Trip journals and pictures

April 25, 2012

Welcome Brothers & Sisters in Christ from Larry L.
Today's visits for me were totally different from the other days.  This was the day for healing.  Seemed like every visit Brett and I had was related to locals needing healing or a "Touch of the Master's Hand".  

This morning we were walking and came upon a man known as - TB.  He came out and asked what we were doing in the area.  We began our talk and the subject moved to the many miracles performed by Jesus.  TB asked if we could perform miracles - this took us back but we told him that if he had the faith of a mustard seed and asked Jesus and believed - if it was God's Will it could happen.  We also told him that salvation would be much better as he would have everlasting life.  After this we asked if we could pray for him.  He said yes and O interpreted for us.  Our prayer first was for his salvation and if it was God's will his healing.  

This afternoon, we were walking and an older gentleman - MD - was sitting outside of the doctor's office on the street waiting to see him.   Again, he told us of his ailments.  Again we stated "silver & gold we have none but what we do have is much more valuable".  This man began sharing with us and it was as if he was ministering to us.  He spoke all the right words but it was not clear if his heart belonged to Jesus.  As we ministered with him, another young man, BT, walked up as he heard what we were speaking about.  His heart was ministered to also as he told us he heard many things today that he had not heard before.  He was most interested in the blood sacrifice Jesus gave for all of our sins.  We learned he lived near P and she said she would followup with him to witness more.

What has been great this week - we do not know what each day brings.  We go out thinking our message is in front of us but Jesus directs our path either to the right or left as HE has been directing our steps each day.


Yalla Bac Na  (God is good)
Bes Bu Nek (Every day)

Larry

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April 24, 2012

   Only two days left. The last two days we have encountered earnest and open seekers and staunch Muslim debaters. Sunday night and Monday seemed to be full of encounter after encounter with those who are seeking. One even called us at the guest house late Sunday to set up an appointment on Monday morning - spent an hour with J, a university student,  and was thrilled to talk with him along with Larry and O. That is the way those two days were. 
   Today seemed different. We did have a fantastic afternoon and meal with S. She has been on a long journey and Rick and O both helped her today. Out in SCIII it seemed as if people were not interested today - at least at first. One thing we noticed however was that the one you were talking to was not the one you were talking to. Often it seemed there was another person, quietly off to the side, listening intently - one not noticed by anyone else. It is often the people we don't see who are watching and listening the most closely. When you are serving the Lord what you don't see may be more important than what you can. 
   Please continue to pray. We have several contacts that we have follow ups to from earlier this week or the last trip. In addition, we have made at least two contacts, B and T, with relatives living in the Atlanta area. We have been seeking and praying about a path to reach these in our area. The Lord may be opening the path before us. The power of praying has been incredibly evident. When we stop and pray for the Lord to act it is amazing to see what happens next. "Pray without stopping"!

Bo Ben en Yan (Until next time)
Brett, Larry, Paul, Diane (Sulemain, Modu, Yaya, Fatu)

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April 23, 2012

We are having an amazing trip.  

AM
This morning we went out in two teams to SCIII to meet and talk to people and share the good news any opportunity that God gave us.  The people here are very friendly and they take pride in that.   You don't even have to walk but a few steps and someone wants to talk to you. 

Paul and I met one guy this morning that is already a believer and he is willing to have Bible study groups at his home.  It will be good for when L&A are here for the summer.  

We also visited with another man that spoke English that invited us into his home.  He had lived in New York for 30 years and had come back to Dakar.  His wife still lives in New York and he moved back here with his two sons.  Paul shared the gospel with him and he was open to hearing the truth.  He wants to visit with us again.  He did not have a Bible and we are planning on taking one back to him this week.  

Brett and Larry also had a really good visit with a man that seems to be searching.  

PM
Brett and I spent about an hour with probably 6 guys sharing the gospel.  They are very curious about us and almost always ask why we are here.  It makes for an easy transition to the gospel.  

I am seeing how God has made us all so different, but yet He is able to use any of us.  This is so out of my comfort zone, but I have seen God work in each of our lives on the team and I have seen Him working in the people here in Senegal.  God has blessed me and overwhelmed me since I have been here.  I am so thankful to be here and for the opportunities that God has given me.  

Love and miss you all!

