I’ve felt conflicting emotions upon my return last month from West Africa. I’m grateful to be safely home after a chaotic military coup took place just days after my arrival in Burkina Faso. And yet part of my heart is still in Africa. I feel a weight of concern for our leaders, who are serving in the face of uncertainties and trials.
As many of you know, Burkina Faso and other parts of West Africa have been rocked the last few years by rising Islamist violence. Two thousand Burkinabe died in 2021 alone, and 1.5 million have been displaced. Churches and schools in the northern and eastern parts of the countries are closed out of fear. The work of our Burkinabe leaders has often been challenging and painful.
Part of my heart is still in Africa. I feel a weight of concern for our leaders, who are serving in the face of uncertainties and trials.
Knowing these difficulties, I was looking forward to visiting West Africa and offering support in any way I could. After attending a regional gathering of leaders in Ghana, I arrived in Burkina Faso on January 21st to meet with Kingdom Investment leaders. My goal as we gathered was to mourn together, to provide refreshment, and to encourage. I wanted to be the voice of the American church to Burkinabe Christians; to tell them, "We see you, we hear you, you are not alone."
The day after our gathering, on Sunday, gunfire erupted in the city. Military personnel moved through Ouagadougou. By late Monday afternoon, a military spokesman appeared on television to announce the president’s ouster. An uncertain environment became even more chaotic and frightening. So we did the only thing we could do: we prayed. We prayed for the government, we prayed for the church, we prayed for our leaders.
An uncertain environment became even more chaotic and frightening. So we did the only thing we could do: we prayed.
We prayed because God is sovereign over everything that is happening. In the midst of cultural convulsions, God is growing his church. This is true around the world, and it is true in West Africa.
Despite chaos driven by Islamist violence, political instability, and the pandemic, the church in Burkina Faso is growing at a rate of 4% annually, according to the Joshua Project. Jesus predicted this when he said, "I'm going to build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it."
Despite chaos driven by Islamist violence, political instability, and the pandemic, the church in Burkina Faso is growing at a rate of 4% annually.
As Jesus builds his church in West Africa, Kingdom Investment is privileged to join him. We walk alongside pastors and leaders, we pray, and we look for creative, innovative ways of doing church in times of persecution and instability. Thank you for walking alongside us too. Here are a couple key items to pray for:
Pray for wisdom for pastors as they seek creative new ways to minister in a volatile environment.
Pray for the Kingdom Investment leadership in Burkina Faso, that they would be light in the darkness as they continue in church-planting, micro-lending, water well drilling, the agricultural development program, and other kingdom work.
Watch: the KII clinic in action
Your prayers make a difference. As the coup unfolded in Burkina Faso, I was deeply comforted knowing prayer warriors in Ohio and elsewhere were lifting us up. It was a great reminder that we're not doing this work alone. I thank God that after much uncertainty – and after waiting in the longest lines I’ve ever witnessed at a travel agency (I was number 747 in line!) – a way was paved for me to come home.
I trust you will join me in remembering our brothers and sisters in West Africa. Pray for them as they seek to expand God’s kingdom in our troubled world. And join us in thanking God that no matter what happens, He is sovereign, and He will grow his church!
Grateful for your partnership,