Help your family embrace God’s love for the world. Read this story together to learn about and pray for the Tukulor (TOO-kah-lohr), an unreached people group in West Africa.
Come with me to a river valley in northern Senegal where tufts of golden grass and gaunt thorn trees rise up out of a dry, dusty land. On this edge of the Sahara desert, Tukulor (TOO-kah-lohr) families raise their children to follow Muslim traditions, but also teach them ways of warding off evil spirits. Most boys and girls here have never heard that Jesus came to save them from sin. Do you see that winding pathway? It leads to the village of that girl carrying water jugs…
Hi. I’m Aminata (ah-me-NAH-tuh). After I draw water from the well, I’ll take you to my home. This area probably looks barren to you. Our cows have trouble finding green plants and must be satisfied with nibbling leaves from the thorn bushes. When the rainy season comes, water will fill this riverbed and the land will turn green. Our village will plant and harvest many crops and our cattle will grow fat and happy.
I live in that small, round hut. All the homes in our village have mud-brick walls and straw roofs. My older brother is learning how to make the mud mixture used to repair our walls. This must be done before the three-month rainy season sets in. He also prepares our fields for planting and takes care of our cattle. My sister and I take turns fetching water. We both help Mother clean the house, prepare meals, and take care of the baby. My aunties are teaching us to weave mats and baskets using grasses collected near the riverbank.
Do you see my baby sister’s necklace? She’s worn it since she was eight days old. The marabout (MARE-uh-boo), our religious teacher, made it during her naming ceremony. He wrote verses from the Muslim holy book on small pieces of paper. Then he put the verses in a tiny pouch and strung it around my sister’s neck. Mother believes this necklace has the power to ward off evil spirits.
Father is praying at the mosque. You can see its tall towers in the distance. Soon he will come home, bringing his friends with him. They will sit on mats, talk, and drink three rounds of ataaya (uh-TIE-yah), hot sweet tea. More sugar is added to the teapot in each round to make the tea sweeter. Before serving the tea, Father pours it back and forth between two small glasses until it becomes foamy. He has good aim and never spills a drop. We drink ataaya every day. My people have a saying – “Without tea and sugar, my body will die.”
- Tukulor families fear evil spirits and use charms and spells to protect themselves. Pray that they will come to know Jesus and trust in Him to provide for their needs and keep them from harm.
- Many of the Tukulor are oral learners. Pray for them to hear about Jesus through storytelling, Christian radio broadcasts, and gospel recordings.
Coming up next: Watch for an activity that helps your family learn more about a common Tukulor craft.