Pastor Justin’s Tree — God is amazing

I wanted to share with you the video below.  It shares a story of what God has done and is doing.

Also thanks for your prayers.  We had $1065 come in for the GO BIG Project.  That added to the other $350 already given give us.

Please continue to pray for the $148,585 that we need to complete everything.

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Bible College is growing

I was with a faithful believer Koffi the other day.  He asked me if he could finish out some classes towards his theology degree and if his wife could join the Bible college as well.  She had come to him after camp asking him if he thought she might be able to do formal Bible studies this year.  Koffi has already finished the basic degree,  but he wanted to prepare his life for the next step.  They are the second couple pictured in the photo below.

We started our French Bible College in 2007 in Ouagadougou.  The aim was to equip the young men (from our churches) that God gave us to train for the ministry.  We also opened it up to members who wanted to grow in their faith in order to be used of God.  15 men have already graduated and been sent out to pastor all over the country.  Other members have also graduated.   We had our first class of this new school year last week. (Classes meet one week out of the month.) I was thrilled with the fact that we added a number of students like Koffi and his wife. Five of our current students are actually university students, a great blessing as not many young people here even get their high school diploma and go to university. It is amazing that God has given us quality young men with a great desire to be used of God. I am excited about what the opportunity holds for these young men and so many other Burkinabes.

We have a second Bible college a few hours away that is done in the tribal tongue Moore.  It will begin in November, and we should have four new students attending this year.

 

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Breakdown of the different projects

I know that I just sent you our prayer letter yesterday, but I didn’t send the list of the different projects.

Here is a breakdown of what we are wanting to accomplish in the next 6 months or so.  All the costs are estimates.

Praise the Lord, the first $350 of the $150,000 needed has come in.

Two urgent needs:

New Church plant – We bought 2 and half acres in a village named Nabitenga.  It is about 25 min from where we currently live.  It is our goal to plant a church there and also to start a camp.  We will buy more land in the future (hopefully 10 acres) and start building the camp, but the current need is for the church plant.  We need to build a house for Pastor René,  (He will be leading the new work.) and a room to start the church in.  Everything is ready to go as soon as the finances are there.  Cost = $10,000 Below is a picture of Pastor Justin and I after we bought the land.

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Finish building in Zagtouli – God has blessed this church plant.  We have been having services under a grass hanger for the last few months, and children’s church is on mats under a tree. Rain has often messed up our church services and kids clubs.  We are in the process of building a three room building.  The first room is partly finished.  The urgent need is to finish it out.  This will be our church building for the time being.  The cost to finish it is  $4,000.  Below is a picture of of our church services in the grass hanger and of the unfinished building.

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Needs we want to finish before the end of the year or first part of next year.

2nd church plant –  In October/November we are looking at starting another church in a suburb of Ouagadougou.  The land we have in this area is a tremendous blessing.  There are thousands and thousands of people are around it.  We need to build a church building.  Cost –  $10,000

Church building – Pastor Mamadou has been at Sanoré since 2009.  They have been meeting in a class room since 2009.  The church has grown each year and is in desperate need of a nice church building. Cost — $15,000 for the building and $5,000 for a parsonage for the pastor.

Lodging in Pissila – Pissila is a strategic town.  Pastor Salif has been serving in the region since 2009.  He has started a work in Pissila and also 4 villages.  He desires to reach all 60 or so villages that border Pissila.  I think he will do it.  It would be best to build a parsonage and lodging on this land. $10,000

Land needs (near Zagtouli) – It is our desire to purchase multiple pieces of land near our work in Zagtouli.  Each day Ouagadougou grows, and so does the price of land.  We would love to have a network of churches in close proximity of us in order to train men more effectively before we send them off to other areas of Burkina Faso.  $14,000 is needed.

Office Building (Zagtouli) – Since moving to Zagtouli (suburb of Ouagadougou) I don’t have an office.  I still travel to Living Water Baptist Church often, but I don’t even have my own desk.  It is our plan to be in this location for many, many years.  This office would include a recording studio.  God has already blessed some of our audio/visual endeavors, and we would like to expand. It would also include a printing room (for booklets, etc.), a conference room and a dorm-room/lodging (for Bible College and pastor conferences) on the second floor. $50,000

Wall (Zagtouli) – It is best to build a wall around the land in order to secure our purchase and also for security reasons.  $12,000

Land (near Saonré) – Pastor Mamadou has wanted to start a second work a little south of where he is.  There is already a village there but the city is also growing out to that area.  So now is the time to buy something.  $4,000

To the right and left are pictures of the members working hard gathering sand and rock for construction. 

