Ben in Burkina

Article Date: 25/07/2013 13:18:26

All CLC internships are an adventure. Some of them, however, are more of an adventure than others. In June and July this year, Ben Saxe was in Burkina Faso in West Africa to work with the CLC team there. He went to improve his French, teach Prosper Weda (the Director for CLC in French speaking West Africa) some English and to see what God is doing in this growing nation. After spending two months in Burkina, this is what Ben had to say:-

“My name is Ben and I major in International Studies - Social Sciences and minor in both French and Biblical Studies at Cedarville University, Ohio in the USA. I was looking for an opportunity to apply all three studies, and God led me to CLC. There could not have been a more perfect choice for me than an internship in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Of course I had never even heard of Ouagadougou before, or even of CLC International – the ministry that offered me an internship there. I had however, traveled to West Africa with my family when I was younger and was looking for the opportunity to go back.

This internship provided the ability to study more about business as mission, immerse myself in French and study the Bible through the eyes of another culture. It is one thing to explain my experience - but really it is truly indescribable! 

Working in a Christian bookshop allowed me to work on my French every day; if not through talking to customers, then simply by reading the books in my free time. It was amazing to have a place where I could hear, first hand, from pastors about the state of the church in Burkina and what amazing things business as mission provides for the local church body. I also witnessed incredible evangelism through the pastors who work in the bookshop. I am confident that God brought me to Ouagadougou for a purpose, and I am thankful that He provided this opportunity through CLC.”

Ben was somewhat apprehensive before going to Burkina Faso.  He was going to a new country on his own and would need to rely on his knowledge of French right away.  He was meeting a national CLC team leader on his arrival, and would not be working as part of a western team.  The food was going to be different, the weather would be different (really hot) and the people would be different.  Despite all these challenges, Ben took off on the adventure of a life time and stayed the course.
As a result, God met his needs in many special ways.  His accommodation was better than expected; he adjusted to the food quickly and began making friends.  Ben also discovered that the daughter of a CLC leader in Europe was actually in Ouagadougou at the same time, and they were able to connect.  This resulted in lots of fun and unexpected opportunities to spend time with local children and to get to know even more people.

Here is a great quote from Ben’s blog while he was in Burkina Faso:-

“I have begun English lessons with Prosper and another pastor named Christopher. Certain sounds are difficult to teach, especially the “th” sound. It is absolutely hilarious having 2 grown men sitting at my kitchen table singing the ABC’s with me, and introducing themselves in English to each other. In return, I have learned a lot from Prosper. Before the lesson I prayed in English for God’s help and when we finished, Prosper stopped me and told me that it is important now that we thank God for His help. Prosper prayed in English and it was the best English I have heard him speak since I have been here. I am humbled to realize how little I stop to give thanks in prayer. ”

As Ben goes back to university, he will certainly have a lot of stories to tell of God’s faithfulness and blessing.  

Keywords: Burkina Faso, United States
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