This post was written by Colin and Dot Suggett, Bethany-supported missionaries who worked in Burkina Faso.
O come, Thou Day-Spring
Come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, o Israel
Advent is here.
As we joined our Canadian church community in singing the third verse from “O come, O come, Emmanuel”, I was struck by a strong sense of that comfort that cheers us in our time of loss: The comfort that comes from the ultimate gift of Jesus, who brought us salvation.
Appropriately, before we left Burkina, we were able to leave gifts that would point the Turka toward this greatest of gifts from God. Click on the above video to see our friend Thomas, a Turka church leader in Douna, as he uses the Scripture App to listen to Scripture in his mother tongue.
This happened in late October when we took a final trip down to Banfora with 500 SD cards, each with eight gigabytes of recorded films, Scripture, music, and teaching materials in the Turka language. There were even more materials available—testimonies, dramas, and interviews that we offered to those who, like Thomas, had USB memory sticks. Several other pastors also came to copy some of those files.
Of course we visited Fabedougou, our old home, and left SD cards at the two courtyards where there are believing men. In our former courtyard, young Adama had the card in his phone, lickety-split, and soon a whole group of women were listening in rapt attention. One woman, Fanta, spoke up, “I want one of those for my phone!”. Now that was music to our ears!
We did have a final meeting and presentation of the cards with five key pastors and leaders, representing the regions where there are Turka villages. To each of these men we gave 50 to 70 SD cards for the churches in and around their villages: Moussodougou, Beregadougou, Saraba, Douna, Banfora, Orodara and Kolokolo. Remember these villages in your prayers.
All the villages will also be able to hear this content on the radio, since we provided a card for the pastor in charge of the Christian radio station. As an extra measure of security, we had a device which locks the SD cards, so that the material was secure and could not be erased unintentionally (or deliberately).
Yes, the goodbyes were difficult. But our hearts are cheered by the many possibilities ahead for Turka to hear the gospel message. May the months and years that follow truly be an advent—the coming of Christ to many Turka.
Dot and Colin