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In 2000 Gabriel and his family moved to Guine-Bissau, Africa, and stayed there for 2 years. They aimed to bring the gospel of Jesus to a Muslim ethnic group called Fulas. This community is the least-reached people in the world to date. Gabriel and his wife Laura support 15 schools, housing more than 1200 children in the east part of the country and influenced more than 5000 people. Gabriel is the founder of Hope For Fulanis, an organization that brought the MegaVoices Audio Bible to the Fulanis.

So far 1000 MegaVoices have been delivery. They now have the opportunity to listen to the stories of Jesus in their native language. In the last 17 years, after moving to Portugal, God is using Gabriel and Laura as a bridge for international ministries. Such as Leadership Formation, CanZion Institute, leading young musicians from Latin America, the United States, and Europe to serve in Africa.

03The Fulanis

Approximately 51 million people live in Africa.
The Fulanis are an ethnic group that comprises several dispersed populations throughout West Africa and in Central Africa. They came from Sudan in North Africa.
The African countries in which they are located include Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Gambia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Togo, the Central African Republic, Ghana, Liberia and Sudan in the east. The Fulanis are not the majority group in any of these countries, except Guinea.

99% of the Fulas are Muslim. A significant proportion of the Fulanis are constituted by cattle herders since the fifteenth century. The Fulanis are the ethnic group with the largest community of nomadic shepherds in the world.

Fula values and religion

For centuries, the Fulanis have followed the traditional religion of Africa, which is animistic in its roots. They believe in a supreme god, who has little or no contact with humans. They believe that there are supernatural forces that need to be controlled following certain traditions. If they follow the traditions of their ancestors, then things will work out well. But if they move away from the traditions or break the taboos, they believe they will end up with sick cattle and other misfortunes. They also use divination and make good plans to ensure their lives are in order. This is called “hakkilo”, which can be translated as intelligence or divination.

A second value is semi-tenuous, or reserve and modesty. From childhood, they already exercise this value. The child will always well behave in front of her parents. Marriage copples must keep some distance from each other in public. Fulas try not to speak out of place or make false assumptions.

The third value is “munyal”, which means exercising patience and self-control. Fulas value keeping their emotions under control and not reacting badly, even in difficult or tragedy situations. Violating these values, especially in public, would bring shame to the Fulanis, and more importantly, to his family and clan. Fulas would endure a lot to avoid shame.

These combined virtues are known as “pulaaku”, which can be translated as “Without Fula.” These virtues and the code of behavior with which they are accompanied is transmitted from generation to generation.