I have just returned home from a 10 day trip to Burkina Faso, Africa. I saw hunger, disease, hope, joy, generosity. I felt hot, dusty, thirsty, loved, appreciated, encouraged, hospitality, inspired. I was filled with heart-breaking experiences that consumed my heart with compassion. I wish I could put it into one simple post and tell you what what all this means. But I cannot.
Pastor Michele, a local pastor who helps oversee the well digging process, is a man on a mission. He has a vision, a team, and plan for evangelizing every village that receives a well. On the night we stayed at his house (camped outside the church), we were able to join them on one of these trips. Here’s a picture of the vehicle being loaded up with the necessary equipment. I didn’t know this until I got there that this was purchased by Clay Church for this very reason!
We rode out in our Land Rover, with a roof top full of these young men coming with us. By the time we arrived, the sun was almost down. There was a crowd of people gathered and music and dancing had already started! The rhythm and sounds made you tap your toes, clap your hands, and want to join in.
Before long, we were told to pray. There was a large group of people gathered, but we learned that outside of this area were witch doctors who were not too happy to see what was going on. Not quite sure what a witch doctor would look like, I was certain I did not want to find out! I was standing in front of, not far away from one of our team members, and we were both praying. Sometimes my eyes were closed, sometimes not. But continually praying for the Holy Spirit to create a bubble over and a hedge of protection around the people hearing this message. The woman behind me, told me later that she had this feeling of being pushed from behind as we stood and prayed even though no one was near. She was certain it was something not welcome. And prayed even harder.
Under the light of two light bulbs and the moon, a movie was then played on an old TV. The movie was about a family who was turning to witch doctors and animal sacrifice for help with their problems. Nothing seemed to help. Until their child learned of Jesus Christ. Through this child, the whole family accepted Him and became believers. And then they had a different perspective on life.
Through the story of this movie and a passionate message by the pastor, fifteen adults (and children) accepted Christ as their Savior that night. This becomes even more exciting when you know that this never happens on the first night sharing God’s love story in a village!! They say it usually takes two to three visits!
Prayer is powerful. Even in a place where you’re told, “Africa’s called the dark continent for a reason.”
Not your typical alter call. But I never felt scared or worried. But felt God’s presence covering us and surrounding us. And celebrated as His presence wrapped itself around fifteen new believers.