Who Are We

Wayne, Hilary & Adelaide Denny. Preparing to Serve in Leadership Training in Senegal, Africa. God has called us to take advantage of a unique window of religious freedom in Muslim Senegal by equipping church leaders who have a heart for reaching their country and the Muslim world.

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

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ACC Children's Church Kids...

Thanks for visiting our blog! We enjoyed talking with you tonight and hope you enjoyed hearing a little about Senegal.

Here is a picture of the Senegal flag to help you color yours.

And here is a map of Africa that shows where Senegal is.

Thanks for praying for us!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I am a pack rat...just ask my dad :) Recently I was cleaning out some boxes that are at my parents (yes, I still have stuff at my parents) and I was very proud of myself for throwing stuff out. I figured those calculus notes from high school will never come in handy! I always figure that you never know when you might need something, so you may as well keep it. Well, my tune has changed. As we are moving to Dallas in less than 2 weeks, we are in the process of packing our stuff. As we are moving overseas in less than a year, we are in the process of getting rid of stuff. It's not worth hauling that picture frame that I might want to put a picture in someday overseas, so we have been making a lot of trips to Goodwill, the trash bin (yes, I even collect trash!), and other peoples houses (some of it isn't bad stuff, just isn't going to fit in our luggage!). So I guess that is our prayer request this week. Pray that we would be diligent in getting ready to move, and that we would have the time to do it all this week as we really want to spend time with family next week! And pray for patience for us as we just had another hitch thrown into everything. We had a big ice storm last week which apparently has been doing damage to our roof. Our apartment maintenance came by tonight and said that our ceiling had water in it. So we now have a big tarp stapled to our ceiling and a bucket to catch dripping water in the middle of our living room floor. I guess the patience part comes in when Addie gets up tomorrow morning. In a small apartment with boxes everywhere already, it's going to get interesting! It's sometimes hard for me to tell this cutie no (as you can tell from the way that she has commandeered my purse and keys!)We also have an item of praise in this move. You may have heard the story of our trip to Dallas in August. Well, to make a long story short, we had car troubles on the way, were going to pay $1,000 for repairs to our Grand Prix, left it in Oklahoma to get it fixed, drove a rental to Dallas for the weekend, called Monday morning to see if it was finished, and found out it was fixed but then totaled during the test drive! So instead of $1,000 in repairs, we left Oklahoma with a newer, less mileage, bigger than our car minivan! We are now thinking that God gave us that minivan specifically for the purpose of this move. We are hoping to get all of our stuff that we are keeping into the van with Wayne. Addie and I will be flying down to Dallas on the 31st (thanks to frequent flyer miles from all the traveling we have done this year!), and Wayne will drive the car down that weekend. If we still had the Grand Prix, there is no way we would have been able to fit all our stuff in and would have had to rent a truck for something. God has provided for us once again!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A few pictures from our trip...

Here are a few pictures from our trip...

Not exactly what I was expecting there!

The traffic rules are not really followed...see the motorcycle?

Our hostess and guide Alice, bartering for some shoes for Wayne.

There were a lot of poor people. Some were talibe boys begging, and some were just poor. Every time you stopped your car, there was someone at your window either begging or selling something.

One of many Mosques we saw and heard.

A market. I'm not sure I'm up for shopping here, you have to barter and I don't think I'll be very good at it! Wayne thinks it will be fun though, so he'll finally like shopping.

John Huffman School. It is a French speaking Christian school that we are considering for Addie. 75% of the kids who go there are Muslim, but they are taught the gospel!

It happened that one of the women's retreat weekends was postponed until the weekend we were there! I got to attend for a little while and meet the women. I am excited to get to be a part of this.

We also attended part of a class at ITES (the Bible college). It was in French, so we didn't understand much, but we did get to meet the students and a couple of teachers.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A perfect fit

Our week is over. We are once again together as a family in our apartment with the snow now falling outside! Wayne and are so glad for our trip this week, and as a result of it, we have come to a conclusion that Senegal is a perfect fit for us. It is not so much living in Senegal that we feel is perfect, there will be a lot of things that we have to get used to living there! It may take a while for us to feel truly at home in Senegal. But despite that, Senegal is a perfect fit. Throughout the week we met many missionaries we will be working with, saw many of the ministries going on and also met some of the people we will be able to minister to. It is in these areas that we are feeling really excited about moving to Senegal. God has gifted us both in ways that will really compliment the work that is already going on in Senegal, mainly that of training Senegalese who have a heart for reaching their own people and the rest of Africa! We are so excited that God has led us here.

