Building a Difference is heading to Burkina Faso, Africa for three weeks to capture the amazing stories of Go To Nations missionaries. The GTN Burkina team has been serving there for over a decade and will be featured in Season 4 along with other Go To Nations stories.
Burkina Faso (a non-Ebola territory) is a land-locked nation in West Africa, south of the Sahara Desert with 17.5 million people. It is one of the five poorest nations in the world, with most families living on less than $1 a day. Over half of the population do subsistence farming but with frequent droughts and one season if rain, malnutrition is extensive.
“Even with the extreme challenges,” explains Joel Haylsip, Intl. Dir., Go To Nations, ”Burkina Faso is considered one of the friendliest countries in West Africa.”
Joel Hayslip and his family have been serving in Burkina since 2003. Kate Royal and Abigail Bellah also make up the GTN-Burkina team. “My wife Heidi and I are the National Directors, Kate is the director of Kids of Hope and Abbey just finished her apprenticeship and is working full-time at Kids of Hope,” says Hayslip.
Building a Difference will be in Burkina Faso for 3 weeks capturing the Go To Nations team stories as a part of the “Beyond Your Borders” series. The Hayslips started with Entrepreneurship training in 2003, but quickly felt called to children’s ministry. Since 2004 they have run a project called “Give a Kid a Christmas” where they purchased gifts for the children at elementary schools in poor neighborhoods/villages and shared the Gospel through skits, dramas, puppets, etc.. In 2009 Give a Kid a Christmas partnered with Operation Christmas Child in Burkina Faso to bring the skits and puppets to each distribution. Since 2004, over 250,000 children have heard the Gospel, over 200 volunteers have been train to share the Gospel, and over 25 churches have been planted among unreached people groups.
Kids of Hope is a ministry to the Fulani Beggar boys of Ouagadougou. These boys are sent by their families to live with a Muslim teacher called a Marabou as young as 7, until they are able to recite the Koran, often staying until they are 18. They recite the Koran for 3 hours very early in the morning, then they are sent out to beg in the streets for the rest of the day/night. They grow up with a life of drugs, theft and violence. As adults, since they have no skills, they often become Marabous themselves, continuing the cycle. Kids of Hope provides a safe haven for these boys, a place where they can eat a healthy meal each day, can spend their days learning carpentry and reading and writing. Each Saturday there is a Club, where the Gospel is preached in their language (Fulfulde) and each Sunday there is a church service for them. Today, many of these boys have decided to follow Jesus, over 15 attend the worship service on Sunday.
Executive Producer/Director Mick Richards will be heading up the Burkina Faso story and will be taking the first of three production trips to Burkina this December 2014. “Our partnership with Go To Nations is an exciting one for the TV series,” explains Richards. “It has taken us to Central America, to East and West Africa, and to Asia in 2015. Our goal is to take our audience around the world through educational and inspiring adventures.”
“God is at work in Burkina Faso in a powerful way, but most Americans are not aware that Burkina even exists,” says Hayslip. “We would love for more people to get involved with what God is doing here and are grateful that Building a Difference will be sharing our stories with the world!”