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Benin - AFM: Otammari Project

Mission
Reach the spiritually hungry country of Benin through Pathfinder and church-planting programs.

Description
About 150,000 Otammari live in Northern Benin and Togo. They are famous for their masonry and their traditional homes that resemble mud castles. Most are subsistence farmers and hunters. Illiteracy is high among this group. Many people only read French, the administrative language of Benin. Very few can read or write their heart language, Ditammari. Most cling to Animism and ancestor worship and have resisted both Islam and Christianity. Each household has a family altar called the fetish where the father of the household makes sacrifices and appeals to the spirits of the ancestors. The whole Bible is translated into Ditammari, but it is out of print. It is clear that the Holy Spirit is moving among these people who have traditionally been extremely resistant to outsiders. Evangelical Christians of several denominations have noticed a dramatic change in their openness in recent years. AFM missionaries have been ministering to the Otammari people since 1996. They are working to nurture the church in Natitingou and a growing number of groups in surrounding villages.

More Info

  • Average Fundraising Goal: Prices may vary. ~$5,000. See Student Missions office for details
  • Timeline: A full school year (~9 months) is required to serve with AFM.
  • Location: There are 2 possible locations for your service: Natitingou, a bigger town of about 80,000 people, and Boukombé, a smaller town 50 km from Natitingou. Both are nice towns and even Natitingou has a small-town feeling.
    Both towns have a good infrastructure with post offices, a local market and small shops. Natitingou has banks with ATMs. After your first few weeks here, AFM will determine where you will be located. You may also commute between the two locations. The terrain is mostly flat with some hills and brush. Weather is generally hot (90-120 F) with a rainy season. Check out the location on Google Maps!
  • Living Accommodations: You will have your own living quarters with cooking facilities. Conditions are primitive with no running water in the house. Water may be brought from a faucet or well in the yard for cooking and bathing needs. There is electricity 24/7.
  • Language: Student missionaries will be required to study French. Your first two months will be spent learning French nearly full-time.
  • Food: You will be responsible for providing your own food. There is a good variety of food and vegetables available at the local market.
  • Internet Access: You may use a phone chip, or purchase a cheap android phone in town. Data is not cheap, and is not high speed.
  • Requirements: 3 month e-visa.
  • Health Info - Vaccinations should be up to date. Malaria is present, but prophylactic treatment may be purchased inexpensively in local pharmacies. There are no dentists or opthamologists, so make sure to get a check up and bring extra pairs of glasses if needed. Benin is very dusty and may flare up allergies.
Position Info
  • Pathfinder Leader/Church Planting Assistant - Missionaries will help out with Pathfinder clubs in the village groups and in town. They will also help with Sabbath school, the children's center, and be role models in general for the kids. Expectations include spiritual maturity, responsibility, cultural sensitivity, and flexibility. 

Images

(Click to enlarge)

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Pathfinder Investiture
Traditional mud housing
A local family from Kouaba
Children of Benin
Sabbath school story time
Videos

AFM Otammari Project

A Place Called Home

Websites
AFM's Website - Benin
afmonline.org/benin

Interested in Benin?

Apply for your preferred position at least four months before you plan to serve, though spots may be available up until a month before departure.