Pillars of Hope Report

Updated November 16, 2001

A ministry of the Alliance to reach Muslims in Cote d'Ivoire, Africa.

A ministry of the Alliance to reach Muslims in Cote d'Ivoire, Africa.
Ministry Team on-Site in Bouake Carina Saarloos
Ministry Team in Abidjan Steve and Amy Nehlsen; Toby and Kiersten Hull
Ministry Team on Leave of Absence Jim and Bev Patten

Dear Pillars of Hope Prayer Team:

"Great things are done when men and mountains meet." --William Blake Greetings! It is with a great deal of emotion that we write to you this month. We are confident that God knows what He is doing. After much prayer and deliberation, it was decided that Steve and Amy would move with their family to the city of Abidjan. This was largely decided because of the continuing banditry that has gone on in Bouake for several months now. In light of the fact that Amy was taken hostage at gunpoint by some these bandits, and then saw members of this same gang on 3 later occasions, it was decided that for her well-being and our safety, it would be best to make a move. We know that God uses all things to accomplish His purposes. We will trust that He has an ultimate purpose in our move, for the furtherance of His kingdom.

For the time being, as well, Toby and Kiersten will continue in French language study in the city of Abidjan, until we are able to determine where they will best be useful for the ministry.

In spite of the Nehlsen's move, Carina will be continuing on there in Bouake for the time being. She will be aided by Pastor John Traore and his wife Marthe for this year. She will also be the one who will be writing the POH newsletters from now on, as she will be best able to give the news of the ministry in Bouake. Steve will be going up once a month to lend a hand and to help oversee the ministry.

We continue to count on your prayers for the ministry. On the one hand this appears to be an attack of the devil. On the other hand, it may be just the means God uses to accomplish His purposes. At first, we thought it was going to be a bad, but necessary decision. Now we are beginning to feel that it is the best decision and it will have some good results.

Praise Bulletin: Praise the Lord for a good move for the Nehlsens to Abidjan. They have found a nice home to rent and are getting settled.

Praise Bulletin: Praise the Lord that John and Marthe and Carina make up a good team for continuing the work this year. Pray for patience, unity and wisdom.

Praise Bulletin: God has opened some new "doors" for Pastor John since he has been there. He is seeking to carry out a regular door-to-door evangelism ministry in the neighborhood. He has found many to be open to hearing the Gospel.

Prayer Bulletin: Pray for Carina and the Traores as they lead the ministry at this time. Pray that they will be supported by the church and that they will have the energy to carry out the various ministry activities.

Prayer Bulletin: Pray for Mamadou Kone, a well-educated man that Pastor John recently met who is interested in the Gospel. He sounds like a "Cornelius" type of person. Pray that his interest will be sincere and will lead to salvation.

Prayer Bulletin: Pray for plans for a 2-week evangelism campaign to be held in January. Pray that the evangelists will not be hindered in coming and that the organization can be carried out in a unified fashion. We hope to work with at least 5 other churches.

Prayer Bulletin: Pray that the leaders at the House of Mercy will understand what their role and purpose is. Pray that they will set aside their "little ambitions" for power and control and seek to serve the Lord in humility and with joy.

Prayer Bulletin: Pray for the Nehlsens as they seek to understand God's purpose for them in Abidjan. Pray that they will know what is "BEST".

Prayer Bulletin: At our good-bye service, guess who showed up? Mamadou (the one whose story you have heard in the past Mamadou and Aishata). He has returned to Islam after "tasting of the God's grace and love and seeing his power demonstrated in Aishata). He gave a word at the service and apologized publicly. He said, after a fashion, that the devil had gotten him and he asked everyone to pray for him. We are confident that God continues to work in his heart.

Prayer Bits and Pieces:

  • Pray for Marthe's healing from a tonsillectomy.
  • Pray for perseverance and love in the marriage of board member Adam Touré and his wife Mariam.
  • Pray for Mariam Drame as she returns for her 4th and last year of Bible School.
  • Pray for the various development projects under way.
  • Pray for growth in the lives of the participants and pray for success in their endeavors.

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.

Steve, for the whole Pillars of Hope team.
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