The Islanders (Indian Ocean)
Pray for the Islanders hailing from the islands of the Indian Ocean, with sizeable communities also found in France and Madagascar. Nearly all Islanders are Muslims. Those who have chosen to follow J’sus tend to live isolated lives and many experience pressure and persecution from their families, villages and government.
2 Thess 3:1 “Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you.”
Pray that God would move in power and reveal himself to Islanders- young and old, male and female. Pray that He would draw families and communities to Himself that they might support each other on the journey. Pray that believers would be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and that they would be strong and courageous.
Location and background: Islanders live on a group of islands off the coast of Africa. They boast picture-postcard beaches, dramatic volcano peaks and an array of rare wildlife. Alongside these are found corrupt governance, political bickering, failing infrastructure, and a sputtering economy. Many seek a better life abroad, ending up living in high rise flats in dangerous neighbourhoods, working long hours to send back generous support to family members still on the islands.
History: The islands have a colourful history steeped in slavery and trade with the East African coast, Arabia and the Persian Gulf. More recently the Islands have suffered 20 coups or attempted coups since independence. Today it blends the warmth of its African location with the Arab traditions of its first settlers, alongside an increasingly strong Western influence.
Culture: Though people are increasingly moving to the capital and seeking opportunities overseas, an Islander’s identity is still firmly linked to their village. Islanders are proud of their religious and cultural heritage, and a strong marriage tradition featuring large, lavish weddings keeps home ties strong. Each island has its own dialect and though French is the language of education the local language is very much the language of the home and of the heart.
Religion: The Island National Anthem declares that they are one people, one blood and one religion, and with 99.9% of the population being Muslims it is not far from the truth. The Island’s spiritual roots intermingle the Islam of the early Arab traders and settlers with African spiritism. The combination plays out in a Muslim routine of life, while still seeking to live lives that appease the demons or “djinns” that harass them. Spirit possession and demonic affliction is common, especially amongst women.
Latest Prayer Updates:
Our island is hosting a 2 week translation workshop, which started Monday. It is going well- the content and learning are excellent, but there are signs of fatigue and some sickness. Pray for the logistics of the workshop. Pray for the health, strength and capacity of the translation team. Pray for the translators’ families who have been deeply affected by their interactions with the Word. There will be a lot of hard work in the coming months but big returns as we hope to produce accurate Bible stories in the native island story-telling style. Pray for the Word of God to come to the islands with power!
There is a lot of testing and translation of the Word happening at the moment – with both believers and non believers alike. Pray that as islanders read and listen to God’s word it would be as sweet as honey to them drawing them back for more and more. Pray that it would be like blows of a hammer shattering pride and other strongholds in their hearts. Pray that it would pierce their hearts like a double edged sword. Pray that no islander would walk away from an encounter with God’s word unchanged!
Walking In Shadow Video
A glimpse into the Muslim mindset of coastal Africa, and the church’s responsibility to pray, learn, and engage.