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April 22, 2012

Matthew 5:14-15
You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do people light a lamp and put in under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

Those verses were in my quiet time reading on the first morning here in Dakar.  When we walk around the streets here, we do stand out....we certainly are not hidden....we are noticed by everyone!  These verses reminded me of how our physical presence here is a picture of how our spiritual influence should look - we should give light to all.

We have completed our second full day here in Senegal and the Lord has really blessed us.  Today was Sunday, so we went to a church and worshipped with other believers from around Senegal and around the world.  We met Greg...a man from South Africa.  We met people from some of the outlying villages in Senegal.  And the worship leader this morning was from..........GEORGIA!!  Yes, our worship leader this morning was from Jasper - went to school at Shorter College and is now an English teacher here in Dakar!  It was good to meet a fellow Georgian.

Today was an odd day in Senegal as well.  The best way to describe it would be to say that Senegal had their Super Bowl today.  The Senegalese people follow wrestling with a passion, and today their champion had a match.  The entire town was abuzz about the match...in fact, as we prayer-walked this afternoon, the streets were virtually empty due to the people being inside to watch on TV and listen on the radio.  When the match was over, the streets erupted with celebration - people were standing in the streets, shooting fireworks, honking horns, yelling and riding on top of cars and hanging out the windows.  The celebration was a little concerning, so we decided to come back to the guest house a little early just to be safe.  (The Champion was defeated, so many were happy, and many were upset - we were indifferent!)

Even still, with all the activities of the day, we again had the opportunity to meet new people and share with them.  During the past two-and-a-half days, we have followed up on contacts from previous visits and met new friends.   Many of the new friends have asked to see us again, so we have arranged many follow-up visits with those who are really interested in our message.  Please pray for these follow-up visits, as they hold promise for significant inroads.  Pray that God would even send dreams and visions prior to our visits and that His spirit would be at work in the lives of these people.

Continue to pray for O and P (our translators) as well as S and M.  Pray especially for S as we have a meeting with her on Tuesday at 1:30 pm (9:30 AM Alpharetta time).

We love you!!  See you soon!!

P

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April 21, 2012

This is day #2 and this is greetings from your Brother in Christ - Larry L.  Today we had a full day of sharing.  We went out for the morning session of 2.5 hours and the afternoon session of 3.0 hours.  It is amazing how friendly these Senegalese people are.  Walking down the street you have to be alert because someone is going to greet you or maybe call out someone from your group because they remember "EVERYTHING".  Missing one of these opportunities is not good because Sharing Our Lord and making sure we cultivate these friendships is very important.  A personal praise for me today is that I was able to witness also in helping my partner, Brett.  One of my personal goals in joining the mission team was to force me to share my faith more and by doing so - build my confidence in sharing anywhere / anytime.  It is so funny I have to travel 10 hours by airplane to learn what GOD has commanded us to do.  Go Figure !!!     Well I better go for now, this is actually Sunday morning and we are getting ready to attend Church services.  Looking forward to this worship experience.

Jetti Jeff

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April 2012

Friday, April 20
   After a delayed flight from NY we arrived in Dakar shortly before noon, Dakar time. As we were waiting in the terminal at JFK Diane went up to a group of Senegalese to begin a conversation - after all, why wait until we get to Dakar. During the conversation we found out that one of them, a hulk of a man, is a nationally famous wrestler (its a big deal here) in Senegal.  In fact when we arrive in Dakar there are TV cameras waiting to greet him as he was returning from the US for a big match. And so we started.
   There was real joy as we returned to SCIII and saw O and the guys from the car wash again. Paul and Diane were able to visit S whom they had met in November. Please pray for her as she continues seeking the truth of Christ and we have more opportunity for conversation about the Gospel with her - we are eating chebi jen at her house for lunch on Tuesday.
   It's not even been 12 hours spent in Senegal but what an exciting day. We pray that God would continue to call out for Himself a people called by His name from among the Senegalese. We are thankful we are given the chance to participate in His work.

Bo Ben En Yan

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The third installment of Project Ambition is almost complete.  It seems like we just arrived, yet we have only two outreach sessions remaining.  The team has made many new friends and re-connected with some from the previous two trips.  It has been a great time for growing the relationship between Crabapple and the people of Senegal. 

