Unanswered Burkina Questions

Mission Fellowship, thank you for your generosity and hospitality to Marcel and Pauline Yanogo and the church in Burkina Faso.  I am thankful to walk with you and serve Jesus with you as we attempt to do our part in growing the global church.  As we were unable to answer all the questions that were submitted during the Q&A we had with Marcel at church, I wanted to take a minute and answer some of them as accurately as possible.  While I may not have the dollar amounts 100% correct, they are definitely within a close accuracy to the current number.  Please let me know if you have any other questions about Burkina Faso or our mission to take the gospel to the Burkinabe people.
                                    -Pastor Hans

How much does it cost to send food to the pastors in the school?

The average cost for a bag of rice is $40 US Dollars.  Average income of the pastors is $250-$300 per year.  It is inexpensive for us to feed them and their families well for the time they are in the Bible school.

How much does it cost for farm animals?

In US Dollars, a goat is $150 but think of what that same goat would cost here.

Do you work with unreached people groups?

Most of the unreached people groups are on the outer parts of the country.  Marcel trains pastors who minister to those areas.  Many of those pastors attend the Bible school and are trained by Marcel and those of us who can go and teach.  One of the churches that we were able to roof last year was in the middle of a large group of unreached people.

Do the teachers have to have any specific seminary education in order to teach?

To be ordained as an Assemblies of God (This is the background of most of the churches in Burkina, as the AG denomination was one of the first to establish missions in Burkina Faso.) pastor in Burkina, you have to attend their seminary which is a 2 year education and costs between $200-$300 in total.  Very inexpensive to get pastors ordained when you look at American wealth.

Are there enough bibles in Burkina? Are there bibles in every language?

In the city they use french Bibles. There are also bibles translated to Moore, which is the main language of the Mossi people (about 40% of Burkina’s population) — these bibles are relatively inexpensive to purchase at $10-$15 a piece. Bibles are a wonderful way to bless the pastors and the people there.  Unfortunately, only 36% of the population of Burkina is literate and so it is almost more of a priority to train the pastors to reach the people with the verbal gospel.

What does it take to get a church started?

It is not too different than here in the USA.  You need a pastor that knows the gospel and a few people willing to attend.  It is even better if that pastor can be guaranteed a church building with a roof, which is something we can help with.

Your church is based in a very different culture than ours. Our worship styles are different, our languages are different, and our countries are different. What are the similarities that you can see between our two churches?

Marcel and I talk each time we are together about the similarities.  Unfortunately, while the sins may take a different cultural connotation, they are the same.  Burkina churches, just like our own have to battle infighting, division, selfishness, relational abuse, false gospels such as the prosperity gospel, and much more.  On the good side, the love of Jesus and one another is the same, it just might be shown in a different cultural way.  At the end of the day, our goal is the same…to witness to the world of the love of the Father by our love for one another and the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What is the biggest cultural obstacle to bringing people into the church?

From what I have gathered from Marcel it is simply the fight against culture, tradition, and family.  To leave animism or islam and pursue Christ is seen by many as an insult.  The church needs to then circle around them and be their new family.  If this is done well, it is successful.  But as Marcel shared with us, like it is in America, many return to their old way of life.

Let’s join with our Burkinabe brother and sister and our sister churches of Ekklesia and The Fellowship at Bend and pray for the movement of the gospel in Burkina Faso!