Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hello from Burkina

Sorry about the scarcity of posts. Our internet connection here in Gaoua is very slow, and costs a lot so we might not be able come on very often. We have got our car from Ivory Coast and we have found a house, so things are moving.


Eleven days after leaving Northern Ireland we finally arrived at our destination in Burkina Faso. We got into the little town of Gaoua [ga-wa], nestled in the rolling hills of southwest Burkina, early Thursday afternoon, February 9. It is a little cooler here than it was in the capital, Ouagadougou, but it is still pretty warm. It is averaging around 35C/96F in Gaoua at the moment, and destined to get hotter in March and April.

We had an encouraging encounter on the journey down from Ouagadougou. After three or four hours of driving we stopped at a little African restaurant for a break. While we were sitting there drinking our coffee a van-load of white folks pulled in. As they got out of their vehicle we could hear them speaking English, so we said hello as they walked past.

One of the ladies stopped to chat and we discovered that most of the group were Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) leaders on a trip to Burkina Faso. (CMA is a large evangelical church and mission organisation in the US.) We explained who we were, and what we were doing in Burkina. The lady, Amy, was the wife of the CMA director in Burkina.

One of the men (the CMA vice-president, I think) came back from getting a Coke and whispered to Amy, and asked if we were in Burkina in the Name of Christ.

The rest of the group, including the leader of the CMA, started gathering around us and we told them how we had had to leave Ivory Coast because of the war, and how the Lord had brought us back to Africa to resume working on the Bible translation in the Loron language. Out of the blue one of the group suggested that they should pray for us as we embarked on this new ministry among the Loron people.

So, right there, in a little roadside coffee stand in the middle of dry, dusty Burkina, shaded from the hot midday sun by a thin straw roof, these mission leaders put their hands on our shoulders as one of the men proceeded to ask the Lord’s blessing on the ministry the Lord had called us to. Needless to say we were very touched and heartened by their concern and spontaneity. We thank the Lord for the help we have received from the wider missionary community since we have arrived in Burkina.

We are currently staying with some WEC missionaries who minister here in Gaoua among the Lobi tribal people. We have started looking for a house to live in. Please pray that we will quickly find something suitable at a reasonable price. The sooner we find somewhere to live, the sooner we will be able to get back into Bible translation, literacy and evangelism among the Loron people.
There is a possibility that we may be able to get our pickup truck brought up to us from Ivory Coast. An African pastor who has been taking care of our vehicle in Ivory Coast since the war broke out has offered to try to bring it to Burkina for us. If things work out as planned we could have the vehicle by next week.


We have been staying in Ouagadougou [wa-ga-do-goo], the capital city of Burkina Faso for a few days to gather up some food and other supplies. Today we bought a 110cc motorcycle. After spending a couple of days in Paris last week getting a visa for Burkina, and waiting for our flight, we finally arrived safely in Burkina Faso last Thursday night (Feb. 2).

On Saturday night we meet some men from the Friends in Action mission (formerly Friends of NTM) who are in Burkina Faso drilling wells. One of their African workers is in Ivory Coast at the present time, and they suggested that he could maybe bring our truck from Ivory Coast to us here in Burkina. He has done it before with other vehicles. We have been checking to see what paperwork would need to be completed to allow this to happen, and it seems like it is a real possibility.

We have arranged transportation to Gaoua [ga-wa], the little town near the Ivory Coast border where we are planning to live. We hope to travel there on Thursday with an African man who has a Toyota Landcruiser. We will put the motorcycle on the roofrack!

When we get to Gaoua we will start looking for a house to rent. There are a couple of possibilities, but nothing definite yet.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers over the past couple of weeks. It was very difficult leaving all our friends and family. We would appreciate your continued prayers.