(Sharing the work of Engage Burkina)
Strategies are discovered in different ways. Some come by trial and error. Some come from asking the ones that have been there before and who know best. Some are wrapped in mystery. This one was wrapped in comedy.
I hope that you won’t read this and find me to be too insensitive or irreverent. In 2008 I found myself sitting in the village of Hounde in Burkina Faso. I was sitting with some friends who I will leave out of this for the moment. We were exhausted from traveling overseas and visiting villagers in Bush villages. We were staring at 5 Burkinabe Pastors and they back at us waiting on food to be prepared. Bored and tired those of us on the American side entered into a game based loosely on Mystery Science Theater. Basically the Africans would talk, and we would pretend like we knew what they were saying and we translated it for our own benefit. Soon we began putting words into our new Burkinabe friends mouths as if it were an episode of the Sopranos. We laughed uncontrollably, and they did to, although they didn’t know why.
As things settled down and the translator began to facilitate actual conversation back and forth I said, “Tell us how to help you reach those who have never heard the gospel in the villages of Burkina Faso.” The answer they gave became our strategy for reaching an unreached people group. The strategy has three parts:
1. Place a water well in a village under the care of a Pastor
2. Help us build a church building in the villages where there are Christ-followers who need a place to meet.
3. Help us evangelize a village
I don’t consider myself the smartest of missiologist. I simply asked the people I wanted to reach, ‘What’s it going to take?’ Most importantly we empower them to dig the wells, build the churches, and show films and tell stories to evangelize. Teams can come participate in this, but the work continues on from our indigenous friends on an ongoing basis.
That was in 2008. As of 2012 there are 20 churches in villages where the Pugli people live. More than 2,000 Christ-followers were reported to be attending those churches as of a year ago. There are tens of thousands of unreached people who are without water and without the gospel.
You can partner with us to help build wells, churches, classrooms, or send a team at http://engageburkina.com.