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Short Term Mission Trip to Benin

Ruth Wang


  I am a second year university student at Wilfrid Laurier. I want to take this time to thank those who supported me financially and through prayers for my missions trip to Benin this past May. I want to share with you the highlights and what I’ve learned on this trip. Some of you might still not know where Benin actually is, since it is a small country with really nothing to offer to the rest of the world. It is a small country in West Africa between Togo and Nigeria.

  The first week there, we had orientation and learned about their culture. A culture that is ingrained in Voodoo. Benin IS the birth place of Voodoo. It scares me how real evil spirits are and how powerful they are. But praise God, He already won the battle! So during the orientation, the Benin GAiN staffs there told us their testimonies and they all turned away from a strong voodoo family and became Christians.

  After the orientation we went to a village called Gansa for the water well. The staffs told us that previously, missionaries went there but were chased out by the villagers with machetes. Once again thank God for protecting us. When we got there, the well was already drilled by the drilling team. What we did were mixing the cement with gravel, cut rebar, dig out an eight inch trench for the forms to sit in, and then put it all together to make a concrete pad two and a half meters on each side.

  While we waited for the concrete pad to dry so that the local staffs can install the pump, we played games with the villagers including children, mothers and fathers. It was organized by Emmanuel and Alphonse, local GAiN staffs. It was amazing to see how they used games to teach the villagers about team-work, health and safety, and most importantly the Gospel. In between games, two of our teammates got to share their testimony and then 13 mothers came forward and wanted to follow Jesus. One of the mamas said that through our interactions with the children and the way we worked on the well, showed her what the love of Jesus Christ looks like.

  At the end of the week, DRIME ministry taught us some of the dramas that communicate Christ’s love through drama, dance and music and we got to perform it in Gansa. The same day, we showed the Jesus film, which shows the gospel of Luke. What was amazing about that night was that the chief of the village/voodoo priest donated a piece of land for us to build a church on and also 81 out of 167 people came to Christ!

  One person that stood out to me that night was a man at the back when they did the alter call. While he was praying to invite Jesus into his life, his friend nudged him and laughed at him but he didn’t care. He continued. After the prayer, the local staff had a few papers for those who accepted Jesus to write down their names and contact information so that they can follow up with them the next day to make sure that they really understand what it means to be a Christian and the gospel. So the man that was at the back realized that he is all the way in the back with a lot of children between him and the follow-up sheet, he eagerly went around the crowd to get to the front. This reminds me of how we should always be eager to follow Jesus, follow his foot-steps. We built the church there the second week.

  There’s a lot that I learned from this trip but the biggest one is about poverty. Before going to Benin, I thought poverty is about the lack of resources to survive. From this trip I learned that, no, poverty is not about the material things but the intangibles; the brokenness in relationships; the relationship with Jesus. Even people in here in Canada, are in poverty even though they have all the basic needs. They do not have Christ. At the end, none of our tangibles are going to determine whether we go to heaven or hell. It is Jesus. It is whether we have a relationship with Jesus or not. This is something that I learned and will be forever in my heart because now I can see that even people here in Canada are in great need. After this trip, God gave me a heart of sharing and boldness to be able to go out to share the gospel.

  Some of the highlights of the trip:

   ·Seeing the joy on the people’s faces when the pump was flushing out water

   ·Seeing the piece of land that was filled with bushes and trees turned into a clear ground for a church to be built on

   ·Attending church in Gansa under a tree the first week and then under a tin roof church the second week

   ·Hearing testimonies of the staffs and pastors

   ·Seeing how resourceful the people are with the stuff they have

   ·Seeing that God is working in the country of Benin

   Realizing that God had helped me meet all the personal goals for this trip