Progress Under Pressure in the West African Church
Since early in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has had significant effect on the church worldwide. Many countries have imposed travel restrictions, lockdowns, and insisted that churches not gather until the virus is under control. Of course, these measures have also had unanticipated negative impact on economies and social structures that have also posed challenges to evangelism and discipleship.
Despite these potential problems, the people of God continue to find ways to share the gospel with those around them. We have previously reported that churches in Burkina Faso had decided that, while they could not meet in person, they would use the available means of communication to do discipleship work using the Simple Truths books. The books were distributed to multiple families in the churches and the leaders would conduct individual teaching sessions with families using WhatsApp. The new demand on the books caused some of the copies to ‘wear out’. As a result, Clear and Simple Media (CSM) partnered with people on the ground in Burkina Faso to print several thousand more copies in French and three tribal languages.
This week, we were pleased to hear from our friend Nebié Badiou. He has been coordinating most of the CSM projects in Burkina, including the publishing and distribution of the Gourmantché language project for the Fada-N’Gourma region in the eastern part of the country. Because that region has faced, not only the complications of the pandemic, but also increased rebel activity, it has been difficult to get news about the work there. After speaking with a pastor and SIM Board Member there, Nebié reports that, not only have the majority of the books been distributed, but that the churches are regularly using the books in both Gourmanchema and French, to train all of the new believers in preparation for baptism.
Most of the readers of these posts live in Canada, the United States, or other Western Countries. While the pandemic has been difficult on us ‘westerners’, the impact of what is happening in the developing world, particularly in Africa, have been devastating. Please continue to pray for the church around the world, and particularly in the developing world, as it navigates new challenges – and, thankfully, sees God move among them in unprecedented ways.