Saturday, 6 February 2010

Burkina Update

We have had only sporadic access to the internet since arriving in Gaoua, Burkina Faso, but a lot has happened in the past three weeks or so. We are now back in the capital, Ouagadougou, for a couple of days, so it’s good to catch up on emails and news.

On January 19, just 24 hours after we arrived in Gaoua, we found a very suitable house to rent. It has enough space for an office and also a printing room. We are currently brushing it out (it hasn’t been lived in since it was built four years ago), washing floors, getting it painted and putting screens on the windows to keep out the mosquitoes. We are also unpacking our furniture and the office equipment that we had stored while we were in Northern Ireland. Some of it was very dusty, but almost everything was in good condition. The WEC missionaries in Gaoua have kindly allowed us to use one of their houses until we sort out our own place.

We were given a very touching welcome when we attended church in Gogo, Ivory Coast on January 24. Normally we had to either make a long detour in our pickup truck around the village in order to get to the church from our village home or else negotiate a series of deep ruts and a maze of tall grass. But this time the young Christians in Gogo spent the day before we arrived cutting down the elephant grass and preparing a direct route for us to take to church. We really appreciated their willingness to spend hours working in the hot African sun just to facilitate our arrival. We had a great time with the believers after almost two years apart from them. The work among the Loron continues to grow with new groups of Christians meeting in the villages of Gbarke and Goroko, places that we have never even visited. The Lord continues to build His church among the Loron people.

We spent only one night in the village that first weekend before returning to Burkina Faso. We weren’t sure what condition our village house would be in. The following weekend we returned to Ivory Coast and spent three more days visiting other Loron churches and literacy classes in the region. It was thrilling to see progress among the Loron believers and Marina was very encouraged with the students who have successfully completed the literacy course.

We are planning to spend a few more days next weekend visiting more village churches. Thank you for praying for us as we travel.

Later this month I am planning to travel to Senegal to attend NTM leadership meetings. As a new leadership team we will be discussing how we can help the existing NTM tribal missionaries in West Africa. We will also be looking to the Lord for guidance as we expand into unreached territory. There are scores, possibly hundreds of ethnic groups in the region who have never once had an opportunity to hear the gospel in their own language. Pray that the Lord will give us a clear vision of the task ahead and that many more missionaries will be raised up to bring the light to ‘the regions beyond’ between the Atlantic and the Sahara.