 

Our newest prayer letter

Dear Pastor and Praying Friends,

Go Big or Go home

We have been in Africa now for 15 years and God has done more than we even asked Him to do.  We certainly aren’t planning on going home, so we are going to go big.  I love serving the Lord Jesus here and I love the relationships I have developed with people that care about us and the work of the Gospel in Africa.  That is why, at 40 years old, I am convinced that He will do even greater things through us (the Burkinabés, our family and our partners(you)).  The momentum of the ministry here is calling out to us to attempt some large projects (go big) over the next six months.  A friend of mine once told me that people want to partner with me but they can’t do it if I don’t talk about the need.  It’s not a comfortable thing for me to do, but I am trusting that God wants a lot of people to get involved in helping us reach the Burkinabé with the Gospel so here goes!

  1. Prayer – Even though I am going to mention finances, they aren’t our biggest need. Our greatest need is prayer.  Beautiful buildings, nice padded pews, etc. can never replace the need of God’s power.  Land can never replace the need for God to call men to preach His word.  We literally need to start thousands of churches in order to effectively impact this country.  The burden hasn’t dwindled over the years but only grown.
  2. Finances – Please understand that our people are giving. Many of them make around a dollar or two a day.  In some of the projects, they collect all the sand, rock, and water needed to build.  In other projects they have paid for all of the bricks needed in some buildings.  My goal would never be to do everything for them, but my goal is to aid or help speed up what they are already doing.  We have many projects in front of us right now.  I have decided to combine them.  The financial need is large but God is able to meet them.  We are thinking to achieve all of these projects it will cost around $150,000.  Again, this amount is not going to benefit just one church or area, but it will have far reaching effects and touch thousands.

If you can give, send it to Macedonia World Baptist Missions — Mark it Keith Shumaker/Special work account

P.O. Box 519

Braselton, GA  30517

Thanks for partnering with us.  You help make all this possible.  We are having the time of our lives serving our great God.

His Servants,

Keith, Rebecca, Emily, Meredith, Isaac and Caleb Shumaker

Don’t stop hitting the rock

One of the greatest blessings that we saw at Pastor’s camp was the growth of the pastor’s wives.  For many years, even though they were sweet women, some of their hearts weren’t one hundred percent engaged.  When they got married, some of the ladies lacked spiritual maturity as they had not been with us for very long.  Certainly a lack of education played a role in some of this.  One pastor told me a few years ago, “My wife is a good wife but not a spiritual one.”

Almost every time my wife taught the pastors wives, she would come to me wondering if she was getting anywhere.  I told her, I believe it is like a very strong rock.  You have to hit the rock over and over.  You think you aren’t getting anywhere and the rock isn’t going to break.  You get tired but you keep hitting it.  All of a sudden, it breaks.  Well the pastor’s wives broke (in a good way).  Before they saw the ministry as their husband’s job, but now they are taking an active role in helping the church to grow.  God has done a miracle in their lives.  This year at pastor’s camp, they gave testimonies of how God is using them in their respective ministries.

My challenge to you is to keep hitting the rock in whatever you are doing for the Lord.  Don’t think your work is in vain.  From the start of planting a seed and harvesting takes time.  I think many times missionaries, pastors, Sunday school teachers and others who are serving the Lord have hit the rock many times, and they gave up right before it was going to break.  Don’t give up.  Keep investing, keep hitting, keep serving the Lord with everything you have.  Our labor is not in vain.

Camp Season

Each year God allows us to hold two camps: youth camp and Pastor’s camp.  Camp is such an important time in the life of the youth and also the pastors.  Camp gives each participant a time to pull away from the world for a few days and concentrate on the things of God.  This year’s theme for youth camp came from Daniel 1:8.  “I have purposed in my heart to follow Jesus Christ” It was an absolutely great theme as so many of the youth made concrete decisions to follow the Lord.  Many different missionaries and Burkinabé pastors helped out.  We were around 160 and 130 or so were youth.

Pastor’s camp was an absolute blast this year.  Our desire for pastor’s camp is to allow each pastor and his family a time to get away from their normal routine.  It isn’t normal for a Burkinabé family to take a vacation, mostly because of a lack of finances.  This year Bro. Jason helped in a great way as he took upon him the task of creating a program for the pastor’s kids.  In years past the children mostly played and ran around but didn’t have anything structured.  This year they did, and it was such a blessing.  The only problem was they ate so much candy that they had stomach aches.

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New church plant in Zagtouli

God was gracious in allowing us to buy the land here in Zagtouli.  We have also been able to build a straw hangar, where we have been having services the last few months.   We have been working extremely hard since the beginning of the new church plant in Zagtouli.  God has saved many souls.  We have started a youth meeting on Saturday nights.  Bro. Jason Rishel and his wife Charity started a Wednesday kids club.

