Thursday, May 13, was the last day of Ramadan, Eid-el-Fitr, which means "the festival of breaking the fast." This is the last day of a thirty day fast, and is a big holiday in the Muslim calendar. About 63% of the population of Burkina Faso is Muslim, 22% Christian, and so one would expect to see about 63% of the shops closed and 63% less traffic on the streets.
We had been told since we started working in Burkina Faso that Christians do not do business, but it became very obvious that day. Christians view business as secular. Business is worldly. During our workshop, pastors told us that members are afraid of becoming rich because they believe they won't get into heaven. They reminded us that Jesus whipped those selling in the temple, therefore business must be evil (this story is MUCH more complex than that!).
While poverty has decreased in total percentages globally, mostly because of business development in China and India, it has actually increased in Sub-Saharan Africa. The per capita income in Burkina Faso is $600 USD. Believing that business is evil doesn't help move a country toward poverty alleviation.
DML is also working with the Christian Missionary Alliance in Burkina Faso. They have 1000 churches throughout the country, and they called together a workshop with several other denominational leaders present as well. This is so important! For a denomination to recognize that we need to work together to reclaim the redeemed marketplace for Christ is critical. Workplace discipleship needs to be across many churches if we are going to see transformation! As a result, the Apostolic Church with 250 churches and 100,000 members has said yes to the DML ministry and said they are going to get started this Sunday!
We are so excited to have three denominations say yes to having workplace discipleship ministries in their churches in Burkina Faso!
But our teams here are not stopping within their borders!
The DML team in the Christian Missionary Alliance has also been teaching pastors in Gabon, and is training them to be trainers!
The DML team with the Assemblies of God in Burkina Faso has arranged for many denominational leaders to gather in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire and we are having a workshop with them on Monday and Tuesday.
So from the Ghana DML team came the link to Burkina Faso. From Burkina Faso, to Cote d'Ivoire and Gabon. And so it goes. We thank God for open doors and for people recognizing that this is a forgotten Biblical truth!
And we trust that He will continue to call and equip His people to have His will done on earth as it is in heaven! Thank you for your continued prayers! (And yes, I did receive my bags so thank you for those prayers as well!)
One more thing - on of our DML team members in Burkina Faso, Ismael Illa, married his beautiful bride Tabitha on Saturday and we were privileged to attend! It is so beautiful to see weddings in other cultures - there were many things that they did which I would love to see picked up in US weddings. Enjoy a couple of pictures and a very brief video of the "joining of the families" dance, where both families join together to bless the couple and their future children.
|Ismael putting the ring on Tabitha's finger, for all to see.|