Well, it has been an incredibly long day, a long week actually, so we are all off to bed soon. After being awake all night waiting for our plane, sleeping some on the plane, missing a connection and waiting for another, and then arriving in Moline and having Addie run up to us, we are emotionally and physically exhausted! We sure have missed our little girl and are so glad to be back with her! She grew this week! Hopefully she will be ready for bed soon, we sure are.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Yes, Addie is only a year, but one of the things we wanted to do on this trip is think through where she would go to school. We have had the opportunity to look at a couple of options and talk through some of them with the missionaries here. We feel very comfortable here in Senegal knowing that Addie can get a good education. Now, Wayne and I have slightly different opinions on schooling because of our own backgrounds. I went to Christian schools in Elementary, homeschooled in Jr. High, and went to a very good private school in high school. I felt that I got a very good education. It's not that Wayne didn't go to good schools though, it's more that he slept through most of high school! So we have both added our experiences to our conversation about how to educate Addie and have seen both the good and bad in both of our experiences. So normally when parents are thinking about school, they are dealing with their backgrounds and the types of schools they have available etc... Of course it is compounded here. We are very fortunate to have some good options though, just not traditional options in the sense that most people would think!

One of our options Wayne mentioned in an earlier blog. John Huffman school is a Senegalese run Christian school in Thies. It is an elementary school, run on more of the French system (I don't understand all what that means) and is completely in French. We would love for Addie to be able to go to school here. She would be around a lot of Senegalese children (actually, she may be the only white girl there!) and would really learn French well. It would also be a great mission field, for Addie and for us. Even though it is a Christian school, 75% of the kids that go there are actually Muslim! The parents know it is a great school and are told up front that the Bible is taught there, but they want a good education for their kids and so send them there. It seemed to us from visiting that the kids are saturated with the Bible, which is such an exciting evangelistic opportunity! It is actually in the Senegalese constitution that there must be freedom to teach religion in all schools, so they take full advantage of this! We would like to further explore this option but feel that it might be good to try with Addie. We know that there will be challenges to her going to school here. She will learn to read and write French only, it is a French system which is more demanding and less creative...but we have been encouraged by one missionary who grew up going to French schools that we can look at it as an adventure to help her through!

Another very good option that we have is an MK school in Dakar. We visited Dakar Academy yesterday and were very impressed with it. It has about 250 students from K to 12th grade and the missionaries and MK's here are very happy with DA. They have a great library, nice facilities, and even dorms (we will think about that later!). The downside to this is that DA is in Dakar and we would like to live in Thies. We also realize that as Addie will probably go to college in the states (yes, I'm already thinking about college for my baby girl!) it would be really good to have her in the American school system to be able to function better in college in the states.

Well, this is just one of many decisions that we face in the coming years as we transition into a new life and ministry in Senegal. The trip though has given us a good picture of what is here and gotten us excited about living here and bringing Addie back with us next time we come!

We leave tonight for home, so our next update will be from our apartment in Iowa! We hear there is some snow on the ground now, so we are gearing up to have to wear warm clothes soon! Actually, we told my mom to bring some to the airport as we really didn't want to pack any for here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pretty random

Tonight, we had dinner with new friends of ours, Dan and Angie. Dan is preparing to teach at ITES and Angie is preparing to teach at the same retreats that Hilary is planning on teaching at. They just recently finished language school and have been in Dakar just a few months brushing up on their French and also learning the main trade language, Wolof. It was great to spend time with them as they have just gone through the process of making decisions about what to bring, which appliances you can just buy here, etc. Also, we are able to ask them their insights on the transitions they're going through right now. The random part is that Dan and I were actually at DTS for some of the same time. We had an incredibly encouraging evening gaining many insights from them.

