcast that Bakary listens to every Wednesday night…the way of righteousness, the straight path. Is there any other way? Isn’t that the way my family and I are on? Isn’t that the way my father taught me? Isn’t that the MNK way, the Islamic way? The broadcasts focus on being on this straight path; can God have two paths? Pray for Bakary and others as they listen to the Sila Tilindingo (The Straight Path); pray they will come to the knowledge that there is only one way to God as presented in Scripture.
Sat, Aug 13: Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. –Proverbs 26:20 Walking back from the well, Binta heard loud voices, not an uncommon situation among MNK women; they usually speak to one another at the top of their lungs! But these two women were not just chatting. There were ugly words and accusations being thrown back and forth. Binta watched her mother-in-law, Sali, try to quell the situation, lending a sense of calm and serenity. Later that afternoon Fatou and Kadi began rehashing it; Sali admonished them to leave it alone, allow it to die. “We need peace, not disharmony, in our village,” Sali tells them. Pray for women like Sali, who are natural peacemakers, to come to know the True Peacemaker, and begin sharing His peace.
Sun, Aug 14: Ears that hear and eyes that see – the Lord has made them both. – Proverbs 20:12 Kadi took the baby to the health center today. She walked for two hours and then waited five more before seeing the nurse. But when it was finally her turn, the Catholic sister was kind and caring, taking her time with Kadi and the baby. She is so different from the other nurses at the health center. Kadi was frustrated when she saw other women come in after her and leave before her with medicine, yet this sister worked on in joy and contentment, caring for one patient at a time. This expression of God’s love is not lost on those Muslim MNK women waiting at health centers for medical care. Pray for those who treat the physical needs of the MNK, especially women and children; thank God for their service; pray for their witness to be strong among their co-workers.
Mon, Aug 15: Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. – Proverbs 20:1 Even though alcohol consumption is prohibited among Muslims, many young MNK men are caught in the snare. Bakary has spent much time over the years advising his sons about the evils of alcohol, but Ibrima and Lamin saw it first hand yesterday at the market. Keeba, a man about Bakary’s age, is known as a petty thief and a drunk. The elders speak of his linguistic prowess in French, German, Spanish, and English. Yet he wasted all his talents on drugs and alcohol; he has ruined his mind. When he is sober, he is somber; when he is drugged, he is a thief. There is no happiness in his life, and he has no friends. Pray for MNK society as it is faced with the realities of the 21st century; pray that men and women of Godly character will rise to positions of authority and responsibility; pray for the Holy Spirit to engulf this people group.
Tue, Aug 16: A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. – Proverbs 14:15 A stranger came through the village today. He was asking for money; he said he had been robbed and beaten by bandits in the bush. He did look dirty, hungry and tired, so Bakary gave him food to eat and water to bathe with, but he wouldn’t give him any money. The more the stranger spoke, the less Bakary trusted him. But the MNK way is to offer hospitality to all, so Bakary was fulfilling his obligation. Even for an MNK it is difficult to discern between people who are in need and people who are working a scam! Pray for wisdom for those of us working among the MNK; needs and wants are often difficult to distinguish; pray that we will have discerning minds and prudent thoughts, all within the scope of sharing the Gospel.
Wed, Aug 17: Jesus said, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me!” – Matthew 10:37 Tonight’s radio broadcast (Lesson 75) is entitled Jesus Causes Division. Ah, yes, indeed, you can be sure that this lesson will create much discussion among those MNKs who are truly listening! The hypocrisy of the Pharisees will be exposed, as well as man’s uncleanness before God. And Jesus’ words from John 18 will echo for days...Everyone on the side of truth listens to me! Pray for MNKs as they begin to see the strength and power of Jesus’ words; pray that His righteousness will beckon the MNK to Himself.
Thu, Aug 18: It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. – Proverbs 19:2 Young MNK men are encouraged to reject out-of-hand any teaching not in accordance with the Qu’ran; following an individual path or way different from your parents is strongly discouraged in this family-oriented society. Sadly MNKs lack knowledge of both the Qu’ran and the Bible, so their zeal is based in ignorance and tradition. Pray for the young men of MNK society to gain knowledge in both Islam and Christianity; pray for their minds to be open to discovering God for themselves.
Fri, Aug 19: Wisdom will save you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words. – Proverbs 2:16 Fatou’s oldest daughter has come to visit her parents for a few weeks. She, her husband, and her children live in a village about 3 hours away. While she was in the taxi, she watched a woman her age, obviously married with children, flirt shamelessly with another passenger. He ended up paying her taxi fare; Adama was appalled. She has heard about uncircumcised women, about how they chase men all the time…but until today, she had never met one. Why would a woman subject herself to a man who was not her husband? Pray for MNK men and women to understand God’s intent when He created marriage; pray for families to be united under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Sat, Aug 20: For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths. – Proverbs 5:21 As the girls carry the clothes out to the well to wash, they wonder about the words they heard on the radio. Does God really see everything? Does He really examine everything? Is He paying attention right now as they are washing the clothes? Does He see them playing rather than working? Does He hear their conversations? If He does, does He care? Pray for MNKs to grasp not only God’s omnipresence, but also His great love and concern for every human being, including young girls washing clothes.
Sun, Aug 21: Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. – Proverbs 3:7-8 Lamin received word today that one of his boyhood friends died…of the “slimming” disease. Walking to town to get a taxi to go to the funeral, he meets up with other men who are also traveling. As they begin talking about the man who died, all make reference to his lifestyle, how he spent time with women to whom he was not married. No one will outwardly criticize the dead, but everyone understands that an impure lifestyle takes its toll on physical health. Pray for MNK men and women to treasure the gift of life God has given; pray for them to respect the fragility, and strength, of the human body.
