I’ll never forget the first time I visited the village of Yehoun in Burkina Faso. It was in 2007, and it was my first trip in the West African Bush. I was so excited to see the people and the culture and completely paranoid that I was going to be bitten by a poisonous bug or reptile. Good times!
The missionaries we were with, Pete Brokopp of Envision Culture, and John Arnold (now partnered with Envision Culture and the non-profit I direct Engage Burkina) took us to this village to show a film and present the gospel. They told me I would get to speak and present the story of Jesus to people who had never heard it before. I had to speak through two translators to get to the language the tribe spoke.
It’s amazing how bright a projector on a white screen outside on the West side of the ‘Dark continent’ actually shines. People walked for miles and miles to see what was going on. Underneath a beautiful moon we experienced people drawn to faith for the first time.
What my friends didn’t tell me was the first time missionaries had come to the village of Yehoun to share the gospel they were chased out with machetes. I wasn’t looking for machete’s. I was looking for snakes. Over time the African leaders that we partner with and resource continued to go back into that village and share the change that had come to their own life because of faith in Christ. Change began to come to Yehoun.
We put Yehoun on the schedule for a trip I was on in November 2012. It was my first time back to this remote village. Like I did on my first trip I road on top of the Land Cruiser we were riding in. I love being up higher to look across the landscape and see the mud brick huts full of people who need to hear the gospel story.
We pulled into the same field that I had spoken in some 61 months earlier, and I was overwhelmed with what I saw. There stood a church building. It’s a temporary building, but one we help villages build until they can afford to build their own. Five years earlier a handful of believers had been meeting under a tree. Now close to 200 gather in this simple structure they showed us with great pride.
The next day a drilled well was put in that village right near that church. It is a well that anyone can drink from whether you are Muslim, Animist, or Christian. It is clean water for all.
I can’t wait to go back to Yehoun.