Senegal is a country located in the westernmost part of the African continent, and its capital is Dakar. Among the 16.2 million people, 95.4% believe in Islam. Although the Paris Mission in 1863 sent the first Protestant missionary to Senegal, so far there are only about 0.15% of evangelicals, less than 50 evangelical churches, and more than 15 million lost souls are still waiting for salvation. It is one of the very few Muslim countries in the world that enjoy freedom of belief and freedom of evangelism.
Since its independence from France in 1960, Senegal is still a young developing country. There is a disparity between the rich and the poor. Many urban poor and rural residents have no income and still have great needs in education, medical care, and people’s livelihood. With a relatively stable democratic political system and a stable medical system, it is the most stable, safe and harmonious country in West Africa economically and politically.
Because of the open and favorable environment, we have diversified development of the Senegal Ministries into 5 related areas: “education and training”, “medical service”, “life training”, “vocational training” and “business opportunities and employment”. At this stage, we first develop small businesses, domestic helper vocational training, foreign language classes, reserve teachers and medical personnel training, etc. Combining the concepts of discipleship and business, we seize the opportunity to adapt business strategies and traditional model of missionary operations to meet the needs of the times. In Senegal, we boldly try new approaches to ministries that are non-traditional.
Overview of Ministries in Senegal
Business Opportunity & Employment
At the beginning of 2021, we launched a business project in the capital to operate a small hotel in the spirit of Christian friendship. At the same time, we established a mission platform to support local Christian organizations, provide opportunities to train leaders, invite some long-term guests to participate in Sunday worships and in sharing their faith.
The first domestic helper training course has been successfully completed in early July 2021. We will continue to teach basic Chinese cooking skills, shepherd students, and prepare them to enter Chinese families with missions to work and witness Christ. We hope that one day they can lead their employers to the Lord, receive grace and be saved. As we are committed to training these core students to become the leaders of the project, we are now establishing a small takeout food business so that they can apply what they have learned. They can continue learning, teach others, and earn a living at the same time. This way, both the Mission Ministry and the workers can be financially self-sufficient.
Senegal is a country with a young population. 40% of the population are children under the age of 14, and 20% of the population are young people aged 15-24. Even though there are nine years of free education, but only 40% of children aged 5 to 14 go to school, only 50% of the population aged 15 and above can read and write, and 30% of the country’s population are illiterate.
Pre-school education is currently one of the key development projects in Senegal education, however, it is not compulsory, and its implementation result is not satisfactory. At present, the government adopts a loose policy for school-running organizations and welcomes foreign organizations to invest in running schools to make up for existing deficiencies.
We are now planning to open a French-English-Chinese trilingual private Christian kindergarten in October 2022. The school’s philosophy is to provide a high quality education program by combining education and personal development based on Christian core values.
The purpose of all our ministries is to build up followers of Christ to practice the Christian faith and walk in the real world. In the end, it is hoped that more local believers will be able to continue development, fit into the community naturally, take root in serving people, become a preacher with a vocation, and be the light and voice for Jesus. Believers will spread the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ to the non-believers around them, build a healthy Christian community, and have a greater impact and influence on society.