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Pursuing the Unreached—No Matter the Cost

The Lobi are an Unreached People Group that inhabit parts of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo. A history of oppression and attacks from other communities has rendered them a militant society. In Burkina Faso, they are nicknamed ‘Indians of Burkina’ and are known for their skill with poisoned arrows. They practice Djoro, a traditional religion characterized by the worship of ancestral spirits through totems. Every seven years, they conduct a mass initiation ceremony on the banks of River Wá, followed by six months in the forest. No one is fully a member of the tribe until they have taken part in this often gory rite. In fact, many initiates do not participate freely— they are abducted from homes, farms, churches, mosques, and even schools.

This year, more than 30,000 people, some as young as eight, took part in the ceremony. One of TTI’s trainers was nearly killed when he resisted a militia led by his kinsman. They had come to abduct eight church planters who had taken refuge in one of his student’s churches. Some, like Évelyne, are not so lucky. 

Évelyne lived with her family in a village in northern Burkina Faso. Although they practiced Djoro and she was well into her teenage years, she had not taken part in the initiation ceremony. Constant attacks caused them to relocate to Kaya, another village about 100 kilometers from the capital, and her parents converted to Islam. With her social and academic life so disrupted, and her parents without fields to farm for income, a distraught Évelyne decided to move to Ouagadougou and make a living as a prostitute.

As she was finalizing her plans to leave, she met Débora, a TTI church planter. Débora told Évelyne about the love of God shown to us through His Son (John 3:16). Évelyne was deeply moved by this story that she had never heard before—having seen many people killed, she was amazed that Jesus let Himself be killed for her sake. Moreover, she was free to choose whether to accept or reject what she had just heard! With joy bubbling over in her heart, she received Jesus. Débora now disciples Évelyne, who has become a committed member of her church. She has also enrolled her in tailoring school, so that she can earn a living. Évelyne says, “Glory to Jesus who redeemed me.”

 Church planted under the pandemic on Sunday 9th August in Timothy André’s courtyard.
Evélyne working on sewing machine.
Prayer meeting in Timothy Ouédraogo Débora’s CP, with Titus OUÉDRAOGO WÊNDINSO ÉVELYNE (in red).
Prayer meeting in Timothy Ouédraogo Débora’s CP, with Débora leading devotion.

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