There are only few Christians among the approximately 13,000 Mansonka, who live very dispersed in about 20-25 villages in this part of Guinea-Bissau. The largest group is in the Mansoa area and number about 1200. The District town of Mansoa has a mixed population and has a couple of churches. There is only one other Mansonka village that has a church. There isn’t yet an established evangelical church among the Mansonka, but a group of believers and interested people meet twice weekly at the missionaries home. The Mansonka are still deep in Animism and Witchdoctors play a big role in their culture. Every house or compound has a couple of “spirit houses” miniature copies of their traditional homes, where they offer sacrifices and offerings. Team members started a local primary school, the first in his village, as a way to reach out to the community.
The team finds the testing of the stories and the biblical key-terms very challenging. Most people refuse to help them, or only want money. However they praise God, that more recently some of the elders have became more approving of the project and have encouraged some of the youth to help the team. But it is still very hard to find elder people to help with testing or retelling of the stories.
The team though likes the work of testing because it gives an opportunity to expose the people to the Biblical message, which then often leads to more questions about the Bible and the Christian faith. As a result some people have started to come to the “church” which is really still a very informal meeting at the missionaries house or school; since there is no church building yet. They also rejoice when the see how a person can repeat the story properly and they see that the message is now in their heads.