Continuing on our spring tour of Senegal…From Oussouye Charles and I took a “sept-place”, a car seating 7 people-a popular mode of public transportation, to a city in the south-east of Senegal. Since the ride was long and hot, we paid for three seats to be more comfortable. No air condition, only the air that felt more like a hair blow dryer from the windows, kept us reasonably comfortable. It was about 120 degrees there! We finally arrived at our campement, a grouping of small round houses as a sort of hotel for visitors. It was quaint and comfortable, like having our own hut. Our traveling team spent time with a single missionary who works there and her Koniagi friends. The Koniagi are an ethnic group of about 11,000 people who live in Guinea and Senegal. NTM is just starting a work among this group but there is only one missionary there presently. However, we were amazed to see that God is passionately seeking to form His church among this group of people. We were most impressed with a Koniagi pastor we met. He is the only believer in his village who reads and speaks French well enough to study the Bible. The Koniagi do not have a Bible in their language. So, this pastor takes all he can from God’s truth in French and then, teaches to a small church of about 20 people. We had the opportunity to worship with them one Sunday. They sang many songs in their language and had printed out the words for us to follow. I was amazed at how many letters it took to write a single word! Even though we didn’t understand what was said, we were greatly touched by their worship knowing that we were in awe and service of the one true God. Here is something amazing…there are a group of 41 people in a nearby village that are asking this pastor to come and teach them God’s word as well. They are so insistent that they have written their names down on a petition and have begun building a meeting place where they hope to be taught. The Koniagi pastor is excited about their desires to learn and so has ridden his bicycle two hours in 120 degree heat to get to them and teach. He rides again, two hours to return to his family and responsibilities in the village. He has launched this challenge, to teach these 41, to the small church there. This is a village where the people are very poor. They have one well, no running water, no outhouses, and no electricity. It was very dry there, too. Most of them live off money they make from farming and were waiting for the rains to come before they could start working. Praise God for the passion of this pastor who is currently learning how to develop chronological lessons of the Bible with the single missionary who is there. Pray that God will provide a way for them to go and teach these 41 seekers the truth of God’s word. Pray for the Bible to be translated into Koniagi. Pray for more missionaries to join this single lady. Charles and I were touched and our hearts are heavy for the needs of these people both physically and spiritually. We are inspired by the passion of this pastor and the evidence of God’s work in such a place as this. May God use us to work along side such believers to see His church grow in West Africa!
see more photos in the photo section above