“Whoa, Whoa!” The Fulani herdsman stops his cattle and peers at the man lying on the side of the road. He is an Otammari farmer, but why is he so beaten up? Filled with compassion, the Fulani herdsman stoops down to see if he can help. This man is his enemy. He could even have been one of the Otammari farmers who chased his cattle and insulted him in the past. Most probably, the farmer would not have helped him had he been hurt. Yet, none of these thoughts cross his mind as he gently picks up the man and puts him on a cow. This man is in need, and the herdsman will take him to the hospital. If the hospital demands payment, he will leave a cow as surety until he can return to pay.
We recently returned from the Otammari Project in Benin, West Africa. We had a great time working on curriculum development and lesson planning. We facilitated as the missionaries and their assistants applied the practical principles of outreach to their context among the Otammari people. Using tools like the story above, we discussed how best to train the church members who share their dream of reaching the unreached Otammari with the message of God’s love.
What a joy to meet the dedicated church members. These individuals willingly sacrifice time and money to learn how to reach people in their villages. We were truly inspired as we witnessed the dedication, spirit and determination of the Otammari team as they strive to excel in the their missionary task. Our prayer is that God will bless as they train up an army of local lay workers.