FBC Montgomery adopts Ejamat people in Senegal, Africa comment (0)
July 19, 2012
By Debby Faught
Clapping and cheering erupt from the crowd gathered as an elderly woman with gray hair emerges from the muddy waters of the Casamance River, displaying to the Ejamat people her new identity as a believer in Jesus Christ. “I am old, but I too will follow Jesus,” she said.
First Baptist Church, Montgomery, has “embraced the Ejamat people in Senegal, Africa, and are committed to be the missionaries to them,” said Brian Gay, the church’s minister of missions.
A total of “19 precious people turned their backs on centuries of dark animism to boldly proclaim their faith in Christ,” said Senior Pastor Jay Wolf.
“When [they] stood publicly and unashamedly to declare they were following the ‘Jesus Way,’ our hearts flooded with joy and heaven must have erupted with fireworks. Each new Christ-follower shared their testimony. It was electrifying to see Christ’s Kingdom expanding and the darkness shattering by God’s liberating love and light.”
Members of First, Montgomery, have taken two trips since their initial prayer meeting in February 2011.
“We felt God leading us to embrace the Ejamat people group,” remarked Gay, noting First, Montgomery, partners with Southern Baptist representatives in the Senegal area and has embraced the Ejamat group through the International Mission Board’s Unengaged, Unreached People Groups emphasis. “We plan to send teams as often as we can, every six to eight weeks. [With God’s help, we want to] multiply churches where they can continue to grow through oral chronological Bible stories, and slowly but surely we can aid them in reaching out into their community as we move on to more unreached, unengaged people groups.”
However, members of First, Montgomery, were not the first to start praying for the Ejamat people. Karfar became a believer in a neighboring village prior to the arrival of the First, Montgomery, teams; he then moved back home and prayed fervently for 15 years for his people group. Gay described him as a modern-day Andrew. “He is a main leader among the Ejamats and opens up his home for Bible studies.”
When asked how Alabama Baptist churches could pray for this mission Gay simply responded, “Pray for the Ejamat people.” He also encouraged all churches to engage an unengaged people group. According to Operation World, there are 57 people groups in Senegal and 47 percent of them remain unreached.
“Prayer is our strategy. [If you] cannot go, pray,” Gay said. Out of about 3,000 Ejamat people, 35 have received Christ and 21 have been baptized.