Mon, Aug 22: Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. – Proverbs 20:22 These words are completely contrary to MNK thought. An MNK proverb states, “If you make me drink blood, I’ll make you drink puss.” Revenge is a strong driving force in MNK society. And in Islamic society, God depends on man to defend Him. Putting these two strong ideals together often results in unsettled hearts and minds. Pray for the MNK to discover the justice, peace and righteousness that knowing the True Creator brings.
Tue, Aug 23: There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. – Proverbs 6:16-19 “Catch him…there he goes…quick, catch him…he stole my bread!” These words rang out in the market this morning. Kadi was nearly knocked down by a man running past her; later she realized it was the thief. After he was caught, the men beat him quite severely; then, they took him to the police. Now Kadi ponders the question of which was more evil in God’s eyes: stealing the bread or beating the man. Pray that as Scripture is distributed as posters, on audio-cassettes, and over the radio it will permeate the hearts and lives of those who encounter it.
Wed, Aug 24: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12 Tonight’s radio broadcast (Lesson 76) is entitled The Light of the World. This lesson focuses on two kinds of blindness: physical and spiritual. The exciting aspect to this teaching is that Jesus is Lord over all blindness and willing and able to heal both kinds! Pray that MNK men and women will desire to walk in Light and not darkness...for God Himself is Light!
Thu, Aug 25: Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse. – Proverbs 2:12 Binta’s daughter, Tida, heard these words at school today, spoken by one of the teachers during English class. It’s a hard thing to hear, harsh words spoken about men. Yet when Tida went out to the bush for her time of training, she heard similar words spoken by the women there. As she has gotten older, she has seen some of her girlfriends become involved with older, married men, just so they could have new shoes or new cloth or whatever. They aren’t prostitutes, exactly, but they have forgotten the warning of their mothers, to not trust men, including their fathers and brothers and husbands. Pray for young MNK women to stand strong in their morals; pray for MNK society to begin teaching love and commitment in marriage, over suspicion and wariness.
Fri, Aug 26: A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17:22 Joy is not a characteristic you would ascribe to Fatou, Kadi and Binta. Yet seemingly, they are not unhappy women. Rather they are women who have a distinct role to play in life. Their lives are physically difficult and fragile, but they still find ways to smile and have fun. Most MNK women are quick to laugh and easily poke fun at one another. Unfortunately deep inside, they are frightened of both today and tomorrow. Their spirits are crushed under the weight of unbelief. Pray for the light of Truth and Belief to come into these lives and give Fatou, Kadi and Binta truly cheerful hearts.
Sat, Aug 27: Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. – Proverbs 23:22 Sometimes it is difficult for the boys to sit still when Bakary’s father, Lamin, is talking to them. Sometimes it is difficult for Bakary, a grown man with three wives of his own, to listen when Lamin is speaking to him. The stories about Lamin’s childhood and what his father taught him seemed interesting when Bakary a child, but how can Lamin really understand what his grandchildren are encountering these days? Elders are outwardly valued but secretly regarded as out of touch with reality. Pray that as the Word of God is shared among the MNK, they will recognize many of the values they hold as Mandinka actually began with the Creator of the universe.
Sun, Aug 28: Folly delights a man who lacks judgment, but a man of understanding keeps a straight course. – Proverbs 15:21 Wisdom is a prized commodity among the MNK. The opinion of the elders is always sought prior to a major decision within a village. Many younger men are looking at their society and desire to improve it. Change is not bad, but the elders fear for the stability and future of their villages. One politician arrives and says he will bring electricity to all the rural villages within 3 years. Another arrives and says that every home in every village will have indoor plumbing within 5 years. Another declares that he will install telephone booths in the village next year, and in every home the year after that. The youth are enthusiastic and hopeful; the elders shake their heads. What about food? What about medicine? What about education? Pray for MNK elders as they care for their villages; pray that they will receive God’s wisdom and lead their villages along His straight path.
Mon, Aug 29: Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. – Proverbs 19:21 Bakary has been disturbed by these words ever since he heard them on the radio. God has a purpose? Does this mean God has a purpose for man? Does God have a purpose for Bakary? What can it be? Is there something God has for Bakary to do that he’s missed? How can he find out what that plan is? Pray for Bakary and other MNK men to be continually disturbed by Scripture; pray they will truly seek God and His purpose.
Tue, Aug 30: Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. – Proverbs 11:21 Discipline is the norm among the MNK. Children are disciplined by parents; wives are disciplined by husbands; men are disciplined by other men. These situations are obvious and clear. But confusion comes to the MNK mind when discussing Godly discipline. God will discipline the heathens, but not a good Muslim. Any evil an MNK might do will be forgiven by God because that is His responsibility. God created us with the ability to sin, so if we sin, it’s His fault, not ours. Pray for MNKs to discover God’s righteousness, and in doing so, accept their personal need for forgiveness, mercy, and discipline.
Wed, Aug 31: A bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” – Matthew 17:5 Tonight’s radio broadcast (Lesson 77) is entitled The Lord of Glory. If it is possible for one lesson to express the totality of all 100, it is tonight’s! MNKs deny that Jesus is the Son of God because to do so implies God took a wife and had a child. But as with all other aspects of God’s character, man’s denial does not negate God’s truth. God Himself called Jesus His Son. Pray for MNKs to heed God’s command: This is my Son. Listen to him! Pray for those who live and work among the MNK to have multiple opportunities to reiterate God’s plan of salvation.