The Shumaker Family's Blog

Friend day was a huge success

March 3rd, 2015



I am going to confess.  Years ago we had big days planned, one almost every month, and we really pushed the day. Over the past few years we would have big days, but we didn’t give it our all. Pastor Austin Gardner visited in January and challenged me and also the pastors to maximize the big days. He revived my spirit to plan and push a big day.


We started talking about Friend Day a month before actually having it. We printed simple invitations for the members to give out.


Last Sunday we were thrilled with what God did. We had 32 adult first time visitors. We couldn’t count the kids but we had over 200 kids in attendance. It was crazy but wonderful.


We were blessed to have Bro. Danny Whetstone with us. He preached a tremendous salvation message. 7 men raised their hands for salvation, and we dealt with them. They all made professions of faith. Normally, we have more women come on big days, and the women are more apt to come forward for salvation. On this day, however, God blessed, and we had more men visitors.


During the service I realized it would be impossible to have one children’s church for 200 kids. They would never fit in one room. I asked my wife, while she was playing the piano for the service, if she could teach even though she wasn’t on the program that day. Without hesitating she said, “Sure.” Thank God for a good wife. I ran to the youth and asked if they could help. They jumped right in and helped keep things running smoothly even with so many children.


I was amazed at what God did. I was also amazed how the members of Living Water Baptist Church worked so hard. I firmly believe that God blesses hard work.


It just so happened that Pastor Konate in another town had Friend Day the same day. He told me that they had 25 adult and 32 children first-time visitors.

My wife is a tremendous children's teacher.

My wife is a tremendous children’s teacher. The boy on the chair is her illustration.

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I love it when God does the impossible

February 10th, 2015

Thanks so much for your prayers for our well drilling team.


Wednesday, January 28th, Stephen Knickerbocker and I arrived at Pissila around 5:30 pm. We waited until 7 pm when the well drilling team arrived. We had a 20 km (12 miles) trip to complete in the dark. It took us over 3 hours to get to Ying-Toako due to the fact that there are no roads, and we had some big trucks to maneuver. We arrived, got some things set up, and went to bed for the night.


The next morning we were up eating breakfast at 7 am and then set up to start drilling. I have seen well drilling trucks before, but never have I seen them in action. What an amazing experience especially since I was able to help a ton with the drilling. After getting all the trucks and machinery lined up, we began drilling. The villagers came to watch, and, at times, we must have had over 100 watching us drill. For about 120 feet it was much the same thing. Dust was flying everywhere, and it was amazing to see the different colors of the ground as the drill bit went deeper and deeper. Then, all if the sudden, the dust began to die down and rock began to come out with a little moisture in it. Then it happened; water began shooting up out of the pipe. The thrill that hit my heart was indescribable. The onlookers began to get excited. I watched as some jumped for joy. We continued to drill deeper to make sure that there would always be sufficient water. After getting the piping in, they attached a submersible pump to a generator so the people could have water that night. They found everything and anything they could use to fill up with water. Every bucket, barrel, bowl, etc. was filled.


After finishing drilling for the first pump, Mark Coiller and Tim Wilson (the two in charge) came to see me. They said that since the people go so far for water, we should try to put in a second one. I was shocked considering the fact that they had already drilled 9 times in the past two weeks. Their record before for two weeks was 7. We drilled until 1 am. We hit water but it wasn’t enough for another pump. We woke up in the morning and attempted to drill further with similar results, water but not enough. We finally had to quit as we had already drilled around 240 feet.


After everything was done, one of the village elders told me that he thought it was impossible to have water at their village. I didn’t really understand what he was talking about until Pastor Simon came back from preaching there over the weekend. Simon told me that the women who came to church explained to him that they have attempted to hand dig many wells and also drilling rigs have come multiple times without finding water. They said that they have sacrificed many animals over the spot before digging and still had no success. The people were amazed that we knelt and simply asked Jesus to give us water, and a few hours later, water was flowing. They said that our testimony has spread many miles and from village to village. I just love it when God does the impossible. Please be in much prayer as I will be out there in a few weeks to preach and dedicate the well. In the villages it is rare that men, especially older men, will ever make a decision to accept Christ. I know that our hard work and the victory by hitting water has touched their hearts. I just love it when God does the impossible.

Praying before we start to drill.
Praying before we start to drill.


This dust was absolutely beautiful.

This dust was absolutely beautiful.

It was an exciting time for the villagers.

It was an exciting time for the villagers.

Drilling sure does take a lot of people

Drilling sure does take a lot of people

No more dust.  The rock is a little wet.

No more dust. The rock is a little wet.

