In July, three people from Grace Community Church in upstate New York flew to Dakar. They served at the Good Seed School, an elementary school founded by Pastor A. and his wife, the school’s director.
Bill and Kathy Martin, Converge global workers who are part of the Metro SenWest Initiative, were there with their Senegalese friends when they started the school two years ago. They had always believed the school had great potential for serving families within the community as well as being a light for Jesus to everyone in their neighborhood.
The three members from Grace Community Church spent four days serving. Three of those days they spent their time painting pre-approved murals in two classrooms. Though it was the hot season in Dakar and the temperatures were stifling, they cheerfully drew and painted the designs.
Though it was the school’s summer break, teachers from the school joined the Grace Community Church team to help them paint. The teachers were intrigued by their work and asked if they would allow them to help.
Over the course of the next few days, they were able to share a Senegalese meal and had a wonderful time of fellowship with those they had just met. Despite requiring a translator to speak to one another, the visiting team gained a deeper understanding of the challenges of following Jesus in a predominantly Muslim country.
On one of the four days, they put their paints away and decided to throw a picnic for the neighborhood as a Fourth of July celebration. They played games, made crafts, sang songs, and shared a traditional American picnic food, all-beef hotdogs. Over one hundred people attended the picnic!
Finished with their murals and having thrown their party for the neighborhood, the team from Grace Community Church went back home. Not long after, Pastor A. shared that the picnic they threw had caused news of the school to rapidly spread. Parents were asking how to enroll their children into the Good Seed School! He shared that he was praying they would have double or triple the enrollment of the previous year!
“Partnering comes in a variety of ways,” said Marty Ahrens, one of the team members from the Grace team. “Our entire church family partners with the SenWest Initiative. Partnering in the work that we’re called to do in the Holy Spirit doesn’t feel like partnering. It feels like a way of life. This isn’t special. It’s just what we do.”
Partnership comes in a variety of different forms, but there is always one end result: God is glorified! We are always encouraged to see churches, missionaries and local believers work together to accomplish more than they could separately. Will you join us in sending more global workers to partner with people like Pastor A. who are seeking to be a light in the communities they inhabit?