Pillars of Hope Report
Updated February 1, 2002
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
Dear Pillars of Hope Prayer Team:
It was just a few days ago that we wrote and sent you some "prayer fodder". Now we wanted you to know how the evangelism campaign went.
In general, open-air campaigns are not all that effective in the Jula/Muslim context. Generally they can be counter-productive, creating tension rather than drawing people in. For some time now, Steve has been dreaming about "doing" campaigns in a different way more contextualized, using Arabic and Jula as primary languages and leaving the musical instruments "at home". We felt that these things, along with some evangelists who really understand the context, we might be able to have an impact on the Jula/Muslim community. And that is what we did. Let me tell you some of what happened and how your prayers helped us sow the seed of the Gospel. We estimate that we were able to touch more than 7,000 people in the 10 days. We estimate that we had an average of 700+ people every night. We had 6 different churches and 3 denominations involved in one way or another. We had 5 new believers attend church the Sunday after the campaign. Many people have been making their way to our Center to find out more. At least one person was healed miraculously, just in hearing the Good News. There was virtually no opposition. One night it threatened, but God caused it to go away. Now just a few praise items and prayer fuel to talk to our Father about.
Praise Bulletin: Praise God for His strength and enabling to sow the seed of the Gospel for 10 days in the Jula/Muslim context. I don't believe that has ever happened to that degree in Bouake before.
Praise Bulletin: Praise the Lord for His safety. He "shut the mouths" of the religious leaders and we sensed very little opposition.
Praise Bulletin: Praise the Lord for the new believers. Pray for their growth, and for their perseverance. Satan often seeks to crush them before they develop. Pray for Pastor Jean as he follows up on them.
Praise Bulletin: Praise the Lord for the progress in French language study that Toby and Kiersten have made. They are moving forward and we hope to get them involved in some ministry activities now.
Praise Bulletin: God continues to work in the women's prison where Carina and Martha and an ex-prisoner, Aya, minister. They take food and medicines each week and often Carina goes back during other days to visit and check up on the ladies. God has worked in a number of lives and several ladies who have been released are participating in the House of Mercy.
If this kind of ministry touches your heart and you would like to contribute to the purchasing of food and medicines that enable Carina to show God's love, you can send your gifts to help with this. Contact me if you are interested.
Prayer Bulletin: We are still seeking to deal with one of our leaders who was involved in consulting a "Muslim witch doctor" (otherwise called 'a marabou). We will have to tackle this problem on Friday of this week. Please pray that we can deal with it wisely and firmly.
Prayer Bulletin: While God is working on the evangelism front, Satan is trying to work in the church. We have a number of folks who are causing problems in the church, in one way or another. This is something else we will be trying to deal with this Friday. We met and some things were resolved, but not everything. Pray that God will work in the hearts and lives of these "thorns in the flesh".
Prayer Bulletin: Pray for Amy and Carina as they lead a seminar (February 5-9) for training women leaders, along with 1 national pastor's wife. It is a wonderful opportunity to train women to lead other women in their churches. Pray that the ladies will not only grasp the material, but that they will put it to use when they return to their churches. Over 30 women have been invited.
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 Nehlsen, for the team.