The Hassaniya people of the Kayes region of Mali
Imagine you were one of the only believers among your people. Your friends, neighbors and loved ones knew nothing of the forgiveness, salvation and beautiful promises of Jesus. How would you feel? This is the reality for Oumar*, a Hassaniya brother in Christ from Mali whose prayers have gone before the Lord for his people for many years.
The Hassaniya, named for the language they speak, live in the Kayes region mostly as herdsmen who place a deep value on caring for their animals. Amongst theHassaniya in this region, there are no known believers. They are mostly Tidjani Muslims.
To his great joy, earlier this year, Oumar began to see the Lord move. In February, an exploratory mission team made the long and tiring journey from Bamako to the Kayes Region and Oumar travelled with them. Visits to several villages reassured the mission team that God is indeed opening the door for fruitful labor.
Three Hassaniya villages welcomed and honored the team because of previous experiences with visiting church and relief teams who built good-will through compassion and outreach activities.
The village chiefs warmly greeted the guests. The people were interested in conversations and stories. Their hospitality was generous, a sign of God’s present grace.
Many of the Hassaniya expressed openness for workers to come, live amongst them and learn their language. They also made numerous requests for help, including adult literacy instruction and medical care. It became very clear to the whole team that this is a field ripe for harvest and in need of harvesters.
To be sure, there are challenges to gospel work in the region, from security and climate to isolation and deeply held cultural beliefs. But our God is the God of all the nations and He desires that all people praise Him! Oumar, and others, are ready to step into this land by faith.
Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a tiny mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, grows up and “becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” (Mark 4:32) Please consider being a part of the Lord’s work to reach the Kayes region in such a way that would allow the kingdom to take root and spread in the soil of the Hassaniya villages.