In central Senegal there are currently 9 first generation networks of Tree of Life master trainers. The last of those networks that we trained was in a tiny village of only about 10 homes, which was way off the beaten path. I remember as we were driving there for the first time (I hate to admit) I was asking myself: "What really will become of this group?" "How will God use these guys when they are so far removed from a paved road"? I mean, this village is a 30 minute drive off of the main asphalt road, and the path that leads to this village is just a horse cart road through the sand. Nevertheless, we spent 12 months training this group (once a month), and as the training progressed I began to realize that fruitfulness is not dependent on location or stature… It's dependent on faithfulness and obedience to share God's Word. Acts 6:7 says, "And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied…" (ESV). This little group of farmers in the middle of nowhere Senegal has accomplished much for the Lord, because of their obedience to proclaim the Word of God. They have successfully trained and commissioned three groups of disciples and are in the processing of training the forth. Recently, they went to a neighboring village, predominantly nominal Catholic, for an evangelism campaign. As they were going door-to-door to share the gospel, they came to the house of a family who invited them in to share. As these men shared the gospel (the true gospel) this family became more and more interested. For years this family had been taught rules and regulations, but never grace and forgiveness. And so after much sharing and looking at the Bible together this family decided to follow Christ. Those master trainers announced to that family and the entire village that they would have church service there the following Sunday. When the trainers arrived there for the service they didn't really know what to expect. The family that had accepted Christ were all there for the service, plus 26 others from that village. As far as we are aware this was the first evangelical church service in that village. For this, we give God praise!
We also praise the Lord for how He is using His disciples to reach many with the Gospel and plant multiplying churches! Our goal is for every church to be like the church at Thessalonica, for which Paul wrote, "For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything" (1 Thessalonians 1:8, ESV).