Duwaawu woni semmbe men.
Roughly translated, that means “prayer is our source of strength”—and it’s something that Resonate Global Mission missionary Lydia hears from nearly every single Fulani Christian she meets in West Africa.
Being both Fulani and a Christian in West Africa can be isolating and dangerous. As a people group, the Fulani are devout Muslims. Islamic customs and traditions are woven into daily life, and the gospel spreads slowly. It’s common for Fulani Christians to be the only believers in their villages and families—and they are often seen and treated differently because of their faith.
But once a year, Fulani Christians in one West African country gather for a “kawrital”—a conference that Resonate missionary Lydia helps to organize.
A Tedious and Dangerous Journey
Gathering together provides much-needed encouragement and discipleship opportunities, but for many believers, the journey to the conference isn’t easy. It takes many days by foot, bus, boat, motorbike, and bush taxi. But it’s not just the time and effort that makes the trip tedious. In this region, ethnic tensions are high and people groups often attack one another. If you’re a Christian, the danger is often greater. It’s not always safe to travel, but Fulani believers are willing to risk their lives for their faith.
Binta, a believer that Lyida works with, was determined to make it to the conference this year.
“We encouraged [Binta] not to make the trip if the roads were unsafe,” said Lydia. “But Binta really wanted to be with the other believers.”
For two weeks, Binta searched for someone to take her by motorbike from her remote village to a town that was on the way to the conference. Due to ambushes on the road, not many people were willing to make the trip, but she finally found someone to drive her.
Resonate missionaries immediately started praying for Binta’s protection. They asked you—supporters in North America—to pray too.
A Need for Prayer
“We have a group of people who have supported the ministry here for years,” said Lydia. “They care about the Fulani believers … they are their brothers and sisters in Christ. We share the prayer requests because the need for prayer is great.”
For decades, Resonate missionaries have asked you to pray for the Fulani. They’ve asked you to pray for the Holy Spirit to open hearts to the gospel. They’ve asked you to pray for encouragement and discipleship for new believers, opportunities to share about Jesus, and for protection from violence and persecution.
Time and time again, Resonate missionaries and the Fulani have seen God answer your prayers.
The road was bumpy, but otherwise, travel was going smoothly for Binta and the biker. But then gunshots cracked the air. Binta’s lower leg was hit.
They stopped on the road to look at the wound, but the driver suddenly ran off. Binta didn’t see the group of men approaching, but someone suddenly hit her with the butt of a rifle and told her to lie on the ground. She did as they said while they discussed killing her—but someone said, “Leave her.”
Binta wasn’t sure how she was going to find help with her leg, but it wasn’t long before a group of Fulani from a nearby village came to help. One man helped Binta to his home and went to get a doctor from a nearby town. After the first aid treatment, they arranged a ride to a bigger town where she could stay with a relative and get the care she needed. She wouldn’t be able to make it to the conference, but she was alive and she would heal.
“Your prayers for her protection were answered,” said Lydia.
Prayer Is a Great Encouragement
Your prayers for the conference were answered too. Despite security concerns, 40 Fulani men, women, and children from across the country—and even two believers from another country—were able to gather together at the kawrital.
One man came to the conference for the first time this year. He shared with them that he has been a believer for eight years—the only believer in his family. He has never had the opportunity to learn about Christianity in his native language, and he was so glad to be at the conference where even the foreign missionaries spoke Fulfulde.
“It’s exciting to see the believers meet with each other,” said Lydia. “It’s like watching a good family reunion.”
Binta was disappointed she couldn’t make it to the conference, but she continues to heal. She’s staying with Lydia and other missionaries until the kawrital next spring—she wouldn’t be able to attend next year if she went home now.
“She testifies that the Lord protected her,” said Lydia. “She’s grateful for the believers in ‘Amerika e Kanada’ for praying for her.”
Thank you for joining with Fulani believers in prayer! Thank you for praying for Binta’s protection as she travelled. Lydia said that it’s a “great encouragement” for the Fulani to have people in North America praying for them.
“They know that they are part of the larger body of Christ.”
*Names have been changed for security
A version of this story was originally published on crcna.org.