Pillars of Hope Report
Updated January 11, 2000
A ministry of the Alliance to reach Muslims in Cote d'Ivoire, Africa.
Ministry Team on Site Carina Saarloos, Steve and Amy Nehlsen
Ministry Team in Language Study in Burkina Faso: Toby and Kiersten Hull
Ministry Team on Home Assignment Jim and Bev Patten
Dear Pillars of Hope Prayer Team:
What does this new year hold for any of us? We don't know, but we know that Jesus never changes and that we are to "fix our eyes on him". He is the Author and Finisher of our faith, as well as that of our young believers here. Sometimes we get frustrated with the lack of depth coming out in their lives, and then we are reminded of the privileges many of us have had in Christian homes, in Sunday School and church, etc. These folks have everything working against them: family, neighborhood, friends, poverty, etc. trying to keep them from growing. But we are confident that "He who began a good work in them, will carry it on to completion.
Praise Bulletin: Praise the Lord for the spiritual growth we see in some of our young believers. Pray for them that they will persevere and continue to grow. Pray for: Kolo, "Little Mamadou", and Lassina. This is a repeat bulletin, as it is still true. We just initiated "Little Mamadou" and Lassina in the program for worship leaders. Please keep them in prayer.
Praise Bulletin: Our Christmas festivities went well. Jean Traore and his family were able to be here for that weekend. Jean preached on Sunday and Christmas day. One of our believers said that it was the first time in his life that he really felt like he understood and celebrated Christmas.
Praise Bulletin: We found a non-governmental organization in our city that helps people like Silue (Sil-oo-ay) with their terminal illness. Though their funds are limited, they have still taken some of the pressure off of us. Anyone knowing of an organization that helps with funding these kinds of organizations should contact me. Their funds are depleted and they are limited in what they can do.
Praise Bulletin: We received a letter from Aishata indicating that she is doing well and continuing to follow the Lord. You may remember that she had been delivered of demons a while back. Then, her husband, Mamadou, who was part of our fellowship at that time, returned to Islam and made life difficult for her, including beating her requently. She found it impossible to stay with him and returned to her family. It appears that they are allowing her to attend church.
Prayer Bulletin: PRAY FOR PEACE TO REMAIN IN THE COUNTRY. This past Sunday (1/7) there was an attempted coup d'etat that was thwarted. It did not have much of an affect here in our city of Bouake. Pray that the government can make the decisions that will bring about peace in a country where ethnic hatred seems to continue to grow.
Prayer Bulletin: Development needs. We have for some time now found ourselves trying to deal with the development needs of our members: i.e unemployment, high costs of medicines, etc. This has often been a distraction from the spiritual aspects of the ministry. We have found it to be difficult to disciple and evangelize the same people that we are trying to help developmentally. We are trying to set up a structure apart from the church that will be able to deal with these needs. Pray that we will find the right people to oversee such a ministry. We want to give ourselves to the spiritual growth of our believers and our contacts without mixing this with it.
Prayer Bulletin: REGARDING OUR URGENT DISCIPLESHIP NEEDS, we are continuing to see good attendance for our Tuesday night discipleship class. Pray that they will grasp these basic teachings and that they willput to use what they learn.
Prayer Bulletin: Pray for Kassoum, Karim's eldest son. He recently made a profession of faith around the same time that he was found to have stolen a very expensive butcher knife from the military camp. He was soundly beaten and might have been killed if Amy had not come along. He has been coming to church and Bible study. Pray that we can help him receive deliverance from the clutches of the enemy in the friends he hangs around and his penchant for stealing.
Prayer Bulletin: Would you pray with us regarding the Lord's will in the following "dreams": (See what has develped already!)
- A medical clinic that could serve the growing needs of the poor in this city without our having to run it. This may have already been met with Dr. Clement appearing to have "inherited" a clinic at no cost to himself.
- A classroom for teaching those who missed the chance to go to school. We hope to meet with a Wycliffe international worker soon who has a similar vision.
- A development organism that could oversee the development (jobs, training, etc) needs of the community free us to focus on the spiritual needs of the community. I have made contact with 1 person who is willing to help us with this need. I'm praying for 2 more.
- An annual womens' leadership training program for the equipping and empowering of women to serve and teach. The first of these is scheduled for next month. There will be a second one that will be held in April or May.
We are dreaming big about what God would want us to do. We don't want to start things that can't be continued after our departure. But we want to throw out a "big net" in order to bring in the greatest amount of harvest for the kingdom. Thanks for joining with us in seeing this happen.