2017-05-19 / Government / Neighborhood

Beulah Baptist Church holds banquet to celebrate mission work in Mali

By Linda Sosbee


Amadomo Saye, is from Mali, West Africa. He served as a translator for many of the teams; Cameron DeBrew, pastor of Beulah Baptist Church; and Steve Roach, a former International Mission Board (IMB) missionary to Mali. Amadomo Saye, is from Mali, West Africa. He served as a translator for many of the teams; Cameron DeBrew, pastor of Beulah Baptist Church; and Steve Roach, a former International Mission Board (IMB) missionary to Mali. On the last weekend in April, Beulah Baptist Church, a small rural church in Lower Richland, celebrated 10 years of mission work in Bamako, Mali, West Africa.

On Saturday evening, a banquet was held for all those who had been involved with the mission teams.

On Sunday, there was a church-wide celebration followed by a congregational meal. Guest speakers for the event were Steve Roach, former International Missions Board (IMB) missionary to Mali, who currently serves as pastor of First Baptist Church in Goldsby, Oklahoma; and Brad Bessent, former pastor of Beulah Baptist Church, currently interim pastor at First Baptist Church of West Columbia.

Special guests included Tim Rice and Laurie Register from the S.C. Baptist Convention, and Armondo Saye from Bamako, Mali. Armondo served as translator for many of the mission teams.

Beulah’s work in Mali began in 2007, with a vision trip to West Africa, led by former pastor, Brad Bessent. Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa, is the eighth largest country in all of Africa. The goal of Beulah’s trip was to find a group of people with whom they could share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

With the help of the IMB and missionaries on the ground, the team had their hearts opened to the Bambara people in what was called F Village in Bamako. Lying near the border of Guinea, Bamako is the capital and largest city in Mali with a population of 1.8 million people.

In 10 years, Beulah has sent 25 teams to F Village. Forty members of the church’s congregation have worked in F Village (many going on multiple missions) as well as 26 people from outside of the church. Two young adults even stayed for several months at a time.

The Beulah mission teams were focused on sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to all who would hear. Because most of the villagers could not read, the teams taught them the Bible stories. So many villagers accepted the power of the gospel and the grace of Jesus, a church was established in the village as well as a few in surrounding villages.

Team members also taught the villagers some new farming methods, dug a well, and provided medical attention to several very ill people. Working with Baptist Global Relief, Beulah teams returned to Mali to help distribute grain during a drought.

Government unrest and travel restrictions in recent years have prevented Beulah from sending teams as often as in the past. They have only been able to send three teams in the past three years—a marked decline from previous years.

In spite of not being able to visit the people of whom they have become so fond, Beulah continues to write letters to members of the village church that are delivered by translators who greet and encourage the believers.

Cameron DeBrew, lead pastor of Beulah, says, “God has opened our hearts to the world through these trips. We are not a wealthy congregation, but we have seen God bring the money and the resources to allow us to participate in this work. We have seen God provide over and over again.”

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