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Stories of Senegal

Introduction - Djouma Sene

Posted by Shannon Colwin on

One of the incredible gifts of going international mission trips has been the opportunity to get to know people from very different cultures. In two weeks, Damascus Road will be joining Community Church in Fond du Lac and Crossroads Community in Sheboygan for a ten-day trip. It’s a joy to partner with these other churches as we join God in building His church. This will be DRC’s third trip to Senegal. While we're excited to spend time with these friends again, we also recognize that the relationships that have been formed reach back far beyond these three years. Community Church has sent a team for the past sixteen years. Sixteen years of building relationships! And father has been on every one of these trips. Through the fifteen previous trips, he’s met some incredible people and gotten to know pieces of their stories.

As a way of trying to share these relationships with the rest of the church, my dad has written down stories. Each one carries a little bit different aspect to our partnership and what God is (and has been) doing. We’re going to turn them into a series of blog posts so that you can connect with what God is doing in and through us. I hope you enjoy reading these. One day, I hope you’re able to meet some of these people yourself.

- Shannon

Djouma Sene

I suspect she is now in her 60's.  She, like me, has aged quite a bit since we first met.  I used to call her the queen of Godel because she looked so regal and she has such a strong presence despite her humble attitude.

My first memory of her is on our second trip.  The church had been mostly constructed but there were no doors and no benches.  Just before the Sunday service began I was sitting on the floor against a side wall in the church when I looked to my left and saw Djouma standing in the doorway motioning me to come outside.  I suspect she was not a Christian yet because she wouldn't come in the church.  I walked just outside the doorway and Djouma held out her hands in which there was a handkerchief.  She motioned for me to take it.  I did and she opened the hanky.  There were 3 chicken eggs - a gift from the heart.  Whenever I think of that scene it reminds me of the story Jesus told of the widow's mite - a tiny gift from someone who has nothing; a gift from the heart.  

Djouma has gone through some tough times. She was the second of two wives; her husband lived in a different village.  I doubt that he supported her.  When he died a few years ago she was expected to stay in her hut for 30 days to mourn his death despite the fact that he had not provided for her and I doubt she loved the man.
I love this lady. She has been so faithful to the church over the years.  She has been such a good friend to so many of the people who have visited the village.


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