Indonesiawomanricefarmer Bytija Viacanva

Pray for the Minangkabau

Wan is an elder in a fishing village in West Sumatra, the Indonesian homeland of the Minangkabau people. He won $150,000 in a slogan-writing competition but died before claiming the prize. His fellow villagers plotted to hide his death so that the prize money could still be claimed for the communal good.

Interestingly, their scheme almost perfectly mimics the plot of a recent Indonesian comedy, ‘Onde Mande!’ (Oh No!). The dialogue of the film is mostly in the local language, so that the Minangkabau director’s father (who comes from a village just like the one portrayed in the film) can enjoy it more fully. The film showcases Minangkabau pride in their local language and ancestral village, their values of mutual cooperation and shrewdness, and their Muslim identity.

Onde Mande trailer – a funny look at real life issues

The Minangkabau face many challenges in life, such as tensions between their traditional creative problem-solving skills and the rules regulating Muslim society. Other tensions between Islam and Minangkabau culture exist, as well. For example, in the Mingangkabau culture, only women inherit ancestral land, which stands in stark contrast to more paternalistic Islamic values.

As cultural values, traditions and religious complexities intersect, pray that God would reveal various aspects of His character and lead many Mingangkabau to Himself.

See also  Welcome to the 2024 Edition of 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World

How to Pray

  • May God give the Minangkabau people grace to see that Jesus is the exact image of the invisible God.
  • The Bible is available in the Minangkabau language, but a major revision is needed for it to be useful. Ask God to raise up followers of Jesus who will engage with the Minangkabau people in the Minangkabau language and in culturally appropriate ways.
  • Ask God to call Minangkabau people to become followers of Jesus. And that they will then influence others to come to Him.
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