The Open Door to Senegal
"Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." (Revelation 3.8)
Looking for the Open Door
When the Lord leads you to a land to reach a people, it feels like a life-long investment in that one place. As creative people made in the image of God we naturally begin to build dreams around our God given visions. For our family the dream of living in the Sahara and continuing to reach those who haven't heard in the Northeastern African nation we called home was ripped away from us after a few short years. Long enough to lay down roots into the lives of families and friends, to see multiple churches planted and flourish, but not long enough to see all our human dreams accomplished. Too short to give our entire lives to the unreached nomads in the deserts or the masses in the capitol city, but not short enough to not weep over their loss.
We were expelled from that nation, unable to return for the foreseeable future. But with that heartbreak, it made our healing shine with beauty as He lifted our eyes to another nation, another unreached people waiting to be swept up into His saving grace.
The Gospel to Guediawaye
We returned to America and began to pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit toward the door He was setting before us. For a month we sought the Lord to show us where He would have us make our new home among the unreached nations.
Before leaving Northeastern Africa we had felt the Lord begin to prompt our hearts toward French-speaking Africans. We began to pray through the nations of Africa and the 900 unreached peoples groups found within their borders with a renewed vigor. As we prayed the Lord lifted Senegal, and the unreached people groups that call that nation home, above the rest. Waking up in the middle of the night with our hearts burning for the unreached people of Senegal we knew where God was leading us in our next chapter.
We set our faces toward the rising sun and found on the Western shore of Africa a beautiful nation, filled with men, women and children made in the image of God where 9 out of 10 have not experienced the redeeming and transforming presence of Jesus the Messiah.
Through the Blue Gate
In January 2014, after sharing our heart for the unreached peoples of Senegal we knelt at the altar with numerous brothers and sisters in Christ stirred by the absence of the Good News in so many nations.
I had been praying for the Lord to give us a clearer vision of what He was calling us to in Senegal. As I knelt at the altar and began to see a vision of a hammered blue gate, bolted and locked to solid brown walls that would not open. I shook the handle, but the gate held. Locked. Seeing the metal frame before us as a blockade I asked the Lord to unlock the gate so that we might reach the people beyond. I looked up and watched as a dove descended and lighted, not on the lock, but on the top hinge of the gate. As the dove landed the gate hinge gave way and it swung noiselessly against the lock revealing a dark-faced man clothed in a flowing white clothes.
My immediate response, still moving through the emotions of the last broken down gate in Northeastern Africa, was to scan the man’s body for weapons, but the dove flew between us revealing he was unarmed. He was seeking the Savior. As we stood together, next to the unhinged gate, I watched as the man upturned his head and arms and began to worship Jesus the Messiah! What joy burst through my heart! I watched as a fire descended into his chest and as He opened his mouth in praise a tongue of fire came out that became so large it rose over the nation of Senegal! Amazed I watched as several smaller tongues of fire began to kindle over the capitol city.
What a privilege to see the power of God unhinge gates and empower His witness through the power of His Holy Spirit. What a privilege our family has as ones sent out to be a witness to men, women and children who will come to the foot of the cross, and find the way of salvation through Jesus our Lord.
"The Deals are authentic, passionate, workers for our King. I’ve been privileged to see their hunger to share the good news with the lost, in action. They hunger to see 'fruit that will remain,' and because of that spirit, they are destined to see the church planted, wherever they go.”
- A Pioneer Missionary among the unreached Oromo and Somali peoples