Field Strategic Coordinator – Rev. Moise Toumoudagou
With 13 countries under its jurisdiction, the West Field is the largest in the Africa region. It is also the youngest field, where the oldest district is less than 30 years old. The West Field is situated in a portion of the continent where 60% to 70% of the population subscribes to non-Christian religious practices. West African countries are mostly bilingual, with French being the most predominantly spoken language in 9 countries.
The West field seeks to see transformation brought about by Christ-like discipleship in every community (be it ethnic, professional or social). That is, the ripple effect of people whose lives have been transformed by the Gospel, using the Gospel to transform the lives of others. These are the people who are the agents of change in the field. In Dakar, Senegal, where 95% of the population subscribes to other religions, one of the ways in which the Church reaches people is through music. A recording studio has been set up in the district centre, where some respected musicians and artists visit and use the opportunity to share the Word through the medium of music.
In West Africa, where there is a youth unemployment crisis, the field seeks to implement a Youth Empowerment Initiative, helping young unemployed people identified over the last 3 to 4 years. The initiative will facilitate training programmes that run for 6 months to a year, connecting the unemployed youths with professionals in relevant fields. The field will help provide resources and equipment where possible.
West Field also provides “Orality Training” as an alternative mode of learning the Gospel due to the fact that 40% of the people reached out to are not literate in Western languages and literature. The training programme seeks to achieve discipleship and leadership over a period of 6 months to a year. The next “Orality Training” session will focus on Jesus Film workers and takes place from 24 to 31 July 2017.
The last 5 years have seen a considerable movement in the areas of Benin, Togo and northern Ghana. Over the last 2 years, the West Field has been intentionally developing the “Two Routes” strategy, which seeks to reach people on the SAHEL Route (which is largely unreached) and the Coastal Route (where urban ministry is a focal point).