We also spent the earlier part of the day with another missionary who has a book store and a study center. When we arrived, she was going through an Emmaus Correspondence Course with a new believer. After seeing the ministry she is involved in, we went to the market (simiar to our earier shopping experience).

The final randomness from the day was when we took a taxi from Dan and Angie's back to where we're staying. As you may have gathered from Hilary's earlier blog, we didn't exactly just give the driver an address that he plugged into google maps. After a slight detour and Hilary only mixing up left and right in French once (I didn't even try); we made it home.

Every day we gain more insight into the culture and several practical advice on what to bring and what not to bring. These insights are exactly what we were praying to gain from our trip. Praise God for the many people who have gone before us and are helping us in so many ways.

Another aspect we found very encouraging was some specific stories from Dan and Angie about how friendly the Senegalese people are. The more time we've spent here, the more we gain a love for the Senegalese. This has truly been a great trip!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Culture Shock!

Today was a pretty relaxing day today. Well, usally shopping is pretty relaxing for me, but this experience was a little different. There are a few (ok, quite a few!) things that I will really have to adjust to when we move to Senegal, and we experienced a couple of those today.

First, the roads. I really have no words to describe the road system here. Now, they tell me it is not always this bad. The city is completely under construction now because in about a year they have planned a big worldwide Muslim conference here in Dakar. They are trying to get the road system up to speed, and that means a lot of detours now. Now the detours here are not just take this street this way. Often you detour from a paved road, onto a partially finished (meaning still dirt) exit ramp, and then onto a side street that has construction materials from the house being built halfway in the street. There are no street signs either, at least not that I have seen. All this to say, one of my big fears about moving here is getting lost! I will probably only go places with Wayne at first and if I do go by myself, take only roads I know. I will survive somehow.

Another aspect of life that I will have to get used to is the shopping here. In the States, I'm not even that much of a bargain shopper. If I really want or need something, I will pay what they ask! If it's too much, I won't get it. That's not how things work here. We were in a market buying clothes today, and the people looked at the color of our skin (the Wolof word for 'gringo' is 'tubob') and when they saw how white we were (yes, I really stick out!) they would ask a price way far above what we ended up paying for it. Luckily, our hostess and guide, Alice, speaks Wolof very well and really impressed them. She impressed me too! She could get them down below half of their first asking price! I just nodded and followed her when she would start to leave the shop. Now, we're not really ripping these people off by not paying what they ask and bartering, but it is really going to take some getting used to for me. I don't like confrontation! And that is what it feels like to me. The good thing in all of this is that Wayne thinks shopping will be fun here, so I might get him to go with me some!

This evening we had a nice dinner with the staff of ITES (the college) and tomorrow we will get together again with a couple who just moved here and I'm sure can give us some advice on our upcoming adventure!

Monday, December 3, 2007

You can do that here????

A major prayer request we had for this trip was wisdom about where to live. We are considering living in the capital, Dakar, or another major city, Thies, which is about 45-50 miles inland. We spent Saturday and half of Sunday in Thies and felt like we were able to get a very good look at some of the ministries taking place in Thies and what life would be like. Most of Saturday, we were shown the city of Thies by Adama Diouf (a Senegelese leader in a church and the Bible college I will teach at). These are a few of the ministries that we saw, which are taking place in a 94% MUSLIM COUNTRY!!!!

Christian Hospital - They have started a hospital that meets many physical needs. Oh, and they also give gospel presentations through a video that is played in the waiting room.

Christian school - A private school has been started with about 300 kids. About 75% of the kids are Muslim. This is even in light of the fact that all the teachers are Christian and the school states up front they will teach the Bible. Also, at Christmas, the parents of the kids are invited and a gospel presentation is given to them! This school also meets the needs of poorer children in that around 60 kids every year are sponsered so they can recieve an education they would not normally be able to afford. (Side note: It's interesting that the constitution in Senegal actually allows freedom of religion in the public schools! If someone wanted to teach Bible, the government could not tell them no.)

