Senegal is a country of contrasts – arid desert in the north and lush tropical forest in the south. It is known for its political stability. While officially there is freedom of religious expression, 90% of the population is Muslim and it is common that new Christians suffer persecution from relatives.
GBUSS thanks God that they are seeing fruit from their work with high schools: dynamic leaders and students interested in bible study. Developing the high school ministry is a strategy to involve more Senegalese students at university level: currently most university GBUSS members are international students and GBUSS is trying to redress the balance.
The movement has a strong staff team who work well together. Among challenges that they face is the refusal of the private universities to allow the movement to start groups and a lack of finances which threaten training events for student leaders.
View from the inside
Rachel da Silva is the General Secretary of GBUSS. She says, ‘I am involved in this ministry because I know that this is where God wants me. What feeds my enthusiasm is to do the will of God and to see lives transformed. The testimony of students is an encouragement for me to persevere until I feel it is time to move on.’
Rachel adds, ‘I have no particular verses but whenever I am in a certain situation, the Lord reminds me or gives us a verse as a team to encourage us. At first, I was afraid when I realised the work that awaited me, moreover without the financial and other resources to deal with the many challenges. I can quote Isaiah 41:10 - “do not fear, I am with you” - as the verse that has sustained me greatly.’
- for increasingly committed GBU members, especially the Senegalese students;
- for finances to provide good discipleship training events for students;
- for the ministry among students to be more visible on campus.