Feature

Blessed Assurance

Adama, Burkina Faso

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“I don’t have that assurance, and I want it.”

I had just been sharing with our English students in Burkina Faso about the life and faith of my fellow teacher, short-term missionary Shellie Gardlock, who had died unexpectedly about 10 days earlier. After I spoke, missionary Randy Harrison shared the Christmas story. Originally, we had planned a party for that week, but I have to tell you there wasn’t a lot of Christmas cheer floating around; it was a somber group of students who came to the center. We wanted to make sure they understood that, because of Christ’s birth, death and Resurrection, Shellie had the assurance she would spend eternity with the Lord.

AdamaAdama approached me as we were cleaning up. Lazare Fofana, the center chaplain, walked past just as this young Muslim man said he wanted faith like Shellie’s. With a huge smile, Lazare led Adama to a quiet corner of the center to talk.

Shortly after I got home, Lazare called with the news. I had the joy of informing Shellie’s family via Skype that a young man from the English classes had accepted Christ as a result of the doors God opened through Shellie’s death.

Over Christmas vacation, Adama took a six-hour bus ride to tell his strongly Muslim family he had accepted Jesus. Lazare traveled with him, and Adama said that it had been wonderful to talk about the Lord for the entire six hours. How did his family respond? What a miracle! His dad told him that since faith was very personal, Adama needed to make his own decision.

Adama has been attending church regularly and is following a discipleship course. In the spring he announced that he had some good news for us. He had led his best friend to the Lord. A few Sundays later, I asked Adama why his friend didn’t come to church with him.

“Oh, it went badly,” Adama said. “When he told his family that he had come to church with me, they disowned him. He couldn’t deal with that, so he has turned his back on the Lord. I’m still praying for him.”

“Does that discourage you?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “I led another friend to the Lord this week, and he will be in church with me next Sunday. We’ve already talked to his family, and they are OK with that.”

Please pray that this young man will continue to grow in his faith, keep sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those around him and not become discouraged by opposition.

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