Once unreached by the good news about Jesus Christ, the Yalunka people of western Mali (West Africa) are now sharing about Jesus among their own people in their own language. FEC’s West Africa Initiative to the Yalunka stretches over a decade, and links the growing Evangelical Mennonite Church (EMC) in Burkina Faso with this new initiative in Mali. In a way that only God could orchestrate, new believers among the Yalunka are receiving training where 11 years ago there were no known followers of Jesus.
Tracing the gospel’s spread, the FEC effort to reach the Yalunka goes back 40 years to a cooperative effort by missionaries who helped plant a church in Burkina Faso. Since the 1970’s, the church in Burkina Faso has planted more indigenous churches, and ministry leaders have been praying for a new FEC work among the Yalunka people in southwestern Mali. Now, through a partnership between FEC, EMC leaders in Burkina Faso and new Yalunka believers, the vision of planting a church is taking place. In January, when Steve and Pat Nelson (FEC West Africa Initiative) met with both groups, a new aspect of that vision came to life.
During the training, a Burkina church leader taught Yalunka believers how to live as “a new creation” (1 Co. 5:17) among their Muslim relatives and neighbors. A church planter from the Burkina church will begin visiting the Yalunka in the region of Mali, preaching the gospel and teaching the new believers as the story God is writing in West Africa continues.