Browncroft’s Wolof Ministry and Bible Project

July 11, 2024
Gary Kneezel

In 2024 Browncroft is celebrating the 25th anniversary of our partnership to reach the Wolof people of Senegal. Of the 6 million individuals who make up the Wolof population, nearly all are Muslim and only a few hundred are Christ followers. Since 1999, our church has financially and prayerfully supported ministry partners working among the Wolof people, and they have told us that this partnership with Browncroft has been integral to their ability to continue serving in a difficult place.

We have also sent more than 30 teams on short-term trips to Senegal over the past 25 years. Many who have gone have experienced significant growth in their own spiritual lives. On trips like these, we can learn from one another and see God at work in new ways we might not be able to in places of comfort. For me personally, while I understood in the past that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39), it was through my trips to Senegal that I came to see this truth lived out by Wolof believers who have been rejected by their families or shunned by their communities because of their faith in Jesus.

One new way of making an impact that we are excited about is the sending of $25K of the Browncroft Reach 2024 ministry funds to help make God’s Word available in the Wolof language. Although the Wolof New Testament has been available since 1987, the Old Testament has only recently been translated into Wolof. Final checking and typesetting are nearly complete, and printing is planned for the latter half of 2024. Browncroft’s gift, together with gifts from other churches and individuals, will make it possible to print and send 12,000 copies of the Wolof Bible to Senegal. In addition, since Wolof is an oral learning culture, we are planning to fund the production of audio recordings of the Old Testament to be used on radio, on the Internet, and in smartphone apps.

Having the Bible accessible in a people’s heart language is key to building faith in individuals as well as facilitating a proper understanding of scripture through the Holy Spirit.

Having the Bible accessible in a people’s heart language is key to building faith in individuals as well as facilitating a proper understanding of scripture through the Holy Spirit. Muslim people respect Old Testament writings, so the new translation has the potential to help initiate good spiritual conversations. Making the Bible accessible is strategic for both reaching the Wolof people and establishing a reproducing and viable Church among them.

To assess the relative importance of funding these printed copies and audio recordings of the Bible, we had conversations with all of our Wolof ministry partners in late 2023. The consensus was that making the Wolof Bible accessible through both of these mediums would be very valuable. One comment was that the printed Bible will be important for believers (e.g. for study), while the audio recordings will be important for seekers. One of our Wolof pastor friends said that he would prefer to listen to the audio recordings in his personal devotions. We were also told that Wolof women were more likely to listen than to read. Because of this dual need, we have allocated $19K for the printing of the Bible and $6K for the production of the audio recordings.

The ministries of our partners in Senegal will benefit greatly from the availability of the Wolof Bible in both printed and audio form as these will create opportunities for evangelism, discipleship, and church-planting. Our long-time partner Corey did the typesetting for the printed copies and will also use the audio recordings in smartphone apps to make the Bible accessible online.

We have much to celebrate this year as we consider all God has done and is still doing among the Wolof people… But this is not just a time to look back.

We have much to celebrate this year as we consider all God has done and is still doing among the Wolof people. During our Send Me Conference in November, we will be having a Browncroft Wolof Partnership celebration event. But this is not just a time to look back. We are also looking forward to what God will do in the future through His people and His Word. We invite you to pray about how you might get involved in helping reach the Wolof people through praying, giving, or going. You can learn more about this special partnership and how to be a part of it by clicking the orange button below!

About The Author

Gary Kneezel

Gary Kneezel has attended Browncroft since 1980 and has served in many different leadership roles here. He was formerly on the Elder Board for 24 years, serving as Board Chair for 14 years. He is currently a member of the Browncroft Missions Team, leads the Wolof Ministry Team, and has facilitated the sending of many short-term trips to various parts of the world.

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Browncroft’s Wolof Ministry and Bible Project

In 2024 Browncroft is celebrating the 25th anniversary of our partnership to reach the Wolof people of Senegal! One new way of making an impact that we are excited about is the sending of $25K of the Browncroft Reach 2024 ministry funds to help make God’s Word available in the Wolof language.
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