The Rev. Dirk and Sarah Stadtlander are ELCA missionaries in Linguere, Senegal, serving in parish ministry. To support the Stadtlanders, or another of the ELCA’s 230 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
The Linguere parish of the Lutheran Church of Senegal had a happy Easter, though we’re still missing the presence of our two Bible translators who are studying in Jerusalem. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services culminated in an Easter service with an extra car full of people from the neighboring town of Dahra. A dinner followed, to which Muslim neighbors and others connected with the church’s work were invited. Before the meal was served, evangelist Oumar Diallo shared briefly the story of Easter and what it means to us as Christians.
The Lutheran Church of Senegal does literacy work in various languages, including Pulaar. The Linguere parish has requested a Pulaar course, which is just beginning classes. The church sent literacy workers here to determine what would be necessary to begin a course. They interviewed and hired a teacher. Classes started last week, with about 10 people enrolled, mostly women. Class scheduling revolves around a woman’s workday, with the most free time between 4 and 6 p.m.
At the end of March, Dirk and two delegates from Linguere (Soule Ba and Oumar Diallo) traveled to church headquarters in Fatick to attend the annual churchwide meeting, which brings together pastors and delegates from all 13 parishes of the Lutheran Church of Senegal.
We should add that in light of current problems in neighboring countries, we are especially thankful for the recent fair, non-violent, quickly decided, democratic presidential election. We are proud of Senegal and invite your prayers for its new president, Macky Sall. Pulling Senegal out of its current economic problems will not be an easy job. We hope that President Sall will be a fair and just leader for this country.