This week, please pray with us for Daniel Dama from Benin.
Located in West Africa, the Republic of Benin is home to nearly 11 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. Most of the population depends on agriculture, especially subsistence farming, in this tropical nation. 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 missions among the Fulbe people of West Africa. Approximately 7% of Beninese belong to the Fulbe tribe, a large and influential ethnic group with around 39 million members throughout the continent. Dwelling mostly in West and Central Africa, the Fulbe are predominately Muslims, and approximately one-third live as nomadic herders.
To learn more about Dama’s story and ministry, check out this 2019 feature from Fuller Studio: A Song in His Heart. Dama and his wife Esther have four children: Rejoice, Muusa, Sambo, and Miriam.
Dama shares the following message:
Praise be to God, I am making progress in my studies and ministry.
The Benin government has approved my arts and culture ministry for peacebuilding: Africa Sings. This phase comes after the registration of the organization and it is a crucial step. I am also delighted to inform you that Africa Sings was recently featured in the official journal of the Benin government.
Now that Africa Sings is fully recognized by our government, my team and I can carry on with various peacebuilding and peacemaking activities. Pray that my team in Benin can be a mighty tool for God.
Another piece of good news concerns my recently published book in Ghana, Dance, Worship, and Cross-Cultural Mission in the West African Context: Factors for Church Growth. I launched this volume in Parakou, Benin in July. Both my Muslim friends and several Church leaders attended.
Here are some prayer requests to consider for my region:
1. Pray for unity in our local churches. These past years, a number of our churches have been going through conflicts. May God use this time to build His Kingdom in this place.
2. Pray for safety and security in the region of West Africa. Terrorism and religious fundamentalism are hitting our communities and missionary activities are terribly affected.
3. Pray that church leaders in Benin will catch the vision of Christian witness through music and the arts.
4. Pray that the political leaders of our West African nations will provide leadership with justice and compassion. Benin is going through a bit of political turmoil.
5. Pray that God will raise up more Christian writers who will be bold enough to address serious theological, missiological, and cultural issues in West Africa.
Thanks a lot for your priceless support,