The Word is Alive

Carol Bergen felt something electric inside of her when she heard Drissa pray. Drissa has been a long-time friend and trusted night guard for her and her husband Phil for the past 13 years. The Bergens are serving with MB Mission working with the Nanerige people group, translating scripture from the national French and Jula into their native tribal language.

Phil and Carol had invited Drissa over to their home for scones and tea. He asked Phil to teach him how to pray for his breakfast. Phil touched Drissa’s chest and told him to say what was in his heart – God would understand. And so Drissa prayed his very first Jula prayer in Jesus’ name.

The dominant religion in Burkina Faso is Islam, and of the 80 000 Nanerige people only a handful are Christians. But God is using Phil and Carol in an incredible way to bring the hope of Christ to the honest and hard-working Nanerige. The Word of God is shining through in power as it penetrates hearts, even the heart of Drissa, a man who was once very set in his Muslim ways.

Drissa’s interest in scripture came alive late in 2006 when Carol, along with MB Mission missionary Michelle Warner decided to try out the Nanerige writing system. Drissa volunteered to read the translated text for them as they wrote and he enjoyed this task so much that he would come back daily to read for them. Drissa couldn’t stay away from the Word, and it was clear that the Spirit of God was working in his heart! After several months Drissa declared, “Someday I’m going to be teaching these scriptures!”

October 7, 2007 marked the very first church service in N’Dorola. It was a service of celebration. Drissa and Phil had spent the previous week in Orodara attending a seminar given by David Shenk on how Christians can relate to Muslims. Since Drissa has been a Muslim all of his life, the subject of the seminar could not have been more helpful to him! Drissa had the opportunity to meet a larger community of Christians, and when the seminar concluded he asked if he could meet with the church leaders and formally convert! Upon their return they held the first church service in N’Dorola with the new pastor and celebrated together what God was doing in Drissa’s life and among the Nanerige people!

One year later the church has grown to 35 people and 9 members, including Drissa and his wife, have stepped forward to declare their faith through baptism. Pray for the Nanerige people and ask God to continue to raise up people like Drissa who are excited about the transforming power of His Word!

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12