Photo by Ken Harper/Flickr
Burkina Faso

18 people reach hundreds in West Africa

Philip Long September 19, 2014

The carpenter was in a flurry of activity. Speaking in Moore (pronounced "Moor-e"), Joey could only guess at what he was saying as he addressed the men around him.

30-year-old Joey Howell works full-time with StoryRunners, Cru’s ministry for reaching oral learners with the gospel. He was in Burkina Faso teaching 18 local men to tell Bible stories in the Moore language, a strategic trade language. The students learned 42 stories from Scripture.

After they trained in the mornings, they had homework: find 3 people during the day and tell them one of the stories. That next morning they’d report on what had happened.

Joey smiles as he relates what the students were reporting, “One said he went out and shared his story with 100 people and 50 prayed to receive Christ.” As Burkina Faso is predominantly Muslim, Joey admits he was skeptical. But Joey was going out to check on them, and smiles as he says, “Yup. Sure enough, that was what was happening.”

At the carpenter’s hut, Joey says that the carpenter, a professing Muslim, was finishing a table. He began pointing and getting the students to help. Questioned if the carpenter was using the guys, Joey laughs, “I guess you could say they were ‘assisting’ him.”

Finishing together, the carpenter came outside to listen to a student share the life of David story. He looked off in the middle distance, stroking his chin and not making eye-contact, which would be a sign of disrespect.

Joey remembers making out the words “David,” “David,” “David” and then “Jesus,” “Jesus,” “Jesus,” when suddenly the men began clapping. The carpenter who had expressed that he felt his prayers went no further than the ceiling of the mosque had finally broken through into God’s kingdom.

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