Poverty, political unrest, and violent conflict combine to burden the population. Opportunity for progress and development seems distant. The influence of drug shipments leads to corrupt police, army, and government leaders, and can trap already poor people in destruction. Guinea-Bissau’s history of political unrest reveals a need for stability and forgiveness. Pray that God would raise up righteous leaders for the people.
Church leadership is solid, mature and indigenous, with increasingly well-organized training programmes for general discipleship and for pastoral training. The Bible Institute of the Evangelical Church is key to this process, with evening Bible classes and sponsorship of promising pastors to study in Brazil. But poorer and more remote rural congregations are much less appealing to workers and are therefore neglected. Those who do minister rurally must often care for several congregations at once. Pray for the vision of the evangelical Church to be fulfilled, and for trained, passionate national workers to go to the remote and unreached parts of Guinea-Bissau and to the entire region.
Least reached peoples to pray for:
- The Muslim Fula/Fulbe and Mandinka. Both are large, dominant groups in many West African countries with a rich history and much influence. They are largely responsible for bringing Islam to Guinea-Bissau; may they instead become responsible for spreading the good news. The Fula are increasingly responsive to the gospel, and in a few locations, groups of believers are forming. The Mandinkas are more resistant but have some individual believers in the cities.
- Traditional-religion peoples are much more evangelized than the Muslim peoples. Praise God that there are Christians from almost all of these groups. These include the Balanta, Papel, Bijago, Manjaco, Mancanha, Jola-Felupe and Bayote. Pray also for the gospel to reach the other smaller, and often overlooked, peoples.
Bible translation. The Bible in Creole is a great success. Almost all churches use it, and it is already on a fourth printing. NTs are available in Papel, Bijago, Fula and Mandinka and soon in Balanta, though not used nearly as much. SIL/ALEM, The Bible Society, The Seed Company, KIMON and the national Church all partner for further translation and literacy work as well as training.
Literacy must be enhanced to maximize the benefits of new material being printed. Pray for the educational infrastructure - including many primary schools for locals set up and run by the national Church and mission agencies - and for literacy courses for adults to have a great effect that generates a hunger for reading material and in turn leads people to Scripture. Greater coordination is needed for the local education provided by Protestant churches, which is currently a fragmented scene, including how these many groups are represented before the government's Ministry of Education.
Christian radio. A programme is broadcast every week on national radio. Pray for the producers to be able to improve its quality and for continued permission to broadcast. Pray for the new Christian radio station in the Bafata area; it broadcasts in several languages. Many towns have local radio stations, and most give time to local pastors for weekly programmes.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.