Daily Topic for February 19, 2010
Different children respond differently to injustice inflicted on them by parents and other adults. Some will not let it affect them. Others will become discouraged and embittered, making it very difficult for them to be open to their Heavenly Father.
Pray for Bambara fathers to soak in the love of their Heavenly Father, and share that same love with their children.
“When a child comes, it must be accepted, male and female alike,” answered the Bambara mother when asked if the Bambaras preferred male babies to females. She added, “A child is a gift; no one has to choose.”
However, the actual activities that take place when a child is born suggest that males are clearly preferred. When a boy is born, the father may kill a fowl every day until the seventh day when the naming ceremony occurs, but the father may kill just one fowl when a baby girl is born.
The Bambaras reside in Mali, one of Africa’s poorest nations. The Bambaras have very traditional views for raising their children. Mothers may nurse their babies until age three. Girls between the ages of four and 12 tend to the smaller children. Until the age of five, boys and girls are treated the same way. They are dressed alike, and they play together. After age five, gender identity is encouraged through various activities. In Mali, 30 percent of malnourished children die before the age of five. A recent study conducted in three rural communities determined that current weaning practices may contribute to malnutrition.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that these results will serve to develop educational programs on health and nutrition that will lead to new health policies addressing this problem. Pray that missionaries will be able to share Christ as they minister to the physical needs of the Bambara people.