What It's Like
In West Africa, people value relationships more than any schedule, and friendly foreigners are typically welcomed warmly. Beyond that, diversity abounds:
Geography – It ranges from rain forests to barren deserts to modern cities and tropical islands.
People – It’s home to subsistence farmers, fishermen, nomadic herders and merchants who face challenges from civil war to disease and famine.
Spirituality – It includes Islamic strongholds, voodoo covens and the witchcraft of African Traditional Religion (ATR).
Christianity has made its impact in some areas, but hundreds of people groups have never heard the Gospel. For many, extremely rough terrain physically hinders their access to Truth.
Gospel access in West Africa is a study in contrasts. Some of the first Baptist missionaries were commissioned to this part of the world in the mid 19th century, and some countries are now home to thriving Baptist conventions. Yet, over 150 years later, whole nations remain largely untouched by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To reach West Africa, the International Mission Board has developed a strategy that encompasses this broad range of Gospel access:
Engage – Mobilize volunteer churches to engage West Africa’s “micro” people groups with the Gospel. We want to make sure the smallest, most remote groups have the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ.
Advance – Employ full-time missionary personnel to advance church planting efforts among the region’s largest and most influential people groups. We’re working to see an indigenous movement of churches planting churches among every people group!
Co-Labor – In countries where national Baptist conventions exist, work alongside African Baptists to minister among the lost.
"We are called to participate with God, individually, corporately, and as facilitators of others, in evangelizing the peoples of West Africa, in discipling them in the Word, and in planting CPM-oriented Baptist churches."