|A Fulakunda woman shields her face in Senegal, West Africa. Though Islam is the predominant religion of the region’s 1.8 million Fulakunda, this people group only embraced Islam within the last 50 years. |
SENEGAL, West Africa (BP)--Missionaries usually invite churches to send volunteers to help reach their people group.
For Scott and Julie Bradford, missionary strategy coordinators for the Fulakunda (FOO-luh-KOON-duh) people of West Africa, it happened the other way around.
The Bradfords sensed God’s mission call a decade before they arrived in 2002. West Africa, however, was “the last place in the world” they thought they would serve.
But Conowingo (Md.) Baptist Church -– a congregation that had been praying for years for the Fulakunda, sending volunteers and mobilizing other churches to go -– was asking God to raise up long-term missionaries.
|Despite being disowned by her family because of her faith in Jesus, this Fulakunda believer feels called to share the hope of Christ with other West African women. |
God’s answer to that request: the Bradfords.
“We were willing to go anytime, anywhere, but God said, ‘Wait,’” Scott recalls. While they waited, however, he got a little too comfortable teaching at a Christian school in the United States.
“When the time came, God had to wake me up,” Scott admits. “Julie woke up first, though.”
Now, as missionaries, they welcome volunteers from Conowingo and other Southern Baptist churches who come to serve among the Fulakunda people.
The Fulakunda, who number more than 2 million in Senegal and four other West African countries, traditionally were nomadic herdsmen. In recent times, though, many have settled into towns and villages -– primarily in Guinea Bissau and in southern Senegal, where the Bradfords now live. Read More