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:
Last night about 20 believers (local, expat, and Malagasy) gathered in the family’s home to worship and cast out the evil spirit living there in the house. It had been attacking the daughter since Tuesday night – but from the outside, it couldn’t ‘enter’ her because she is a child of God! We sang, proclaimed the good news, and prayed. The spirit left! They all slept wonderfully! PTL! Pray still for the Muslim dad who was there in the midst of it all – he has great joy that his daughter is free but he doesn’t yet know that there is far greater joy awaiting him if only he would open his heart to Jesus.
There is a family struggling with a demon tormenting their teenage daughter. After two intense prayer sessions, last night the demon left. However, several hours later, a demon returned. Satan wants to steal our faith in God’s ability to change this island. There is a clear choice before us, not just to stand in faith but to sound a full volume battle cry declaring that our God will be victorious. I think there is more at stake here than just freedom for this girl and for her family.
In battles there are turning points and I wonder in the long uphill struggle that is ministry here on the island, whether this is such a moment. If it is, we need to seize it, we need to stir others to join. I think this is a moment to step out. Please pray!
VIDEO FEATURE: Walking in Shadow
A glimpse into the Muslim mindset of coastal Africa, and the church’s responsibility to pray, learn, and engage.