Pillars of Hope Report

Updated September 12, 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 Team:

Tonight, in light of the attacks on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon, we are reminded of the fact that this world is not our home. We were so shocked to watch the news on CNN and to see the disaster that took place today.

Certainly as we reflect on the events of recent days we can relate to the truths in this verse:

"He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He WILL deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that: HE WILL CONTINUE TO DELIVER US, as YOU help us by your prayers...then many will give thanks on your behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."

Most of you know that on August 7 at 6:30m pm that I (Amy) was used as a hostage by 5 armed men to steal money and personal items from our mission station. We have all experienced every emotion from joy and release to fear and anger...But now my real gut feeling is that I have to move beyond this and take from it any wisdom God is wanting to give to me.

I can remember thinking after they (the thieves) had hit me several times both with their guns and hands and said they would kill me because I was nothing to them, that "..wow, I never thought I would die like THIS...Could this really be the end of my life?.".and then not an ounce of fear about death but almost a burst of anticipation that if I really couldn't get out of this I would see Jesus....the GIFT of God is Eternal Life.

Earlier, on the day of the kidnapping, Steve and I had been praying together for God to release His Power in us and in the lives of our children........the irony is that after a event like that you don't feel strong but, the contrary, weaker than ever.........so weak that in desperation you turn to the Lord and you find that His Word is sooooo deep, like oil that reaches into the deepest anxiety and fear...anxiety that is so real it's like a physical feeling...You hear God say as he did to Paul, "When you are weak then I am strong."

We don't know what all of you are facing...month by month you lift us up ...you share our burden and you pray...Be assured that your prayers reach the ears of God and that you have "helped us by your prayers."

"O My Strength, I watch for You,
You, O God,
Are my Fortress,
My Loving God"............may we all watch for Him today.

Praise Bulletin: Pastor Jean Traore and his wife Marthe have arrived and are busy in ministry.

Praise Bulletin: God is helping us, in particular, Amy through the recovery from the attack. It's still difficult at times and in certain situations.

Praise Bulletin: Toby and Kiersten Hull arrive next month to join the ministry here! We have been able to locate them a nice house in a good neighborhood.

Prayer Bulletin: Please pray for Carina as she is having some serious back problems. It appears that there are some discs out of place. Pray for her healing.

Prayer Bulletin: The evangelist that we had come earlier this year, Alimamy Sanogo, passed away on Sept. 4 of a terminal illness. We were planning a two-week evangelism campaign for January. We are sorry to see him leave, but we know he is better off.

Prayer Bulletin: Development needs. One of our development projects just went under and has caused us a bit of pain. The other projects are continuing on and seem to be doing OK. Pray that we will know how to really help people become honest and fruitful in their businesses.

Prayer Bulletin: Youth group. We are planning to start a youth group and try to disciple them in that context. Many in our church qualify for the "youth group" ages 15-55. That's the way it works out here. Pray that this will get a good start.

Prayer Bulletin: Pray against the abundance of violence and unrest that is hindering our ministry activities. Pray for courage for us to not "shrink back" in the midst of it.

Prayer Bulletin: Pray for Carina's houseworker, Félicité, as she has been experiencing a mental breakdown. Pray that she will be able to get to the bottom of it. It appears to have been caused by some intense feelings of guilt.

Prayer Bits and Pieces:

  1. Pray for an evangelism campaign we are planning for January.
  2. Pray for the stability of many of our people who are without jobs and having difficulty paying rent and education for their children.
  3. Pray for the salvation of Muslims in Bouake and for the church to demonstrate a genuine love for the Muslim people.

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.

With gratitude,

Steve, for the whole Pillars of Hope team.
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