“Children are a heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3), and we are answerable to Him for managing His property.
In 2013, Taoule married Nakon Keita. A year later, God blessed the young couple with a baby boy whom they named Moriba, meaning great soothsayer. Taoule could not provide for his family. After university studies, he took the civil service entrance examination four times and failed. So he decided to venture elsewhere to find greener pastures for his family.
In August 2016, with some money raised, Taoule set off on his way to Europe. Nakon was unhappy because her husband was leaving for an unknown destination with an uncertain return. Besides, his son Moriba didn’t even know him as his father.
“I had no choice but to let him go,” Nakon lamented. She added that Taoule used an illegal route to go to Europe. He passed through the desert to Algeria and reached Italy by sea. Nakon was worried because many people died through this illicit route. “I spent sleepless nights crying tears from deep inside me,” she said.
When leaving Mali, Taoule did not have any legal documents.
“I thank Allah for his protection during his trip,” Nakon said. “He arrived in Italy and took six months of lessons to learn the language. Then, he started looking for a job. It was brutal, and it took him a lot of effort to find a better job. In 2020, he left for Spain and worked in a cornfield.” Taoule continued in the cornfield while going through immigration and obtaining his permanent residential certificate, which enabled him to travel freely and get a better job.
“I became pregnant with the second child on the eve of his departure.
“So the load surged on me. Taoule sent me money, but I needed his presence, encouragement, assistance, words of relief, tenderness and protection. I was sad even though he supported me financially. But after all, money cannot replace my husband. Money cannot bring happiness to a woman. I am a person and not an object. I do not want to be a housewife—cook, do laundry and farm. After obtaining his documents and being able to travel freely, my husband returned to Mali in March 2023. During his six years of absence from the family, all this time, I remained faithful and kept my dignity.
“I know how difficult it was to hold on: the tears, the nostalgia, the temptations, not to mention the pressures from family. Because often, the family thinks their son spends all his money on his wife. So we are monitored very closely. I put up with it. The most regrettable thing is that Taoule got me pregnant again and returned to Europe. I became only a baby machine and not a wife. In his father’s absence, I gave birth to my third child in August 2023. Money has taken my husband. Yet, to whom can I complain? Our situation is common among the people.
“The family performed a grand naming ceremony, a den kundi, for my baby, calling him Kanda, meaning protection. But all this is useless.
“I am not valued in the eyes of my husband,” affirmed Nakon.
Cases of this kind are prevalent in Mandinka society, which
is predominantly Muslim and animist. They are the cause of adultery and multiple divorces and are still ever-present. Still, the love of Jesus can bring healing to families and guidance to circumstances.
Sister White counsels: “He who has a family of boys must understand that, whatever his calling, he is never to neglect the souls placed in his care. He has brought these children into the world and made himself responsible for doing everything in his power to keep them from unsanctified associations and evil companionship. He should not leave his restless boys only to the care of the mother” (Counsels for the Church, Chapter 24, “The Christian Father and Mother”).
Please pray for the Mandinka people.