[A Psalm of David.] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
It is with these strong and reassuring words of the psalmist that I open this report.
Indeed God is our Shepherd who leads us, nourishes us and protects us and we have seen and experienced him during this difficult period in our history. Covid-19 has not wreaked human havoc on a large scale as predicted by some in our country, but the devastating effects on our weak economies have been felt even in the finances of our churches.
Our temples have been closed for a long time, causing a chill in the lives of our brothers and sisters. Some lost their jobs, families saw a decline in their business activities, while others simply moved to areas deemed economically secure. The number of staff has not surprisingly declined, and the steps taken with certain brothers and sisters to bring them back have so far been unsuccessful. These are the side effects of the disease. Far from discouraging us, we will take up our pilgrim staff to visit them whenever the Lord allows us. We carry them in our prayers. We believe that things will return to normal soon. The life of pastors, their wives and local churches.
The local church in Bouaké racetrack area is doing quite well despite the global health crisis. We continue to meet, to do the work of the ministry even though the membership has really declined. A few people still accepted the Lord and joined the church. We pursue discipleship as taught by the Lord Jesus. We are trying to adapt to this new reality.
Church of Vavoua:
I stayed in Vavoua recently where we trained disciples and monitors followed by several evening film screenings, this lasted four (4) days.
Several decisions have been taken. The church currently headed by Pastor Yao Amani is very young. It was born out of the differences in the local village church (I mentioned this in one of my reports). The temple is built and the interior is nicely painted except the exterior which is not because of the oxen which cause enormous damage to the walls. Several enclosures are contiguous to the temple. Difficult to worship without being disturbed by flies. City officials seem unresponsive to complaints from the church. Apart from these few misdeeds, everything is fine.
Church of Guitry:
The Church of Guitry is experiencing some difficulties caused by covid-19. It is also a young church with a membership of around forty (40) people. The pastor and his family are experiencing housing problems, the daily food is difficult to ensure which pushed them to cultivate corn nearly 7 km from the missionary field (Guitry). This causes other problems such as travel.
The official launch of the mission was slightly delayed due to the corona virus pandemic. The financial means are there for a lot. I will be staying there very soon for film screenings and discipleship training. We have a good core that begs for help. I count on the Lord for the success of this mission.
The other churches and pastors:
Overall, the pastors are doing well. These are the same problems caused by the corona virus all over the place. Pastor Kouassi Pacôme, Konan Arsène and N’doumi René are respectively confronted with their place of prayer. The news from Pastors Konan Antoine and N’guessan Giles is good.
I would like to thank all the partners who continue to support us despite the difficult situation facing the churches of which they are members. Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and the love which you have shown for his name, having rendered and still rendering service to the saints.”
Let us pray together for:
1) The end of the corona virus pandemic
2) Pray for the revival and growth of our weak assemblies
3) Pray for the new churches of Vavoua and Guitry
4) Pray that God will provide for the needs of pastors and their wives.
5) Let us pray that God will provide the means for the education of our children.
6) Pray for the new missionary field of Toumodi, for a courtyard of 1000 $ and also for the pastors who do not have a place of prayer as such.
7) Pray for my old car which has been struggling to handle lately. I need to rebuild the engine for almost $ 2000. I use it to visit churches.
8) Pray for the success of the gospel throughout the world.
9) Finally, let us pray for peaceful elections both in Côte d’Ivoire and in the United States. For a safer world free from violence.
Philippians 1: 9 “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;”
Philippians 4: 7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I cannot finish without giving thanks to God for my mother who had been admitted to the medical emergency in a comatose state who is gradually regaining her mobility and the use of speech.
Brother N DRI KOFFI EMMANUEL