Pillars of Hope Report

Updated August 30, 2001

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 / Extended Leave Jim and Bev Patten

Dear Pillars Of Hope Prayer Champions,

These are days of transition, warfare, and hope. Let me share with you how those words apply to what we are going through.

  • TRANSITION:

    We are transitioning to having a national pastor and his wife as part of our team. John and Martha Traore are doing a 1-year internship with us this next year. We look forward to what God has in store. We need to transition to new roles, and new activities.

    We are preparing for the October arrival of Toby and Kiersten Hull along with their pre-schooler, Kenna. Kiersten is expecting and due in November. The Lord has provided a house and we are getting that ready for their arrival. There is a lot of "transition" represented in these couple of sentences.

  • WARFARE:

    As many of you may have heard, just over 2 weeks ago, Amy was taken hostage at gunpoint by 5 armed robbers. She was forced to lead them to the mission where they stole a fair amount of money. This whole nearly 2-hour ordeal has been difficult to process, but we praise God for His protection and the fact that she was not violated. They were very violent nonetheless. Pray for Amy's recovery and confidence. Please pray for our physical safety in a country that is experiencing a fair amount of insecurity.

    Carina's houseworker had a psychological breakdown last week. This has been very fatiguing and consuming for Carina. Pray for healing for her houseworker and for strength for Carina.

  • HOPE:

    With the arrival of John and Martha, we have our first national pastor. We look forward to his help and gifts. He is a gifted evangelist and we hope to step up our activity in that area. The arrival of Toby and Kiersten is another answer to prayer, as our team has been depleted over the years. Pray for all of us as we adjust to new roles and new personalities.

    We know that God is at work and He desires to see a church established to impact the Muslim community. In spite of the transitioning and attacks, we know that He will carry out His plan.

    Thanks for praying with us. The following prayer was forwarded to us by Steve's Mom, Jessie Nehlsen. May God use it to help you pray for us and for the Muslim world as a whole. It was written by a Lutheran international worker to Muslims.

    Mosque in Bouake God our Heavenly Father, We lift up your lost sheep in the Muslim world. Bring them into Your flock, so there will be one flock and one Shepherd. Give every Christian the wisdom to understand "ISLAM" to mean, "I Sincerely Love All Muslims". Father, make us to know how Muslims are people like us, with hopes, ambitions, and a desire for salvation...but without assurance. Grant them the assurance that all sins -- ours and theirs -- were fully paid for on the cross when Jesus said, "It is finished". Lord, may they know Jesus as Messiah. Reveal Him as the only Way, the Truth and the Life. In every prayer, they ask God to show them the straight path. Reveal to Muslims the true path, Jesus.

    Give Your burden to Your bride the Church, to carry the Good News to those who do not know You. Move our hearts with compassion, love, boldness and courage. Protect those who are reaching Muslims. Empower them by Your Holy Spirit with love, patience, forgiveness and understanding. Open the hearts and eyes of Muslims so Your Word may be rooted deeply and fruitfully.

    Father, we lift up the world of Islam, where proclaiming Your Gospel is a crime. May Your Spirit penetrate deeply and break all the chains and barriers, so every knee shall bow and every tongue confess Jesus as Lord. Help those who already confessed and accepted to have a burden to reach others. Raise harvesters from these. Show them the harvest is ripe and plentiful.

    We ask this in the name of your Son and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

    Steve Nehlsen, on behalf of our team.
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