We have had the opportunity even in the early stages of getting to know the people here to share the gospel with boldness.  It is amazing to see how eager they are to hear and discuss spiritual matters.  I believe God has some very special things in store for the people of Senegal.  What a great privilege God has entrusted to Crabapple to have a part in the work He is doing here.
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July 2011

April 2011 Trip Journal

Water is for life, but only Jesus can give eternal life


Our final day in Senegal began early for Larry and I. We woke up at 5:30 to go to the airport for Larry's 8:00 am Delta flight. He made it off well, and back at the guesthouse we got to work with a language session.

Following the language session, we made one final trip to Sacre Couer III. Brett and Rick finished mapping their section of SC III, and then greeted and made contacts. In the meantime, our translator, David, took us to his aunt's home in SC III. His aunt, Beatrice, presently attends a Catholic church, but she told us of how God is her provider and how much she loves Jesus. She said that some evangelicals shared the gospel with her many years ago and that she believes it. She was very grateful for our visit. After visiting with this sweet-spirited lady, Mark and I came upon a gardner named Cheik. After we greeted him and told him what we were doing in the neighborhood. He asked us to pray for lots of money. I asked him why he wanted lots of money and he said that it would make him happy. I told him that he had a greater need than money. That piqued his interest. "What is that?" he asked. I told him that money wouldn't help him once he died; he needs eternal life. He needs to be forgiven for his sins. From there, I shared with him about Jesus speaking to the woman at the well in John 4. I compared his focus on money to the woman's focus on water and I shared how Jesus pointed her to her greater need. He listened quietly, but intently as I told him the gospel. He told me that he had never heard that before and that he wanted to know more. We exchanged contact information and prayed together before getting on our way.

We spent the afternoon visiting at the home of Rick's friend, Malik. Malik's wife is Paula's good friend from the last trip--Maimuna. We called up Paula on the phone and she and Maimuna got to speak together. They were both very excited. From there, we went to Dakar's rocky beachfront to help Rick find a baptism spot of U.'s baptism. He will be baptized this weekend! Finally, we returned to the guesthouse for debriefing and packing.

God has been so good to us on this trip and he's allowed us to make dozens of contacts and share the gospel numerous times. Right now, only he knows what is in store for our ministry in Dakar among the Wolof, but no one can doubt that his Spirit is powerfully at work!

Searching for Nicodemuses


This morning we learned that Nancy's mother (Larry's mother-in-law) passed away last night, so we spent some time trying to make arrangements to get him home early. It was frustrating at times, but the Lord worked it out for him to get a Delta flight Friday morning. That brought much relief. Thank you for praying for that situation.

Later in the morning, we walked along the Corniche (the road that runs along the sea) and then we went to the lighthouse which overlooks the city. At both locations we prayed for God to do a mighty work in this city among the Wolof. These times were very powerful as God pressed on our hearts at once the overwhelming need, but also the reality that this is his mission and he is at work in ways that we cannot even begin to fathom.

While Larry and Brett went to the airport to arrange an earlier flight home for Larry, Mark and I returned to the Sacre Couer III to do some more mapping and geo-spiking. This time we focused our efforts on a elevated section of the neighborhood (what we called "Upper SC III"), and we were able to get quite a bit of it mapped in just a short time.

In the late afternoon, we went back to Upper SC III to greet and engage people. Both groups had some great conversations. Brett and Mark had a conversation with a man named Abdoulaye who wanted to talk about a range of things including American politics. They tried to steer clear of that topic, however, and were able to use a comment the man made about morality in America to point the conversation toward man's rebellion against God and his need for a Savior.

Meanwhile, Larry and I got into a very long conversation with more than ten followers of a marabout from the Mouride Brotherhood. Some listened intently when we spoke, some were put-off or disinterested, and some actively sought to distract the conversation. They asked some good questions and occasionally challenged what we were saying to them. One man in particular, Omar, was very forceful with us. Even still, I was able to share all of Creation to Christ with these young men. When I finished, I asked if any of them had ever heard that message before and they admitted that they had not. Two of the men said that they knew that the message is very important, and on of them even came to us later away from the group and after we had moved on. His name is Schek. He told us that he had heard of Jesus feeding the five thousand, that Jesus died on the cross, and that he rose again from the dead. He told us that he appreciated what we were doing in his neighborhood and he said that the message is one that people need to hear. Schek told us he wanted to know more about Jesus, so we took down his phone number and gave him a copy of the Jesus film in Wolof. Please pray for Abdoulaye, Schek, Mansour, Bouba, and Omar. Pray that God would press on their hearts their need for a Savior and the hope only to be found in his gospel.

