Today’s post comes to us from former Camp Director Lindsay Evancho. Lindsay recently led a team of FUGE staffers to Dakar, Senegal in West Africa for a week long mission trip. She worked camp for 5 summers, and most recently served as the director at the University of the Cumberlands. Though this was her first time to Africa, Lindsay has previously done missions in Peru and Nicaragua, as well as around the US. She hopes to serve internationally long-term. Lindsay loves the Louisville Cardinals and making fruit smoothies.
At Fuge, we are advocates for mission work around the world. We pray for missions, give to missions, and are challenged to serve. In March, a group of Fuge staffers were obedient to the call to serve in Dakar, Senegal.
If you are like us, you may be wondering where on earth is Dakar? It is the capital of Senegal, a country in West Africa. It sits as a costal mega city on the Western most tip of Africa. The country is predominately Muslim with an under layer of animism from tribal groups in Senegal. The people are extremely friendly, greet everyone they meet (even children), value family, and hold peace to the highest importance. Neighborhoods are safe due to the Muslim influence. Despite all this, the Senegalese’s need for a Savior is so great that even daily sounds remind you of how lost they are. Waking up to prayer calls from mosques, hearing drums and tribal chants, and being reminded that we all serve the same god are just the beginnings of a long road toward eternal life change.
Our small group worked alongside an urban team of missionaries who are striving to share the gospel and teach English in the poorest neighborhoods of Dakar. Our mornings were spent walking the sandy streets of Grand Yoff, greeting people and engaging in conversation with hopes of sharing truth and the gospel. Often labeled as “tubobs” (Wolof for white person), people constantly asked why we were in Senegal. Such a perfect way to share our faith even through a translator in another language or two (Senegalese speak multiple languages like Wolof and French)! One morning, we were sitting in a small shop talking with a tailor when the ground outside the shop caved in as a dump truck was trying to turn around in the street. Such a close call put everyone in direct communication with God not to mention huddled together! Another morning, we witnessed a bar owner accept Christ. He had heard the gospel before but wanted to know more so he sought out the tubobs. Praise God for what He allows us to witness by just being obedient!
In the afternoons, we brought camp to Dakar by hosting an English camp and kids club. Our English camp was filled with games, dramas about the life of Joseph, and movie time. Participants were university students and adults who were currently taking English classes at the Baptist Center (run by missionaries). We discussed forgiveness, mercy, love, and Jesus during these sweet times of fellowship and study. Our kids club was full of loud games, dramatic story telling, and a little craft action. Such a joyous time of seeing little faces simply be children without the hardships of a life full of poverty. Unable to share the gospel with children due to Senegalese law, we shared love and Bible stories that we are praying they remember.
Our week was short, but definitely impactful in our lives and hopefully the lives of others. We will not forget those who call Dakar home. The urban team of missionaries has a mountain to climb in reaching people through conversations. We pray that partnership churches will continue to see needs and respond to the call of sharing with these neighborhoods. May God do great things with the people of Senegal.
But wait . . . what about you? Continue to pray for the work in Senegal and sub-Saharan Africa. Continue to give to the cause. But, what about going? Let’s remember that God chose the church to share his gospel. Ephesians 3:10 states, “so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known. . .” Our Creator could have chosen any way to make Himself known, but He chose us! That’s a huge deal. It doesn’t even mean jumping on the next plane to Africa. It means looking at the person in the desk next to you, in line behind you, or at the end of your street and sharing. It means finally going to the people group that God has placed on your heart. It means not taking the task entrusted to us lightly. It means being a generation obedient to the call to action. It simply means go. For the glory of God alone.
The Senegal team: Lindsey Evancho, Rachel Freeny, Kelsey Copeland, Whitney Durham