First, As we mention in FAQ section on the side, Senegal is a very strategic location. Africans will be much better evangelists to Africans than us. We understand what a person has to gain when they accept Christ, but a person who has converted from Islam understands what a Muslim has to loose when they come to Christianity. As one rural pastor has told a WorldVenture missionary, "Don't send us evangelists. We can do that better than you. Send us teachers." So, now that there are Senegalese believers with the desire to reach other Muslims; the door is wide open. The religious freedom in Senegal allows for a Bible college to exist that seeks to teach Senegalese believers God's Word and instill in them a passion for proclaiming Christ among other Muslims.
A major reason the Bible College is so strategic is because the teaching is done in French (the official language). The importance of this surfaces when one realizes how much of Africa is French speaking. Most of North Africa is both French speaking and Muslim. So, the idea of training African Muslim background believers who speak French with a desire to evangelize Muslims in Africa seems ideal.
(French Speaking Countries in Africa and Muslim Countries in Africa)
Second, we have both had a heart for reaching not just spiritual needs, but also physical needs. Senegal has a population of about 12 million and 100,000 of those are kids who live on the street. Also, there are two types of street kids in Senegal. The type we are planning to work with are called talibe boys. These are boys that are brought in from rural areas where their parents are unable to take care of them. However, they are often forced to beg for money and live in dangerous conditions (see Arms of Love). We have an opportunity to work with a group that seeks to meet health and education needs of these boys. Our desire is to show them the love of Christ by meeting their physical needs.
Third, U2 rocks and Bono is always talking about Africa! Our hope is that one day U2 will do a concert in Senegal.
Fourth, Hilary has already had 6 years of French in middle and high school. It will be much easier for her to relearn French rather than learn a new language. With a toddler underfoot, we thought it would be better to go the easy route.
Fifth, Language school in Paris, need we say more!
Who Are We
We should be jealous. . . for the honour of His name – troubled when it remains unknown, hurt when it is ignored, indignant when it is blasphemed. And all the time anxious and determined that it shall be given the honour and glory which are due to it.” John Stott