Letter from Cody: Senegal – April 2016

Deborah teaching a cooking class

Have you ever been so utterly exhausted that you felt like you could not keep your eyes open another moment or take another step? I am sure that all of us have been so weary that rest was the only thing on our mind. Jesus understands our need, not only for physical rest, but even more for the spiritual rest that answers the true need of every heart. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30. As I have been restudying this familiar passage, I have been amazed at its beauty and depth. The rest that Jesus offers truly meets the heart need of all humanity. How do we receive this rest? Acceptance and surrender are the first steps. “Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest.” Desire of Ages, 331. Only perfect surrender to the will and ways of God can bring perfect rest. As we surrender to Jesus, we need His presence to go with us every day. “Those who have fellowship with Christ have constant rest and peace.” “Wherever the love of Jesus reigns, there is peace and rest.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 410; Evangelism, 638. Full surrender brings us into closer fellowship with Jesus and enables His love to reign in our lives. As we daily walk with Jesus, our rest and peace in Him grows more and more each day. Jesus invites us to enter His rest through surrender and companionship. May we experience this blessed rest!

Taking notes at the cooking class

One country that truly needs the peace and rest of Jesus is Senegal, which contains the westernmost point of Africa. Sister Deborah Ndione has been working in this country as a missionary for a number of years and the Lord is continuing to bless her efforts for Him. With over ninety percent of the population being Muslim and only around six hundred Seventh-day Adventists in the entire country, there is definitely much work to do in sharing the love of Jesus. Deborah has been able to hold healthy living classes for the ladies of the church and community, teaching vegetarian cooking, fitness and other health habits to improve their lives. The ladies have not only started making the vegetarian dishes for themselves, but have been sharing them with their friends and neighbors. Through this means, doors of prejudice are being broken down, creating even more opportunities to share. Deborah also does “tent making” by teaching English, using the opportunity to share Jesus with her students. One such student is Philomene, a university professor. As their conversational English classes progressed, Deborah and Philomene began talking about God and the hope of Jesus’ soon return. As Deborah explained why she was unable to hold their classes on Friday evening, she had an opportunity to share what the Bible says about the Sabbath. Since Philomene had

Teaching an exercise and fitness class

been raised a Catholic, she thought that Sunday was the Sabbath, but after reading Genesis 2:2, 3, she realized that this is not what the Bible teaches. As the classes have continued, there have been many other opportunities to share spiritual things and Philomene has been opening up to Deborah more and more. Deborah’s English tutoring provides a tremendous opportunity to be able to share personally with people and lead them to a deeper walk with the Lord. Please continue to pray for Deborah and her work of reaching men and women in this needy country through medical missionary work and personal evangelism. If you would like to help in her work, you may mark your donation “Senegal.”

Yours in resting in Jesus,

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