Friday, February 17, 2012

CFC and MIS: 2005-2012 ... A Blessed Partnership

CFC Senegal Team - 2011 with Pastor Antoine

Mission Inter Senegal (MIS) is a church planting organization in Senegal, West Africa. Its vision is to reach 400 “unreached” villages with the Gospel and see churches planted and reproducing by 2020. These villages represent about 500,000 Senegalese from the Wolof and Serer tribes. CFC began our partnership with MIS in 2004 and became part of their Adopt-a-Village program. We adopted the village of Babak. Pastor Antoine shepherds a small church in the village and reaches out to 4-5 surrounding villages. Through tangible projects, a foundation of trust and friendship has been built with the Muslim leaders in the village. During our 2005 visit, we were amazed to hear Chief Diouf welcome our team in Jesus’ Name. He shared the truth that we worship the one true God and that our God answers prayer.

Babak is a Serer village with a population of about 1600 people. Pastor Antoine is trusted by the Elders of the village. Babak is a wonderful testimony of MIS’ holistic church planting strategy that includes water projects, medical care, literacy programs, women’s vocational training, and micro-finance programs all in support of the church planting focus. Each year we have worked with MIS, Pastor Antoine and the Elders of Babak to identify various projects that would meet tangible needs within the village and provide a powerful witness for Christ.

Babak now has a fresh water well, 10 public water faucets and 40 private faucets throughout the village which have reduced the miles that women must travel to bring water to their families. Access to fresh water has also allowed the village to irrigate a wonderful garden that is managed by families in the village. Fresh water has also dramatically improved the health of the entire village.

Antoine worked with the Elders of Babak to establish a cereal bank where people contribute to a community reserve to assist those in need when the harvest may not be as plentiful. CFC provided funds a few years ago for the church to purchase a grain mill. This has simplified the process of grinding millet and the entire village has benefited from this gift.

The government funds a health hut in the village and numerous mobile clinics sponsored through MIS have been conducted in Babak. We conduct 3-4 medical clinics each year during our short term trips to Senegal. The clinics allow us to demonstrate the love of Christ in a tangible way and they open the door the church planters to build relationships with those in the village after we leave.

The village school provides opportunity for the children to learn to read and receive a well rounded education. In 2006 we provided the funds to build a fence around the school.

Pastor Antoine has been reaching out to 4 surrounding villages to build relationships and plant churches. We have been blessed to be able to conduct medical clinics in these villages and witness the power and love of Christ and how God has been opening doors for the gospel though these projects. In two of these villages, the Chief and Elders have allowed for the construction of church buildings where the growing number of Christians can meet for worship. In 2008 we were privileged to be present for the first baptism service in the Babak where 14 people publicly identified with Christ as their Savior.

Two years ago we shared a meal with the Elders of Babak and presented them with special gifts expressing our love for them. We were humbled by their invitation to come and live with them in Babak. We long to continue building relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as the Muslim men and women who we have been blessed to meet. It is our prayer to see Babak transformed for Christ and the Kingdom expanded through the surrounding villages.This partnership with MIS and the village of Babak has helped our church to develop a greater appreciation for what God is doing in West Africa.

For the past two years, people from CFC have sponsored 25 children in the village. The funds go to MIS and they in turn help to pay for school fees, supplies, uniforms, tutoring, medical care and spiritual coaching through Kids Club. During our annual visits to Babak, we meet with the children, deliver gifts and letters from their sponsors and hang out with them throughout our stay.

This year our prayer is to raise enough funds to purchase 600 mosquito bed-nets for the 200 families in the village. Each day, more than 2,000 children die from malaria related illnesses around the world. Progress has been made in Senegal to reduce the mortality rates with malaria in the larger cities but the net distribution program has not penetrated many of the villages. This will be a wonderful, tangible witness of the love of Christ to the entire village. We are thrilled to report that the Lord has provided the funds through the cheerful and generous gifts of our congregation, to purchase more than 1000 mosquito nets. We’ll be able to bless the 200 families in the village of Babak with 600 nets as well as bless the village of Ngonine and other villages with the remaining nets.

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