Christians are reaching out to a city of ‘spirits’ in Timbuktu

By June 18, 2007

Mali (MNN) — A report from the International Monetary Fund indicates Mali's 2007 economic outlook looks positive. This report bodes well for the incredible poverty in the country. However, that doesn't mean the needs have gone away.

That's why Partners International is empowering Christians to work in the region. President and Chief Operating Officer of the organization Jon Lewis says they're partnering with a pastor in Timbuktu. Lewis describes the city. "It prides itself in being the city of 330 spirits, and you do sense a lot of darkness from the enemy in that place."

However, they're partnering with Pastor "Nouh," helping him reach out to the needs of his community completely, physically and spiritually. He's started education and literacy training programs for children and adults, water and agriculture projects, health clinics, vocational training and a day care center.

Lewis says, "All of those things together speak to the local people that Christians really care and in a sense earns them the right of being respected. Local Islamic traditions have taught them that Christians are infidels and people not to be trusted. So, Pastor 'Nouh' works very hard to prove that that's not the case."  

One example of that is a well he built at his church compound, which he made available to the Tuareg nomads. "When the local city officials saw that he was making that pump and that well available to all of the local people, they told him he no longer had to pay his electric bill," says Lewis.

Partners International would like you to pray for another new initiative of Pastor Nouh's. "He has permission to start a brand new radio station. He will be broadcasting in the Tamesheq language and have a radius of about 60 or 70 miles around Timbuktu. These people will be able to hear the Good News and hear worship songs."

Construction has been completed on the new radio station owned by partner TNT in Timbuktu, Mali. The station is called Tahanint FM, which means "Grace of God" in the Tamasheq language.

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