West Africa: Planting seeds, reaping harvest

(International Mission Board Photo)

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Ministering to the Hausa people of West Africa presents a challenge. They number 30 million men, women and children, and 99 percent of them are unreached by the gospel. They are physically hard to get to and spiritually difficult to reach.

angelawest africa300Taking the Good News to the Hausa demands following the example of Jesus. Our Savior did not stay where it was comfortable. He did not stay where it was safe. Rather, he left the throne of heaven to meet us here and come into our mess. So, we too must follow the example of our Beloved and go to the ones “outside the camp.”

Don’t assume this means you necessarily must move to another country and culture in order to live this out. It may be for many of you. But at the core, Jesus is calling us to leave our “normalcy”—our Christian circles, and our storehouses of self-preservation and go to those that are waiting outside the gate. We do not wait for them to come to us. We do not wait for an opportunity to be dropped on our doorstep, but we seek them out and welcome them in.

In recent weeks, we have been able to see thirsty hearts quenched and God’s love running over their souls for the first time. He has enabled us much in language, and we are able to speak more every day. As God has given us lips to speak, we have been able to share more of his story with those we encounter. God has brought many to hear.

Sharing the story of creation

Seemingly out of nowhere, God brought me my friend who has already shown interest in hearing. As I shared the story of creation in the best Hausa I could muster, she repeated every part of the story back to me with excitement and understanding. She and her extended family are ones who I focus time on in the village and are praying for more ways to share with them.

We have also been able see a harvest from the seeds others planted. We praise God that “the sower and the reaper may rejoice together” (John 4:36). A close friend of our family here is Muslim, but he always comes to help us on clinic days to control the crowds and even repeats gospel stories to others, because he has heard them being shared so much. This month, he started attending our time of worship and Bible study on Sunday mornings on our front porch, and he listens discreetly as he sits off to the side.

‘I want to read and learn for myself’

Last week, he asked one of the workers for a Bible so he could read it for himself. He clearly stated: “Just because I take this book and read it does not mean I am a Christian. But I want to read and learn for myself before I make a decision.” He is approaching the faith with caution and care, as he is truly counting the cost of a decision he knows will change his life.

We’re praying these individuals and that many more like them will continue to see God’s love being displayed and hear his truth as they come inside the gates and see what Jesus has done for them

Angela is a Texas student serving in West Africa with Go Now Missions through the International Mission Board Hands-On missions program. Her last name is withheld due to security concerns.

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