When this posts, if all goes well, and God blesses, I will be on the Omaha to Atlanta leg of my trip fourteenth trip to Senegal, West Africa. In January of 2015, I traveled there for the first time with Bart Barber and felt conflicting emotions. I wanted to leave and go home almost every moment I was there. I was filled with fear, stress, and anxiety in so many ways. I also sensed that God was drawing me to be involved in that ministry on a long-term basis. I’ve been there twice almost every year (there was that little COVID thing), ministering to an unengaged, unreached people group, working with our wonderful IMB personnel. I’ve grown to love the region, called the Casamance, and the people. I feel at home there now.
I’ll say it again. If you’re frustrated with the SBC and the political shenanigans – amen – but before you despair of our convention, adopt an unreached people group as a church and begin ministering in partnership with the IMB. It might change things. Commercial over.
The first week this time is a trip Bart put together to try to get some other pastors involved in the ministry, so we will be staying in Ziguinchor and doing some exploratory work. The second week, I will be doing village evangelism with my dear brother in Christ Alioune Badara Diedhiou, staying at his house in Siganar, and ministering in Essing villages. We go door to door and ask people if we can tell Bible stories, then seek to engage them in conversations about Christ. We often show the Jesus Film at night.
I have several prayer requests.
1. Pray that God would raise up others to join this ministry in the Casamance region of Southern Senegal. I have an increasingly serious case of “nospringchickenitis” and need to find someone to take over this ministry when I can no longer do it.
2. Pray that my ministry in the villages would bear fruit, and that the Spirit would help us to find people whose hearts are open to the Gospel.
3. I would ask for your prayers. I’ve had minor health issues recently. The doctor cleared me to go, but the physical demands of Africa stretch me physically and I would appreciate your prayers.
Let me end with another commercial! Nothing energizes a church like partnership missions! I’m not talking about so-called “missions tourism” where you take a group on missions trips to cool places and do a little work while you are there. Partnership missions engage unreached, unengaged people groups where there is little or no gospel work being done. It’s hard, expensive, and a long-term commitment, but the church (I believe) prospers from investing in the world, in the Kingdom of God.
I plan to go back in April or early May (after their election season is over, which promises to be even rowdier than ours), If anyone wants to get involved, let me know.