This post goes along with our series called “These Are Their Stories.” Throughout the course of this year, we at Freedom to Lead have been intermittently featuring segments called “These Are Their Stories.” We are telling stories of men and women throughout Asia and Africa who have been impacted by God’s work in their lives and leadership through Freedom to Lead.
We only have two more entries for this particular blog series. In January we will start a new blog series. Today we will hear about Malick from Senegal, West Africa.
A version of this post was originally shared in Freedom to Lead’s 2019 End-of-Year Giving Campaign. To learn more about this campaign, visit here.
When Malick came to Freedom to Lead, he did not think he could be a pastor.
Today he is thriving as he leads a congregation that impacts their community for Jesus Christ – thanks, in part, to the contributions of those whose hearts are turned to the unreached.
Malick is one of very few Christians from the Wolof tribe of six million in Senegal. For years he was involved in a small church. Others encouraged him to become a pastor, but he felt ill-equipped to lead. Then Malick heard about The Garden Project, FTL’s program of cultivating leaders. He knew he needed help, so he decided to attend the workshops. There he learned about Christ-centered leadership, mentoring, leading teams, and peacemaking. He was especially drawn to our teaching method that uses stories, images, and music.
Malick’s life changed dramatically.
Malick returned to his church and began applying the leadership lessons he learned. Through the four-year program, his confidence grew steadily until he became a pastor. Now he not only leads a growing congregation; he is also cultivating other leaders to reach the Wolof people with the gospel.
Malick is one of more than 5,000 leaders from forty countries in South Asia and Africa who are benefiting from Freedom to Lead’s program. Leaders like:
- Anthony, a Kenyan leader who waded for hours through waist-deep water in Sudan to share with others the leadership lessons he has learned.
- Selma, an Ethiopian leader who traveled sixteen hours by bus to attend the workshops.
- Abdellah, an Algerian pastor whose large church was recently bolted shut by government authorities.
A global solution for a global need
These men and women represent 80% of the world’s population that prefers to communicate and learn through stories, images, music, and drama rather than through reading and writing. Yet, less than 10% of Christian workers communicate with stories, pictures, music, and drama. This disconnect overlooks a primary method Jesus used in preparing for the growing global church, and has created a critical shortage in the effective cultivation of leaders.
Leaders – good ones and bad ones – impact everyone. We all are affected by what leaders do, what they leave undone, and the decisions they make.
This is why Freedom to Lead is fervently committed to raise up leaders who are being set free from unhealthy leadership examples to lead like Jesus.
God is using Freedom to Lead in the lives of leaders like Malick, and the news is spreading rapidly. We continue to receive many requests from around the world. Our plans for 2020 include launching new initiatives in new areas of the world, including for urban millennial business leaders.
Closing Words of Peace
The Christmas season is now close upon us. It is a time to celebrate the joy of our Savior’s birth and the peace he brings to the world. One western missionary who has lived in Senegal for a number of years reminded us of this idea of peace as related to the Wolof culture (the primarily Muslim culture that Malick comes from). She said, “The idea of ‘peace’ is prevalent in the Wolof culture. It is seen in their greetings and in their benedictions. One [Wolof] proverb says, ‘If you have Peace, you have everything.'” She goes on to say, “Pray with us that the Wolof would come to know the Prince of Peace who paid the ultimate price so that we could be reconciled with God. Pray for the believers, that the peace of God which passes all understanding would guard their hearts and minds in Christ.”
And join us at Freedom to Lead in praying for leaders like Malick who are bringing peace and Christ-centered leadership to his people in transformative ways.