"How are you going to get 'clean'?"


We returned to Sacre Couer III this morning and spent the early hours mapping and geo-spiking the neighborhood. We moved quickly and were able to complete the entire neighborhood before the end of the morning. Even still, the Lord allowed us to make a few good contacts including a Catholic college student who let us pray with him.

From there, we took a time of rest and tried our hand in the artisan village near the coast. Our group of four guys had very little interest in shopping, however. Stan told us that he had never spent so little time in the village.

In the afternoon and evening, we returned to the SC III and walked the neighborhood again--this time much more slowly. We spent time praying that God would break down spiritual strongholds in the neighborhood. And there are many.

Toward the end of the day, I had a conversation with a Muslim man who is my age named Abbib. The conversation began with him explaining that he had a headache from drinking alcohol last night. I gave him some ibuprofen and tried to steer the conversation in a spiritual direction. I asked him why he drinks so much and he told me of how his Muslim friends tell him that he shouldn't. What followed from him was a tangled mess of Islam, Rastafarianism, reincarnation, and alcoholism. The conversation lasted for over a half hour. He told me that he believes a person has to be "clean" to have eternal life. I asked him how he planned to get clean and he said that he has a spiritual advisor. Throughout the conversation I asked God to help me bring clarity to his confusion, and toward the end I sensed God leading me to be forceful in showing him his need for a Savior. I said, "God's Word says that everybody dies, and after that comes God's judgment. Abbib, is your spiritual advisor going to stand beside you on judgment day?" I told him that Jesus is the only one who could represent him before God because he died for the forgiveness of sin; he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. At that point, the shop owner asked us to move the conversation outside because his shop was getting crowded. I gave Abbib a copy of the Jesus film and encouraged him to watch it. I told him that I would pray for him to really consider what is at stake in what we talked about. Pray for this young man that God would bring him out of the confusion and spiritual blindness; that he would transfer him from the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of his beloved Son.

A devout Muslim admits he believes Jesus died on the cross


After a restful night's sleep, we began the day with another session of language learning focused on greetings, numbers, and additional vocabulary. From there we made on final trip through the SC III VDN neighborhood. On group investigated future potential alternate accommodations while the other group went to the Shalom Church and school to see the extent of that church's ministry to the community.

The afternoon and evening were spent in a new neighborhood, Sacre Couer III. This neighborhood is adjacent to the VDN neighborhood. We took a similar approach in this neighborhood, this time working east to west. We made numerous contacts with people in the community. Brett and Larry's group had a gospel sharing encounter that lasted over an hour with two men: Ibrahim and Abbacar. Abbacar was very steeped in the Qu'ran and he adamantly wanted to share him Muslim faith. Despite this, however, Abbacar did show an interest in what the team had to share. For example, he does believe that Jesus did many miracles and that he was born to the virgin Mary. He even said that he believes that Jesus died on the cross--something the Qu'ran explicitly denies. The team shared with him about how Jesus is the bridge across the divide that separates us from God. They shared Jesus' words from John 14:6 where Jesus says that he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through him. Pray for these two men; that God might use the seeds that were sown in their hearts this evening to bring them faith in Christ.

"I will die a Muslim"


Praise the God who loves to save for his goodness in giving us so many opportunities to share his gospel today. The day began with some Wolof lessons for how to take a taxi, and after a little practice we were set to go. We returned to SC III VDN neighborhood for a final full day of mapping and engaging there.

Brett and Larry by God's grace ran into our friend Ibrahim from the first day again. They had not met him, so they were joyfully surprised when they found out that it was the same Ibrahim that we had spoken to. So they were able to share with him some more. Mark and myself had a couple of opportunities to share the gospel with men in the neighborhood named Amadou and Niang.

Some of our most interesting conversations today happened in taxis. One driver, Alpha Omar, was especially open to hearing the gospel. He said that he was a Muslim but that he had many Catholic friends. I asked him if he knew the story of Jesus and he admitted that he knew very little. He said that he wanted to know everything about Jesus and that he wanted me to teach him. We traded contact information and gave him a copy of the Jesus film in Wolof.