What a wonderful site when the water begins to flow.

What a wonderful site when the water begins to flow.

It was amazing to see the different colors of the layers in the ground.

It was amazing to see the different colors of the layers in the ground.

We put in a temporary pump and the people found everything and anything they could to fill up.

We put in a temporary pump and the people found everything and anything they could to fill up.

Even the cows are enjoying the new pump.

Even the cows are enjoying the new pump.

Trying to put in another pump.  We worked until after 1 am.

Trying to put in another pump. We worked until after 1 am.

The water on the left is what they drank and used before.  The water on the right is from the new pump.

The water on the left is what they drank and used before. The water on the right is from the new pump.

I woke up in the morning and saw what somebody had written in the cement.

I woke up in the morning and saw what somebody had written in the cement.

Water pump for Ying-Toako

January 27th, 2015

A few months back, we sent photos of the work at Ying-Toako.  I mentioned the great problem with water in that village.  They have no water source close to them, except a watering hole where the cows, sheep, goats and the people drink out of.  God touched the hearts of Cherry Grove Baptist Church and they gave to help with this great need.


I received a call over the week-end that they should be able to drill Wednesday or Thursday.  Please pray that they hit water.  I can’t wait to see their faces and reactions when water begins to shoot up out of the pump.

Baptism at Ying Toako

January 27th, 2015

I just realized that this blog was left on draft and never published.  It is from a few months ago but in my opinion it is still worth posting.


My family and I started out the day by leaving the house at 6:30 am. The plan was to travel to Pissila and find pastor Salif who would then lead us to the Village of Ying Toako for the first baptismal service to ever happen in this village. The road to Pissila is mostly good, but after we get to Pissila there is no real road to Ying Toako, only small paths for bikes or pedestrians. It takes roughly 2.5 hours to get to Pissila. After meeting up with Pastor Salif in Pissila we followed him while he drove the motorcycle. After about 45 min of winding around trees, scraping bushes, and bumping up and down, we saw a large group of people gathered under a tree.


When we arrived they had already began to sing. You could feel the excitement in the air. Just a few months earlier we were privileged to be the first people to ever preach the Gospel to these people. Many had made professions of faith and now they had a great desire to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. After preaching we made our way to the baptistery. I decided to climb on top of my car so that I could get some good pictures and video. After getting on top of my car I realized that Pastor Salif wasn’t the one baptizing, but that it was Dominique. Dominique is the disciple of Salif, and he is currently in our Bible College that we have started in the tribal language. The joy that gripped my heart when I saw Dominique baptizing was great. I have been asked a few times if I don’t like to baptize. I love it but I got so much more joy out of seeing my disciple’s (Salif) disciple (Dominique) baptizing. I can’t wait until the day when I see Dominique’s disciple baptizing another.


The youngest girl baptized was 8 years old the oldest woman was around 80.  There was a total of 34 baptized on this wonderful day.  In spite of being poor, no running water anywhere close, and no electricity they made a feast for us. Even though I have seen God work miracles many times and he has done great things, I am still amazed. It is amazing to hear people sing and praise God in their tribal tongue when just a few months earlier not one of them was saved. For those of you who pray for us, thank you. For those who support us, thanks. You have such a big part of what God is doing in Burkina Faso.


Church service at Ying-Toako

Church service at Ying-Toako

The start of the baptismal service.

The start of the baptismal service.

Pastor Domonique baptizing.

Pastor Dominique baptizing.

Pastor Salif and Dominique with all those who were baptized.
Pastor Salif and Dominique with all those who were baptized.
The oldest and the youngest who were baptized.
The oldest and the youngest who were baptized.

Fifth Anniversary of Bread of Life Baptist Church

December 14th, 2014

In November 2009,  we had the official kick off of Bread of Life Baptist Church. Here we are five years later, and God is still blessing this work.


A few week ago, Thursday night we had a special children’s program. Of all the pastors that I have trained, Pastor Mamadou has the biggest heart for the children’s ministry. He has a very successful kid’s club each Thursday afternoon. He will have between 35-50 children come each week, and he knows them all by name. He invited my wife to teach and asked if we could do some fair type games where they can win some candy. The kids had a tremendous time. There were about 80 children present.

Rebecca Shumaker

Bread of Life Baptist Church

Friday and Saturday night we showed some Gospel films and preached the Gospel. We didn’t have many come forward for salvation, but we are thrilled that so many came to hear the good news.


Sunday morning we had tons of kids come and many visitors. There were 8 first time visitors.


