As the sun sets on this stunning, life-changing trip, I have a few moments to quickly write some words before packing my bags and jumping on a plane back to the UK. Both James and I will be posting our final reflections once we’ve settled back home, so this is not a final round-up. Rather it’s our final post from Burkina Faso and a brief summary of what went down on our final day.
This morning we had the privilege of meeting with all the leaders of SIM Paspanga Church (about 20 of them) to worship, pray and teach the Bible. We taught on a sunject that we had decided on before we’d even come to Burkina – the need for our churches to be Biblically Faithful, Christ Centred, Spirit Filled, and Mission Focussed. Both me and James felt that it was a timely message for all of us and that, by His grace, God had spoken through us. The leaders certainly responded very positively to what we had to say – it’s so humbling to have been able to serve these people in the gospel – Hallelujah!!
After the teaching sessions we went on a prayer walk around Paspanga, seeking God to break through in power and believing in faith that He will! The difference between driving though an area and walking through it is huge. The immense scale of poverty and devastation of the recent floods was shocking. So shocking in fact that I went out later with a camera to get some photos.
The biggest blessing, however, came as I walked the streets with my new friend Joseph (possibly the most passionate evangelist I’ve met). We bumped into Karelle’s father who, even thoug Karelle was in school, invited us in for refreshments. He and his wife are so lush and it was awesome spending time with just them. Joseph invited Karelle’s dad to church and he said he’d come! Hallelujah!! He also said that he’d visited the church the previous evening to drop off a gift he had made for me and the family! When we got back to the centre, I was given some little baskets for spices and a decoration to hang from my rear-view car mirror! I was blown away – this man was so determined to bless my family that, despite his poverty, he had made something with his own hands. It was so humbling!
Back at the church we gave gifts to the church, and also books to some of the leaders who we have got to know and love so much this week. They presented James with a locally made folder for documents, but it was their gift to us, as Hill City Church, that literally reduced me to tears. It was a custom made picture that spoke of the new gospel partnership between Hill City and Sim Paspanga. Just unbelievable – check the picture out!
After this we ate a gorgeous traditional lunch together, then came the goodbyes. As you’d expect it was easier than saying goodbye to the kids yesterday, but still very emotional!! Pastor Robert, Elder Joseph and Compassion team leader Kaleb have been such an encouragement to us and we’ll miss them loads. I even gave Pastor Robert a hug (but don’t tell Keith or Jeff!) However, we are also missing our own families loads and ready to jump back on a plane and come home. So after our faithful driver Matthias and legendary interpreter Ouena took us on a final trip around the shops to buy a few gifts (by the way – shopping in Ouagadougou market is intense – I almost went nuts!!) we headed back to the Joly Hotel for a final meal before packing our bags and checking out.
This trip has been so incredibly transformational – you can expect us to bang on about it for a good while to come. However, in the meantime please just pray that the snow allows us to land in Heathrow, and that our bags make it home too.
Thanks so much for the prayers! Can’t wait to see you soon!