Texas women tackle West Africa missions

West Africa?A team of six Texas women, each from different cities, traveled to West Africa in June to work with International Board missionaries Brad and Sally Womble.

The Wombles work among the Songhai people, among whom Islam is the prevalent influence among the people and their understanding of God is founded upon a works-based faith rather than grace and salvation through Jesus.

Each day the team traveled by car and ferry for two hours to go into villages outside of the capital city. The team worked with two different villages and told the children about Jesus by singing and using simple Bible-storying methods.

In all, the Texans worked with about 100 children and encouraged the IMB mission team and Brazilian missionaries who were there as well.

Also, the team witnessed a baptism in a remote village where the missionaries had been working for some time.

In the Songhai culture, children are not highly valued and are often overlooked and neglected, the missionaries explained. Consequently, the children were very receptive of attention and love from the missionaries and volunteer team.

The three high schoolers on the Texas team?Rebekah Bartley, 16, of Slide Baptist Church in Lubbock, Brandi Thompson, 17, of First Baptist Church of Forney, and Kelsey Emmons, 19, of College Hills Baptist Church in San Angelo?each expressed her desire and passion to continue to be involved in missions, even possibly as a career. “How very exciting it is to see the next generation embrace God’s worldview and engage in missions as a lifestyle at home, in school, at work, as well as overseas!” said Tiffany Smith, SBTC missions mobilization associate.

“The Wombles are an incredible IMB family to work with,” Smith said. “If volunteer teams want to work with the Songhai people, then Brad and Sally are extremely adept in training and receiving teams?even teams that have never been overseas before.”

The volunteer teams stay in a guesthouse in the capital city and travel out during the day for ministry, Smith explained. The Baptist guesthouse has running water, laundry facilities, and air conditioning.

Smith said if a church or Sunday School class wishes to partner with the Wombles in their ministry to the Songhai people, the SBTC can provide specific cross-cultural training and team preparation for the mission trip.

Smith cited the following as missionary needs in West Africa:
?Strategic Prayer Partners: Churches or Sunday School classes may join the Wombles prayer team and receive e-mail updates and prayer concerns on a regular basis.

?Prayerwalkers: Volunteer teams are needed to prayer-walk roads alongside unreached villages. This might also be done by canoe along the river. Teams need not be large. A Sunday school class could send and support three or four people to do this.

?Scouting Teams: Volunteer teams are needed to scout for unreached villages along the river and begin outreach with these people.

?Bible-storying Teams: Teams may go into villages and present basic stories about Jesus, sing songs, and play with the children. Oftentimes, adults might wander into the group to listen as well.
For more information on ministry to the Songhai, contact Tiffany Smith in the SBTC office at tsmith@sbtexas.com or toll-free at 877-953-SBTC.

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