Assembling the Pieces
AFRICA Part Six
SIM has been engaged in missions in Burkina Faso for almost 100 years. They have been responsible for planting hundreds of churches among multiple people groups, especially in the eastern part of the country. But they have also been responsible for gathering and placing missionaries and competent support personnel in central Burkina Faso. We were on our way to meet one of them.
Mathias Apovo is Togolese. He has worked with SIM to develop their English for Everyone (EFE) program in Ouagadougou. He assisted in expanding that program and would eventually help to create an English Language school where he now works. Mathias is fluent in English and French. And he is trained in computers, graphic design, and project management. Several weeks ago, when I asked Nebié to find people he knew who spoke English to read the English site, Mathias was one of the first to volunteer. So, when we stopped at the school and sat in a classroom, he was already very familiar with the website design, the content, how the online courses worked, and what we hoped to do. As we settled in for our conversation, he looked at us and said, “I think God wants me to be involved in this project.” Before we arrived to meet Mathias, I knew several things about him. It was what I did not know that he told us next. In addition to being a teacher, translator, and administrator, Mathias is one of the principals of Blue Diamond Leading Solutions. BDLS is a company that builds and maintains websites and creates software solutions for businesses in West Africa – primarily businesses that are sympathetic to the Gospel cause.
Many other parts of the November 2, 2022 story are worth sharing. But for now, I will finish with this.
I went to Africa with a pile of questions. The answers to those questions would determine whether our French project could ever become a reality. Could we build a website and populate it with all the simple English content that had taken so many years to develop? Could we translate it all into simple, West African-friendly French and put it into the hands of the leaders of the Church in Burkina Faso? Did it have the potential to become a tool that God might use to bring people to Jesus and build up his Church? The answer to all of those questions was no, not without the help of competent people.
As I crawled under my mosquito net that evening and reviewed one very long day, I knew that God had used the men I met to answer those questions. In fact, these new friends had, in multiple ways, become the answer. There are many more details to work through. There is much more work to be done. But after one truly surprising day, I know that it is time to abandon doubt, and move ahead.
Thank you to those who prayed with us for this trip. We are so very grateful. And with much confidence, I can assure you, God heard. God answered.