Bible College - I will give more details about this later. We met with our team leader and his wife this morning and they shared with us the vision of the college and too many details for this post. However, the story of how the college purchased land is awesome. There is a plot of land being developed on the outskirts of Thies where land is being sold very cheap at the current time (but Thies is expanding at a very rapid rate and the vaue will definitely increase). When Adama met with the developer, he noticed plots were reserved for mosques. Adama remarked, why have you not reserved plots for a church? Since the government will grant land for religious buildings and is not supposed to discriminate, the developer was embaressed and offered some land at no additional fee so a church can be built. Also, the developer offered a plot of land equal to what they sought to purchase for the Bible College if they promised to use half of it for a public primary school. So, God gave twice as much land for the same price and an additional ministry opportunity!!

We were extremely encouraged with what is taking place in Thies and really enjoyed our visit. It is a much smaller city than Dakar with much less traffic (which is very attractive to this country boy). We have not decided yet that we will live there; but we were able to gain very important information on what our ministry would be there, what life would be like, and some schooling options for Addie.

Please pray that God will give us wisdom as we process the information and see what life is like in Dakar in the remaining days of our trip.

Praise God that our jet lag was not that bad! We have had 2 really good nights sleep.

Thanks you so much for your prayers.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Dennys have landed!

As I sit here writing this, I can hear the muslim prayer calls out the window, a sheep bleeting on the street somewhere (there is a Muslim holiday coming up soon that involves sacrifice, and they say that you can pick out your sheep like picking a Christmas tree from the lot) and in the next room, "Psych" is on TV. Wow, talk about culture shock!

The trip went very well. We arrived in Dakar with no problems early Saturday morning. After breakfast with one of the missionaries, we drove (or were driven, the roads are crazy here!) to Thies, about 50 miles inland. After a nap and lunch at a small hotel, we toured Thies and saw many of the works that are going on here. Wayne will share more about these in a later post, but I want to tell you about my weekend.

One reason that we chose Senegal was that both Wayne and I would have an opportunity for teaching, Wayne at the Bible College and I will help with training the pastors wives. They do this through weekend retreats which just started about a year ago. God made it happen so that I would be able to see one of these happen this weekend! I spent a couple of hours with the women and it was this time with the people that really confirmed even in my first day that God wants us to be here. Now, it was all in French, so I really didn't understand much of what was said (I have taken French and am even now understanding more, but yesterday I was sooo tired that it was difficult to concentrate). There were some ladies there who could translate for me, so I wasn't totally lost. Let me just share a few of the things that stuck out to me.

One of the activities that they did they called a "listening prayer". One of the ladies would share her prayer requests, and then the others would think of a word of encouragement or verse, share it with her, then all would lay their hands on her and one would pray. It was a very encouraging and powerful time. After the first lady shared, people started sharing verses with her to encourage her, and everybody had thought of the same 2 passages, including me! The Holy Spirit was at work to encouarge this young lady and to build up the body of Christ. And it is wonderful to be able to be a part of that body even in a culture where I am brand new and uncomfortable.

Near the end of this time, as some women were praying for another, I could hear at that time the Muslim prayer call. Now, the mosque was fairly close, and the windows were all open, so it was quite loud! It struck me at that time that no matter how loud they cried out and how many times a day, they were empty prayers to a god who would not help them. We were praying to the God of the universe who can hear and answer our every need! What a great God we have.

Another activity they did was skits. They were learning about the Christian Family this weekend, and so their skits were on what it was to be a good husband and wife. Wayne and I recently attended a marriage conference, and I realized yesterday that we teach things in very cultural forms. Many of the things that we will teach, we will have to learn before we do. I mean that we must learn how best to culturally communicate God's truth which never changes.

We returned to Dakar this afternoon (in horrendous traffic! we almost ran over a cow, but it was in the crosswalk, so we let it go) and are spending a relaxing evening with our hosts, Alice and Marcy Statler. We are excited about what God will do the rest of the week as He continues to confirm His call for us!

Please keep praying!

Pray that many more of our questions will be answered (many were this weekend, so that is a praise!)

We still really miss Addie. I got to talk to mom tonight and heard Addie a bit! Pray that it would not be difficult for me this week (as the tears are still coming :)

We will update again soon!