Bread of Life Baptist Church

That Sunday night we had a special service. We invited all the other churches to come. Since Pastor Mamadou and his wife Antoinette are from Living Water Baptist Church, and Bread of Life BC was a church plant from Living Water Baptist, we felt like we needed to honor them. Our church members gave testimonies, sang songs and gave gifts. It was a wonderful time. The big gift of the evening was a new guitar for Pastor Mamadou. His old guitar couldn’t stay tuned for even 5 min. He told me that he was praying that God would somehow provide him a nice guitar to play but didn’t know how he would get one. What a thrill to see how God provides and what God is doing thorough Pastor Mamadou and Bread of Life Baptist Church.


Bread of Life Baptist Church


Sunday morning services have started in Ying-toako

September 19th, 2014

Many of you may have already read what God did a few months back in a village called Ying-toako.  If you didn’t here is the post, “a night to remember“.  Pastor Salif has been going out there every few weeks, but he is already leading two other churches. Adding a third would be hard.  In one of our pastors meetings, one of the pastors asked if we could send somebody out to Ying-toako every week so that we could start having Sunday morning services on a regular basis.


The plan was simple.  Make a rotation of those pastors who can go.  Then, buy a motorcycle to travel from Pissila to Ying-Toako (13 miles).


Ying-Toako is out in the middle of nowhere.


I had mentioned the work to some of my missionary friends.  They asked me about our plans.  I told them that we would start as soon as I had enough money to purchase a motorcycle.  Much to my surprise, they teamed together and helped to buy the motorcycle for the new work.


Pastor  Justin was the first to go.  So I am going to post some pics he took of his trip:


Pastor Justin is getting ready to leave Ouagadougou to go to Pissla (over a three hour trip).


We are currently in our rainy season and he told me he had many spots that were hard to cross.


Justin Simpore

If you can’t get cell phone reception, no problem, just climb a tree until you can.



This is the type of food that they eat everyday.  They take millet and make it into a dough ball and eat it with different sauces.



They started their night service after 10pm and finished after midnight.  They worked all day in their fields.  Then, they came home, cooked, ate, got cleaned up and came to service.  There were 28 that made professions of faith in Christ.



Pastor Justin is a great preacher of the Word of God.  He told me that they were shocked that a man of his stature would bow and kneel in front of them.  A chief or a man who is high up wouldn’t ever do that.  He told them that he wasn’t any better than any of them and that he is simply a servant of God.


Justin Simpore

Pastor Salif is leading the people in prayer.  He is doing a tremendous job in his region.  Another village has asked him to come and start a church.  I wish I had 100 more young men like Salif.


Salif Ouedraogo


I am thrilled with what God is doing.  I will have the great opportunity to travel out to Ying-toako in two weeks.  God is so good.





September 19th, 2014

Three years ago began a very special time for a few of our members. There was great expectation for what lied ahead. They put in a lot of hours in spite of jobs, families and other daily affairs. Three years later and a lot of hard work we had seven people graduate from our Bible Institute. I am so proud of their dedication and what they have achieved. We had five faithful members who wanted to learn more about the Bible. We had two other men who have felt that God has called them into the ministry full-time. They did many extra courses.


One lady, Madame Dianda, was one of the graduates. She is a single mother that has been a member of our church since 2007. She works all day to support herself and her children. She would come about 5-10 min. late to every night class, not because of slackness, but because she came straight from work. She would finally arrive home after class about 8:45 pm and begin to cook for her and her family. I am truly touched by dedication of so many of our members. I am proud to be their pastor.


Another missionary told me that Pastor Justin is every missionary’s dream. I couldn’t agree more. Justin loves God and the ministry. He was working two good paying jobs (on Burkinabe standard). In order to study in the Bible Institute and lead a church, his salary went from $500 a month to $100. In spite of the physical loss and struggle, I have never heard him complain or talk about making a mistake. He preaches the Bible with fire and passion. We are currently pastoring Living Water Baptist Church together.


Thanks so much for your prayers and support for the ministry here in Burrkina Faso.  You are a vital part of what God is doing.



God greatly blesses our youth/church camp

August 22nd, 2014

What should be the dream or vision of every pastor or missionary is to see advancement in the work of God. I must say that when I left for the mission field I dreamed big. I figured that I had a big God that can fulfill big dreams if they are according to His will. The summer of 2008 we had our first youth/church camp. It was a spur of the moment thing, and God blessed in enormous ways. We had around 25 people from two different churches. Fast forward to August 2014, and we just finished our 7th youth/church camp. We were expecting around 100 but we had around 150 present. They came from 12 or more different churches.

