Open Door Development is a community development ministry of SIM based in Mahadaga, Burkina Faso. It was officially founded by Dale Johnson and Matt Walsh in 2012.
SIM has helped start almost 1,000 churches in the central and eastern parts of Burkina Faso during the last 80 years. The gospel is being shared, but the mentality of poverty is crippling the church’s effectiveness in discipleship and growth. Often, the church understands the idea of development as receiving money to support the church rather than an opportunity for the church to be the hands and feet of Christ. Our vision is to reshape this mentaliy by equipping the local church for community service.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso has limited natural resources and infrastructure. In addition to this, it is landlocked and not in a strategic position for trade and commerce. Most Burkinabes are subsistent farmers whose children grow up expecting the same future. ODD envisions the church as the driving force for community development in these economically poor regions. We hope to see the church’s sacrifice and love drawing the community to Christ. We believe that this spirit of unity and purpose can break down dissension and allow the church to live out its calling to make disciples.
We will know that our goals have been accomplished when the church is caring for the community, supporting its own leaders, and sending out Burkinabe missionaries. At ODD, we believe that the method of doing something is often as important as the work itself. Thus, we are intentionally seeking sustainability in finances, cultural relevance, and sensitivity to the changing community needs.
While ODD began in the village of Mahadaga, our goal is to reach the entire province and eastern region of Burkina Faso. We hope to maintain a small staff while working with many local partners, creating a network of development associations, strengthening existing organizations, and ministering with the churches in these areas.
Ultimately, it is our goal to fund projects locally, but we do need support for special large projects, business startups and technology development experimentation. Most importantly, we need your prayers. The response from the community has been very encouraging and very humbling. The need is much larger than our abilities, and it is only through God’s power that we will be able to effect any lasting change.