I saw God work in so many ways throughout the trip, and it is an honor to have had this experience and to witness first hand a glimpse of what He is doing in another part of the world. John 1:9-13 has been speaking to me personally. It is very difficult to witness to a population that is 90% Muslim, along with cultural and language barriers. We learned a fact that it takes an average of 20 years of work for one Muslim to join God’s kingdom, and many missionaries may work a lifetime and never witness the fruit of their work. One of the greatest lessons I learned on this trip was how to be a better disciple of Christ. I was deeply touched by the Senegalese team members we met, their testimonies, and their hearts for the Lord. These Christians sacrifice so much to even become a believer in their culture, and it shows in everything they do.
They are so passionate about the Lord. They sang praises to Him and spoke with such love in their voices, and had tears rolling down their cheeks in the process. They expressed how it can be disheartening work to share God’s love with the Wolof people, and even some Christians that are here, or have worked here in the past, say that they should focus on other people groups because witnessing to the Wolof people is impossible. However, our Senegalese team emphasized how much God is in control, and that they must do their duty and serve God regardless. We have a lot to learn in our Western society from these amazing disciples of Christ.
We made four trips out to the village of Sorokogne. We recently partnered with a Senegalese man, named Abdourahmane Fall, to be the pastor for this people group. He has been making trips out to the village and helping with needs while forming relationships. He believes there may be 7-8 believers in the village out of the 2,000 that are estimated to live there. He came with us to each of our visits as well, in hopes of allowing the villagers to connect our group with him, and to direct the people his way. We met with the village chief and leaders, and felt a progression in the relationship we’ve formed with them over the past few years. We could sense their excitement and trust in our group and our intents, and felt this was a huge step forward. We did a prayer walk during one visit, and were able to enter many family compounds and pray for them. We then installed the playground we presented as a gift from our children to theirs, gave pictures of children from our congregation to them, had Pastor Abdourahmane dedicate the playground, and then watched the flood of children run and fill every inch of it! This was a wonderful event to witness, and the people of Sorokogne expressed their gratitude for us every step of the way.
We were able to visit many private schools during our journey as well, and were able to visit classrooms while children were in class in two of the schools. They showed us the students’ work with a brief explanation of how classes are run. The students impressed us all with their respect and attentiveness. I personally was also very impressed with their philosophy to start teaching their children multiple languages at such a young age, and to value the arts and various trades so young. One of the elementary schools we visited had classes for carpentry, sewing, jewelry design, hair/cosmetology skills, and pottery.
Now that I am home and reflecting on the experience, I feel so incredibly blessed to have witnessed God working in such a powerful way.
God has instilled in me a greater understanding of this ministry, and has given me a heart for these people. As a result, I hope to stay involved in one capacity or another. The school of Bethesda and the financial needs there for construction, more desks, a school van, and additional property for guest/teacher housing, are on my heart. I would love to take part in seeing God work further and providing the funds for this effort if it’s His will. I am currently praying and taking on the role of a project manager to see where God will lead this effort. If you’d like to support this project as well, please stay tuned!!
The day I left Senegal, I attended a church service in the morning. I’d like to leave you with a verse they shared with us, in their hope for our lives in this new year of 2014. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12.