Conversations: Meet Staff Member Adama Dembélé
Coverage Coordinator for Francophone Africa
Adama Dembélé was the national director for the Republic of Mali for 15 years before becoming the coverage coordinator for Francophone Africa in 2004. He married Niagani, which means "joy," in 1982 and they have three daughters. Adama has been a Campus Crusade for Christ staff member for 23 years.
Why did you join Campus Crusade for Christ?
In 1982, I was challenged by the Rev. Kassoum Keita, who was the director of affairs for Francophone Africa, to join Campus Crusade.
I wanted to be a part-time staff member. Rev. Keita told me they wanted a full-time staff member. So I decided I needed to share this with my wife and pray and seek God's will. When I shared the news with my wife, she was excited. More excited than I. So I said, "This is God's will."
What is the biggest challenge in ministry you face right now?
The biggest problem facing the Francophone regional office and the national offices is the problem of communication. The internet does not always work perfectly. The telephone is not always okay. There is an electricity shortage in some countries far from the headquarters. So we don't know what is happening here and there. When we get the news it is too late or it is after some weeks.
Another big challenge is support raising. Especially in countries like mine [the Republic of Mali] where it is 95% Muslim. The Christians are only 2% to 3% of the population. As a result, there are so many things I would like to do, like a dinner with executives, but cannot.
Describe a moment when you trusted God for something bigger than yourself.
This year with Operation Jericho. Operation Jericho is a partnership with churches to reach the capital cities with the gospel by all evangelical means. For instance, with TV, radio and by training church members to share their faith on a regular basis.
We wondered where to get all that money, all that equipment, all that material for the project. We wondered how to motivate all the churches in all the denominations to go along with us. Sometimes God provided the money a week or days before. We were trying our best to use strategies and to get the money and then God provided at the last minute.
What do you do for fun?
like soccer and table tennis. From time to time, I like footing, or what you would call walking. I also play volleyball from time to time at the regional office.
How do you help build spiritual movements everywhere?
That is part of Operation Jericho. At Campus Crusade we have vision, we have good ideas, we have good training material, we have good strategies. But we do not have the man-power.
The Church has man-power but most of the time the church has no vision. By joining us in Operation Jericho, I think most of them will grasp our vision and be willing to go on with us. Those people who have gone through our training will be able to help us with man-power to reach the regional cities. By God's grace, I think together we will be able to build spiritual movements in our area.
What do you think makes a successful leader?
A leader is made from more than teaching and training. Training is good. But it should not be our main focus. People can go through much training without changing who they are.
Successful leaders are people who are committed to God and willing to serve Him moment by moment. They should be willing to share God's love with people and have a compassionate heart. A successful leader should know where he is going and be kind and humble enough to lead others on that path.
Do you have a favorite quote?
"A child of God should be, from morning to sunset, grateful to God everyday." I may not know why things come my way, but God knows. And because of His love, He will provide.