Long-term impact through partnerships and commitment.

By February 21, 2006

Burkina Faso (MNN) — Thirty-one people from across the USA gathered to serve with Christian World Outreach for 10 days in Burkina Faso, West Africa, earlier in February. The team was a diverse mix of medical and dental professionals, teachers, youth directors, construction workers and others who gave of themselves to bring hope and encouragement to those they served.

Because of the team’s various skills, they were able to minister in a number of ways, and God used their willingness to work in and through them to show His love. CWO supports the ongoing ministry of a local church in Burkina Faso, pastored by Michel Ouedraogo. The team was a great encouragement to the church. CWO’s Greg Yoder says it was exciting to see God using the team’s impact in so many ways, “We’ve asked about short-term trips and are they worth it. And their response back is “Yes!” Because you’re an encouragement to them to keep working.”

Yoder says it’s about long-term impact and meaningful involvement and God used the team to do just that. “People are seeing that we are there. And we’re there to help them and make a difference and help the people in several different areas, their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs.”

Pastor Michel started a ministry to children and CWO is coming alongside to supplement what he began. It’s called “Village of Hope” and it’s a boarding school that educates children, including some orphans. Many are coming to know Christ in school and when they go back to their villages, they are making a difference there.

In one village, CWO and Pastor Michel have been developing a relationship with one of the chiefs, and Yoder believes that chief is being drawn toward Christ. “We’re seeing a change in his personality. As we go and he sees that we’ve started to build the building and we’re there for the long-haul. We’re not just coming in and taking advantage of them or anything. But he’s seen that through our lives that Jesus Christ is real, and that’s what we’re there for, is to share Christ through meeting physical needs.”

They’re in it to make a long-lasting difference, and through CWO’s commitment, people are seeing that Jesus Christ is real. Yoder asks prayer for continued effectiveness. “Pray that we will be able to make a difference just by showing Christ’s love, again meeting physical needs but also just sharing with those who are in the church and encouraging them to make a difference and continue to evangelize.”

They also need prayer for continued support, to keep their ministry going strong, “Pray that we will be able to continue to be an encouragement to the people there, and to meet their physical needs and share Christ, and share the reason why we come and why we’re there. And just pray that God will supply for all the needs that we have and to continue the ministry and to grow it as we see God leading us.”

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