Sabbath, September 24, 2005

“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest’.” Matthew 9:36-38.

In January 2004, our work extended to a new missionary field. It is the country of Benin, on the West Coast of Africa. Benin is a relatively small country, bordering with Nigeria on the east and Togo on the west. The Atlantic Ocean is to the south, and Burkina Faso is to the north. Economically, the country is very poor and the cost of living is very high.

The country is mainly dominated by idolatry. About 60% of the entire population belongs to voodoo, which is a state religion. This is the typical, pagan religion. Senior government officials belong to this religion. All other religious denominations, including Christians and Moslems, share the remaining 40%. There are relatively few Sabbath keepers.

Upon the call of one interested soul, Bro. Daniel Robert, our General Conference commissioned me to visit Benin to attend this call. Brother Daniel, in conjunction with his collaborator Bro. Allain Bossikponon, organized a small group, of about 15 interested people, who met together to study the Bible and the Reformation truth. Those who attended came from different religious backgrounds, like Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, voodoo, etc. It was a special opportunity to study the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness from an Adventist approach. They were so impressed that nearly all of them showed a great desire to study more, while attending Sabbath services under the International Missionary Society, S.D.A., Reform Movement. Since my stay was short, and I could not bring them to a final decision, an urgent visit is needed to answer their strong Macedonian call. Are many interested souls in other towns, away from the capital city of Cotonou, that we have to visit. The information I received later is that, now, about 20 people are gathering every Sabbath to study together.

They are asking for financial support to acquire a place for worship and an office. Through your sacrificial offering in this quarter, a chapel can be acquired and missionary activities can be extended in the whole country, which will help the Reformation truth to be established in Benin.

In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus taught us that by giving our resources to support God’s cause, we are actually depositing in the heavenly bank, and we will surely reap eternal joy. Through your offering, you are also helping in spreading the gospel to the dark places of the earth, so that Jesus may come soon.
May God inspire your heart as you stretch out your hand to support Benin.

Your brother in Christ, –Parmenas N. Shirima
Regional Representative