A baby-naming ceremony provided Hans and Marion Jensen yet another opportunity to understand the culture in the Nalu village in Guinea where they live.
Their closest neighbors gave birth to a baby and were following Nalu tradition for naming their child. As is customary, early in the morning the villagers assembled.
The baby’s mother and two close neighbors were seated on a mat surrounded by the village elders and religious leaders.
Then one of the religious leaders spoke about the responsibilities of the parents to the child. Finally after several speeches the baby’s name was read.
"To the delight of their neighbor, the little boy was named after him. Alsenni jumped off the mat and ran to his house. Soon he was back with a handful of money and a little bag of rice, which he thrust at the mother. He then grabbed his namesake and took off running," wrote Marion. "Everyone got a chuckle out of his excitement. The next order of business was the meal of rice and sauce. And that was the beginning of Thanksgiving Day for us here in the village."
The Jensen children will soon come back to the village for Christmas vacation. Hans and Marion plan to put up a Christmas tree with the children soon. "And once again we’ll have the task of explaining to our friends why we have a plastic tree set up in our living room," Marion wrote. "The Nalus aren’t the only ones with unusual traditions."
Please pray for Hans and Marion as they study the culture and language of the Nalu people. Pray that they will build meaningful relationships in the village and that Nalu hearts will be open to the Gospel.