The Big Vision, and how far we’ve gotten

Written by Joel Hayslip. Posted in Evangelism Teams, Unreached People

Joel and Heidi have a vision to reach 1,000,000 children by the year 2020.  They do this through training national children’s workers in children’s ministry and placing them into evangelism teams.  They also focus on the least reached people and use Children’s outreaches to plant churches.

This year we had 11 evangelism teams go to 2 regions during the Samaritan’s Purse gift distributions.  Our teams performed our Gospel drama 150+ times to 30,000 + children.  This year the new puppet skit was written, performed and recorded 100% by our team members!  The outreach equipment was also nearly completely designed by the local team using only equipment found in Burkina Faso (everything but the puppets – we hope to begin making those locally as well).  It all fits in a backpack so that all the teams could go in teams of 2-4 people on mopeds.  I hated it, but I actually spent most of my time in my office organizing the next day’s outreaches…  I’m working myself out of a job 🙂
In the same way, the trip to the unreached people “the Karumba” was done almost entirely by the evangelism team we’re training with limited help from me.  The team translated the skits into the Karumba language, organized the outreaches and I didn’t go on the week-long outreach.  The Karumba are an Islamic people very closed to the Gospel.  Again this was the 1st time most of them had heard the Gospel, and the 1st time the Gospel had EVER been preached in Karumba in many villages.  To the utter AMAZEMENT of the Karumba pastors, hundreds came forward to receive Christ.
I think what has amazed me more than all these things has been the devotion and passion of the evangelism teams.  Each year, after the last Samaritan’s purse distribution is finished, they continue to meet to pray, to organize more outreaches.  Anymore, they contact me just to let me know how their outreaches had gone.   Outside of the Samaritan’s Purse outreaches, these teams have reached another 20,000+ kids.
We had meetings last week to discuss how to move forward, how we can do even more together.


Year # of Gifts (GAKAC) # Heard the Gospel Focus
2004 30 None Neighborhood kids
2005 300 350 Went to a friend’s private school and performed a very simple skit.
2006 2000 4000 Developed the “Jesus skit” and went to a region where we also taught 24 CPs how to start kid’s clubs. (All but 1 failed after a year).  Went to the Fulani people.
2007 4000 6000 Was a huge undertaking!  Over $40,000 raised and my missionary team and my wife asked me to scale back.  Went to the Lele people.
2008 2000 3000 Deaf/mute kids throughout Burkina Faso.  We also helped offer them a medical checkup through a partnership.
2009 1500 1st year with OCC.   We held nighttime outreaches in a few of the sites OCC visited.
2010 ?? Ouagadougou, 24 team members, 3 teams.  Taught them a 30-45 min Gospel presentation that was performed over 60 times.
2011 28000 Ouagadougou, 30 team members, 5 teams.  30 minute presentation performed 120 times.  We introduced puppets.  Took 2500 gifts to the Turka.  Helped plant a church.
2012 50,000 + Ouagadougou, Banfora, 40+ team members, 11 teams.  A 15 minute Gospel presentation (shortened by request of OCC team).  Done on mopeds with a backpack.  Went to the Karumba people in the desert with 1700 gifts.  One of the Team members planted a church amongst unreached people, we took 600 gifts there to help plant the church.

Wow! Didier’s Testimony – Easter with Tuaregs

Written by Joel Hayslip. Posted in Evangelism Teams, Unreached People

This is the Testimony Didier gave about last Thursday’s outreach to the Tuareg.  It is the conclusion of THIS blog post.  Here is a video of Didier teaching.

Before the kids club, each one of us had been praying on his own, but me, in my prayers, I received visions.  The visions showed me that the gospel must be preached in its entirety this particular Thursday, because we were wondering if we should say that Jesus was resurrected.  Since they are Muslims, we were afraid to act before God’s time, but God spoke one passage to me: it is when the apostle Paul and Silas said to the jailer: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved you and your household” (Acts 16:31)” it is when they will believe that Jesus died and rose again they will be saved.
And on top of that I saw Heidi in the vision among the Tuaregs holding up the colorful scenes of Jesus we have printed on plastic sheets. I told myself that God wants to go further, Islam does not like showing any kind of pictures of a Prophet.

Please keep reading!


Three Strikes and We’re IN!

