Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Different aspects of the mission in Senegal
During a missionary trip in May 2018, Samuel Peterschmitt was moved by the prodigious progress of the mission in Senegal. The film presents a summary of the reality of the missionary field: witness records, interviews and images: the whole work in this country presented within a few minutes.
November 1992. Claude and Martine go to Senegal on holiday. They witness and pray with a few persons on the beach. God’s answers and subsequent healings rapidly raise strong interest for the Gospel among the people there.
In 1996, pastor Samuel Peterschmitt goes with them; together, they organize the first evangelism session, which will give birth to the first church in Mbodiène. Today, there are seven churches directed by pastor Jokeel Seck and missionary worker Eric Toumieux with their respective families.
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.Genesis 21:33
The Beer Shéba project is a farming and discipleship-training center working hand in hand with local churches planted by the mission of “La Porte Ouverte” in Senegal.
Further to numerous miracles, missionaries Eric and Heesuk Toumieux together with pastor Jokeel Seck got an arid surface of 100 ha from Serer communities living in villages close to Mbour. In the old days, the area was called “the desert” by villagers and was considered to be a cursed ground. After several years, the desert blossomed again and tens of thousands of trees grew back.
The objective of Beer Sheba is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to make the new life received in Christ efficient and practical in the work of our young Christian farmers. They come for training for approximately one year and learn state-of-art techniques for irrigated cultivation, bovine feedlot and agroforestry to become successful farmers in a Sahelian environment. At the same time, they deepen their biblical knowledge and their relationship with Christ by studying the Word of God and living as a community on the project site.
In addition to the center, an organic farm provides resources to the project while providing experience to the youngsters on training course. Beer Shéba produces vegetables, beef, free range chickens, sausage and moringa powder, which partly cover their needs.
The name of the Beer Shéba project comes from the book of Genesis. “Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.” (Genesis 21:33). We explain to our Muslim neighbors that the prophet Ibrahima whom they revere stayed in Beer Shéba and made experiments with God. His son Isaac practiced cultivation and also got tremendous blessings from God. More and more people from the community around us come closer to Jesus thanks to the witness of Beer Shéba and the practical impact of the project on their lives.
Find more details on the page of Beer-Shéba
Talibe Center (Talibe means street boy)
There are between 50,000 and 100,000 Talibe according to UNICEF assessments. Tens of thousands of children aged 4 to 18 waking up every morning to go begging all day long, with only an empty can as a tool, which is also their symbol and their livelihood. They go to the city center and main streets from 4:00 a.m. to wait for the daily torrent of car drivers.
Each small Talibe, as a disciple of a religious guide or marabout, must bring back the money they earned while begging for charity every night at the daara, the Koranic school. If the marabout judges the amount is not enough, they will be humiliated and struck.
Most of them have been entrusted to the marabouts by their own parents who were hoping that they will provide them with education and a better life than that in the village. Others – who are the increasing proportion – come from foreign countries, mainly Guinea-Bissau.
The remaining part come from poor families of the city and whose parents are desperate and see no other solution than giving their children over to begging to take care of them and have them survive.
Pastor Jokeel built a center in Mbour with support from the church la Porte Ouverte to welcome the Talibe. A team of young volunteers organizes activities for them every Wednesday on a ground belonging to the church in a new district. There is a canteen, a nurse office with a care room, a classroom and sanitary facilities.
For the church, Talibe children are these “little ones” Jesus calls us to welcome in his name.
Learning how to read and write is a fundamental right. Still, 38% of adults in Africa (about 153 millions) are illiterate, the two thirds of which being women. The illiteracy rate is high in Senegal with 50% of the population affected, and represents one of the major challenges, which the local churches still have to face today. Thanks to different donations, A literacy program was implemented from 2000 by Heesuk Toumieux, missionary at la Porte Ouverte Chrétienne in Senegal. The final purpose is to make local Serer churches able to use the Bible translated in Serer language. The tool is vital for strong and autonomous churches in the future. A local training team was formed for the program and pedagogical equipment have already been created. In spite of earlier efforts, the need is still present as our churches keep growing. Serer churches follow the fight against the obstacle of illiteracy but they still need guidance.
Education has many challenges to face in Senegal, like in many other African countries. The first matter of concern is the degraded quality of education, though access to education was enhanced during the last years thanks to international investment. Senegal national assessments show that only 20% of pupils in sixth grade achieve the required level in French language and only 10% in mathematics. In addition, the withdrawal rate is still high in elementary schools, with approximately only 50% of pupils actually finishing the fifth grade cycle.
Population growth also raises matters of concern for the future. Half of the current population in Senegal is less than 18. The population will still grow a lot because the proportion of youngsters is very high.
Local churches and missions have started opening schools in the last years. Heesuk Toumieux cooperates with them by training teachers and ensuring a follow-up and assessments with them. The objective is to encourage churches in developing quality education to make a real difference in the lives of children, both on academic and spiritual aspects. Christian education stakeholders are often discouraged because they have great difficulties to find skilled Christian teachers. At the moment, there is no training school for evangelical Christian teachers in Senegal, but God is currently opening a new door for us to create one this year… To be continued!
Do you want more details? Do you want to get involved or to support the work for Christian education and literacy? Please contact Heesuk!