Another driver, Ishmael, presented us with a very different encounter. Our translator, making small talk, asked him if he was a Muslim. He said that he is a Muslim, that he has always been a Muslim, and that he will die a Muslim. I asked him if he had peace with God and hope for eternal life and he said that he did. He asked if I did, so I told him that Jesus had taken the judgment of God against me for my in on himself so that I could have eternal life. I asked him if he knew anything about Jesus. He said he was not interested in Jesus at all. I said ok and sat back quiet. After a few quiet moments, he said, "But you can tell me more about Jesus if you want to." So I shared my testimony and then shared how no one is born a Christian. I shared how Jesus said that we must be born again; that we are under the judgment of God and that we need to be forgiven for our sin. At this point we arrived at our location. When we got out, we handed him a copy of the Jesus film and he looked at it skeptically. I told him it was a gift for him and then jokingly added that he could watch it and no one would no. He took it.

A final highlight of the day was the fellowship we enjoyed as a team around a plate of the traditional Senegalese dish Thebou Dieune--fish and rice. Everyone participated in the food adventure and had their fill. I think everyone even liked it. Continue praying for us as the days are long and tiring. We are trying to remain mindful of the fact that they are not nearly long enough. There is much work to be done. Pray also for these gospel sharing encounters that we've had; that the Lord would bring great fruit from our feeble efforts.

Worship at the Keuru Yalla


We began today by joining with Rick's church family at the Keuru Yalla. This church is within walking distance from Rick's home. The services were in French and Wolof and the church is made up primarily of West African people other than Wolof. Rick's primary reason for attending this fellowship apart from his need to be connected with a church family, is so that he can bring his friend "U" to church with him. U is a young man that Rick had the opportunity to build a relationship with and who our November team had the opportunity to share the gospel with. Since then U has come to faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, he can't stop talking to his friends about his new relationship with Jesus Christ. It was so encouraging to hear U's testimony of faith. His English vocabulary is very small, but when he speaks about his faith in his native Wolof tongue he could talk for hours!

Later that day we spent more time mapping the Sacre Couer III VDN neighborhood. Mark had the opportunity to share the gospel with another man named Ibrahim. He asked for a book that had the story of Abraham in it, and so we told him that we would bring him a solar-powered mp3 player called a "Mega-Voice" that would tell him more about the stories of Abraham and Jesus.

After another long day, we retired back to the guesthouse for a time of sharing and prayer.

Abraham's faith and God's faithfulness


We arrived before 5 o'clock in the morning and, after a short time of orientation, we hit the ground running in the first section of the Sacre Couer neighborhood--the VDN III. We split into two teams with one mapping the neighborhood from north to south and the other mapping the neighborhood from south to north. Our first goal was to begin praying for the neighborhood as we walked through it and to engage as many people as possible. We recorded contacts with a number of individuals, and using "Geo-spiking" we are going to be able to match names, photos, telephone numbers, and other notes with GPS locations. This will enable future teams to track down our neighborhood contacts. We were able to have spiritual conversations with a number of people. One man, Ibrahim, joked with me that I needed a Senagalese wife. I told him that I already had a wife. He said that that was ok because in his religion it was perfectly appropriate to take more than one wife. I shared with him that God's Word says that only "two will become one flesh." I told him that polygamy is man's way, but not God's way. This led to a natural conversation about sin, and Ibrahim was challenged about his sin. At first he said that he had never sinned, but then quickly admitted that he had just lied. His face turned solemn with conviction. I asked him if I could share with him the story of the man in the Bible who shares his name--Abraham. He said he had heard this story from the Qu'ran, but I told him that God's Word has so much more to say about Abraham. I told him about how God counted Abraham's faith as righteousness; how Abraham believed God's promise. I told him that it wasn't because Abraham prayed enough or fasted enough or gave enough money to the poor or said the right words that God accepted him. Rather, God accepted Abraham's faith. This led to a conversation about God's provision for the forgiveness of our sin in Christ who bore our judgment for us. Ibrahim heard the gospel of God's grace and afterward we prayed together.

