(The Kotafon are one of the unreached people groups in IMB’s Sub-Saharan African Affinity’s ‘55 in 5’ initiative.)
A missionary kid and a basketball court set into motion the introduction of the gospel to the Kotafon, a voodoo–worshiping people group who, until recently, were considered unreached.
Twenty-four years ago, Jeff and Barbara Singerman moved from Benin’s largest city to a village. Jeff built a basketball court for their children. The Singerman’s son, Kevin, was eager to find friends to join him on the court.
As Jeff and Kevin were driving home one day, Kevin saw a teenager around his age. They stopped, and Kevin invited the teenager, Marc, to come and play basketball.
“Marc readily accepted although he hadn’t a clue what a basketball was,” Barbara says. “That path-crossing resulted in an enduring friendship, Marc surrendering his life to Christ and his selfless volunteering for years to work alongside our family to host and minister with U.S. short–termers.”
Marc calls Jeff and Barbara “Mom” and “Dad.” After the Singerman’s children moved to the U.S. for college, Marc continued to minister alongside the Singermans as their volunteer coordinator.
“Marc dedicated himself to serving Christ and became a missionary,” Barbara says.
Before the Singermans told Marc that the Lord was calling them to move to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Marc told them, “Mom, Dad, if you ever leave Benin, I will carry on your work.”
Not only has Marc carried on the Singermans’ ministries as a missionary who collaborates with the Benin Baptist Convention, but he also seeks out churches in the U.S. who will partner with him to reach unreached people groups.
Marc started ministering among the Kotafon, an unreached people group in Benin. The Kotafon were one of the unreached people groups identified by missionaries for the ‘55 in 5’ initiative.
Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina, sends volunteer teams to partner with Marc and two Baptist pastors in Benin to share Christ with the Kotafon. Four churches have been planted and 10 Kotafon men are attending Bible school.
The Singermans say the Kotafon are experiencing intense persecution. Pray for the Kotafon Christians to stand firm in their faith.
Pray for Kotafon Christians, Marc, the two Baptist pastors and Mt. Vernon Baptist Church as they share the gospel.
And, Barbara says, praise God for missionary kids and basketball.
To download prayer resources and learn more about the Kotafon, please visit the Kotafon’s 55 in 5 profile.
There are still many people groups in Sub-Saharan Africa who have no gospel witness and no known Christians. To learn more about these people groups and download prayer resources, please visit the 55 in 5 home page.
To learn how you can join the 55 in 5 effort, contact Pray4Africa@imb.org.