From alcohol to smoking to pornography, the temptations that Gastón faces growing up in Burkina Faso, West Africa, aren’t any different from those in most North American contexts.
But the stakes are higher for him.
Some of Gastón’s boarding school classmates will sneak out at night, climbing over the school’s security wall to join the local party scenes.
“I often followed them over that wall and joined in,” Gastón said. Still, as a Christian living in a Muslim-majority country, every time Gastón made that climb, he knew he was hurting not only his own image, but Christ’s image.
For some of Gastón’s friends, he might have been their only personal connection to the Christian faith. So every time Gastón chose to go over the wall, he missed an opportunity to share what it means to follow Christ.
Gastón isn’t alone in his struggle. He has peers everywhere in his country—peers who love Christ as much as he does. Working with ReFrame Ministries’ French ministry team, young Christians are sharing their stories online to reach French speakers across West Africa. (ReFrame Ministries is the new name of Back to God Ministries International.)
Gastón regularly follows these programs, and they have helped him grow in his faith every day. In fact, he recently shared his own testimony in a new video from ReFrame’s French ministry team.
Now when Gastón faces temptations, he repeats a few words to himself:
“You’re a child of God, and you have to set a good example. You have to leave a mark on your generation, to leave a mark on those around you.”
A Turning Point
In addition to talking about temptations he faces, Gastón also shared his story of a near-death experience. While traveling home one day, Gastón was in a terrible motorcycle crash that left him in a coma.
“After coming out of the coma,” Gastón shared, “for three months straight I couldn’t even form a complete sentence. But one day, while I was in my hospital bed, I heard this inner voice saying, ‘If you believe, you will see the glory of God.’”
That time of suffering became a turning point for Gastón. He now wants to live every day for Christ alone.
The Christian Reformed Church’s work through ReFrame helps young Christians like Gastón know they are not alone in their faith journey and in the struggles that can come with it.
“I would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to take part in this program,” Gastón said.