Kims take God’s message to Senegal
by Captain Fred Kim –
For the third consecutive year, Captains Fred and Chris Kim of the Santa Clara Grace Korean Corps in California traveled with a team from their congregation to the West African nation of Senegal, on a ten-day “Moslem Mission.”
Captain Fred Kim’s report, below, illustrates the mighty work that God can accomplish when those to whom he speaks respond with bold and thoughtful action.
After arriving in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, we needed to travel to our destination of Ziguinchor on the southern tip of the country. Since no airplane was available, we chartered a van and drove.
To reach Ziguinchor, we passed through Gambia, a landlocked country within Senegal. We were stopped and checked more than 10 times by both Senegal and Gambian authorities—police, military, customs, immigration—and we endured car trouble and temperatures of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Though difficult, we enjoyed this time—it was one of fellowship and rapport building with college students who had joined us from the hosting Dakar church. We arrived in Ziguinchor—only 300 miles from Dakar—more than 14 hours later.
Seminar in Ziguinchor
Our seminar location was the World Evangelism Council center. Originally a school, the building was ruined during tribal war. We decided to repair it and hold our seminar there. Today, unlike our first visit in 2003, the building has electricity and water.
This year’s seminar theme was Spiritual Growth, as requested by the local pastors. I saw improvement in the event’s organization over the previous two years—the native pastors have learned skills to organize and mobilize for maximum efficiency. In the region of Casamance where Ziguinchor is located, Christianity is growing amid persecution from Muslims. We saw not only growth but also maturity. Before we came, there was no organized seminar for Christians. We thank God that we have provided a good learning opportunity for them and have helped the churches grow.
The evening of the next day we had a foot washing ceremony and a candlelight service. The Spirit of the Lord was upon us and we all made a commitment to be the light of the world, especially in the Moslem darkness. After that, at campfire, people joyously started to dance and to sing by language group—French, Portuguese, Creole, Wolof, Zola and Seres. It was a spirit-filled and exuberant expression of joy in the Lord.
On Sunday I preached at the local church, which has grown from about 80 when we first came to about 130-150. Later, we had a united service where we showed the movie Combat in French. About 400 viewed the movie, including non-believers and Muslims. After the movie, 28 people made first-time decisions for Christ. Eighty came forward to recommit.
When we first did the seminar in 2003, we wondered if it could work in a Moslem country—but we have learned first-hand that truly nothing is impossible with God!
Traveling back to Dakar to gather with church leaders, I was blessed to meet a pastor from Congo whose father was the corps sergeant major of the corps in Congo. Unity amongst Christians is crucially important to overcome persecution. That’s why we organized this meeting. All the pastors were encouraged and experienced a spirit of accordance and fellowship.
The remote areas
We visited remote areas where Pastor Andrade, our host, recently started two house churches. The area was uncivilized—no water, no power, nothing.
One of the pastors gave his testimony. When he arrived in the area a month earlier, he had nothing. He was in despair with no food, no congregation and no money. When he prayed in distress, he heard the audible voice of God, saying, “Armee du Salut, Armee du Salut,” which is The Salvation Army in French.
Having no idea of Armee du Salut, he learned from friends that it is a Christian organization. He then named his church “Maison du Salut” (House of Salvation) based on his encounter with God. When we helped them with a little monetary fund, he cried and gave us his testimony. Indeed, miracles that happened in Jesus’ time still are happening today!
We give thanks to God for allowing this trip—and thank all who prayed for us. We sensed the prayer support whenever we were in danger. With God leading us and prayer warriors supporting us, we are conquerors in Christ!