CESA, Senegal—Second Baptist Church, Springfield, recently participated in a mission trip within the targeted Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) “uttermost” area of West Africa when short-term missionaries went to the Jahanke people group in a rural area of Senegal.
The tribe lives in the village of Cesa, which is around a 13-hour drive from the capital city of Dakar. There are 89,000 Jahanke, with no reported believers. They are known as the Islamic leaders in West Africa, with other Muslims traveling hours to receive a blessing from a Jahanke.
Second’s short-term mission team was made up of a group of ladies who gave up their Christmas vacation to live in a hut and tell the story of Jesus.
“God showed off and did some amazing things on our trip,” said Kaila Hedger, missions associate at Second who led the mission trip and daughter of MBC Partnership Missions Specialist Rick Hedger.
The team spent five days building relationships and living among the people in the village. One of those days was Christmas, when the team held a huge celebration to honor the birth of Jesus. With the help of the village, a meal was prepared, drummers were brought in, and the Jesus Film was shown after dark.
“It was incredible to see the response of the people,” Kaila Hedger said. “After seeing the film we had many people asking questions and wanting to know more.”
The following Sunday the team was having church under a tree when the chief’s brother came up to the International Mission Board (IMB) missionary to the Jahanke and started to ask questions about the film. He was able to tell him stories all the way from Creation to the Cross, and the man still wanted to know more.
“God has thrown open the doors in the village of Cesa,” Kaila Hedger said. “The chief told us that it is our village now; we are welcome back any time and that when we do come back they want to hear more about Jesus.”
Cesa is located in the Western Gateway Cluster, where thousands of villages are said to be ripe and hungry to hear the Gospel for the first time. Second Baptist is one of many partners who are presently needed to reach this area over the course of the MBC’s commitment to West Africa.