Tuesday, October 31, 2006


To me…Today is my one year anniversary working for the IMB! Man has the year flown by quickly.

So I am going to get a little nostalgic.

One year ago today was a Sunday. I was living outside of Richmond, Va. I meet a friend of mine, Kristen at a near-bye Panera Bread (mmmm….I do miss Panera!) and we ate dinner together. Then we both got into our packed cars and drove the remainder 45 minutes to the training center to begin our journey in becoming IMB missionaries.

Three months later I was on a plane to West Africa!

I left family, friends, snow and started what has turned into a wonderful adventure.

I have visited so many people who have inspired me to be a better believer…like Pierre in Southern Senegal who questions everything about God and searches the Word for the answers and then believes with his whole heart!

Or like Helen who lives in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and prays for a godly husband or to live a life of faithfulness as a single. She wants to become a missionary.

But the biggest impact has been made by my fellow workers who daily give of themselves to do the work God has called them to complete.

The OneStory team of amazing 20 something’s. Their daily struggle just to survive is overwhelming, but they push on and use every opportunity to tell the story of Christ.

The people on the Engaging Team of West Africa drive long hard roads to find people who need to hear the gospel and then have to leave them. It is hard to meet someone and start a relationship knowing that you will probably never be a part of this person’s life. But they do it, so one day a church or another missionary can go and begin to share.

And then there are those people who spend year after year telling their neighbors about Jesus and being rejected, but keeping the joy of just being able to tell the stories of the Bible.

I wish I could let you all meet these same amazing people and the people they work with in West Africa.

I thank the Lord everyday for this experience and pray the next year will bring Him glory from my life.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The places I have seen…

This last weekend I had the privilege to follow around a research, Kerry, and his boss, Jay, as they learn about the Senufo people of Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote D’Ivoire.

We started by visiting this beautiful rock formation we call “the Peeks.” They are a seemingly, random grouping of cliff like…rocks. The Peeks are steeped in animistic spiritual traditions. We took a tour offered by a Senufo tourist guide and he gave us the history of the Senufo people and what the Peeks mean to them.

I was able to catch most of the conversation (it was in French), but since my vocabulary does not include animistic words, I missed a few things I later had to get translated.

The Senufo people came from Mali to Southern Burkina Faso and arrived at the rocks and found them filled with spirits. So, they lived on the rocks and prayed to the spirits. As time went on they moved off the mountain of rocks into the surrounding area. Now they only use the rocks for spiritual ceremonies, traditional tribal initiations and to make money from tourists.

From the top of the rocks you can look out over southern Burkina and (right now) see the green, wet fields of rice and scattered villages.

It is heartbreaking to hear how they believe spirits who will protect them if they sacrifice and follow its will or harm them if they don’t.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Jay wanted to learn about the Senufo so that he can inform SBC’s about this unreached people group. He will be talking about them at the West Africa Summit in St. Louis at the end of the month.

The thing is…I could see how God had beautifully created this area of the world. Looking out over the valley into the distance I was reminded of God’s power of the earth and those He draws to Himself.

October makes 10 months in West Africa. In these 10 months I have visited 15 people groups. Each group is different. Different in how much they have heard of the gospel.

Like the Senufo some have only heard of God by seeing His creation. Others have Missionaries living with them and still others are part of a Baptist Convention.

My prayer today is in someway see these people in Heaven for He has promise Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance.