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How we experienced God’s call to mission

By Daniel Salamu

Fifteen years ago, a year after I left secondary school, I was full of dreams of becoming an accountant. But God was training me for his service. My calling to become a missionary did not come through a dream – I rarely remember my dreams. Instead, it came as a growing personal conviction.

I came from a family with a low-level income, and my desire was to finish my tertiary education, start work and help my family financially and otherwise. I pursued my dream, carefully and with great enthusiasm. But God kept bringing YWAM (Youth with a Mission) to my mind and heart. It seemed He was drawing me to work with the Church, something I didn’t want to do

I wanted to find a well-paid job and support my family.

Fighting with God

When I realised the YWAM issue wasn’t going away, I decided to give it a try to see what God was telling me. I was hoping it would fail, so that I could continue pursuing my dream of being an accountant. It seemed that it did fail. I applied online and paid the fees to attend the YWAM School in Togo, but then the school closed down. I told God, “You see, I know I am not a missionary, and I believe you will leave me alone now.”

God kept silent for some years. I went for my tertiary studies, studied Accountancy to a National Diploma Level and aspired to complete another two years to earn a Higher National Diploma in Accountancy. But before I could go for the final two years – in fact, before the end of my first two years – I saw an ad for a job as Account Officer/Secretary with NEMI (Nigerian Evangelical Missions Institute). I applied for the job, thinking it would be well-paid. However, the offer was much lower than what I made at the Polytechnic, where I did a typing job. So I refused it.

God has the final say

But the Lord has his own ways of tracking us down. The leaders of NEMI pursued me, coming to my house to check on me for about a year. But I refused to go. Finally, I went to chat with the principal. We were able to agree on an addition to the salary, and I accepted the job.

God spoke to me again about missions through Rev. Kwang Yun Lee, who helped confirm God’s call for me. He also prayed for a year that I would resign my position and enroll in missions training. Finally God got my attention and I began training with NEMI to become a missionary.

The Lord provided further missions training by sending me to the Philippines and South Korea and then to serve in Burkina Faso. I went as a single man, but Malata and I became friends and God directed us to get married.

I explained to Malata what it takes to be a missionary, wanting to see if she would be willing to join me in this noble calling. Many think missionary service is for “beggars” or those who do not have a good job. But actually missionaries have the most strategic and important job of all: serving the King of Kings! I didn’t know that Malata’s grandparents had been missionaries. She said “yes” to missionary service before she said “yes” to my marriage proposal!

Serving with great joy

Today Malata and I have been married five years, and God has blessed us tremendously with our two children, Hadriel (5) andKirsten-Aurora (6 months). We have been in Burkina Faso for six years, serving with the SIM team as the Projects Coordinator, and in the Teen Challenge Ministry among drug addicts and street boys, in Muslim evangelism, teaching English/Bible studies and children’s ministry.

We have seen His glory and His grace, and have experienced the perfect peace and joy that surpasses all understanding in doing what He has called us to do in Burkina Faso.

From Nigeria, Daniel and Malata Salamu serve in Burkina Faso.

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