Diving into Africa

Making friends in Africa.

Missionaries Joel and Andi McMartin are getting their first taste of rural life in West Africa, after spending six months in the capital city of Senegal learning the French language.

They are now living near a family that has become their mentor, advisor and sponsor. The McMartins attend a small church with their host family. They hope to develop a partnership with the church and have the church send them into their future ministry.

“Our goals right now are to continue with French and to dive into African culture with our host family. We live very close to our host family and try to maximize the amount of time we have with them,” wrote Andi.

Though Joel and Andi desire to reach a people group in West Africa who has no access to the Gospel, presently they are concentrating on learning the culture from their church and their host family and they are open to anywhere the Lord might lead them.

Much of Andi’s time is taken up by tending to their two small children and Joel is busy setting up their home in the new and strange area.

They have just arranged for a Senegalese native speaker to come and help them learn the language. They are transitioning from their language helper in the capital to one in the small rural city where they now live.

Joel and Andi are learning to adjust to the slower pace of the West African rural culture. When someone comes to visit they may stay for a long time. It’s best to just enjoy their visit and not think of all the things that need to be done. They also are experiencing the “fish tank” feeling so common to new missionaries in a new area. Everyone wants to know how the new couple lives and what they do every minute of the day.

Pray for the McMartins as they bond with the host family who has agreed to sponsor them. Pray too for their relationships with the small church they attend.