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Gospel cassettes take God’s love to world’s largest nomadic group

DAKAR, Senegal (BP)–God is using gospel audio tapes to touch hearts with his love in parts of West Africa with little or no access to Christian witness.

The “Laawol Peewal” (Righteous Way) cassette series in the Pulaar language continues to be a vital tool for reaching the Fulbe Jeeri, the largest nomadic group in the world, say missionaries seeking ways to share the good news of God’s love with members of the unreached people group.

More than 95 percent of the Fulbe Jeeri cannot read, so missionaries Ken and Donna Hills are distributing cassette tapes with the gospel in Pulaar, the Fulbe Jeeri language.

Not only is this method effective in sharing the gospel with those who can’t read, it also is an efficient means of spreading God’s Word because tapes can go where missionaries can’t, the Hills say.

Nearly 400,000 Fulbe Jeeri live in West Africa and few of them know Christ. Islam is the predominant religion, though most Fulbe Jeeri practice folk Islam, a combination of orthodox Islam and ancient animistic beliefs and practices.

An open commitment to Christ as Lord often results in persecution.

Nevertheless, missionaries continue to hear of Fulbe Jeeri in new areas who are interested in knowing more about the gospel. Even with their traditional beliefs, many are captivated by the truth they hear and are ready to hear more, the Hills report.

Most recently, they learned of Fulbe Jeeri in Mali who are listening to “Laawol Peewal” cassettes that have made their way there.

The Hills have worked to get the Old Testament on cassette, despite many obstacles.

In a non-literate society, “it is challenging to find someone who can read, is a believer, has time for the project and has a mature sounding voice,” Donna Hills said. “But in spite of these difficulties, the Lord is getting this project accomplished.”

The Hills first planned to use a more traditional approach to sharing the gospel, but when Ken received a request from a village chief for some cassette tapes, he knew the door was opening for a different kind of ministry.

Several groups with nearly 100 people gather in villages to listen to one cassette tape.

“The success of the tapes has been phenomenal. The people are thrilled to hear something in their own language. They tell us things like, ‘When we are herding our cattle the stories come back to our hearts and speak to us,'” Donna Hill said.

The Hills are working on an audio version of the Jesus film because in their area few people have electricity or televisions. Cassettes are much more efficient, and they don’t need missionaries to play them.

They are also planning to develop cassettes of discipleship studies, leadership training materials and topical Bible studies for the Fulbe Jeeri who are eager to listen, learn and believe.
An in-depth profile of the Fulbe Jeeri people group can be accessed at http://www.townbeacon.com/fulbe/; prayer needs for the Fulbe Jeeri, at http://www.imb.org/CompassionNet/peoplegrps.asp; the needs for missionaries in West Africa, at http://www.imb.org/FPNeeds/LocationSearch.asp; information about 2001 PRAY, an Africa intercession movement, at http://www.2001pray.org/; and information about volunteering to help take the gospel to unreached people groups in West Africa, e-mail [email protected] or call 1-800-888-8657.

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  • Erin Curry