The Swahili people of the Zanzibar Archipelago carry on a long-established tradition of hospitality. Everywhere you go, whether it be through the streets of Stone Town or passing through a village, you will always hear a word to welcome you—‘Karibu!’ Because of their welcoming culture, many are ready to invite you in and listen to the gospel, just as we experienced with Bibi. Zanzibar has a population of 1.4 million, of which over 99 percent would identify themselves as Muslim. A lot of witchcraft is also practiced. Zanzibar was a center for the East African slave trade and is known for having the “strongest” witchdoctors in East Africa.
After visiting and praying for many who were sick, my friend and I found ourselves crammed into the back room of a tiny mud house on the outskirts of a fisherman’s village. Across from us lay an elderly woman called Bibi, whose frail body we could hardly see in the darkness. Though she had never met us, she quickly welcomed us in. As she lay there in bed, she told us that she thinks of God all day and night, pondering her place in eternity: “I hope I will go to heaven. I hope I have done enough.” We were glad to be able to tell her about what Jesus had done to secure her salvation. On hearing the good news, Bibi exclaimed, “This is what I have been praying for.”
WAYS TO PRAY:
Be inspired to pray for Muslims in Zanzibar from Philippians 3:8–11.
Pray for those who serve Christ in Zanzibar, that they will find open doors to share their faith. Pray for those who serve Christ in Zanzibar, that they will find open doors to share their faith.
Think about how to pray for new believers as they grow in discipleship.