Written by Joel Hayslip. Posted in Unreached People


3:45 pm: We were ready for the biggest day at the Tuareg Camp since the 1st day we heard about them.  Today, we were going to share the Gospel at the Kids Camp!!  Thursday, April 12th and it was extraordinarily hot!  But this is not unexpected since we are in the middle of the hot/dry season and we don’t expect rain until June.  Well, as Heidi, the kids, Kate and the new missionaries were getting in the car, and I (Joel) and Didier were starting up a moped, the wind began to pick up!  A rainstorm in April!!!  Unbelievable!  How was I supposed to ride a moped in the rain?  Honestly I thought “maybe we should postpone this – the kids probably won’t come out in the rain anyhow”.  Well, strike one for the devil – we waited 10 minutes and pushed forward after the storm passed.


4:15 pm: We arrived at the camp and I began to distribute the 100lbs of powdered milk we had brought (milk is one of the Tuareg’s staples) and the rest of the team began to play games with the kids.  They LOVED the puddles, especially after such a hot day.  The rain and wind had knocked the temp down at least 15 degrees.  After playing for 20 minutes or so, Didier began to gather the (very rambunctious) kids for the lesson.  It took a LONG time to get them calm, sitting and all together.  Right when he did…  it started pouring down rain again!!!  It looked like we had struck out this time, as the group of kids exploded and they all ran away as fast as they could.  But it was strike two for our enemy – they all ran together to a covered gazebo on the other side of the camp.  In 15 minutes, they were calmly sitting, waiting for the story to begin.



Rama, the Amazing French Teacher

Written by Joel Hayslip. Posted in Unreached People

A Fulani Christian?!?

We hired Rama to teach the Tuareg kids French on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 2.5 hrs each week.  They were bored and had cabin fever (they’ve been inside the same 4 walls for over a month) and we were noticing more and more serious scrapes from fights they were having (did we mention they are a very aggressive people?).  So we asked Rama to try her best to teach them the alphabet and how to write letters.

She has done a lot more than that!

Rama is a Fulani believer.  The Fulani are a nomadic, Muslim people group from the northern part of W. Africa.  In fact, they are a very similar people to the Tuareg.

As Rama began to interact with the parents of the kids she was teaching, they found out she was a Christian.  There was an immediate reaction – they were in shock!  One man said “Since the day I was born I have NEVER heard of such a thing – a Fulani Christian!!??”  So they began calling other Tuareg to come around – to check out this anomaly!

And Rama is a very bold witness.

Soon after, she came to Heidi and I and asked for some books in French for the kids to read.  We gave her some Bible stories and a picture Bible.  The next afternoon she came back with this story:

I decided to tell a Bible story today instead of have a French lesson.  I told the story of Cain and Able from the books you gave, and they were all captivated.  Yesterday night one of their friends, a 12 year old boy, had died suddenly in the camp, so they were very eager to hear about God.  At the end of the story, I asked them “Who wants Jesus to be their friend?”  Several rose their hands, and after the lesson, 5 came up to me individually.  One boy asked me “How can I walk with Jesus?”  Another girl told me “I know that God is my Father, but I am scared of Him.” I assured her that God is not like our earthly fathers.

One of the fathers had been listening to the whole story and whn he heard me tell about Jesus, he grumbled to one of the kids and walked away.  I asked the child : “What did he say?”  The kid replied “He was just complaining.  He always complains.”

Please pray for Rama, for more boldness, more wisdom and more open doors to the this unreached people, the Tuareg!


Didier teaching at the Thursday Kids Club

Written by Joel Hayslip. Posted in Unreached People, Video

I love Didier.  He is a gifted evangelist, teacher and administrator.  Here he is teaching the Tuareg kids (OUR Tuareg kids) about Abraham and his son.  These kids are 100% receptive!  They really do get it!

Pray for Didier to have wisdom, favor and open doors each Thursday.



A quick Pan of the Refugee Camp

Written by Joel Hayslip. Posted in Unreached People, Video

This is a very quick pan of the refugee camp.  It doesn’t really look like a refugee camp because it it at a new schoolyard that has not been used yet.  But hidden away in the buildings are 700+ people, sleeping on the ground, eating plain white rice, bored and hopeless.

Thursday kids club is the highlight of the week for these kids!


Our Tuareg

Written by Joel Hayslip. Posted in Unreached People, Video

These are our Tuareg.  They are celebrating the baptism and name-giving ceremony of a child born in the local football stadium.  They are refugees and we have the privilege of sharing God’s love with them.


I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was a stranger…

Written by Joel Hayslip. Posted in Unreached People

I didn’t want to get involved. Honestly I didn’t.  I had outreaches planned through next fall, trainings on the schedule, important stuff.  Somehow when I heard that Tuareg were fleeing Mali into Burkina, I knew that we had to respond.  But there’s just a few of us, and we’re just… us.

