The Patoulis are strong, independent mountain-dwellers, easily walking for a day to spend time with friends. Until recently, their rough mountainous region had no vehicular access, but working hard (with lots of dynamite!) the people are making a level way through the valleys, for the first time connecting needy people to markets and much-needed health services.
Their isolation has caused the Patoulis to become self-sacrificing in their hospitality. With neither shops nor guest houses, private homes provide a welcome resting place for weary travelers on dangerous mountain paths. The Patoulis serve hard cornbread dipped in red beans or yogurt ball soup, and no matter how many guests, they say, “God will provide.”
The Patoulis live in Central Asia, and comprise only about 300,000 people made up of about five ethnic groups and speaking different languages. Known for straight-talking, honesty and practical jokes, their lives are plagued by conflict, religious laws, violence, sickness and death.
Many Patoulis leave their mountain due to fear of family revenge killings, lack of food or a desire to educate their children. Islamic extremism is also bringing conflict and widespread fear.
*Fatima, a Patouli lady suffering many of these challenges, explains, “I can cope with the terrible pain but not knowing what is wrong or whether I will ever get better leaves me feeling so hopeless.” Until now, none have found hope in Christ.
* Name changed for security reasons.
WAYS TO PRAY:
Pray for lasting peace, hope, and an understanding of the true nature of God and His abundant life—for a revelation of John 10:10.
Pray that they find blessings and hear the good news on their mountain. (See Isaiah 52:7.)
This area needs more focus on creating disciples, with workers, prayer, funds and miracles to help them find Christ. Pray according to Matthew 9:38.