Population: 15.8 million
Official language: French
Major religion: Islam
IFES movement: Groupes Bibliques des Elèves et Etudiants du Mali (GBEEM)
Mali is a country in West Africa where 90% of the population are Muslim and barely 5% are Christians. This means that Christians live in a context of Islamic pressure, especially in the north where Jihadists want to see Sharia law across the country. The challenge for Malian Christians today is to hear and understand the message of God in such a tense environment.
- 2 universities and 4 higher education colleges; GBU groups in each faculty of Bamako University
- 1 full-time staff member, 27 volunteers
- informal graduate ministry; GBU presence in 25 high schools
- the largest group: the faculty of medicine at the University of Bamako (40 members)
GBEEM is a stable and active movement with a strong sense of a shared vision between staff, board and graduate supporters. Students are active and mission-focussed, volunteers are coming forward to help train students and there is a good relationship with local churches.
The movement is planning to construct a centre to host both Christian and non-Christian students who are struggling with various problems. Part of the plan is to use this new building for training and reflection on the challenge of Christian witness in a Muslim context.
View from the inside
Josue Djire is the former General Secretary of GBEEM. He has been involved in student ministry since 1993. His enthusiasm for student ministry has always been based on his belief that serving God is a privilege.
He is delighted to see Malian students and graduates taking initiative in leadership and mission, and is reminded of how he became General Secretary when the outgoing General Secretary returned to his own country. Josué took on the role despite not feeling ready. However God honoured his willingness and two years later Josué understands more clearly God’s purposes and is rejoicing in how God is working through him.
- for funding for the new centre;
- for Malian Christian students to have God’s spirit of wisdom and discernment in relating to their Muslim friends and classmates.