Senegal is somewhere between 4 and 6 percent Christian, and reports show that most in that percentage are Roman Catholic. The Joshua Project has found that only 0.2 percent of the nation are evangelical Christian.
Missions work is vital in the mostly-Muslim country, and a missionary family with The Mission Society felt the burden of the work immediately.
Adam Dalenburg says, "We spent our first couple of years trying to do everything for everyone."
The family preached, taught English as a second language, and tried to provide for the felt needs of as many as possible to live out Christ's love. But Adam soon had a revelation.
"During this time, a Wolof proverb came to mind: an alligator is always an alligator, but a log can never be an alligator. You see, we were logs among alligators—we were basically outsiders," explains Dalenburg. "So we needed to ask the question: what was the best way to achieve our goal of helping them help themselves?"
Out of these ponderings, the Dalenburgs have formed a discipleship program. Many people in Senegal have mixed Islam with African traditions and Christian teachings. They are excited to learn more about Christ and want to know the truth. The program allows them to share that, one-on-one.
The preliminary work was not for naught though, says Dalenburg. "We first need to earn the trust of the people in the little things, knowing that eventually they'll trust us with larger things such as their salvation," he says. "So as we look back, we see that God was building these relationships so that we could further His glory throughout Senegal."
Since forming this program, the Dalenburg family has been able to reach and train people in Christ's Word, multiplying ministry around the world.
One man from Togo came to Christ after losing his entire family. "He came to me hungry and thirsty for the Word of God. So we set up a meeting twice a week, and we inductively studied the book of Romans. It just really set him on fire," explains Dalenburg. "He has plans to go back to Togo and start a ministry there."
Now, "We are helping the Senegalese discover who they are in Christ and make positive lifestyle changes to further the body of Christ," Dalenburg adds.
Pray that God would continue to bless this budding ministry. Pray that many more lives would be changed as Senegal is slowly awakened to the Gospel.
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