She squeezes the cone of greenish-gold paste and a small amount, guided by the movement of her fingers, forms the finishing touches of a fish drawing.
Mina Rowland*, focusing on the hand in front of her, is drawing the Bible story about Jesus feeding 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread. This storytelling session is one of hundreds of such gatherings Rowland has led throughout Africa and South Asia.
Earlier in the evening Rowland, a Christian believer working in eastern Africa at the time, told the story to the 12 women gathered at her home. The women eagerly listened to the story and begged Rowland to draw the story on their hands using the paste called henna. Once dried, the henna creates a temporary drawing that stays on the skin for several weeks.
Believers throughout Africa, South Asia and the Middle East are combining oral Bible storytelling and henna to share the Gospel. Henna is a significant part of these cultures, in which women draw beautiful designs on their hands and feet for special occasions such as weddings.
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