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Tea Parties in Mauritania

[Photo: A Christian in the desert in Mauritania]

A small group of men sit on a mat outside. Someone heats ingredients for mint tea on a small burner. The tea is poured into small glasses from high above the glasses, but nothing is spilled. Pouring the tea in that way makes it foamy and frothy. According to Mauritanian custom, the tea is poured from glass to glass before it is served in three rounds. The glasses are washed after each round. Preparing and drinking the tea can take an hour or longer.

Mauritanians drink tea every day. No one thinks it is strange to see a group of men or women having tea together. But this group is unusual. Someone listening closely might notice that they are not talking about the weather or their jobs. They are praying and talking softly about Jesus.

Pastor Adam has tea with his Christian friends as often as three times a week. Their “tea parties” are secret Christian meetings. Anyone passing by thinks they are just drinking tea. Other Christians hike across miles of hot sand to worship in secret in the Mauritanian desert

Pastor Adam and his friends sometimes notice people following them. They know that Muslims and government officials are watching what they do. In Mauritania it is against the law to bring a Muslim to Christ. Christians are not allowed to publish or hand out Bibles. Muslims and government officials want to make sure Christians are not spreading the gospel. But Pastor Adam and other Christians in Mauritania want to make sure they are following the Bible’s commands to make disciples for Jesus. (See Matthew 28:19)

From the Kids of Courage archives.

Find more information about Mauritania here and in VOM’s Global Prayer Guide.