“Tooray, Tooray!” the man shouted. I was in my study room preparing a Bible lesson to teach that day. Reluctantly, I came out to see who was shouting my name. I didn’t recognize the man, but he greeted me like an old friend and asked about my family and our health. When I went inside to get him a glass of water, my wife asked, “George, do you know him?”
“No,” I said with a smile. I asked her to pray with me that God would direct my conversation with this friendly stranger.
He told me his family name was Kuyaté. In Mali, names go with traditional occupations, so I immediately knew that my guest was a griot or praise singer. Griots are known for their flattering words and for their vast knowledge of oral history. In an article some time ago, I requested prayer specifically for griots in our ministry. As eloquent storytellers, they could be powerful instruments in the hands of God for spreading the gospel. But as I talked with Kuyaté, it did not occur to me that God might be answering our prayers.
God put Kuyaté in my path again at a friend’s deng kundi or child-naming ceremony. I was pleased to talk with this friendly griot again, but I still wasn’t catching God’s hints. So God sent him to me a third time. Kuyaté came to my home and told me that his daughter was sick. I knew he was hoping for some money, but I didn’t want to bring that dimension to our relationship. Instead, I basically said to him, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus, your child is healed.” When Kuyate returned home, he found his daughter up and playing with her friends.
Kuyaté came to me a fourth time, this time to testify about what Jesus did for him and to request prayer for his son. He believes that spirits after his son. He told his son about our prayer for his sister and God’s miraculous answer. “The God of the Adventists is a powerful God,” he said to his son. “You should give your life to Jesus.” We conducted a prayer of deliverance for his son, and life is getting better for him.
Kuyaté has expressed interest in being baptized. I invited him and his family to join us for Sabbath worship. They came. After worship, he asked us to pray for his family that they will love Christianity and give their lives to Jesus.
Please join your prayers with ours as we minister to the unreached. Please pray that God will keep sending griots to our ministry.