There are over 20,000 refugees fleeing war in northern Mali.  I have heard only a few of their stories, but they all have the same basic theme: “I had a life, a home, our kids had school.  One day we saw someone get killed (a friend’s house get burned, I was held up at gunpoint, etc..), and we fled.  Now we have nothing, no home, no identity, no rights.”  Some of the refugees were herdsmen, but Ziniba was a university student, Agboubacar was a successful jeweler and Mohammed was in the Army.  Now they all live together in refugee camps – nothing to do, struggling to find meaning and purpose.  (Video of Tuareg Dance)

And many days they struggle to find food.

We discovered that around 800 of the refugees are in an empty school about 10 minutes from our house, and we knew we had to do something.  We visited them, bringing bananas, sardines and bread, simply asking how we could help.  They asked for food, for mats, for buckets and soap.  The next day we brought all those things and we began to bring breakfast every morning to all 800 refugees.

For 21 days we brought 300 loaves of bread, 50 pounds of powdered milk, 100 pounds of sugar, 600 servings of coffee and tea every morning.  i think what really touched their hearts was
that we came personally every morning to distribute the food and play with the kids.  It wasn’t just a big organization throwing food at them to keep them alive, we were fellow humans who cared and had compassion.  Every morning as we drove in, the camp looked empty. Everyone was hiding in their tents and rooms, sleeping their boredom and hopelessness away. But once we stepped out, the camp came alive!  Kids came streaming towards us, grabbing our hands, hugging us, calling out our names.  The moms would gather around, all smiles, as we split up the food to each group.

One day I found out that there were many sick so I asked Ziniba discreetly: “do you think i could go pray for the sick?” and I got a firm answer: “You pray differently.  We pray everyday, we don’t drink alcohol and we bow down.  If the old people see you praying in your way, they will refuse to even eat the food you bring, even if they are starving.”  I didn’t argue with her, but I knew 2 things that day – 1.  I want them to know that we come in the name of Jesus, not just religion and 2. We need to reach out to them through the children.

The 1st saturday we hosted a big soccer match at the camp.  Boys vs. boys and girls vs. girls.  We blasted Tuareg music through our speakers and we all danced together.  Everyone had an amazing time!!

The next Thursday we began our Bible club with the kids.
March 8th : God created all the world and animals.
March 15th: God created you and loves you.
March 22nd: The Good Samaritan (we were noticing a lot of violence)
March 29th (today): Adam and Eve and sin (introducing Easter next week)


Recent Comments

  • Veda Byers

    January 21, 2015 |

    Dear Joel an Heidi,
    Enjoyed the video and seeing the work that you are doing there in Burkino Faso. The children are so wonderful to see in their everyday life. Their smiles are infectious. Andrea is preparing to come and excited about the trip and the team from Newspring that she will be working with. Bless you both and your boys for being there and sharing the Love of God! We love you! Veda and the whole Byers Family 🙂

  • Chris Palermo

    January 14, 2015 |

    Was praying for your family and ministry this morning. Was moved by the video ..the responce of the children to the gifts and the love you are showing them. Your good looking boys have grown so much since I saw them last at Bethel San Jose. God continue to bless and use you.

  • Chuck Fanning

    February 8, 2013 |

    Reading about your work is very exciting, I thank God we can be a small part. May the God we serve do”exceedingly abuntantly” more than we ask or imagine according to His great power that works in us!!

  • Bob Hayslip

    September 12, 2012 |

    I “amen” what Tammy shared! When you chart it out you can see the way that the Lord took a small seed and caused it to grow. Only the Father knows what is in store as you keep sowing faithfully. That 1,000,000 child mark by 2020 may have been a little pessimistic! We’ll keep praying for you guys and for full-blown revival in Burkina. – Dad

  • Tammy Sheets

    September 10, 2012 |

    This is so exciting to see your faithfulness year after year to reach out in the name of Jesus to the children in Burkina Faso!

    It is truly the LORD at work to keep growing the seed planting opportunities and to partner up with OCC – this Saturday (Sept. 15th) in St. Joseph, MO there will be a local “Count Down Event” to share with area churches and groups with sharing this type of testimony – which will really encourage them to pack more shoeboxes – to touch more children to hear the gospel! please join me to pray for this special event!
    keep on blessing those around you – a little bit of love goes a long long way =D

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