And Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 18-19
This is Matt and Gayle Boyd, and a wonderful support cast made up of Hosanna, Thea, and Ezra. If you want to see how God completely upends lives, turns them inside out, shakes off the unnecessary stuff, and puts them on a path profitable for His Kingdom, then follow these links to their sites.
All Senegal for Christ by Matt and Gayle Boyd
The EZ Life by Ezra Boyd
Baby Steps of Faith by Thea Boyd
Sometimes God blesses us by surprise. That’s how I describe our meeting the Boyd family. We were searching for a place to worship; a church-home designed just for us. With checklist in hand and essential qualities in mind, we began our evaluation process.
Seat Comfort B+, …well, one style. The other, B-
A/C Settings A- …but I reserve the right to modify this grade come summer.
Working down the list, it seemed we may have found a place acceptable to us… well, after we talk to the pastor about parking spaces.
Yes, I’m exaggerating. But not nearly as much as I would like to think.
Sometimes God’s blessings aren’t surprises at all. Sometimes, they’re what we take for granted everyday. Living in a nation where luxuries are commonplace, we tend to allow ourselves to become blinded to reality. David Platt, in his book “Radical,” puts this in perspective by explaining that the larger percentage of our world survives each day on less than we will spend on an order of fries.
Enter… the Boyd family. We were privileged to meet the Boyd’s, but only allowed to physically fellowship with them for a brief period of time. It was just the right amount of time. Don’t misunderstand me, if it were my choice, we would continue to fellowship under the roof of Lighthouse Baptist with Matt, Gayle, and the kids, until the Lord calls us home. It was the right amount of time because God instructed them to “go.” “Go… to a people who have needs.” Matt and Gayle have been called to serve Jesus and the people of Senegal. And while physical poverty is very visible there, spiritual poverty overwhelms the land in cataclysmic proportion. They will carry the desperately needed Gospel of Jesus Christ to Senegal.
And we are blessed. I recently read a quote that describes our opportunity for blessing excellently. “We are not all called to go, but we are all called to support the goers who are going.” Because God saw fit to bless my family by introducing us to the Boyd family and their ministry, we can now play a very small role in the work He intends to accomplish in a world that we otherwise would never have known existed.
Here’s a short film about their ministry to Senegal.
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15
Pray for Karongue
Recently, we spent the day in a village called Karongue. Karongue is about 12 kilometers away from Diouloulou and Keba, one of the believers from Diouloulou, has family that lives there. We spent the day meeting new friends, talking with the chief and his family, praying for people, and visiting the small elementary school in the village. We did this with the goal of one day soon being able to start a regular Bible study in the village that is lead and facilitated by a believer from Diouloulou, namely Keba.
During our visit there we laughed, joked with the people, and talked about the things of life, but we also told them that we and our friends in America promised to pray for them and their village. And they really took this to heart. They were encouraged to know that there was a family in Diouloulou and friends in America who were promising that they would pray for their village.
And now we must pray. We must pray without ceasing. We must pray with fervency and consistency. We must pray that God, by His Spirit, would be at work in the hearts and minds of the people of Karongue. Please commit to pray regularly for the people of Karongue. Commit to pray for Keba and his standing in the village and that he would have wisdom and boldness as he prepares to lead a study there in the future. And pray for us as we seek to equip the few believers who are here in Diouloulou to take the Gospel to the surrounding villages.
Pray for the N-5
Sometimes I look at a map of southern Senegal and I think, “Where do you start?” Village after village, after village, after village with no missionary, no church, and no Christians. Village after village where the Gospel has yet to go. Really, where do you start?
The answer is that you start with prayer. A few times each month we travel from Diouloulou toward Ziguinchor on a road called the N-5; a road that stretches from the border between Senegal and the Gambia in the north to the town of Bignona. While the road is not particularly long, it represents for us a vast mission field with dozens and dozens of villages along the N-5. While these Diola villages range in size from a few families to over 1,000 inhabitants, there are two things that can be said about nearly all of them: each village has at least one mosque (an Islamic place of worship) and each village has zero Christians.
And we believe that God wants us and the believers in Diouloulou to do something about this! As we disciple and train the believers in Diouloulou it is our prayer that early next year we can begin initial evangelism efforts in some of these villages. Evangelism that is led by equipped Senegalese believers.
But we dare not begin this without prayer. We are starting the “N-5 Prayer Initiative” where we are asking our partners in the Gospel to pray for the villages along the N-5. An initiative where we pray together for specific villages and for the people in those villages that God would begin to open their hearts and minds in advance of our work.
Our desire is to communicate to you regular prayer requests with specific villages and specific people and families that we know and are working with in those villages. Please take a few moments to watch the video below that was taken as we travelled along the N-5 and please feel free to share it with others. Also, we urge you to set aside some time each day, possibly as you pray before each meal or as you have a time of prayer as a family, to lift up the villages of the N-5.
As we think about “all Senegal for Christ,” prayer cannot just be a part of our strategy; it must be the foundation of our strategy as we ask God to move in the villages along the N-5. Join us as we seek God for the villages and the people of the N-5.
Hanging Out in Diouloulou
The Boyd’s Are In Senegal
The Boyd’s Arrive in Canada
Just a quick note to let you know that we made it to Canada! We arrived Saturday afternoon and were able to begin the new year in a new country with great anticipation for what God is going to do in our lives in 2012. We are getting settled in now and seeking to figure things out here in our new home. We have already seen God’s faithfulness displayed as He cares for us and provides specific answers to our prayers.
Thank you so much for praying for us! We are constantly encouraged to know that as we follow the Lord that He has provided people like you to lift us up in prayer and provide for our support. We truly cannot do this without you being such a vital part of our team.
Please continue to pray as we all begin school within the next week. We will have permanent internet access soon and will keep you updated on all that God is doing in our lives as we learn and prepare.
The Boyd Family
The Boyd’s at CIT
As we celebrated the 4th with lots of family members and friends, I thought of Matt, Gayle, and the children. They are currently at the Center for Intercultural Training in Union Mills, North Carolina. As my “on mission page” explains, they are preparing to serve in Senegal as missionaries for Jesus.
On a day when we recognize the independence of this great nation, a couple thoughts come to mind. First, our freedom is grace-given. Only through God’s grace do we have these privileges. Second, our freedom was, and is expensive. Sacrifices were made by many, and they continue to be made.
But as I said, Matt and Gayle Boyd have been on my heart today. They too have made great sacrifices; for Jesus’ Kingdom; for the people of Senegal. I’ve prayed multiple times today that God would give them a comfort and peace through this day while they persevere in faithfulness.
I’m making this public to the readers, to ask you to join me in praying for this family. Please pray for their strength and the needs they have in their lives. They walk a path that is completely dependent on the faithfulness of God’s people for support. To put more faces to your prayers, if you’ll follow the link to their site (found on my “on mission” page, and “home page”), you can see and read about their family and ministry.
Remember, as we celebrate our nation’s independence on this day, we continually celebrate the freedom we have in Christ everyday. That freedom also comes with responsibilities. One is to defend our fellow citizens with prayer and support.