Serving in evangelism, church planting and leadership training in Guinea, home of the Maninka people. The Maninka are the proud descendants of ancient West African empires. Since those times, they have mixed Islam with traditional beliefs. Most Maninka are rural farmers living in village clusters or in several larger cities. Maninka associate their religion with their cultural identity so much that to change their faith is to be without a cultural identity. Pray that God would move in power to show himself to the Maninka so that they can’t help but follow and worship him.
Kankan sprawls along mango lined streets. Sandwiched on a triangle of land between two rivers, it is an historic town that once boasted an influential Islamic training center, Africa’s longest runway, train lines and factories. Recently electrical lines, road work, and a building spree define a city that hopes to regain standing and prestige. Nathan and Becky Kendall want to help Kankan and the upper Guinea region gain in prestige as well, but for God’s glory. To that end they focus on three main areas of ministry: evangelism and discipleship, university students, and the national church. It is easy to see the need for each of these foci. Kankan has four different churches but these cannot meet the needs of a population over 250,000. There are many who do not know who Jesus truly is and how he can redeem their lives. In addition to discipling new believers, Nathan teaches leadership principles to young professionals. They meet together formally and informally to discuss how God would impact their personal and professional lives.
The town pulses with three universities for a combined student body of over 10,000 students. These young people are either the brightest or the wealthiest in the country and will one day shape Guinea’s future. The Kendalls partner with Groupes Bibliques Universitaires (Intervarsity) to reach out to these students. At different times this has looked like English and computer classes, spiritual retreats, or forums on how to start a business. Currently they are helping to develop a ministry center complete with a computer lab, library, and other props to shape Guinea’s future leaders to God’s glory.
The church the Kendalls attend is populated almost 50% by university students and the rest of the church make-up reflects the many cultures and ethnic groups in Guinea. The Kendall’s desire is to help the church reflect God’s glory to all these believers and those watching from the outside so that leaders are trained, Christians and new believers are well discipled, and the community is positively impacted.
They hope to see Kankan and upper Guinea, a land full of historic pride and great natural wealth, become a place transformed to reflect God’s glory to all.