Thursday, April 11, 2013

Celebrating in the Sand By Matt Paschall, Senegal Partnership

Matt and I have worked together for nearly 15 years and I have enjoyed our times of training people for short term trips, working toward their fielding to West Africa and the partnership. This is part one of a two part short series. I'll send the next one in a week so you don't feel disconnected.

This partnership creates collaboration between churches, businesses and the ministry in Senegal. The goal is to reach 400 unreached villages. Partners work together with to create friendship
and trust and together with village leadership they tackle difficult holistic issues associated with life in the rural interior of Senegal. A Senegalese church planter develops relationships and discipleship starting with village leadership and leads all work. My numbers may be a little out of date but MIS is working in nearly 70 villages with churches established in approximately 40. Matt Paschall describes some of the process in the story and video.

Saturday, March 16th, was an exciting day in Kotiokh (pronounced "ko-cho") where 58 new believers from five nearby villages came together to celebrate their new life in Christ. A big tent was set up with a sound system and over 300 people came from miles away to witness the event. This was also a community wide celebration of the newly completed church building.

Eight years ago, I still remember ministering in this village for several days and gathering with all of the believers under a large neem tree in front of Wally Senghor's house. Before we left, Wally and his brother told us that they would donate part of their field for space to build a church. We continued to pray for them and seek how God might provide the funds for the cement and raw materials.

When I visited Kotiokh back in the summer of 2011 with a short-term team from Peekskill, New York. We stood inside the unfinished church walls on a dirt foundation with about 100 people and the youth choir lead in worship, "This is the Day that the Lord Has Made" in Serere, Wolof, French and English. Pastor Corby Angle prayed to dedicate the building which was 75% finished.

Now the church has a new tin roof, metal doors and windows. In January, we took my in-laws out to see the completed church construction. Now just two weeks before Easter, what a joy it was to see the fruit from so many years continue to grow and multiply. Then standing outside at the baptismal basin, the powerful message of Easter resurrection enacted before imams and moms, as people gave public testimony of their faith in Christ!With my shoes still wet from the splash of several immersions and my pant legs splattered in sandy mud from standing in the front row, there is no place I would rather be to celebrate the resurrection and there is no greater joy than seeing new lives forever changed.

Our God is Mighty to Save!

This is your investment. This is your joy.

Mark Szymanski

Won’t you please consider joining our financial support team? You can send contributions to: United World Mission, PO Box 602002, Charlotte NC 28260-2002 and write ACCT# 11013 in the memo line. Further info about on-line giving and other programs see Thank you to our present supports that allow us to impact the many lives across the planet. Again, THANKS!

Next week, part 2, The Baptism!

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