Clare is one of the latest people to sign up with Wycliffe in the UK to serve Bibleless people around the world. After training, now she’s off to Senegal. We asked her about what’s waiting for her in West Africa and how she’s feeling about all the changes…
As I write, it is just over a week until I leave for Senegal to begin a literacy assignment with SIL [Wycliffe's linguistic partner overseas]. I completed my initial training at Redcliffe College in December and can’t wait to put some of what I learnt into action. I greatly enjoyed my time at Redcliffe; there was a real sense of community among the students, who come from all over the world and hope to serve God in many different countries.
Once in Senegal, I will spend the first few months in Dakar, getting stuck in to learning the culture and the language. I love language learning and especially learning about life in other cultures, so I’m looking forward to this part, especially as I know it will also be preparing me for what’s next.
During my time in Dakar, we will figure out where the best assignment for me will be. With a national literacy rate of only 40%, there is plenty of literacy work to be done in Senegal. SIL help to provide adult literacy classes as well as assisting with the provision of mother-tongue education in primary schools, before pupils make a transition to being taught in French. These are two key areas and I am looking forward to finding out where I fit into this!
Of course, as my date for leaving gets closer, nerves are setting in too, about whether I’ll settle in, whether I’ll be able to learn the language or cope with the weather and how much I’ll miss home. However, I go confident in the knowledge that I’m not doing this alone – it has been such an encouragement to see how God has led me here and has brought people together to partner with me. I am going to Senegal along with God and all my partners back home and am thankful to God for this assurance.
In Senegal, West Africa and the rest of the world, there are big needs for people who can help others to learn to read and write, giving them access to education, healthcare and the powerful and life-changing words of the Bible. What could you do?