Thursday, November 16, 2017
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
In 1982, Anne Garber (Kompaoré) and Gail Wiebe (Toevs) arrived in the village of Kotoura, Burkina Faso, believing that their work would only entail translation and linguistics. They had carefully laid out plans about how to present the good news of Jesus gradually and in culturally appropriate ways. According to their plan, they thought it would take 20 years before a church could be established, which was fine with them. They were prepared to wait, and they prayed for the Holy Spirit to lead them.
What they were not prepared for was how quickly the Holy Spirit would work.
After arriving, Anne and Gail asked the acting chief of Kotoura for a language teacher. He assigned his son, Tiéba Traoré, to work with them. One day, Tiéba became intrigued with the story of the prodigal son and his loving father, from Luke 15.
"Wow! What a wonderful story! Tell me more!" Tiéba requested. "You tell me and I'll tell [my people]."
He wanted to know more about God and God's power in the world. After almost a year and a thousand questions later, he believed in Jesus Christ. He became the first Christian as a result of Mennonite witness in Burkina Faso, and was eager to share his newfound faith.
"Within 11 months of our arrival, we had young Christians to mentor," Anne said. "We were expected to learn the language and prepare the way for evangelistic missionaries!"
Three decades later, Tiéba's witness touched many other's lives and even inspired his own son, Hamidou, and daughters, Rachel and Lois, to pursue biblical training. Hamidou eventually became a pastor of a church he helped to plant, and Rachel and Lois together initiated evangelism in neighboring villages, and continue to serve in the Mennonite Church.
"I love God's word and deepening my understanding of it," said Hamidou.
Today, Eglise Evangélique Mennonite du Burkina Faso, the Mennonite Church in Burkina Faso, has 25 congregations and more than 700 members.
that all of us can be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit, especially when the results challenge our plans or assumptions.
Discerning God's call
by Tonia Martin
Tonia Martin, personnel counselor at Mennonite Mission Network, offers the following practical steps to tune into God's voice.
1. Live your life faithfully today in your current circumstances; find ways to love God and love your neighbor.
2. Identify and develop your gifts and talents.
- Think about who you want to be, who you are becoming, and how you want to live.
- Listen to wise counsel.
- Take some time. If you can, take a gap year. It's not just for young adults. Any time that you can afford to take and focus on vocation is great.
- Take seriously what you love, and uncover what you are good at, rather than focusing on what you, or others, think you should be doing.
3. Listen for God's call for how to use your gifts and talents, even if it interrupts your own life plans. Learn more about who God created you to be and then live into that purpose.
God’s word finds fertile soil in Burkina Faso
<img alt="Faith in Action" src="https://assets.mennonites.org/PublishingImages/2017/Beyond_FIA_Nov_C17-200_Cover.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />