The Gospel Chariot is one of many evangelistic efforts used by our preaching brethren in Benin. Originally, it was a well-worn school bus sitting in a sale lot in Murray, KY. It was shipped to the BTC campus in Zinvie several years ago with the thought of using it to send school students out into the villages to preach the gospel. For a variety of reasons, including economic reasons, it proved to be somewhat impractical. Eventually, all of the seats were taken out; and storage compartments were built to accommodate everything needed to transport a portable church building to any place in the country. It was repainted from school-bus yellow to a bright red, and signage proudly proclaims it to be The Gospel Chariot. A group of preachers use it constantly in evangelistic efforts throughout the nation of Benin, and they persistently report great successes from these efforts.
A few miles ENE of Savé, on the national highway that goes to Parakou, lies the village of Ouoghi. Savé is the provincial city that we have been working in since we got involved with the work in Benin in 1999. Our evangelist, Paul Tohionon, was in that first graduating class of the school of preaching in Cotonou. He went to Savé and began a very successful work, planting a number of churches in Savé and in the surrounding areas. In my travels to Savé, I’ve been privileged to preach to or at least visit many of those congregations, including the church in Kaboua. Kaboua is still further away, to the NE of Ouoghi; and one has to turn off the paved road and travel eastward almost to the Nigerian border to reach it. We built a very large church building for the brethren in Kaboua, and we continue to support Jonas Sambieni who preaches there. He graduated at the top of his class and is doing a good work in Kaboua. Without realizing it, I’ve passed through Ouoghi each time I traveled to the Savé area.
From October 5 though October 9, the Gospel Chariot was sent to the village of Ouoghi. For five days, preaching took place every day and again every night underneath the red-topped tent which serves as a mobile meeting place wherever the bus is sent. During the day, the preaching lasted until noon and was for the benefit of local Christians. They received great encouragement as a number of spiritual topics were taught and discussed. There were restorations and great spiritual revival. Bibles were passed out, and each day the crowds grew. Each night, the whole village would assemble in the market square where the tent was erected. Through preaching the gospel to those who met to hear it, the word was planted in fertile hearts. Twenty-six people were baptized during that five-day effort. I received 39 photos of the work while it was in progress.
How are we to explain the fact that, in a region saturated for several years by evangelistic efforts, more than two dozen heard and obeyed the gospel? Shouldn’t this be an “overworked” area? Shouldn’t people there no longer be interested? I’m not aware of any who obeyed the gospel apart from hearing it preached; and I can only conclude that the gospel, when preached to lost sinners, still converts sinners to Christ. It makes me think of Romans 1:16. And it makes me wonder, what would happen in Pearland, if we … ?
Keep studying. DC Brown ©2016