09/23/2017: Hair Care, Health and a Heavenly Father

Hair Care, Health and a Heavenly Father

Hair care leads to lessons on health and the gospel.

Opportunities abound in the medical missionary work, though sometimes you have to be creative to harness them. Recently, the topic of natural hair care has been opening doors for me here in Senegal. In this culture, women try everything to grow long hair, but most of their methods actually damage their hair, leaving it brittle and balding.

To address this situation, I recently held a seminar on natural hair care. Keeping hair as the central theme, I branched out and discussed how diet and lifestyle can affect not only our bodies but also our hair. All ten attendees were church members, but even the church is a mission field here when it comes to the health message! As it turned out, they also became ambassadors. At the seminar I gave each woman samples of my homemade, natural personal care products. They seemed especially excited about one particular product: my hair pomade.

Soon requests started coming in to purchase the pomade. Ladies told their friends outside the church about it, and these women called me for hair consultations. This opened the door for me to share the health message with seven women. We would start out talking about hair, and that led into diet, lifestyle, the importance of water, the dangers of the chemicals in many toiletries and the natural alternatives God has provided for us here in Senegal—things like shea butter, moringa and baobab oil. I shared how much God loves us and wants us to be healthy and happy, and even wove in a little bit about the great controversy and how the enemy encourages us to use products that are not good for us. All because of a hair ointment!

Another opportunity to share the health message came at a recent women’s luncheon. I gave foot massages to those who wanted them and spoke about health, massage and related topics. To my delight, my old friend Angie who owns a bookstore in Dakar attended that luncheon. Soon after, she e-mailed me with some questions about fibroids. I shared what I knew, and she then asked me if I would do a women’s health talk at her bookstore.

Of course I would! It seemed the perfect opportunity to fix up a PowerPoint presentation I had on the eight laws of health, adding information on women’s concerns like fibroids, menopause and healthy personal care products. However, I ran into a problem. I did not have a video projector and neither did Angie. The church’s video projector was broken, and no one else seemed to have one to loan. But God is always good. The day before the presentation, I was able to borrow a projector from a school where I had previously taught classes. Thank the Lord!

Twelve women, some Christian and some Muslim, came to the bookstore event. Along with health, I talked about the love of God, the importance of having a relationship with Him and our special role as women. The women piped up and shared their own experiences, and we had an enjoyable evening.

In this Muslim-dominated country, talking about religion can be challenging; but people can see and understand God’s love in the context of health. When you explain the perfect body systems, the gifts of air and sunshine, the invigorating effect of resting and the blessing that even nature can be to our health, these things confirm God’s loving care. Thus a conversation that started with natural hair care can end up helping someone see that we have a heavenly Father who loves us with an everlasting love. I praise God for His health message—and His love!

 

AUTHOR

Deborah Ndione

Sister Deborah and her family are missionaries in Dakar, Senegal. Deborah uses medical ministry, English tutoring, women’s ministry, children’s ministry and other simple methods to make friends to invite to Christ’s Kingdom.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray. Even with the Lord’s blessings, Deborah’s family faces challenges in Senegal. Please continue to pray that the Lord will open the doors for their outreach center to be connected to water and electricity soon. Thank you for your prayers!

Donate to Deborah’s work through Mission Projects International. Please mark your gift “Senegal.”

Special need. If you or your church have a used video projector that you could donate to Deborah’s work, she will use it to share God’s message! Alternately, donate to help her purchase one locally. For details, contact info@missionspro.org.

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