Adapted from an article by Andrew Schaeffer, an Alliance international worker serving in Burkina Faso, West Africa
The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews writes: “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you” (13:7).
How are we to remember them? Probably the best way is to recall their teaching and to reflect on their example. The verse continues: “Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7b).
Generosity Despite Hardships
But we can also honor them by encouraging and ministering to them. That is what Alliance churches in Burkina Faso did this past month. They helped to send their pastors to the biennial pastors’ conference at the new teachers’ school on the outskirts of Dédougou, in western Burkina Faso.
September is the leanest month in Burkina. Last year’s harvest is almost completely consumed, and this year’s has not yet ripened. Parents also seek to enroll their children in a good school in time for the new academic year, which begins in October.
Public schools may be cheaper than private schools, but even they are not free. (Burkinabè families, whose incomes average less than $5 a day, must purchase uniforms and school supplies for their children in addition to paying tuition fees.)
Since everyone is feeling financial stress during these days, the generosity of church families to their pastoral couples is all the more appreciated.
This year the churches sent not only their pastors to the conference; they also sent their wives. The conference theme appropriately focused on the pastor’s marriage, family, and ministry.
Two pastoral couples traveled from my home fellowship—Grace Church in Cleveland, Ohio—to minister at the conference. As they shared from the Scriptures and from their own marriages and family ministry experiences, Shawn and Ally Brennan and Bob and Diane Wido connected well with the 600 or so couples.
Pray for Provision, Encouragement
Burkina pastoral couples also face the same challenges as their people.
This morning our teammate Joe Howard told me that the bean harvest in the Tougan District has failed and the corn harvest is about to as well—due to a lack of rain in recent weeks. (More than 80 percent of Burkina’s people are subsistence farmers, whose livelihoods are dependent upon a good harvest.)
Please pray for the Lord’s provision and encouragement for these pastoral couples—who farm on the side to help make ends meet—and for their people.
Remember your leaders! This week my family is remembering the one who, more than any other, spoke the Word of God to us. Two years ago this week the Lord Jesus called my father to his eternal home.
I hear that October is Clergy Appreciation Month in the United States.
Burkina Alliance Churches helped their pastoral couples enjoy excellent teaching and good fellowship at last month’s conference. What will you do for your pastors and leaders? Let’s remember them well!