This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Senegal with a small team of Browncrofters. Our church has made long term investments in reaching the Wolof — an unreached people group — and my job was to collect photos, videos, and stories of all that God is doing through our ministry partners there. That includes the Wolof building projects we are working to support through the generosity of our congregation during the “Send Me” conference.
Capturing the stories was my plan. And that objective was accomplished. But something else that I didn’t expect happened. Every single one of my assumptions about missions in Africa was completely wrecked!
Every day of the trip was an adventure as we met our partners. Some Browncroft has financially supported for many years, and some we were just meeting for the very first time. We visited some partners who work in remote villages where they offer medical care and share the Gospel. Others were right in the main cities working with college students or with the Deaf population. It seemed the different kinds of ministry happening was never ending and every day had a new surprise and one of our team saying, “Wow, what a great idea!”
The bulk of our time was spent with Malick and Feluine Fall — names that may sound familiar as those featured in this video about our Send Me giving effort:
We have been partnering with the Falls in their many ministries since 1999! They are very active in the Senegalese city of Saint Louis and the surrounding areas where they help young girls receive education and skills needed to get good jobs. They are also active in providing job training for young men AND giving young boys (the Talibé) much needed medical care, food, and rest from their day-to-day lives of begging on the streets.
I remember a moment that we had as a team where we were asking Feluine about how their work was received by the community. I mean, it seemed obvious that a country that is almost entirely Muslim (97 percent), would not be too happy with these people openly sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the youngest in the community. Feluine did say that when they started, there was certainly pushback. At times the imam overseeing the Talibé boys would even forbid them from interacting. However, once the Muslim leaders in the community saw how well the Falls were caring for the boys — feeding them and lifting their spirits — the imam allowed the boys to receive these blessings from the Falls and even continue to hear the Gospel!
How amazing is it that God found a way through His faithful servants to make Himself known to these kids?
How amazing is it that — despite religious differences — these Muslims communities were not only very hospitable but even welcoming of those who would teach a different kind of message?
How beautiful is the vision that God has given the Falls to unashamedly preach the Gospel to their brothers and sisters — even knowing that conversion to faith in Jesus is extremely rare?
The Falls have a beautiful faith that is fully reliant on God’s provision in a way that I have never seen before.
Malick and Feluine are deeply committed to seeing the next generation of leaders in their country spread the hope and message of the Gospel — not just as church leaders, but as leaders in the marketplace. This is why we have set such a lofty goal to help them in two of their building projects.
The Discipleship Training Center will be an educational hub for training up the next ministers and preparing them return to their home towns and villages ready to share the Gospel. And the University Residence Center will give college students a safe place to live and study while also allowing a place to be discipled in Christian community. These students will bring the influence of Christ to their future employers all over Senegal.
As Feluine said, they fully believe that, “The God who started these projects will complete them.” With our financial partnership we can play a small part in seeing this vision be a reality soon!
Will you join us?