In 2001, while planning to graduate from college and go off to seminary, God changed our plans and redirected us to West Africa. As a newly married couple we set out for Burkina Faso to work among the Dagaara people, a people group who were predominantly unreached by the gospel of Jesus Christ. We graduated, packed up and moved to the bush of Burkina Faso. While living there we would travel to 9 villages that surrounded the village we lived in, the village of Dissin. Most of these villages had never heard more than bits and pieces of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The work was often long and hard, and our first few months there were miserable, to be honest, as we struggled to adapt to the culture and the people. God, in His grace, changed our hearts. After months of struggle, He birthed within us a love for the people, the culture and the country. Unfortunately my body never did adjust well to Africa. After multiple illnesses, and a serious scare with a bad case of malaria, we ultimately ended up getting sent home for medical reasons before our term was completed. Because of the circumstances of our departure, I never got to say goodbye to my friends, and the people in my village. Sadly, my best friend died just a few weeks after we left, and another one of my good friends just passed away at the end of 2013. This is unfortunately the reality of life in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Fast forward to this past weekend. While scrolling through some videos on Vimeo with my daughters, we ran across a video entitled “Redemption in Burkina Faso” and were left speechless. It’s a video of what God has done among the Dagara, specifically in the village of Nakar. Here’s the deal, Nakar was one of our villages that Tracy and I were responsible for. We went there every week and taught & worshipped. We led worship on the same spot where the church in the video now meets. In fact, Tracy’s mom recently came across a video that featured one of our weekly meetings in this village.
When the man on the video started talking, and I could understood parts of what he was saying, I got pretty excited. But then, as we watched the video advance and saw what God has done, it became very overwhelming. It was difficult to hold back the tears. I can’t tell you how amazing it is for us to see this village that contained just a few believers, now filled to overflowing with believers and a church. It’s unreal. The further we watched the more we were amazed at what God has done among this once dark village. When we suddenly left Burkina, this village had no church and only a few people who had professed faith. Today there is a vibrant and multiplying church.
So, we sat back after the video was over, struggling to find the words to describe what we had just seen. We struggled to hold back the tears of gratefulness. If you have 5 minutes, please watch and pray for our Dagara friends, many of whom still desperately need to know Jesus.