We started Sunday School a few weeks ago. We have been teaching a Baptism course for our Sunday school lessons.  We just finished the course week before last, and we had our first Baptism this past Sunday morning.  We will be teaching a new membership class for the next 5 – 6 months for our next Sunday school lessons.   We want people to know why we are a Baptist church and also know what a great honor it is to belong to a church.  Too many come to a church seeking what the church has to offer them instead of asking themselves how they can serve in the church.

It has been interesting starting back over after 10 years.  After working with mature believers, I forgot about some of the situations we faced in the beginning stages.  There are a lot of blessings and there are a lot of challenges. Through it all God is faithful and good.  Thanks so much for your prayers, love and support.

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Update on the land

Just wanted to give you a quick video update on the land situation.  God is so good.   Thanks for your prayers.

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Update on the land

A very good friend of mine wrote me this morning and let me know that he was going to buy one lot.  Praise the Lord.  Only 3 lots left to buy.  Each lot is $6,000. 

I did a little video today trying to explain what we feel God wants us to accomplish. Please pray for this great need.

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I forgot to mention where money can be sent in the last post.

You can make the check out to Macedonia World Baptist Missions
You can place in the memo — Keith Shumaker — 003 Special Work Account

Send the check to:
Macedonia World Baptist Missions
P.O. Box 519
Braselton, GA 30517

“Go big or go home”

As many of you already know, our family has moved to a new neighborhood.  We lived in the same house for 10 years while working at Living Water Baptist Church.  God blessed in amazing ways.  There have been many saved and baptized.  God called several men to preach in this church, and seven of them have started and currently pastor other churches.  Pastor Justin has been my right hand man for the past few years.  I have joked around about him kicking me out of the church.  He has grown so much in the Lord and in leadership that I am no longer needed like I once was at LWBC. 

We have moved to the west side of town.  God has been leading me for around two years to move in this direction.  Ouagadougou is growing like crazy.  People are moving in from the village.  The Lord has given us a plan of attack.  I turned 40 a few months back.  It is hard to believe how fast the years are flying by.  I came here with big dreams.  I remember driving down the road on deputation in 1999.  I was single.  While driving home in the wee hours of the night I would imagine I was preaching to thousands of Africans that were in front of me.  I would preach my heart out.  I have been called crazy, but I just wanted the God of Heaven to use my life.  I figured that if men were dreaming big for worldly success, I just wanted to dream big and let God do great things.  It is 18 years later from those late nights trying to raise support.  The dream hasn’t diminished.  We have seen the start of it, but as the saying goes, “It is time to go big or go home.”

We would love to have a network of around 10-15 churches in this new area.  We plan to have Wednesday night service at the main work – model church (the one that we are starting now).  Thursday nights will be at new churches that are started after the model church.  The pastors of these churches will be able to be present for the main church service on Wednesdays, and I will be free to rotate amongst their works to help and preach on Thursday nights.  This will allow me to preach in the other churches and also the pastors to come and be fed on Wednesday evening.  One Sunday night a month, we will have a combined service.  We will work as a team. 

We have been hunting land since I moved out here 5 months ago.  It seemed like we were hitting dead end upon dead end until this week.  There is a new neighborhood being put in near the main road.  There isn’t much land available right around us.  In this new neighborhood there are 4 lots that are one right after another.  We need to obtain all four lots to have sufficient room for the church building. In order for us to buy the four lots and do the paper work it will cost us $6,000 a lot.   I live right across the main road from this property.  I was told that one lot where we currently live costs more than $20,000 a lot and there would be no way to get four lots together on our side of the road.  The $24,000 required to obtain these four lots is a great opportunity for us.  These four lots will be gone quickly.  They will probably be bought in the next few weeks.  After purchasing them, if God opens that door, we will need about $10,000 to start our building program.  We are praying for God’s will.

Would you please pray for God to provide?  Would you consider making an investment in the lives of the Burkinabés?  

Like I mentioned above, I am planning on starting 10-15 churches on this side of town.  I want to buy more land in the next few months/years in areas that are developing.  These lots will cost much less and be much bigger than those in already developed neighborhoods.  I am estimating that we can buy a lot and pay the taxes for around $6,000.   We will need around $90,000 in order to buy 15 or so lots.  By watching the trend of development in the area, it is clear that NOW is the time to act. In a few years, land in our target areas will be limited and much more expensive.

Thank you for allowing us to share our burden. Thank you for all you have already done to enable us to serve in Burkina Faso.  God has amazed us with what He has already done. We are so grateful, but we know He isn’t finished.  It’s a big dream for us, but nothing is impossible for our great big God, who desires that “every creature” has a chance to hear.