Church Planters among unreached – Senegal
Work in a church planting team among one of several different ethnic groups (Fulakunda, Halpulaar, Maure, Soninke, Wolof). Live with the people, learn their language and begin to understand the local culture.
Be ready to witness and share the good news in a way relevant to a Muslim context. Serve the people using any means, to build relationships: eg healthcare, dentistry, Aids support, education, literacy promotion, computer skills, horticulture, sports, professional training.
Qualities & Gifts Sought
Bible training, cross-cultural experience and Islamic studies will be needed. Training in how to learn a language. French language fluency needed, but Arabic would be a bonus.
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Senegal is a country in West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal also borders The Gambia and Senegal also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde.
The name “Senegal” comes from the Wolof “Sunuu Gaal”, which means “Our Boat”. Senegal has an estimated population of about 15 million.
Senegal's capital of Dakar is by far the largest city in Senegal, with over two million residents. The second most populous city is Touba, with half a million people.
Senegal has a tropical climate with pleasant heat throughout the year.
Senegal became independent in 1960 and Léopold Sédar Senghor was Senegal’s first president.
Senegal has a wide variety of ethnic groups and, as in most West African countries, several languages are widely spoken. The Wolof are the largest single ethnic group in Senegal at 43%; the Fula and Toucouleur (24%) are the second biggest group, followed by the Serer (14.7%), then others such as Jola (4%), Mandinka (3%), Maures, Soninke, Bassari and many smaller communities (9%).
About 50,000 Europeans (mostly French) and Lebanese as well as smaller numbers of Mauritanians and Moroccans live in Senegal, mainly in the cities.
Senegal is a secular state. Islam is the predominant religion, practiced by approximately 94% of the population; the Christian community, at 5% of the population, are mostly Roman Catholics. 1% have animist beliefs, particularly in the southeastern region of the country.
A majority of the Muslims in Senegal are Sunni with Sufi influences. Islamic communities in Senegal are generally organized around one of several Islamic Sufi orders or brotherhoods, headed by a khalif.
Culture, arts and food
Because Senegal borders the Atlantic Ocean, fish is very important. Chicken, lamb, peas, eggs, and beef are also used in Senegalese cooking, but not pork, due to the nation's largely Muslim population.
Peanuts, the primary crop of Senegal, as well as couscous, white rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, black-eyed peas and various vegetables, are also incorporated into many recipes.
Arts, music and sport
Senegal is well known for the West African tradition of storytelling, which is done by griots, who have kept West African history alive for thousands of years through words and music.
Senegal is known across Africa for its musical heritage, due to the popularity of mbalax (the national dance). It has been popularized by Youssou N'Dour, Omar Pene and others.
Sabar rhythm-drumming is especially popular. The sabar is mostly used in special celebrations like weddings. Another instrument, the tama (talking drum), is used in more ethnic groups.
Wrestling and football are the most popular sports in the country.
[Source: Wikipedia. Read more about this nation here].
There are 56 people groups in Senegal and nearly 50% are considered unreached with the good news of Jesus.
The largest religion is Islam at 91%. Ethnic religions make up 4.2%. Professing Christians are 4.5% and of those 0.5% are consider themselves evangelical.
[Source: Joshua Project]
Pray with us for:
continued freedom of religion
the growth of the church
Young people and students
work among the Talibé street boys
Dakar - a strategic location
unreached people groups such as the Wolof
[Source: Operation World, 2010 print edition]
You can also pray for Senegal using Operation World’s online resources.
Or pray using a Prayercast video here.
The vision of WEC Senegal is to see every people and language group of Senegal knowing, loving and worshipping Jesus.
We believe we will see this happen as we commit to workers sharing the good news of Jesus creatively, sensitively and abundantly amongst the people in urban centres and rural areas, reaching both adults and children.
We want to see groups of disciples emerging and communities of disciples belonging to Jesus formed who understand and obey the great commission.
As well as church planting, another essential ministry in Senegal is Bourofaye Christian School (BCS) for missionaries’ children. The school serves Christian workers in many West African countries and provides quality schooling for children aged 8-16.
Read Ruth’s story – a teacher at BCS.
Read more information about WEC Senegal