Day 2 – Oct. 15th

Today we took a trip out to visit the tribal chief who has sold Joseph some land, and to walk the land and meet the pastor who lives there. I was once again amazed at the vast number of people who live and/or have shops along the roadways. And I use the the term “shop” very literally, as these are not at all like the shops we normally frequent.

The chief was a delightful man with a great sense of humor. He didn’t understand anything we said, nor did we (Jim and I) understand anything he said. So Joseph did all the talking, this time in a language called Môré.

We listened and looked around at the chickens, goats, and other assorted animals that would wander by while we sat there. Joseph always brings the chief some gifts, so this time it was several loafs of bread, a new cell phone, and a Casio watch Jim donated to the cause.

When it was time to leave Joseph asked him if we could take his picture. He said yes, and that he especially wanted his picture taken with me! So we took several pictures, including maybe the first selfie on record featuring a Burkinabé tribal chief.

From there we drove on a series of paths that one would be generous in calling roads. Swerving around potholes and driving around trees, we eventually arrived at Pastor’s John’s house, which sits at what will eventually be the front gate of the church/school complex.

After visiting for a while we walked the property’s boundary, which have been marked by planted eucalyptus trees. Large concrete boundary posts mark the corners. Pastor John has something of a green thumb and has had success growing beans, corn, mullet, and watermelon. He also has chickens, guinea hens, sheep, and some goats. He speaks a dialect called Gourma, so once again Jim and I were only able to talk to him through Joseph.

That morning when Joseph picked us up he told us that his wife, Aimee, had come down with malaria. Evidently once you get it from mosquitoes it stays in your system and can reoccur during periods of stress, overwork and fatigue. Aimee is pregnant, and so after a night of vomiting she was taken to the hospital by Joseph’s mother. He dropped us off at our hotel, which is where we stayed the remainder of the day while he went to the hospital to be with her.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring … other than searing heat, of course!

By |2019-05-20T16:52:57+00:00October 16th, 2014|Church News|Comments Off on Day 2 – Oct. 15th

Day 1 – Oct. 14th

Since Internet access is so random and I never know when I might be able to post something, I’ve decided to head the posts with the day on which they were written. That way if I end up posting three in one day the correct order will be obvious.

Having been to Paraguay in 2006 I thought I had a pretty good idea of what a 3rd world country was like. I was wrong. Overall it definitely seems much poorer here than there. There is also still a very heavy tribal influence, though Joseph says that is slowly changing. For example, today I saw several young women with distinctive scarring on their faces, and Joseph said that it marks them as a member of a particular tribe.

We toured the school he founded today. The kids are pretty packed in the rooms he has available, but apparently nothing like the average size of the public school classes, which will make my daughter and daughter-in-law cringe – 150 kids in a class! The children all were very polite, respectful and well-behaved. They have pre-school, elementary, middle and high school students who are taught a wide variety of subjects, including English. It is impressive how much Joseph has done with so little, but he has a vision for all of it that he is intent on pursuing.

On the same block is Joseph’s house, and I got to listen to him telling Jim the story of being confronted by angry Muslims with machetes in the very spot it happened. The mosque of the most radical of all the Muslim sects in Ouagadougou is located right across from the school. Because of his accomplishments they respect him and leave him alone, but he said you do not want to play with them because it would be like jumping in a fire.

Tomorrow we are heading out to visit the chief who gave Joseph the land for the church and spend some time walking it. It is also the day when we will visit the crocodiles!

By |2019-05-20T16:53:30+00:00October 16th, 2014|Church News|Comments Off on Day 1 – Oct. 14th

First Impression

After twelve hours in airplanes and another four in the Brussels airport we finally arrived in Ouagadougou at 3:45 p.m. local time (which was 11:45 a.m. Monday in Virginia).

Flying into the city and looking down at it through the airplane’s windows was interesting. The first thing I noticed was the lack of paved roads; with the exception of the city itself, all the surrounding roads are reddish brown hard-packed earth. The other thing was the preponderance of single story buildings.

The ride from the airport to the hotel was fascinating. Like many European cities there are more motor scooters than cars, and driving is pretty much a free-for-all. The roadsides are full of ramshackle stalls selling all manner of goods. Lots of goats, chickens, and the occasional scrawny water buffalo, too. Kids try to sell stuff to cars stopped at intersections. It all amounts to country that is relatively poor, with everyone trying to make some money however they can.

Joseph is thrilled to have us here. He says it’s the first time anyone has come here from America specifically to see him. which made us feel very honored. After he got us checked in at the Hotel des Conferences, and helped us order dinner, we talked for a while about plans for the week before he went home to his family. Tomorrow we are meeting his family and visiting the school to meet the kids.

Thank you for your continued prayers. BTW, the bed is sans footboard. Yea, God!

By |2019-05-20T16:54:46+00:00October 14th, 2014|Church News|Comments Off on First Impression

Facts about Burkina Faso

Here are some facts about the country of Burkina Faso, courtesy of the Compassion web site.

Capital: Ouagadougou

Population: 18,365,123 (2014 estimate)

French (official),
native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90 percent of the population.

Muslim 60.5%,
Christian 23.2% (Roman Catholic 19%, Protestant 4.2%),
animist 15.3%

Literacy rate (age 15 and over can read and write):
Male: 36.7%
Female: 21.6%

Percentage of population using improved drinking water sources:
Urban: 96.4%
Rural: 74.1%

Percentage of population using adequate sanitation facilities:
Urban: 50.1%
Rural: 6.5%

Climate: Tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers

Percentage of population urbanized: 26.5%

Life expectancy:
Male: 52.77 years
Female: 56.85 years

Number of people living with HIV/AIDS: 114,500

Percentage of population living below $1.25 a day: 45%

By |2019-05-20T16:55:15+00:00October 11th, 2014|Church News|Comments Off on Facts about Burkina Faso

Why am I going to Burkina Faso?

In the Vineyard, the primary way of doing missions abroad is to focus on planting churches. While there is nothing wrong with a short-term missions project, planting a new church has the greatest potential for ongoing evangelism and community benefit.

Church planting of this sort is usually done in partnerships – various churches coming together to do something none of them could accomplish individually. Because of our existing relationship with Joseph Dayamba and his ministry in Burkina Faso, it was a natural fit for a partnership. Currently there are no Vineyards in Burkina.

After bringing this new partnership to the attention of other Vineyard churches in our area, the Charlottesville Vineyard, pastored by Jim and Megan Bleakley, decided to join in with us. Jim will be accompanying me on this trip. The Vineyard Missions group responsible for West Africa is paying for our air fare and our lodging, so our only expense will be meals.

Our purpose is primarily to build relationship with Joseph and check into what’s been done and what needs to be done to make this new church a reality. While there we will be meeting with the staff of his school, checking out the land he has been given (the likely spot for the new church), and doing door-to-door evangelism in the Muslim community, among other things. He has even given me the honor of preaching a service for them on Sunday the 19th.

Please be in prayer for Jim and me. Primary prayer needs are for smooth, delay-free travel to Ouagadougou and back, no jet lag, protection from sickness and disease, and most of all a powerful move of God!

And please pray my bed at the hotel doesn’t have a footboard!


By |2019-05-20T16:55:57+00:00October 10th, 2014|Church News|Comments Off on Why am I going to Burkina Faso?