For the three years Tammy and myself passed through Burkina’s third largest city, Ouahigouya, on the way to our work in the remote village of Babo, I thought it had the potential to be a center point for church planting all over the northern part of the country, but we were just too consumed with the works we’d already started to invest ourselves there. But now that we’re on the way back, and have no direct responsibility at any of the churches already planted, Ouahigouya is where we want to start. Ouahigouya’s 123,000 population is about 115 miles north, and a world apart, from Burkina’s capital, Ouagadougou.
While Ouahigouya is a significant African town, it still has that welcoming village ambiance where people expect to become acquainted with those they meet. After spending enough time in Ouagadougou to refresh communication skills and research potential places to live, we intend to actually move to Ouahigouya so as to become a part of their local culture. After having established a church in Ouahigouya through relationships with guards (House guards are a necessity in Burkina), neighbors, and others with whom we’ll have regular contact, we’ll begin training leaders who will then help us to branch out both to other parts of the city and to the surrounding villages.
Tammy and I will be required to make trips to Ouagadougou for doctor visits, to shop for certain groceries, and to fellowship with a few of our missionary friends.
If potential political changes come to pass making working in Ouahigouya impossible, we have also always longed to see independent Baptist works begun in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina’s second largest city at about 500,000. A move to Bobo would definitely require learning a new language, which we’re prepared to do, and would mean living in a far more inviting climate. As opposed to the arid climate of Ouagadougou and Ouahigouya, Bobo-Dioulasso is subtropical. Relatively speaking, natural resources abound, but the development found in Ouaga has not yet made its way to Bobo.
That said, whether in Ouahigouya or Bobo-Dioulasso, we’re anxious to launch out into new territory anticipating the Lord’s opening doors and overcoming obstacles to open the eyes of the Burkinabe to the truth of the Gospel.