Help your family embrace God’s love for the world. Read this story together to learn about and pray for the Bozo (BOH-soh), an unreached people group in the West African country of Mali.
Come with me to a village of sun-dried brick homes on the banks of the Niger (nuh-JZEER) River. Near the edge of the glistening water, boys and girls play with small, clay figures. Most of these children have been taught by their parents to pray to Allah and have never heard about Jesus. Do you see that boy who is playing with the clay hippo…
Hi, my name is Ibrahim (EE-brah-heem). Welcome to my village! My family does not live here all the time. We move a few times each year, following the fish in the Niger River. We pack up everything onto our long, narrow wooden boat and travel to a new location where the fish are more plentiful. Our houses here are made of mud bricks, but when we’re on the move, we make temporary straw houses. We are often called the “Bozo” people, which means “straw house.”
Mother and Father start each day by praying to Allah. During the morning, my sister and I attend school inside a tent, along with all the children in our village. When our village moves, our teacher and tent school move with us so that we can keep learning everywhere we go! We study many different subjects like reading, history, and farming.
When I am not at school, Father and I fish. Some of my friends want to become teachers when they finish school, but I want to be a fisherman like Father. He and the other men in our village teach me the secrets of fishing and all about different kinds of fish. If I catch a baby capitaine in our big net, Father tells me to throw the silvery blue fish back so that it can grow bigger before we eat it. He tells me to be proud of being a fisherman because our people are the “Masters of the River.”
Although Father and I catch the fish, Mother and my older sister prepare and sell them at the outdoor market. They also grow vegetables like peppers and corn, wash our clothes in the river, and cook in our outdoor kitchen. When my sister finishes her chores, we play along the riverbank. We know exactly where to find the soft, squishy clay that is great for shaping into handmade toys, like a castle or a bull.
- Almost all Bozo families are Muslim. Pray that they would have the opportunity to hear that God loves them and provided for their salvation through His Son, Jesus.
- Although some Bozo children attend school, many cannot because of increased violence throughout the country. Pray that all Bozo children would have an opportunity to receive an education.
Coming up next: Watch for two activities that are familiar to Bozo children. Have fun trying them out with your own family.
About the Author: Abby Wilson loves writing and learning about how God is glorified through the diversity of all cultures. She hopes that, through her writing, she can bring the world closer to the vision of “every tribe, tongue and nation.”