Guinea (MNN) — Young girls of the Nalu tribe are learning to play volleyball for the first time. Missionaries Hans and Miriam Jensen of New Tribes Mission are teaching them, and learning about the language and culture at the same time.
On an average day the girls spend most of their time pulling water, gathering wood for fires, pounding rice and caring for their younger siblings. Playing volleyball is a time for them to have fun and they are learning the game quickly.
The Jensens have are learning more and more about the Nalu culture which is helpful as Marion helps teach women how to read and write. This is a challenge since the Nalu women have never held a pencil or learned the alphabet. During their reading lessons, the women are
able to listen to a Bible lesson on CD. Many women were unable to meet for a while so that they could continue to earn money for their families by working in salt flats. Miriam
visited them at their camps and still holds meetings for the women who are unable to work.
As they learn more about the culture, they realize how much the people believe in sorcery. Sick children are immediately believed to have an evil spell upon them. A friend of the Jensens was sure her six year-old would die when he became ill. This worldview offers little hope.
Many tribe people in the area are Sunni Muslims or follow traditional belief systems.