News from BCS, Senegal

Tim Stephenson,

Bourafaye Christian School

If you are visiting today, we're thrilled to have you with us. We come here to worship God by singing, preaching the Bible and praying together. God is the highest priority in our lives because through Jesus we have forgiveness from our sins and the hope of a new life spent with Him!

  • Please switch off your mobile phone when you come in to the hall.
  • Please remember to park in one of the town car parks; not along Priory St.
  • Please ensure your child/ren do not play on the stage, up in the balcony or in the graveyard either before or after the service.
  • We have large print bibles available for anyone who might need one. Please ask one of the ushers.

Hello dear friends, writes Teresa, one of the young people who came to Corsham last summer for the MK Staff Training course. She is serving as a short term worker at Bourofaye Christian School, Senegal.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Jeremiah 29 v 11

I hope that in these particular circumstances you are all well and not too anxious. In the last few weeks the world has turned upside down and it feels like you’re in a film. I wanted to give you all an update about my current situation but each day brings change and within a short space of time everything could alter.

Trust God for all the future unknowns

Big changes have happened over the last two weeks. At first it was just the tightening of hygiene regulations in school and then a short time after the Senegalese president announced that all schools should be closed and large gatherings forbidden. (Nearly) All of our children were to be collected in 48 hours for the pre-organised Easter holiday. However, we knew that they wouldn’t just be staying for the holidays. After Easter we would attempt to do our best at continuing school with online homework. The Cambridge exams that the eldest children would have completed have been cancelled and so for these children their schooling will be finished even earlier then expected and perhaps they will have to leave the country.

Planning is difficult, it is actually quite uncertain if and when the school can continue.

The news is that 70 tested cases are positive and about 1500 isolated.

Senegal seems to have reacted quickly with enforcing protective measures; anything else would be fatal because the medical infrastructure is not prepared for a pandemic.

Although at first for staff it means a holiday it is not quite so straightforward as there are several in the team who are at risk. Nevertheless we are here and are blessed with a large site, sports hall and field, library and for us all, fellowship! Together we can play sports, cook and watch films everyday. But also praise, worship and pray together. Given that, for the moment I would prefer to be here rather than in Germany.

However, as already mentioned, for the next 24 hours everything remains uncertain and several staff are considering travelling back to their home countries.

Eye of the storm

Immediately it came to me the picture of God and we as Christians in the eye of the storm. The world around us is sinking into chaos and we are in the middle. But unlike the rest of the world we know that there is hope and that we can leave all our cares with God. Of course that doesn’t mean that we are free from sorrow but like the above verse says ‘He has plans for us, to prosper and not to harm us.’ and his word remains forever. I hope that we can all take this on board and trust him completely. Is this not exactly the right time in which we can bring love and hope to those around us? This is a wonderful opportunity, a sign for many who because of fear have lost that understanding. One thing we know: this storm will not last forever! Be encouraged and let us use this time to grow our faith and share the good news!

For the moment that’s all from me in Senegal. I’ll do my best to keep you all in the loop but please feel free to write to me privately.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support!! As always, it is indescribable how much God has provided for me through your support and how many people are thinking of me daily.

God bless and see you soon!

Your Teresa.

Points for prayer:

  • For peace and good health in our team.
  • That we will know God’s plan for the future.
  • Wisdom for the government and our line managers.

Thanks for:

  • My health.
  • The blessing of being here.
  • The lovely fellowship. 

Teresa D, 25th March 2020 

Registered Charity no. 1148492