Letter from Cody: Senegal – July 2014
As I write, it is the morning of July 4th. For those of us who have grown up in this country, many images come to mind: fireworks, parades, picnics, the Declaration of Independence and more. The lamblike principles of freedom contained in the Declaration of Independence declare immortal truths that “all men are created equal” and bestowed by God with the right of liberty, yet is this the truest liberty? We recognize that civil liberty is a precious gift from our Creator, but does our Creator have an even greater gift than this that, while celebrating freedom, many are missing? In Jesus’ declaration of freedom, He says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36. What is this truest freedom that He offers? “We are called into the freedom of the gospel but not into the service of sin. We are called to wear Christ’s yoke, which is true liberty, not liberty to sin and disregard the plainest injunction of the Word of God, ‘If ye love Me, keep My commandments.’” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 317. True liberty is found in wearing the yoke of Christ and in loving obedience to God’s great “law of liberty.” James 2:12. “True liberty and independence are found in the service of God. His service will place upon you no restriction that will not increase your happiness. In complying with His requirements, you will find a peace, contentment, and enjoyment that you can never have in the path of wild license and sin.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 88. May we seek for the only true liberty and freedom—the freedom wearing of Christ’s yoke of obedience in joyful service of the King!
I am so thankful for faithful men and women who are wearing the yoke of Christ and seeking to share with others the beautiful
freedom found in the service of God. Those who are willing to go to the most difficult fields deserve our even greater thankfulness and prayer. One of these fields, while not being the most dangerous or the most unreached, does rank in the very difficult category—the West African country of Senegal. With a population of around 14 million people in this predominantly Muslim country, there are only around 500 Seventh-day Adventists with most of those being foreigners—making a ratio of less than one Adventist for every 25,000 people in the country. (Compare that to 1:290 in the US or 1:10 in Jamaica.) Clearly there is much work to do in this needy country. Deborah Ndione and her family have accepted this challenge and are seeking to spread the good news of Jesus’ love to the community and country. While developing a country mission station where they can educate on self-supporting methods, agriculture and medical missionary work, she goes into the city to teach English to provide for their family’s needs and reach out to her students. She shares how the Lord is opening doors in these lines: “I have always talked with my students about my religious beliefs and the Bible, but now it seems that He is sending me to individuals that are searching for Him. Recently I was called to work with Christine, a French woman. After a couple of classes, I learned that her daughter had a rare disease that may eventually cause her to lose her hearing and her sight. I asked Christine if she prayed. Like the average French person, she said no. She told me that her parents had never prayed or talked about God. When I asked her if I could pray for her and her daughter she said that she wouldn’t mind. Another day we spent all the class time talking about God’s love, and I was able to share with her what God had done for me. Afterwards I gave her Steps to Christ in French. A couple of weeks later, a former student called me up because he wanted to take some more classes. Although he is a Muslim, he has on several occasions spoken about Jesus.” There are many challenges that they face, but they keep moving forward trusting that the Lord will give them true success in their work! Let us join them in prayer for reaching out to this needy mission field. If you would like to help their work, please mark your donation “Senegal.”
Yours in the service of the Master,