West Africa

                       06 Dec 2007


 Boubacar (BOO-ba-car) is a new Christian with a deep desire to worship and fellowship with other believers.  But, … who and where? … Boubacar is one of the 250 or so believers among the 3-1/2 million Songhai People of Niger, West Africa.  He feels so alone.  Where can he find someone who has also chosen to believe in Jesus?  A caravan is making the five-day journey to sell their load of tobacco.  Could there be a believer among the people there? … Maybe the slow, steady gate of a camel carries a Christian rider.  … Looking at one of the many mosques that dot the landscape, Boubacar knows he won’t find any Christian believers there.  However, there are many worshippers at the mosques who are personally disillusioned  …  searching because the meaningless traditions of worship and rituals have left them empty.  In fact, he knows that he is no longer welcome at any of these.  … He is now an outcast. His friends make fun of him because he has chosen the religion of the white man.    His family pleads with him not to bring this dishonor on the family.  His father has even told him that he is no longer his son. The entire village has denounced both him and his decision to follow Christ.  Boubacar longs for reassurance and a community that can support him in this lonely and difficult time.   … What about those on the river?  … Perhaps there is a Christian among the passengers in the boat taxis that travel up and down the Niger River. … Or, maybe one of the fishermen casting his net in the murky waters…  Would there be a Christian at the market?  There are lots of people there.  The faithful Muslims are easily spotted as they obediently go through their religious habits.  What about the vendors selling their produce?  Maybe … maybe … there could be a believer

 As he searches, Boubacar continues to ask himself, “Where are the Christian believers among my Songhai People?  Why are they so hard to find?”  Stopping another Songhai, Boubacar asks,  “Where can I find Christian believers?” Scorn and reproach are evident as Boubacar listens.  … “Christian believers?   You mean those heathens who have turned their backs on us?   There is a group of them not far from here.” Looking around, Boubacar asks,  “How can I find them?” … But there is no answer.  The man has abruptly left him standing alone.   There is no road … no path … not even a cattle trail!  All that he can see are fields of dry, tall millet and sorghum nearing harvest time.  “Where shall I go now?”  A Zebu bull, with its majestic horns, comes into view.  Boubacar smiles realizing that there will be herd boys nearby caring for the cattle.  Maybe they can help him find some other believers.  Boubacar approaches the boys and asks, “Where are the Christians”.  The boys respond as they continue to drive their cattle to water, “You will find them in just a few more minutes. … Go past the bundles of millet heads drying in the sun.”

 Walking on past the bundles of millet, Boubacar finally arrives at some homes that are similar to his own. There are 8 to 10 mud-brick buildings.  A cooking fire is smoldering near the center of the compound. There are about 25 people living here.  He sees men, women, and children … maybe some are going to the church … but, where is the church building?  Suddenly, Boubacar remembers something important that he has been taught … the church is not a building but it is the followers of Jesus Christ!  He joins this group of people and asks, “Where can I find Christian believers?”  Several ask Boubacar, “Who are you?  Why do you come here?  Where is your home?”  With boldness, Boubacar replies, “I am Boubacar and I am searching for other believers in Jesus Christ.  I am a Believer.”    After visiting for a few minutes, Boubacar listens with joy as he is told, “Come and worship with us.”  Silently Boubacar prays …  “Thank you, God, for leading me to these people who follow Jesus where I can worship and learn more about You.”

Under the shade of an arbor made of sticks tied together with strips of cowhide and with green gourd vines helping to provide shade, these believers are singing praises to God.  While a baby nurses at her mother’s breast, the family patriarch struggles to read from his tattered Bible.  Mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters all listen carefully as a visiting pastor gives a short sermon. 

 (We will have singing, preaching, and reading from the on-camera video.)

 (Change to different narrator voice.)

Very few of the Songhai dare to abandon their Islamic faith and their dependence on sorcery in order to follow the path of Jesus.

 (The final scenes will be group pictures of these believers.)

 V     Pray for those who dare

V     Pray for those who will follow

V     Pray for isolated Believers like Boubacar

V     Pray that Believers will multiply in number

Pray that it will be easy to find fellow Believers among the Songhai


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