New Partners in Metro Dakar

By Tom Castor | February 21, 2020 |

At the beginning of each year, we review where we have been and then set goals and develop strategies for the year ahead. In our review of 2019, we came to see in the data what we had already sensed intuitively. Last year had been a growth year. We have had years in which we have engaged in larger projects. But we had never experienced the volume of requests to be involved in new projects that we did last year. And it looks as if this trend will not be slowing down anytime soon.

We are not high-profile. Nor do we do aggressive marketing. And yet, the requests for what we do keep coming.

Let me illustrate. 

The second week in February, we received an email. The note came from missionaries who lead the Converge Metro Dakar Initiative in Senegal. Converge missionaries have been working with the Wolof people in Senegal for decades. However, this new initiative intends to be a catalyst for a new gospel movement among the least reached people there. 

After the usual greetings were two questions. Is the Travel Guide available in French? Would you be interested in making the book available in the Wolof language? 

The Wolof are the largest of the tribal groups in Senegal. Although French is the official language of Senegal, Wolof is the primary spoken language in Dakar (<6 million Wolof speakers in Senegal). The vast majority of the Wolof are Muslim, but many of their pre-Islamic beliefs remain deeply embedded in their worldview. Although faithful missionaries have worked with them for decades, there are few evangelical Christians among the Wolof (0.01%, according to The Joshua Project).

Over the next several days, we exchanged multiple emails. Yes, the book is available in French. Yes, we would be interested in helping. But first, we needed to get answers to a few questions.

How would we ship the French books to Dakar? Would it be best to print the books in-country? How could we find a competent Wolof translator? How could we craft a culturally appropriate cover design? How could we develop a quality control strategy? What is the distribution strategy? How could we integrate the use of the French website (www.vérité being used in other francophone countries in West Africa with the promotion and distribution of the print material? As we worked through the questions, we agreed to pray for wisdom and clarity about what we needed to do next.

After a few more days and multiple emails, some research, and networking, we felt that we had adequate answers to most of our questions. So, as of February of 2020, Clear and Simple Media is partnering with the Metro Dakar Initiative leaders to reach the Wolof in Senegal. 

We are looking forward to working with our Converge colleagues on the project. And we also anticipate that, if the trend continues, we will be announcing more projects like this one soon. 

Please pray that we will have the wisdom to know how to overcome the obstacles that will inevitably arise as we move ahead with this project. Pray that we will know how to respond to the other project requests that will come our way over the next weeks and months. 

[You can find a brief description of the Metro Dakar Initiative HERE]

Tom Castor

Thomas Castor, founder of Clear and Simple Media Group, is a seasoned writer and communicator who has been delivering content with clarity and simplicity for 30 years.