An Introduction to Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is about the size of the state of Colorado with 3 times as many people (16 million) where Colorado has 5 million. Geographically, Burkina Faso occupies the same place in Africa as Colorado does in the United States – generally western with other states (Countries) on all sides.
Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, the country was renamed Burkina Faso on 4 August 1984 by then-President Thomas Sankara, using a word from each of the country’s two major native languages, Mòoré and Dioula. Figuratively, Burkina, from Mòoré, may be translated as men of integrity, while Faso means fatherland in Dioula. Burkina Faso is thus meant to be understood as Land of upright people or Land of honest people. Inhabitants of Burkina Faso are known as Burkinabè (pron.: /bərˈkiːnəbeɪ/ bər-KEE-nə-bay)
The Church in general does not yet have a strong missions vision, in part due to issues of poverty and a dependence mentality. CAPRO, World Outreach, SIM (through the Sahel Missiological Institute) and others work to mobilize churches and provide cross-cultural training to those called. Pray that the Lord might stir a strong grassroots movement that places missions at the top of church agendas.
Christian aid and relief are largely coordinated by the Federation of Evangelical Churches and others, such as CREDO/Tearfund and Compassion. Much has been done to alleviate suffering and to stave off future disasters. Literacy centres enable a better future for many. Both mission and Christian leaders need wisdom in the area of administration – especially in such a poor country with so many infrastructure needs and with the temptations in handling large amounts of aid and money. The long-term presence of aid workers lends much credibility to the Christian cause and creates in people the willingness to listen. Pray for the hearts of both Muslims and fetishists to be opened to God’s Word.
Sources: Wikipedia and confirmed by citizens in Ouagadougou.