Marriage Counseling: A Ministry Bridge in Senegal

By an Alliance worker, serving in Senegal

Often when we think about reaching people from another religion with the gospel, the natural tendency is to want to build a bridge to their minds. There are lots of subjects for debate, inconsistencies that can be addressed between non-Christian religious books and the Bible. However, those methods rarely seem to bring people to an encounter with Christ.  

When a bridge is found that meets a heart-need, the door for ministry is more likely to open. The marriage relationship is one of Senegal’s crying heart-needs.  As we network with people in Dakar, we are confronted again and again with the anguish with which couples live. The predominant culture plays into this drama through its encouragement of polygamy, leaving the Senegalese people with nowhere to turn for help.

A few weeks ago, a young couple from a creative-access country, now living in Dakar, sought us out in desperation. They had heard that we work with couples. During the past few months we have had several conversations with them and found that they are open to biblical principles, despite belonging to the predominant religion here.

When we met recently, I told Riad* that anger was destroying his marriage and that forgiveness was the only solution. He said to me: “Only God could take this anger out of my heart!” This opened the door for me to explain Christ’s forgiveness. Although Riad did not, in that moment, fully understand what it meant to follow Christ, he took the first step on the journey by inviting Jesus to forgive him and teach him how to forgive!

The desperation with which couples live in their marriages creates a deep thirst that can be reached through their hearts. We are dreaming and praying about the day when we will be able to work with a team of Senegalese couples to begin Alliance Marriage Encounter (ALMA) to meet these heart needs.

* Name changed

Learn More

Read about ALMA, which proved to be a powerful ministry outreach in a Middle Eastern nation recently.

Watch “Hope in a Hard Place.” See why God has called The Alliance to serve in Senegal. Produced in 2006. [duration: 02:49]

What You Can Do

Pray for Riad’s relationship with Christ to deepen. Pray also for the means by which the team in Senegal can join other Senegalese couples to begin a Marriage Encounter program for hurting couples in this West African nation.

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