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.
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