Taking the Message Beyond the Hills
Cross-cultural missionary work often means leaving a comfortable lifestyle for one that is much more difficult. This was especially true for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He left His heavenly comfort and glory to be born into our dark and sinful world. The most difficult and yet rewarding part of this work is taking the message of salvation to a dying people group whose culture you do not know, and whose language you don’t understand. Like Christ, our cross-cultural missionaries leave the comfort of their homes, families and friends to go and serve in underdeveloped countries where things like electricity, running water and Internet are privileges. Though this work demands sacrifice, it is nothing compared to Christ’s sacrifice for us.
Ellen White writes in the first paragraph of her book The Acts of the Apostles, “The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning, it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God.”
In 2016 and 2017, we were blessed with four talented and energetic student missionaries—three young ladies from the U.S. and one young man from Brazil. Each of them contributed immensely to our Susu ministry.
Our medical student missionary, Sara Allman, served in the village of Foriforiyah about five miles from Fria. The road to this village is drivable during the dry season, but it is very hard to find a taxi or any other vehicle willing to take you there. To get there, you pass the Fria airstrip and then descend into a valley to the village of Manboureh. Just beyond the village is a large stream. During the dry season, people can wade through it, and vehicles can drive through it. But during the rainy season it becomes a wide, deep, swiftly flowing river. The villagers have constructed a suspension bridge from sticks and bush ropes. Crossing this bridge is very scary and requires careful balancing as it swings back and forth.
Motorbikes are the most convenient mode of transportation to Foriforiyah. During the dry season, motorbikes can cross the stream to the village. In the rainy season, they have to stop at the bridge. Every Thursday, Sara and a local nurse go to this village to provide medical services. It takes faith to make this trip because of the risks involved. Some of the motorbike drivers are not very careful, and the road condition is not good. There are other dangers, too. During one of their trips, Sara almost stepped on a cobra.
Though all our student missionaries got sick with malaria, they pressed on and were able to complete their time, helping us spread the gospel of Jesus to our Susu brothers and sisters. Thank you all for your sacrifice!