Alliance News Feed – Children Come to Faith through Village Outreach
Adapted from a report by a medical worker serving in an Alliance women’s and children’s hospital in West Africa
Visiting a village is a welcome change of pace for me. My life is quite busy with responsibilities at the hospital and with other ministries, so one of my favorite things is to travel to these hamlets where life is slower paced and relationships are valued more than time. Although most villagers are impoverished in this country, one of the world’s poorest, they are so hospitable.
One Saturday last month 25 of our hospital staff loaded into four vehicles and headed to a village an hour away. As is our protocol, when we arrived we stopped first to greet the village leaders.
We then headed to an open-air shelter where we planned to do our health trainings, including lessons in preventative dental care—more than 90 percent of people who come to our hospital need teeth pulled or cavities filled.
Our evangelistic outreach team, composed of three local pastors and a tech helper, used their loudspeaker to announce our arrival to the villagers, inviting them to join us.
Little by little the group grew, and we began the health-training activities we had planned as well as Bible teachings. In this part of the world witchcraft and sorcery are prevalent, causing deep spiritual bondage.
- Two of our midwives taught the women who had joined us about good nutrition and prenatal care. (About 1 out of 15 women in this country die during pregnancy or childbirth.) Our dental-care worker explained good dental hygiene, and another team member told a Bible story.
- A group of men from the village gathered in a shaded area nearby. Robert, a layman who traveled with our team, shared his testimony and a Bible story. We later learned that the men asked many questions and there was good discussion about spiritual matters.
- Some of our hospital staff welcomed the nearly 100 curious children who also joined us—leading them in games, teaching a lesson in basic dental care, and sharing a Bible story.
It was about 1 p.m. when we completed all of the activities. With 100-plus degree temperatures and no water in the vicinity, I expected the villagers to rush home to eat lunch—or at least to go find some drinking water! But with music now playing through our loudspeakers, some of the village women began dancing in a circle, many showing off the toothbrushes they had received at the dental-training session.
Our outreach team remained in the village for several days; many families attended the evangelistic meetings in the evenings, and several young people accepted Christ. During the daytime hours, villagers visited with the pastors on the outreach and asked for prayer. Pray that God will also draw adults to Himself in this village.
Read “No Wins for the Dark Side,” a three-part series on additional village outreaches the author’s colleagues have conducted in West Africa.
Source: Alliance News Feed – Children Come to Faith through Village Outreach