burkinaIn January 2010, a team from Franklin Alliance Church in Franklin, North Carolina-which has a ministry partnership with the Burkina Faso Alliance field-roofed several churches in the remote Tougan District in northern Burkina. “As with many bush adventures, this team experienced equipment breakdowns and vehicle mishaps,” said an Alliance worker. “But through it all, [they] persevered and finished a big job well.” The following is an adapted excerpt from the trip blog of youth pastor Kevin Ford, the Franklin church’s work team leader. 

Since 2007, I have had the opportunity to take five teams to Burkina. It’s a life-changing experience every time.

Kids, Life Here, and Jesus

There always seems to be one person or kid that you feel this connection with every time you come here. Sometimes there are 40 or 50 kids around you, and other times there are hundreds. They all smile and laugh and play if you play with them.

It’s a grim reminder to me that one out of three children here dies before the age of 10. As a parent, I can’t imagine having to deal with that reality. I’ve heard people say that it’s their culture, so it’s just life to them. To those critics, I ask, “Does that make it any easier?”

Imagine watching your child die from something as simple as diarrhea because you don’t have $2 for medicine to kill the bacteria that is causing the problem. I have been sick like that before, and it would be horrible to basically die of dehydration. We have no comprehension of what this must be like. All the more reason I admire these people.

It’s really cool to be in a church service and hear Burkinabe believers talking about reaching unreached people groups in their own country. The genuine and authentic love and passion Burkinabe Christians have for our Jesus leaves me feeling inadequate to be leading teams here.

Jesus is their life and their hope for everything. We love Jesus, but our lives and our hopes are wrapped up in all of our stuff. I long for the day that we in the Western world figure this out.

I look at the people here, and I don’t feel sorry for them because they are poor. They are actually happier than we are, and they don’t have near the stress that we do, worrying about all of the stuff we worry about.

One thing that I do feel for them is compassion . . . [I would love] to help them become more efficient in reaching their people with the gospel, to begin equipping them to know how to evangelize and make disciples as we are commanded to do.

It’s not our responsibility to come over here and change them. We have to adapt to their ways and provide resources and training to enable them to continue to do what they are already doing. We have to provide training and avenues to make this happen. This is how you change a country for the sake of the gospel. That has been our mission since our first trip in 2007.

What Now?
I could write forever about stories that I have heard or things that I’ve seen here. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to really explain it is to bring you here and show you.

I’m planning another trip back to Burkina this fall. I haven’t covered much of the country, but I listen to the other missionaries, and all of them have so much to do. There are four more churches ready to be roofed, and they are waiting for someone to come [help].

I have a deep love for the people of Burkina Faso. You may not have a burden for this country, but there are many places in the world where the people need to hear the gospel message.


Learn More

A work team from Glenview Alliance Church in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, arrived in Burkina Faso on February 3, 2010, to assist the Patte d’Oie church put finishing touches on its new facility. To learn about the strong partnership between these two churches, read “Hands Across the Water” in the December 2008 issue of Alliance Life magazine.

Check out how your church can get involved in an Alliance ministry partnership. 

Read about The Alliance in Burkina Faso.


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