About a year and a half ago I started a Bible study with a few of the older girls that I work with (aged between 14 - 17). The Bible study had been taking place very infrequently—we’d have a few meetings and then the girls would be too busy for a while, so we would postpone and postpone. In the meantime, some of the younger girls had come around to see me to ask if they could to join. I didn’t want them to join the group for two practical reasons. Firstly, the group would become too big and I would struggle to follow up on the teaching. The second reason was the age gap - these girls were about twelve years old, while the rest of the group was a little older, which would make teaching more difficult.

Dispatch 2

Considering I wasn’t having much success with the older girls, I decided to start a separate group for the younger ones. I told them they had to settle a day and a time – which they did, though it took them four months to agree among themselves! When the girls came to tell me of the day they had finally settled I had forgotten all about their request, thinking they were too busy as well. They called over to my house one Monday morning: could they have the studies on Mondays at 12:30, starting today? After explaining to them that next time it would be better to give somebody more warning, we agreed on ‘today’.

They were so pleased with the first session that they asked if I could do it more often than once a month. I thought that this would be difficult. I wouldn’t have the time to prepare a lesson for them every week that would keep them interested in coming back. I reviewed the possibilities. If I said no it might mean that the girls would not come back again. I didn’t want to dampen their enthusiasm for studying the Bible. What could I do for teaching? It was then that the Lord reminded me of some boxes that had arrived recently.

Dispatch Ana

During the months that the girls had been busy settling their ‘appointed time’ I had received some Bible studies from the Revival Movement. Included were some studies suitable for my girls. Now that I had something to work with, I was quite happy to have them come every week. It’s a lot of commitment for them. They come straight from school, have an hour of Bible study at the mission house, before rushing home for lunch in order to get back to school in time. The lesson is divided into two parts: the teaching, followed by an activity. The teaching is very simple - the girls take turns to read the Bible story and answer the questions, while I add some extra teaching where needed. The activity is usually a craft or a memory verse, or something similar.

Recently I was able to welcome some visitors from my home church. After they had arrived and settled in I asked them whether they wanted to help with the lessons. I gave my visitors two days to prepare at least - more than I got! As the girls had two lessons during my visitors’ stay, they had two surprise activities. The girls enjoyed having them around during their lesson time. They were able to practice their painting skills – some of them for the first time.

Ana serves in the rural village of Legmoin, Burkina Faso doing a wide variety of outreach activities alongside the local church. She also keeps herself busy chairing the national Sunday School committee for the Eglise Protestante Evangélique (Evangelical Protestant Church).