|International Mission Board missionary Tom Smith talks with a Futa Toro man in West Africa. |
|Missionary Debbie Hawkins smiles as she receives a hug from a Futa Toro woman. There are few Christian believers among the 2.75 million Futa Toro in West Africa; most are Muslims. |
SENEGAL, West Africa (BP)--Tom Smith gets discouraged sometimes -- and he’s not ashamed to admit it.
As a missionary strategy coordinator, Smith and his wife Shirley face the daily challenge of reaching the Futa Toro (FOO-tah TOR-oh), a Muslim people numbering more than 2 million in West Africa.
It’s not just their size that gives Smith pause. It’s their far-flung locations and bewildering diversity.
The Futa Toro actually comprise two major subgroups of the Fulani peoples of West Africa: the semi-nomadic cattle-herding Fulbe (FULL-bay) and the more settled Tukulor (TOO-kuh-lor). They live in many clans and castes scattered throughout northern Senegal and parts of Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Mauritania. Read More