Another goal was to note different businesses, schools, and other cultural institutions in the neighborhood. Hopefully this will be useful information to our other teams who go as well. At the end of the day, the Lord brought a couple of believers across our path who took us to the home of a pastor. While we weren't totally sure about the gospel commitment of this fellowship, it seems that God may be at work in this neighborhood already through their efforts. Perhaps he has led us to a potential partner in Sacre Couer. Time will tell.

Bombarded with the discomfort of landing in a new and very different culture, trying to learn the basic Wolof greetings, and operating on little sleep and jetlag, the team retired for the night exhausted. But God's grace throughout the day was sufficient and he gave us much strength. On the whole, our first day in Dakar proved very productive.

November 2010 Trip Journal

Dakar, Senegal


Wednesday morning we left the guest house and went to a Talibe center run by missionaries from Canada. There we heard testimonies from two Talibes who had come to Christ. One of them, S., is mighty in the scriptures and soon will train to become a missionary to his people. They gave testimony of being beaten and mistreated. They praised God for rescuing them from the pit of despair.

Later we met S. and G., team leaders in Dakar. They took us to a small college to meet the administration and find out about opportunities to teach English to college students. The students were very friendly and receptive to us.

At lunch, we visited the American club and enjoyed Lebanese food prepared by a friend of S. and G., S2. S. and G. have been witnessing to S2. for some time now.

After lunch, the team rested at R.’s house while I went and walked around the neighborhood greeting people. We went to dinner that evening with a lady who runs another Talibe center of United World Mission, J. J. shared with us about the “other side” of Talibe life. That evening we had attaya (tea) with R.’s friend U. Paula felt led to share C2C with U. while R. translated. U.’s friend S3. moved up when he heard Paula sharing and was fixated on the message as R. translated. After she finished, S. said he had never heard the story before but that it was vitally important. He seemed to have about 100 questions and R. spent the better part of an hour answering them. This experience was incredible.

The next day, we visited J.’s Talibe center. We played Jenga with kids and greeted them. The ladies washed the boys’ feet. It was touching and powerful. From there we had lunch again at S2’s. In the afternoon we visited with two Baptist pastors in the city. P. and Pastor B. Pastor B. was especially helpful in giving us ideas –e.g. incorporating literacy in Talibe ministry, sports in the villages, etc.

In the evening, we visited with R.’s policeman friend, M. and the people he lives with in the police compound. Paula met a lady that shares her African name and they got a big kick out of each other. That night we went down to the Corniche along the ocean and saw the African Renaissance Monument Illuminated.

The last day was spent reflecting on all that God had shown us. We drove up to the lighthouse which sits upon a huge hill on the coast. There we could see the whole city of Dakar. We prayed for the people of this city and this land even as we looked out over it. It was really at that moment that God pressed upon my heart the enormity of the task. May he send many laborers to this harvest, and may we be faithful to be among them.

Dakar, Senegal


After a grueling 14 hour car ride we arrived in Dakar after 9:00 in the evening. Along the way we heard great information that would help us in planting churches, should we decide to plant the mission in the villages. We said our good-byes to D. and C. and we greeted R. who does urban ministry in Dakar.

Near Kolda, Senegal


After a brief trip to market to get food for lunch, we set out for S2. In S2, we had a formal greeting and gathering. Many men of the village came together to hear us. One of the most fascinating features of our visit was hearing the Banyuko language, which very few people speak or know anymore. We learned the different greetings in Banyuko and we also learned that the Banyuko call themselves Gunyuno. Chris had the opportunity to share C2C and many women had shown up by this time to hear it. After Chris shared C2C, a village elder explained that they had heard the story before. He said that Jesus followers had betrayed him. He said that they were not interested in any new message after the Qu’ran. He said that Jesus had said Mohammad (another messenger) would come after him and that Mohammad had said, “It is finished.” I responded by sharing how many people had had the opportunity to hear about Jesus from the Qu’ran, but many had not had the opportunity to hear about him from the NT. I told him we are not interested in anything new either and that the NT preceded the Qu’ran by 500 years. I explained that Jesus’ follower John did record Jesus saying he would send another messenger, but that Jesus was talking about God’s Spirit. The man listened politely and the village seemed to be absorbing all that we were speaking to one another.

Lunch time came and we had fish with rice, potatoes, eggplant, and carrots. After lunch we took our leave of the village. The chief told us that they needed time to process our message. He said that he needed to hear it with “both ears.” We told him that we hoped to return to the village soon.

