Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Weekly Prayer Focus: Kandi, Benin

In late fall of 2013, Mark was doing a regular check-up of the Songhai whereabouts on the internet. It's a thing he likes to do a few times each year to see if there are any mentions of the Songhai on the world wide web & to also see if the Songhai have been located elsewhere in the world. Well, sure enough, on one of his checks on Joshua's Project, he found that they had located Songhai in Benin & were considering them a UUPG. This was brand new information to our team!!

And, not only that there were Songhai in Benin, they were on the same road that we are already engaging ... just further down & across a country's border. So in early December, the men on the team (Mark, Randy, Jody & Cephas) decided to go check out this town & see if it was true. They arrived in time for lunch, grabbed a bite to eat & headed to the market. They gave themselves 2 full days to find the Songhai in this large town because they had no clue where they were at, just that they were there somewhere. Upon entering the market, they decided to start greeting people in Songhai to see if anyone responded (then they'd know they'd either found the Songhai or found someone who knew enough of the language to point them in the direction). It didn't take long (about 2 seconds, actually) before they realized that 90% of the people in the market spoke a dialect of Songhai! They had found the Songhai & it only took 2 seconds!!

They made a few contacts & decided to come on home the next day (much to the wives & children's delight!). The Phillips family (now of 5!) decided to do a follow-up trip to this town the first week of January. Now that we knew for sure there were Songhai there, our goal now was to find what areas of town they lived in & establish more contacts. We found that there are 3 areas of this town where the Songhai live: 2 are still in the town (1 close to the market & 1 at the edge of town) & the other is an entire village 5 km outside the town!! We were able to meet with the chief of this village & he told us that he'd been living there for 20 years!!

So now that we know the Songhai are there & we know where they're at, we now need your prayers in determining how to reach them. There are many options for this, some of which are engaging them as a team, engaging them with volunteer teams OR working with local churches in the town (we came across at least a half dozen but we're sure there are more) to engage the Songhai who are literally living as their neighbors. Please pray for our team as we prayerfully consider how the Lord wants to use us to engage the Songhai of Kandi, Benin!

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