Good Soil in Senegal

by Mar 14, 2024Articles

I am so thankful for our church’s continuing effort to spread the gospel in Senegal. By God’s grace, he has allowed us to be a small part of his incredible work in this region. Our most recent trip was yet another example of how God continues to use our ministry partners and our Southern Hills church family to advance his kingdom around the world.

Stories on the Islands

This trip was unique because we had the chance to visit several different islands to share the gospel and disciple believers. Sharing the gospel on the islands is a bit different than in America because the people are willing to take time to simply sit and hear what you have to say. They are incredibly hospitable and gracious hosts, so when we arrive at their homes or villages, they welcome us and set out chairs for everyone so we can sit down and visit. We always begin by asking about them, their family, their work, etc. because we want them to know that we genuinely care about them. After we’ve visited for some time, we begin sharing stories from the Bible and how those stories illustrate the gospel of Jesus Christ. After telling a Bible story, we often ask follow-up questions to help them engage with the narrative. Questions like: What do you like about this story? What do you not like about the story? What does this story teach us about God? What does this story teach us about man? What can we learn from this story? Because the local people we share with are from an oral culture, telling stories and asking questions helps them understand, remember, and process what truths these stories communicate.

Sowing the Word and Seeking Good Soil

After sharing with different individuals and groups throughout the week and playing the Jesus Film, a total of 15 people professed faith in Christ! This was an incredible answer to prayer. Please join us in praying that these professions of faith are genuine and that God will open more opportunities in the future to disciple and develop those open to the gospel.

As we shared with those we met, and as I have reflected on those conversations, the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 has frequently come to mind. You’ll recall that in that parable, Jesus tells his disciples of the different responses to the proclamation of the gospel. The first is that of one who did not understand the gospel, and Satan comes and snatches away what has been sown. The second is that of one who “hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away” (Matt. 13:20-21). The third is of one who heard the good news but is consumed by the cares and concerns of life. The final response is of the person who heard the word, understood it, and believed it. This is the one who would bear much fruit for the kingdom.

These are the same responses we received to the gospel as we proclaimed it on the islands. Some did not understand, and Satan is busily working to prevent those people from truly comprehending the good news of Christ. Others heard the word of Christ and received it joyfully but are among those who will ultimately fall away because they have no root in their heart. We pray this would not be the case for those who professed faith in Christ this week. Others may have been intrigued by the gospel, but the many concerns of life have choked out the word in their heart. Ah! But there are some, we desperately pray, who heard the word and believed it and who will bear much fruit for Christ.

A Glimpse of Glory

In addition to sharing the gospel, we had the opportunity to meet and fellowship with believers from one of the islands. In fact, several of the members of that local church joined our group one day as we traveled to a separate island to share the gospel. On the boat ride to and from this other island, we had the opportunity to study God’s word, hear personal testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness, and sing together. As we rocked up and down on the waves in our boat, we listened and sang hymns in English, French, and Jola together. Few experiences bring joy to one’s soul the way that worshipping the Lord Jesus with brothers and sisters in Christ does in a setting like this. It is a glimpse of the bliss of heaven where people from every nation, tribe, tongue, and language will stand before the throne and worship King Jesus together (Rev. 7:9).

A Call to Pray for Souls in Senegal

I am so thankful that our church family sent us to Senegal to work with our partners and to proclaim the gospel. I would plead with you to pray and persevere in prayer. Pray for the church in Senegal, that God would give them courage and steadfastness. Pray for our national partners who are working each day to advance the kingdom, that God would bless their work and fill them with his joy. Pray for those who have professed faith in Christ, that God would continue drawing them to himself and that their profession would be genuine. Pray that God would send his Holy Spirit and that we would witness a multitude of people come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray that God would do this for his glory and for the advancement of his kingdom. By his power, let us continue faithfully working to proclaim the gospel throughout Senegal and the rest of the world!

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