The Adolescent Health groups organized by our Senegal team and local partners celebrated the completion of their trainings with successful community events.
In the Dakar neighborhood of Hann-Plage, where we started working with YWAM last year, this was our first such an event. The girls had worked hard preparing skits and quiz questions and were rewarded by great parent participation at the celebration, where girls received their certificates of completion.
We are also encouraged by Timothy Leadership Training sessions our Senegal team organized and held earlier this year for village pastors and church leaders in the Kedougou area of southeastern Senegal. Although most pastors in this region have attended a Bible School for some time, many do not have practical leadership training and the Basic Timothy Leadership Training provides that well. Isaac from the World Renew Mali office and Pastor Guindo were our trainers and taught two modules: Christian Stewardship and From Harm to Honor in the Family.
Christian Stewardship focuses on Biblical response to God’s gifts, including reasons for giving to the church, how to be a good steward of those gifts (including making a budget and accountability to church members), and the value of agriculture. Several participants said that they had had an erroneous opinion of agriculture, believing it was just an activity for the poor.
From Harm to Honor in the Family involved thinking about family relations.
One participant felt that: “the module seems to have been designed especially for Bassari Christians. Except for sexual violence, which is very rare, all other forms of violence are common to Bassari daily life. There is a real need to study how to overcome spousal violence and violence and injury and abuse in the family... We learned that to honor the image of God in others means to appreciate them. That appreciation does not depend on the ways in which those others behave themselves, but on the image of God that is present within them.”
The Timothy trainings ended with participants writing action plans for how to put their learning into practice. Some planned to teach people in their churches about specific ideas; some hoped to plant a vegetable garden using conservation agriculture techniques. Others vowed to stop swearing in public and in private.
We hope to organize a follow-up session of this training in early 2019 with two other modules and an evaluation of the participants’ success with their action plans.
Joys and Challenges
- We are thankful that Esther and Johanna returned safely from their Connections Tour and also that Johanna had a positive experience in school in Leiden between Easter and summer vacation.
- We give thanks that our first community event in Hann-Plage was well-attended and appreciated by the parents. We pray that this will make the organizing of our second year there easier.
- We pray for the beginning of a new partnership between World Renew Senegal and the Lutheran Church of Senegal. We have been in talks with them for some time now and feel ready to start a small community development program in villages near Fatick.
- We ask for God’s mercy as preparations already begin for presidential elections in Senegal on February 24, 2019.
World Renew Senegal