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:
Praise God for the persistence and hard work of the local translators. Please lift up one translator T and his family – none of whom follow Jesus. His baby son is very weak and sick and they hope to travel abroad for treatment in May. So much good could come of this trip, but there are also many pitfalls and much potential for misunderstanding. T and his wife have fears about their son, about travel, and about staying in a mostly Christian country. Ask that the enemy wouldn’t get his hands in this situation and that Jesus would be lifted up through it. Ask for Terry, his wife and all the community watching, to see Jesus’ love and power.
Pray for M a local believer who was recently kicked out of his family. He was summoned to a family meeting where he was told that everyone was talking about him being a follower of Jesus and that he was bringing shame on the family. His mum told him that he was no longer her son and to get his stuff and get out. Pray that local brothers would provide support and comfort to him and that this rejection and suffering would only drive him deeper into the arms of the father. Pray for provision for practical needs and that his suffering would open up opportunities for the good news to spread.