Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” If there ever was a verse that sums up a trip this is the one. In October, a two-man team from Living Hope was able to go down new roads and into new villages that we have not gone to in the past. As we went from village to village we could clearly see that God had prepared and ordained our way. The plans we had made as we were preparing for the trip were being rewritten. God led us along the roads that he had prepared rather than the ones we had planned to take. It is greatly encouraging to feel God’s guiding hand and to see His clear directions as He led us from one hungry soul to another. The Word says in John 10:27, ”My Sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
We witnessed the excitement upon the faces of desert dwellers who for the first time in their lives tasted the living water. We saw a man born again in a birthing room as he heard the name of Jesus for the first time and was born again. We heard stories of missionaries who came over 20 years ago and who sowed seeds of the gospel that were finally ready for harvest. One man who heard the gospel 20 years before we came was finally ready to believe. On this trip we saw eight men come to faith in Christ. One can only wonder and be amazed by how many others may one day believe as a result of the preaching of the gospel through this trip and the many other trips that have happened and will happen through those who are faithful to send, to pray, and to go.
We concluded the week with a time of discipleship. We had the privilege of baptizing a new brother in Christ and the following day being able to begin discipling him along with others in the faith as we taught him truth from God’s word. Jesus says in Matthew 9:36-37 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’.”
As I personally reflect on this trip, I am at awe that God orchestrated my return to West Africa for a second time and I am thankful for the privilege of being a small part of God’s work among the Songhai as he draws more people to himself for his glory. I was encouraged to experience and see how the gospel brings forth light into darkness. As I sit and ponder the wonder of this trip and the miracles of seeing men come to faith and baptizing a brother in Christ, I eagerly await the day when I get to worship and fellowship with my Songhai brothers and sisters before God’s throne.
- Jason G, Living Hope Baptist Church