Enabling Burkina’s Disabled in Jesus’ Name

By Pete Brokopp, serving in Burkina Faso

The following is an adaptation of an article from Alice and Pete Brokopp’s May newsletter. Read about remarkable returns from their years of sharing Jesus’ compassion with some of Burkina’s most marginalized residents-its disabled.

enabling-disabledOne area of great encouragement for us has been our ministry to the disabled. Human disabilities are a huge problem in Burkina because of accidents and crippling diseases (polio is making a comeback), exacerbated by inadequate medical care.

Over the years it’s been awesome to see God’s love manifested to those who have received trikes (large, three-wheeled cycles) we’ve distributed to enable their mobility. We’ve watched many pull themselves up to sit on the trike seats-after crawling on their hands and knees their whole lives-to experience dignity for the first time!

Ministry Inspiration

Our hearts were first moved on behalf of this large group of Burkina’s marginalized when we saw a woman dragging herself across the street. Asseita’s hands were crippled as well. To express Jesus’ love to her, we decided to raise funds so she could have a trike.

Because she was under satanic bondage, Asseita wasn’t interested in accepting Christ at first. But when she became quite ill, during the last hours of her life she finally whispered to our pastor that she wanted to accept Him. That night she passed away. 

We shared Asseita’s story at Glenview Alliance church in Glenrock, Pennsylvania, a few years ago. Dan Kidd, a member of a biker outreach ministry through the church, caught the vision to raise funds through the club for the three-wheeled cycles to give to Burkina’s disabled. We’ve partnered with this club since.

Expansion, Outreach

Originally, funds raised were used to build the cycles. (We’ve worked with a local Burkinabe Alliance pastor to locate those who would most benefit.) As our ministry developed, the need arose to repair the trikes; we also began supplying grains to the disabled. 

Several Glenview Alliance short-term missions teams have visited us during the past few years. During each visit we’ve sponsored a trike-giveaway, combined with a time of evangelism.  

Compassion Inspires Self-Help

On a recent Saturday afternoon I was called to the church where we’ve typically held the giveaways. Gathered were a large group of people who had received the cycles through our ministry, along with the village chief, and a teacher of the predominant religion in Burkina.  

First, their spokesman thanked my Christian brothers and me for thinking of them and helping them over the years. Then he said, “Since others have helped us, we would like to help ourselves-we no longer want to be beggars.”

They then told us about an association they had created to help themselves earn a living! Each member will learn a craft or trade (some will raise sheep; others may process Shea butter to sell, etc.). Proceeds from the monies they earn will be deposited into an account from which all will benefit. 

We also were asked to pray that this new association would glorify God.

As I left the meeting, some of the disabled called me over to give me two beautifully hand-stitched pillow covers. I was humbled to receive a gift from people who have absolutely nothing.

Learn More

Check out the Brokopp’s Web page to see how you can support their work in spreading God’s love among Burkina’s most needy.

Read “Hands Across the Water“-the inspiring story of Glenview Alliance Church’s partnership with our Burkina Faso field-in the December 2008 issue of alife.

What You Can Do

Pray! “We were promised a piece of property with the stipulation that we would build a center on it that will house medical services, physical therapy, and skill training,” says Alice. “But it’s still in the ‘dream stage.'” Please pray that this dream will be realized!

Pray also for the Brokopps who are undergoing a challenging ministry transition, working part-time with our Short-Term Missions Office, requiring them to now raise half of their own support, while continuing their present service in Burkina.


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