Quite a Yield – 520 Decisions for Christ in West Africa
The Gambia River is a long way from Arizona, but that’s not stopping one church community in Flagstaff from introducing West African people to Jesus.
Flagstaff Christian Fellowship was born out of a railroad chapel car that rolled into town in 1926 to evangelize and provide opportunities for worship and Christian fellowship. That beautiful initiative — to bring Christ to those who otherwise would not know him — continues today as this generous church family shares the love of Christ locally and globally.
One such effort to share Jesus’ love globally takes the form of a Christmas campaign to sponsor the Global Recordings Network (GRN) team telling the story of Jesus in Gambia and Guinea-Bisau.
Typically this annual effort begins in December, but this year great enthusiasm and extra resources enabled the missionaries based in Gambia to begin their outreach a month earlier than scheduled. That extra time in the field produced quite a yield for Christ: Thousands of West Africans heard the story of Jesus for the first time and 520 individuals decided to follow Christ. Four small churches were established, too.
Augustus McJohnson, a missionary serving full-time with the GRN Gambia team, says the prayers and financial support of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship was critical to this success. “Their prayers were of great help to us, as God intervened a number of times on our behalf when the devil tried to attack.
Their finances helped us to reach people.”
GRN recordings were a vital part of this evangelism. Augustus reports that their team distributed 127 mp3 players and 152 memory cards containingGRN audio recordings in eight languages and dialects: Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, Mankanya, Balanta Quenthole, Papel, Manjaco and Portuguese Creolo. Small
mp3 players can be purchased for about $3 there, so the memory cards are an ideal format for distribution.
The missionaries also showed films that portray the power of Satan as a weaker power compared to God’s power and demonstrate the consequences of offering sacrifices for the dead and receiving spirit gifts from idol priests. “We felt the need to show these films because of the high rate of idol worship and animal sacrifices in Guinea-Bissau,” Augustus explains. “We estimate that about 7,000 people watched these movies during our outreach campaign.”
The ministry of GRN is enhanced by partnerships that allow us to go places we otherwise cannot go, record languages we otherwise cannot record, and serve people we otherwise cannot serve. In addition to the support of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship, the president of the Evangelical Church of Gambia donated 100 mosquito nets to this outreach, enabling our missionaries to minister to the body, as well as the soul.
While this project produced some incredible immediate results, other seeds sown will take more time and prayer to grow.