“Mr Benington,” the Chairman said, watching carefully to see Stanley’s reaction, “the Qua Iboe Council has been concerned about extending the Mission into new areas where there is no witness.”... “We would like you to go and make a journey through West Africa and report back to the Mission.” Stanley’s answer was typical of him, “I’ll have to think about it. If the Lord gives me a word, I will go.” He didn’t have to wait long for his word. The very next morning, in his ordinary daily reading, one text stood out: “Behold, I send an angel before you to lead you in the way and to bring you into the place that I have prepared for you.” That was enough for Stanley.

Bb Bible School

So, on 26th January 1931, Stanley and Kano, his houseboy, set out from the mission station in Nigeria to find the place that God had prepared. After an incredible journey of 13,000 miles in a tiny Model T Ford car, he wrote a report for the Mission, detailing his findings. The Council encouraged him to establish a work in the east of Upper Volta, now known as Burkina Faso. As he prayed over a map of the area, he felt drawn to the Lobi people, then he saw a name marked on the map, Bouroum-Bouroum and he sensed God say to him, “You’ll find the place near that.”

In the ensuing busy period of preparation for moving his place of ministry into a new country, the strange little name of the village he had seen escaped his mind but he knew he could trust his God to lead him step by step into the place of His choosing. He and His houseboy made their way into Lobi land and, after a few disappointments, found a Government rest house where they could stay until he could build his own house.

It wasn’t long before he found out the name of the village where he had chosen to settle - it was Bouroum-Bouroum. Suddenly it all came back to him - the map laid out on the bed and the voice that had whispered in his ear, “You’ll find a place near that,” The angel who led the way had made no mistakes. They had come to the place prepared for them!

85 years have passed and today in Burkina Faso there is a thriving evangelical witness as a result of that journey and that decision to bring the Gospel to the Lobi people. Mission Africa now works in partnership with the Evangelical Protestant Church, helping to support church work, Bible colleges, a radio ministry, a hospital chaplaincy, youth and Sunday school work and correspondence courses in primary schools.

Prophecy Trees

A Bible college still exists in the village of Bouroum-Bouroum and anyone who visits is given a guided tour of the compound where Stanley and Alice first made their home and can stand in the very spot where Stanley would have stood to preach in the remains of the old church where the first converts worshipped.

The paragraphs in italics are excerpts from ‘A Place Prepared’ which tells the story of the beginning of Mission Africa’s work in Burkina Faso as well as the period when Jeremy and Rachel Nash served there. Copies are available from the office.