A West African Pentecost

I recently traveled with CRWRC worker Ary Vreeken from Niamey, Niger, to a village called Bangiri about two hours away. The purpose of our trip was twofold: first, we were to welcome a national missionary from Burkina Faso, and second, we were to introduce me to the pastors, evangelists, and church leaders in the area.

The drive was beautiful. We followed the velvety green ribbon the Niger River makes through the dry Sahel. It’s amazing that life is possible even in such dry conditions. As we drove, we saw evidence of people planting millet and sorghum.

We arrived in Bangiri and were warmly greeted by local Christians and by Chimbula Lamoudi, the pastor in charge of missions in his church in Burkina Faso, and by Tinbangu Marigwa, the new missionary to the area. We met in a mud-block hut, newly built by the local Christians for the new missionary.

The significance of the occasion was not lost on anyone. Here was a missionary sent from the well-established church in Burkina Faso to the fledgling church in Niger. Here also was a missionary representing the established church in North America.

The prayers of God’s people in Niger, Burkina Faso, and North America had brought us together, united in God’s mission. Indeed a Pentecost experience!

Pastor Lamoudi challenged us to formulate a plan of action to bring the good news of the kingdom to the communities in the area. You couldn’t help thinking that the Holy Spirit was using this meeting in a tiny hut in the bush to prepare us for the great things he wants to accomplish for his kingdom. We presented the new missionary and his family with a goat and a bag of rice.

And before the delegation started its long journey home, we prayed for one another and for the advancement of God’s kingdom. It was wonderful to meet people who are dedicated servants of Christ in very harsh conditions. It is our great privilege to work with them.

About the Author

Henry Persenaire-Hogeterp and his wife, Ardell, are Christian Reformed missionaries in Niger, West Africa.
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