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Missionary sends letter of love

"It is once again a great pleasure for me to keep you updated concerning our service here in Senegal," says missionary N'Shikala.

Thanks to your gifts to The Advance, Missionary David Makobo N'Shikala (3021869) is able to serve wherever he is needed at the local church in Kaolack.

Missionary N'Shikala and his wife spent the summer months in the United States attending the 2016 General Conference sessions and visiting annual conferences around the country. Upon their return to Senegal in July, while the mission was closed in August, N'Shikala still had work to do with different groups of local farmers. There was no time for rest!

    First stop at First UMC of Durango-Colorado.

N'Shikala celebrated his three-year anniversary in August 2016 as a Global Ministries missionary.

"We thank God for what we have been able to accomplish in term[s] of agriculture and animal husbandry projects with local farmers and a local church of Kaolack. Better harvests have resulted in overall improvements in living standards of families."

N'Shikala feels that his work is not limited to preaching and training but to serve as needed. "I find myself serving as a translator or simultaneous interpreter for Volunteers-In-Mission (VIM) teams, missionary colleagues, or visitors from the General Agencies of the United Methodist Church."

Unfortunately, due to transportation challenges, N'Shikala, has to limit the number of villages he can visit even though the number of farmers needing help have increased.

"While using public transportation helps me connect with the local people, most of whom rely on public transportation; it also limits the number of villages where I can commit to because of long distances."

In 2016 N'Shikala focused on farmers in the Pointe Sarene, Sebikotane and Louly villages. He also takes time to work with individual local churches.

"Part of my work with these groups is to assist with technical support and advice. As a mission station, we also give them loans to help them get started. Granting loans to these small-scale farmers for meantime is a pragmatic way to alleviate poverty in these rural areas."

   Poite Sarene Farmers, after training session.

"Every time I meet these farmers I am always humbled and encouraged by what they give as testimonies."  On villager who was hesitant to join the program was impressed by the work that N'Shikala did and eventually agreed to join the program in November of last year.

"I was born and raised in this village and I know better everything in this village. If today there is an improvement in this village, you have played a role."

"Such words coming from this predominantly Muslim community encourage[s] me to keep serving and show[ing] Christ's love," says N'Shikala.

According to N'Shikala, the main challenge for local churches is the lack of land. He has made it his priority last year to get financial support to help these local churches acquire land.

"We thank God that with the financial support we received, we purchased a land for the local United Methodist Church of Kaolack. This land will be used for the exiting piggery project. It is my hope that if we get some more financial support from friends or partners, we will be able to purchase more land for local churches for agriculture activities purpose."

"Being now the only commissioned Global Ministries missionary here in Senegal I also do the administrative work including management of mission employees. Please continue to help us in your prayers, they make a different each and every day as we engage in various villages to do ministry in the name of Christ Jesus."

David Makobo N'Shikala, General Board of Global Ministries Missionary in Senegal

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