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The Only Ones With Food to Spare

04.15.19
by Crossworld
in Mission work, Senegal, Story, Urban ministry
A meal during Ramadan provides street boys with the chance to be kids.
SENEGAL — One Saturday morning, Crossworld worker Angie heard a knock at her gate. “Give to God,” a voice called.
 
Angie opened the gate to find three young boys staring back at her, hoping for a gift. Though she was familiar with the plight of talibés (local street boys), they didn’t often come to her neighborhood.
 
“Hello!” Angie said.
 
She quickly sent her daughter to the store to buy food, then turned back to the boys. “Come play in the yard while you wait.”
 
The boys took her offer and ran to play. Sometimes as young as five years old, talibés leave their families to come to the city, study under a teacher, and earn their living. They’re promised a better life, but they often end up walking the city streets barefoot, fending for their own meals, and begging for money. If they don’t meet their daily quota, they might be beaten.
 
Their situation is bad enough on a regular day. But during Ramadan, when 90 percent of the population is fasting, the boys are especially desperate. That’s how they ended up at Angie’s door: They knew that Christians don’t fast during Ramadan and might have food to spare.
 
Angie watched the boys laugh and shriek as they rode scooters and bikes and jumped on the trampoline. For a brief moment, boys who have had so much of their childhood taken from them got to act like regular kids.
 
Soon, Angie’s daughter returned from the store and they all shared a snack of bread, cheese, and hot chocolate. The boys played a little longer, then politely took their leave.
 
The next day, Angie’s thoughts turned to the boys when she heard the familiar knock at the gate. “Give to God,” came the call.
 
Angie opened the gate and laughed. The three boys from the day before had come back … and brought some friends.

Your part in this story...

Angie asks you to pray for these requests:

  • Pray for the Lord to draw many street boys (talibés) to Himself, and for Him to grant wisdom to faithful followers of Christ working among these marginalized members of society.
     
  • Pray for the Lord to bring justice to these oppressed ones, and for the people of God to speak out for those who have no voice or power.
     
  • Pray for the Lord to guide us in our primary ministry of theological education, but also in our efforts to love both believers and unbelievers in difficult and, at times, desperate situations.

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