Local church earns local trust

By October 18, 2010

Burkina Faso (MNN) — Corruption and embezzlement plague development
organizations and non-governmental organizations in Burkina Faso. For this reason, it's unusual for groups like
Compassion International to earn the trust of the local Muslim people. 

Unusual, but not impossible. Compassion partners with local churches to do ministry, and the people
know that the church stands for godliness and integrity. Because they trust the church, their hearts
are beginning to open to the Gospel. 

One of these people is the father of a gentle 11-year-old boy named
Abdoulaye. Abdoulaye's father struggles
to make ends meet and to avoid having to go back to the village and turn over the
children to relatives. He struggles to
provide running water, lighting, and food. The family cooks only one meal a day and eats leftovers for the rest of
the meals. 

In March of 2006, Abdoulaye's father could no longer afford to pay his
school bills. That's when Abdoulaye was registered
at a child development center through Compassion International. Now the center pays his school fees, and a
volunteer coaches the children at the center in their studies. 

"Since his registration, I have not spent a penny on medical care for
Abdoulaye when he is sick. And I have not bought any clothes for him. All these
things are provided by the center," Abdoulaye's father said with a pleased
smile. "The center often gives Abdoulaye
some food supply that is useful for the whole family."

Now Abdoulaye is also excelling academically. Before he came to the child development
center, he struggled to pass his classes.
This year, he ranked at the top of his class in the school's second
term. He likes playing soccer and
marbles, and dreams of joining the army. 

The lives of Abdoulaye and his family have been blessed not only physically
and academically, but also spiritually. Abdoulaye
brings his illustrated Bible home from school. His siblings love to read it, and his father looks at the pictures even
though he cannot read. The whole family
listens to Abdoulaye read the stories. Abdoulaye
also prays for his family. 

"I am a Muslim, and I have studied the Koran," Abdoulaye's father said. "But, I should confess that the church is
trustworthy and I trust them fully. I
once fell sick and was helpless. My religious group tried but could not heal
me. I was relieved after a certain
pastor prayed for me."

Abdoulaye's father said he would be happy to become a Christian, but if
he did, his extended family would treat him and his family and outcasts.

"If it was possible to have two religions I would take Christianity as
my second; I trust the church so much!" he explained. 

Palamanga Ouali, Country Director of Compassion Burkina, explained that
God has ordained the local church to minister to people holistically, as Jesus
did. "The Church is the Bride of Christ
through which the world should know the Lord, and to my knowledge God has not
planned an alternative," she said. 

The local church has earned the trust of the community. Pray now that the Holy Spirit will reveal the
Lord to the people, in all His holiness, justice, and mercy. Pray for people to come to know the one true
God, and that as a result they will have the strength to bear witness to Jesus
Christ despite the disapproval of their families and neighbors. 

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