January 16, 2012
By Esther Schaeffer, serving in Burkina Faso
“Break a leg.” It’s not exactly what I said, but I did begin to pray that the Lord would give me another contact with Djeneba.
Our widows’ ministry involves 182 women and their families. Recently, we learned that one of our older widows, who had been sick for some time, had passed away. She was the only Christian in a very large family and had gone to live with her younger brother when she could no longer care for herself.
When we got the news about her passing, a delegation from our widows’ group traveled the hour or so to the town where this woman had been living to greet the family. Djeneba was the niece who had lovingly cared for this aunt. She shared through tears her memories of her aunt and her firm devotion to Jesus Christ.
What would normally have been a brief visit turned into several hours, as Djeneba first asked if we wanted to see the grave and then insisted that we stay and eat some of the traditional foods of the region that she wanted me to try. This gave us a lot of time to spend with her, meet many family members, and share our own impressions of her aunt, who had chosen Christ much against her family’s wishes.
As we prayed before we left the home and on the drive home, I commended Djeneba to the Lord, asking that she would continue to have contact with Christians. Imagine my surprise to learn last week that Djeneba had a fall and broke her foot so badly that she had to come to our city to have it repaired.
We weren’t quite sure of the location of her relative’s house where she was staying, but the Lord led the way so that the very first house where we stopped to make inquiries was exactly where Djeneba was recuperating. She was so glad to see us, explain all the details of her accident, and introduce us to more of her family members—we were surrounded by children and young people.
As we were leaving, I knew that Christ would continue to bring Christians into contact with this family. Even if Djeneba could not make that step of faith, others in her family would.
What You Can Do
Praise God for the strong faith of Djeneba’s widowed aunt; pray for Djeneba’s salvation as well as for that of the other members in her extended family. Pray for Alliance workers the world over to have divine appointments through which they have opportunities to share the good news!
Give to the Great Commission Fund—partner in Living the Call together with Alliance workers like Esther Schaeffer in Burkina Faso.
Read “No Longer Alone,” Esther’s alife article (January 2009) about the widows’ ministry in Burkina.