The theme for camp was “The Word of God, the way of truth”.  Every message and teaching was centered around the Word of God.  There is a battle in Burkina Faso in many of the churches.  They don’t believe that the Word of God is complete.  They are seeking signs, visions and prophecies.  They place more emphasis on their emotions and experiences than on the Word of God.  God allowed many of our church members to be strengthened.  One young man from another church came to me in the middle of the week and said that he was touched because we follow the Word of God.  Many God honoring decisions were made during the week.

A young lady named Raissa approached me Thursday night after the evening service. She asked if she could talk to me. She began to cry and tell me that she has been living a lie. She was afraid to come forward because of what others would think of her. She said that when she was in a village (in another church) the pastor asked all those who wanted to receive Jesus to come forward. Then he prayed over them, and that was it. She told me that she knew she wasn’t saved for awhile. She was ashamed to come forward, but she couldn’t take it anymore. With tears rolling down her face and tears rolling down my face, she prayed and trusted Christ as her Saviour.

Before leaving the camp Friday morning I shared what God has done in the life of Raissa. A few hours later, my wife received a call and her sister Elodie said she needed to come over. She came to the house and told my wife that Raissa’s testimony touched her. She had been doubting a long time but was ashamed to come forward. She prayed on our front porch.

Sunday night we had a testimony time at Living Water Baptist Church. For over an hour, the youth and a few other members gave testimonies of what God did in their lives. Rassia and Elodie shared their testimonies of salvation. Another young lady named Marie Paul stood up and said that she was also touched on Friday morning because of Raissa’s testimony. While she was on the bus ride home she knew what she needed to do, and she trusted Christ in her home Friday afternoon. After church, a young lady named Melissa talked to my wife and said that she has doubts for a long time. She trusted Christ. I don’t know how else to explain it, but that God is good.


Above is a picture from our camp in 2008.  Below is from last week.







A night to remember…

May 10th, 2014

            The night of May 2 was a night to remember. A night where dreams come true. A night of miracles. I want to thank those of you who prayed for us and our trip to the village of Yin-toaka.

            Pastor Salif lives in a small town called Pissila which is about 2 and half hours from us. We arrived at his house about 2pm and quickly headed to the village(Yin-toaka). It was about 20 kilometers or 12 miles from Salif’s house. There was no real road except where bikes or donkey carts have created paths. We showed up and there were lots of people expecting us. We were greeted and given a special drink (this is the African way to say you are welcome to their village).

            The other pastors went around to the different huts inviting people to come in a few hours to hear the Word of God.  I stayed at the place where we were going to show the film and preach that night because about 15 men plus children had already gathered around. I gave them the Gospel explaining that all are sinners and that Jesus is the Saviour of world.

             After sharing some things from the Word, I began learning about their life. Yin-toaka is somewhat a new village. A few families got together a few years back and decided to look for better land to farm and raise their livestock on. We discovered that they didn’t have any good water sources close. They have to travel over 6 miles to get water. Pictured below are some women going to fill up their jugs of water.


Then they showed me their drinking water. (pictured below) I didn’t believe them.


I thought that had to be a drink they make from millet which has about the same color. When we put a cup in and scraped the bottom of the pan, we realized, in fact, that dirt had discolored the water. They are in great need of physical water, but their greatest need is the Water of Life.

Normally, we don’t begin our program until after nightfall, but we had a wonderful crowd that had already gathered early.


We showed a film, and then I took the Word of God and preached to them. There were over 200 present. When the invitation was given, God did an amazing work. Almost all 200 came forward. We had multiple pastors there and wanted to deal with them more individually, but this wasn’t possible. We had to gather them together and tell them through the Word how to receive Jesus.



I have never personally seen this great of a move at one time in a village and what was most shocking is that many adult men also trusted Jesus as their Saviour. In a village, it is extremely rare to see older men trust in Christ. A week later I am still on a high from what God did. We are trying to figure out with Pastor Salif how we will start a church in this village. We would also like to help them physically because of their great need of water. If God provides the money, we will most likely try to put a water pump in this village because of this urgent need. What truly thrills my heart is that they found the Water of Life.

I love it when God opens up a door

May 2nd, 2014

I love it when God opens up a door for us to preach the Gospel. Pastor Salif asked me if I could come May 2nd, to preach in a new village that God is opening up to us. I will explain more when we get back on Saturday.

There is no church close to these people. I would like to ask you to pray for us as we preach to these precious people. Pray that God would put these people under conviction and save many.

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    Rome Baptist Temple
    P.O. Box 1023
    Rome, GA 30162
    Pastor: Dr. Billy Goolesby
    Phone: (706)232-8969

    06 BP 9460 Ouagadougou 06
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    Phone: (706)534-8965

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    Braselton, GA 30517

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