Matthew Djibougou sits under a 100- degree sun in Bilanga, Burkina Faso, and tells his story as a student now attending one of our diploma training programs for church-planters.
“I worked with Satan,” he says. “My whole family practiced spirit worship. The name of our god was Oubourou. I know now he was Satan.”
Today, this man who ‘worked with Satan’ is studying to be an evangelist to the Gourmanche people in his country. Matthew and 92 other pastors-in-training live with their families in very simple conditions on the Bilanga campus. They have little food and humble shelter, but what they lack in physical resources, they make up with a strong sense of God’s call on their lives to preach the gospel, plant churches, and make disciples.
Matthew and the others will eventually be sent as ministers of the gospel to Gourmanche villages. The Gourmanche are largely unreached in rural Burkina Faso.
They worship Oubourou (Satan), and other spirits like Utienu.
They don’t know about Jesus. But Matthew and the others want to answer God’s call to missions and go preach to them. Here is the rest of Matthew’s story…
Matthew grew up offering sacrifices to Oubourou, and seeking counsel from many other spirits. One day he became so ill that he could not get up. It was a serious situation. He lay in his hut, helpless and prepared to die.
But some Christians came to pray for Matthew. When they rebuked his illness in the name of Jesus, he immediately felt well! He got up and asked many questions about how to serve Jesus.
After his conversion, Matthew threw away his idols, charms and tools of spirit worship. Then, unexpectedly, the Lord called Matthew to be a minister of the gospel. Matthew married a Christian girl named Anna, and today they live on the campus of the Bilanga school.
“I want to be an instrument to bring people to Jesus,” Matthew says. “Someone came and told me about Him! Therefore, I have a duty to tell others that He is the true Savior.”
Matthew and the others students are farmers by trade. Hard currency is seldom used in this rural place. They must grow vegetables and raise chickens and goats for food, and pump drinking/cooking water from a nearby well. Most of the students are in similar situations. Rural Burkina is a hard place in which to live.
Think about this too. There are over 90 students. That’s 90 individuals and their families called to reach the unreached Gourmanche villages of Burkina Faso. But they will not be sent to preach the gospel until they have completed their training! So until they are trained, the people in this region will continue to worship Oubourou and other evil spirits. They will continue to be lost as slaves to spiritual darkness.
Our concern is to pray, equip, and partner with schools like the Bilanga Bible School in Burkina Faso. The quicker the students can be trained, the quicker the gospel can reach the Gourmanche!
Please pray for our training programs, teachers, and students in Bilanga. Pray that open doors will be open to advance the gospel in this region and through the training efforts of equipping pastors, church planters, and church leadership that will be instruments of God’s redemptive love to the peoples of Africa!