From Scripture to Scripture

07 Apr

From Scripture to Scripture

The Fulani people are spread over 7 countries throughout West Africa and are predominantly Muslim

From Scripture to Scripture

Young garibou hear the true Word of God for the first time

Dear Friends,

Imagine with me, for a moment, that you are a garibou—a young student of Islam in the West African country of Burkina Faso. You were sent to live with the local marabout (Islamic teacher) at a young age to spend your days memorizing the Quran in traditional Arabic, a language vastly different than your own. You continue learning until you are able to recite the Quran by heart, but much of its meaning and application to your life eludes you. But then, you get to hear the words of Jesus in your own language—just imagine the impact that would that have on your life!

In February, my wife Sarah and I traveled to Burkina Faso, in the heart of West Africa. There we spent time with Marc (name has been changed for security purposes), a Micro-Loan Ministry partner whose mission is to reach those who are unreached, most of whom are Muslim, in the small city of Kaya.

Marc has a heart for the nomadic Fulani people living in northern Burkina Faso. Before being forced to move away from that region due to terrorist violence, Marc spent more than 20 years in the town of Gorom-Gorom among the Fulani. This is a primarily Muslim people group spanning across the countries of Nigeria, Mali, Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal, Niger and Burkina Faso.

The leader of Kaya greeted us warmly and immediately invited us to visit a local mosque. There we met the marabout and his young garibou. These young boys were sent by their parents to live with the marabout, where they now spend long hours each day memorizing the Quran in Arabic. These boys typically live in horrible conditions, and are often mistreated by their elders. The marabout greeted us warmly and graciously paused his class to sit down and speak with us; the young boys then came and sat around their teacher, Arabic tablets still in hand. Within minutes Marc was engaging the marabout in deeper conversation, taking out his smartphone to share an audio version of the New Testament with him. This Muslim teacher—and his students—sat with us as we all listened to the Word together.

Marc plays an audio version of the Bible for the marabout in the local language from his phone

At left, a young garibou holding the Arabic tablet he has transcribed. In the next few years, he will have memorized the entire Quran; at right, leaning against the wall in the doorway of the mosque were several Arabic tablets young garibou use to memorize the Quran

The Lord is working in the hearts of the Fulani people and, through your continued prayers and financial support of the Micro-Loan Ministry, we will be starting a micro-bank in the northern region of Burkina Faso. This will enable our Heaven’s Family micro-banker there, a man named Pierre, to continue to serve and minister to the members of his community—both Christians and Muslims alike. Just like Marc, Pierre’s heart is on fire for the Lord and he is eager to use this micro-bank to bless his neighbors both physically and spiritually.

Thank you for reading,

Isaac Shepherd
Micro-Loan Ministry

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