Of Pandemics, Unrest, and Hope in West Africa

By Tom Castor | April 23, 2020 |

The Coronavirus has had many devastating effects on the world. Some of them have come directly from the sickness the virus causes. Other effects of the pandemic are not so straightforward.

In many countries, the virus has had a domino effect. The poorer countries have once again seen how their capacity to provide adequate medical care to its citizens is woefully lacking. That has caused civil unrest in some cases. That has, in turn, led to political instability. This political instability is being exploited by various groups who are intent on destabilizing the population. This destabilization has caused people to flee the hot spots and either become refugees or be internally displaced. That has disrupted the ability of the farmers to plant or harvest crops, which has led to food insecurity and further unrest.

One of the countries experiencing these cascading issues is Burkina Faso. Islamist forces have made random attacks on churches in the past months. In recent days, Burkina Faso security forces have been accused of executing detainees in an effort to curb terrorism. For years, camps in the northern part of the country have housed refugees who fled the civil war in Mali. Over the past several months, these Malian refugees have abandoned the camps to return to Mali, even though the unrest in that country is still widespread.

Clear and Simple Media has been working in Burkina Faso for a number of years now. Our book, Simple Truths, has been translated into the Bwaba, Mooré, Gormantché, Dyula, Dagara, and Cerma languages there, as well as French. More than 40,000 books are in print and in use in Burkina and Côte d’Ivoire.

Last week, we received a short update from Dieudonné Somé, a pastor and leader in Burkina Faso and one of our principal translators for the Dyula language. After talking briefly about the pandemic and his government’s response, he wrote:

This is a best moment that your book, the Simple Truths, will be a help (to us) very much. As the churches are closed, people are condemned (limited) to do family services. Many can not read the Bible, so they will refer to your book, I am sure.

Dieudonné Somé

We are thankful that God has allowed us to be of help to the Burkinabé church. Our French website, www.véritésimple.org, is receiving visitors day by day from Burkina Faso. Our social media ads targeting Benin and Togo are seeing favorable responses as well. Please pray for our friends in Burkina Faso and the other countries in Francophone West Africa. Pray that God might use these times of trouble to open peoples’ hearts to the hope of the gospel.

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.