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:
We are still waiting for the first confirmed case of COVID19. We do not know how this is going to progress.
This is a key time for sharing truth with people, and I’ve had some great opportunities in the last few days. Ask for wisdom in our interactions with people. Given that it’s such a social culture, people are unlikely to self-isolate. The normal practice if someone is ill is to go and visit them! Pray for protection on our own health, and that we will not infect others unawares. One of the things we can do is help people understand what’s going on, and advise them about precautions, and model those ourselves.
Some other considerations: What will translation work look like if we try to do it remotely? How can we encourage followers who live in other villages, and get resources to them? Ask that this will be a time of growth for them, and a time when many people seek the Lord.
There is a visiting believer from Clove island along with a Kenyan man from an outside
organization who have come to encourage the local Body here. We are excited that believers are
meeting and getting to know each other. Pray that the Holy Spirit will move in this body and use this time for his glory!
VIDEO FEATURE: Walking in Shadow
A glimpse into the Muslim mindset of coastal Africa, and the church’s responsibility to pray, learn, and engage.