From there we set out back for M. since we had given our word that we would return. Unfortunately we pulled into the village at 6:10 and the people of the village had already disbursed for evening activities.  Also, the chief had not yet returned to the village. We greeted the chief’s brother with kola nuts and gave apologies for arriving late. We told him that we hoped to return there soon as well.

In the car, we had a great conversation with A., our Banyuko friend. He fears turning away from Islam and the persecution he will face from his family and the wider society. He says Islam is what he has grown up with and it’s all he’s ever known. Karen, S., and I shared our testimony with him. We told him that God will provide even if your family turns against you.

S., Senegal


The morning began with a time of worship. We reflected on Matthew 10 and John 1. We had a powerful time of prayer and singing. We prayed for Crabapple’s worship gathering that day.

Due to a gas shortage, we were unable to visit S2. and spend the night as planned. We sent an errand to Kolda to pick up 40 liters of gasoline so that we could move about. To redeem the time, we went to market to get supplies and we visited Pastor S.’s house. S. hosts a weekly Bible study on Sundays with a handful of believers including a couple with the Navigators, M. & J. We joined their study of John 15.

After the time of Bible study, we visited with S.’s neighbor Anna. I was able to share the biblical story of Anna with her from Luke 2. Chris was able to share C2C. Then C., Paula, and I shared our testimonies of how we came to faith in Christ. Anna shared how she had been listening to the Righteous Way radio broadcasts for many years. She said that her response to our message was deep inside her, and that she was unable to express it fully. We prayed over her and her household. We also prayed that God would comfort her in the recent loss of her mother.

In the late afternoon, we ventured to M., a town of about 800, about 1 hour from S. There we had a very receptive audience. They shared with us about the Banyuko culture, though the town had a broad mix including Jola and Fulani. They told us about how they farmed peanuts, corn, mangos, oranges, rice, casa frees, and honey. We had a great time of building relationships. I had the opportunity to share C2C with the people and they listened intently. Our friend A. heard the story again and was fixated. They responded that is was a very good story full of truth. When I asked if they had ever heard this message about Jesus before, they all shook their heads no. They said they were eager to hear more but they needed to process what they had heard. They said there is nothing more important than knowing about life after death. One man asked, “What is this eternal life you talk about?” C. drew a picture in the dirt to explain it to him. When they said they had never heard, my eyes and heart welled with emotion. Why has it taken so long for someone to tell them?

As we got up to leave, the town was very thankful. They begged us to come back and teach them more. When they asked us to come back the day after tomorrow, my heart sank. We were able to tell them we would come back the next day at the same time. They were so happy.  They gave us new names before we left.
       
        Chris – Buba Djandi
        Michael – Sajo Nyamana
        Paula- Mansada Banjinka
        Karen – Boliba Fajaba

S., Senegal


After we landed Friday morning, we began a grueling car ride with our friends D. and C. that took us through the Gambia to southern Senegal. The countryside is lush and beautiful from the summer rains, and we are told it will soon brown. The sunrise was beautiful through the dust and haze, and we watched it as we rode along. After traversing miles of poorly built pot-holed roads and a ferry, we arrived at the hotel in S. which would be our lodging for one restorative evening.

The next morning we ventured into the village market for language learning. In the village, we met a man named E. M. and he helped us to find our way around. The people are so thrilled to interact with us and are enthusiastic about our desire to learn the language. (This sets us off from the French.).  In the afternoon we met our translator, Pastor S. and his friend A. A. is a Muslim who has heard the gospel now several times.

Together we set out for a Banyuko village for our first encounter with a group/village where we might root the ministry. We sat down with the village elders in the shadow of the mosque and shared with them the story of Jesus telling the disciples to let the children come to him, the story of Abraham, and C2C. A young man, Mohammed B., interacted with us very vocally. He told us that their forefathers had selected Islam generations before as the right religion. It was not forced on them and they were not interested in becoming something different. We shared with them that many had had the opportunity to read the Qu’ran, but many had not had the opportunity to read the Injil, and that we are teachers of it. Mohammed testified that the Injil contains the truth. After the meeting I challenged Mohammed privately on the notion that both the Qu’ran and the Injil couldn’t both contain the truth if they contradicted each other.

One of my favorite moments was when a man told us that if we wanted to learn the Banyuko people, we should come and build a house in the village.