I now have a thirst for more opportunities to participate in mission
‘If we don’t evangelise any more, we are no longer IFES movements.’
This was the conclusion of Elysée Badolo, General Secretary of UGBB Burkina Faso, after their biennial mission conference in August. Around 600 high school and university students from around the country, and also from Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Togo, met to discuss various aspects of mission including prayer, outreach to Muslims and management of resources.
Elysée writes: ‘48 students decided to support the ministry financially and 109 students decided to form online prayer networks called “intercession without borders”. Additionally, 76 students decided to go on the field as missionaries in their free time. UGBB will send them out to lead bible study groups and support missionaries already there in various ways such as training youth in computer skills or tutoring in maths and English.’
After the conference, we spoke with several of the students who will be sent on mission trips by UGGB. Wendtoin Ouango spoke about how helping start the student ministry in his school has inspired him. ‘When I saw the first fruits of this work I was greatly encouraged. I now have a thirst for more opportunities to participate in mission.’
Harouna Bonkoungou also told us how a past experience prepared him for his current commitment to mission. ‘I have a Muslim friend who really likes coming to my home and we love talking together. One day I told him about Jesus Christ and since then he has given himself completely to the Lord and we attend the same church now. This made me realise that I really have something to give to people.’
In a country where over 50% of the people are Muslim there are special difficulties and opportunities. Ouattara Abdoulaye comes from a Muslim background. ‘The question of what happens after death had always troubled me,’ he wrote, ‘I got the answer by coming to Christ. Now I'd like to go to my Muslim friends and my family who are very involved in Islam, to share the good news with them. We are only two Christians in my family, my brother and I. Bringing the good news so that everyone can find salvation; that is what motivates me.’
These three testimonies are just a small part of what God is doing among students in Burkina Faso. Elysée continues, ‘I say thank you to God that evangelism is a strength of our movement. Pray for the challenge of following up in our efforts to reach out: it is very important, but it’s also something that takes time and the appropriate means, especially with Muslim students who may face rejection from their families.’
Please pray for students in Burkina Faso as they go on short-term missions but also as they seek to reach out in a holistic way in the long-term to those around them.