May 20, 2022

Dear Friends,

My Course Pastoral Leadership Development II is over today at American Theological Institute in Dakar, Senegal.  I had an amazing time with these 20 pastors this week in Senegal.

According to Wikipedia, 0.2% of the population are Protestant Christians in Senegal.  This means Christians are seriously marginalized in this country, socioeconomically speaking.  In this milieu, becoming a pastor means one may only face poverty, social alienation, oppression, and even persecution for the remainder of life.  I do not know what attraction they saw when they said yes to the call of Jesus, “Take up the cross and follow me.”

Right before the class was to start yesterday, the students sang this worship song entitled, “Nous somme là.”  “Nous somme là” in French means “Here we are.”  My eyes were moistened as I listened to their confession.  One of these students wrote me yesterday, “I appreciate today’s class.  It was very encouraging.  I am sure many of us will return to our mission field well-equipped.  Thank you for coming to Senegal.”

Thank you for supporting me to come to Senegal to help develop these student pastors to become the best leaders they are capable of becoming.  I am flying to Abidjan, Ivory Coast tomorrow.  I got a negative result on the PCR test this morning.  Entering Ivory Coast will be “easy” now.  I appreciate your prayers.

Prayerfully yours,