Mother of 8 in Mali carries Bible lessons to village women

MALI, West Africa (BP)--Friday night comes to a West African village just outside Mali’s capital city of Bamako. The sun sets. The women finish their chores. But for one woman, the day’s work is far from over.

Naomi* says goodbye to her husband and eight children, setting out on the short journey to a neighboring village. The 38-year-old believer has been making this trip each Friday for about a year to share the Gospel message. She accepted Jesus as her Savior at an early age. Naomi is of the Bobo people group, but shares Bible stories in a Bambara village.

“God’s Word says that if you know God’s Word, you’re supposed to tell it to another person and that person can then tell it to another person,” Naomi says. “So that’s why I tell it.”

Naomi is vastly alone as a Christian woman in this culture where animism thrives under the veil of Islam. But she is not alone in her witness. She also has a partner -– missionary Susan Roach. Roach and her husband, Steve, serve as strategy coordinators for the Bambara people.

Naomi and Susan arrive at the village as the sun sets. The day’s final call to Muslim prayers rings out as they walk from home to home to let the women know where the Bible storying session will take place. Harvest season is nearing its end and the women are exhausted, but they still come.

Already some women stand out in this group as ones who could take these Bible stories to yet another village, just as Naomi teaches them outside her own village.

These women are stepping outside the cultural norm -– Islam -– in search of a deeper understanding of Jesus. Each shows a desire to know truth in her simple persistence of attending week after week. On this starlit night, eight women hear Naomi’s Bible stories.


*Name changed for security reasons.

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