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:
I was chatting with a couple women in a shop and when I mentioned Jesus, they immediately said: ‘We don’t know much about Jesus, will you tell us about him?’. And so I shared the big story of the Bible, building up for them a picture of why Jesus came. Her friend was in and out of the conversation, customers came and went but Karla was engaged and asking questions. Today I popped by her shop again and without any prompting she told me that I really needed to teach them more, and how her friend had said that they needed to gather others together and really learn about these things! Praise God for curious hearts! Pray that they would put their idea in action, and we would be able to meet together to study God’s word. Pray that as they discover more of who God is, their hearts will be captivated with a love for him.
A local brother who lives in a distant village was going to visit an old, poor, sick relative. He planned to bring him the hope of the gospel and had in his bag a copy of the NT. But somehow some men in the town got wind of his visit and came in the house looking to make trouble. They pulled his NT from his bag and took a close look at it. Miraculously, after a careful look one man said, “Why this is a just a copy of our book.” He handed the NT to another man who agreed with him and said that this was “their book”. Then they apologized for the intrusion and left. Praise for our Father blinding the eyes of those who would make trouble as he opens the eyes of those who are searching for Him.