Daniel Dama from Benin

Dear Friends,

This week, please pray with us for Daniel Dama from Benin.

Located in West Africa, the Republic of Benin is home to an estimated 11.7 million people. According to the 2013 census, 49% of Beninese are Christians (26% Roman Catholic), 28% are Muslims, 12% practice Vodun (Voodoo), and 12% follow other traditional religions or are irreligious. In this tropical nation, most of the population depends on agriculture, especially subsistence farming. Along with the shores of Togo and Nigeria, Benin’s southern border forms part of the historic Slave Coast, where millions of Africans were forced into slavery between the early 16th and late 19th centuries.

Dama is pursuing a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. In response to religious extremism in his context, Dama is exploring Christian and Muslim traditional music as resources for peacebuilding and mission among the Fulbe people of West Africa. Approximately 7% of Beninese belong to the Fulbe tribe, a large and influential ethnic group with around 40 million members worldwide. Dwelling mostly in West and Central Africa, the Fulbe are predominately Muslims, and approximately one-third live as nomadic herders.    
Recently, Dama published an article that distinguishes the Western peacebuilding model, focused on conferences, lectures, and resolutions, from the African model, focused on community and kinship. He advocates using the African model to build interfaith peace in Benin and beyond. Last year, Fuller Studio featured Dama’s story and ministry in A Song in His Heart. Dama and his wife Esther have four children: Rejoice, Muusa, Sambo, and Miriam.  
Dama shares the following praises and prayer requests:

1. Praise God for the protection granted to me and to my family members spread across many regions around the world.
2. Praise God also for the good progress I am making in my studies.
Prayer Requests
1. Pray that the pandemic would ease and the borders be opened soon, so that I may be able to travel to Benin and conduct my field research. 
2. Pray for peace and stability in my ministry context of West Africa, where terrorism is claiming many lives daily. The kidnapping of local men and women is becoming the order of the day. Sadly, governments are struggling to curb the phenomena. Consequently, the traditional way of doing church and mission has been drastically jeopardized. 
Pray that church leaders in these regions would be able to imagine new strategies and ways to carry out God’s work. Equally, pray that many terrorists and jihadists would encounter the triune God and commit their lives to the Savior. May they, like the Apostle Paul, see the Light and be transformed!
3. Pray for me as I am currently completing a transcription of the Fulbe Hymnal with indigenous styles. Pray that when this hymnbook is published and distributed, it would speak to the Fulbe’s spiritual and emotional needs.
Thank you for your unfailing support,
Daniel Dama

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