Jim Arnold, Ivory Coast and Acting Director of FMI — Travel Has Resumed!
Dear Praying Partners, I am writing you this morning from Central Illinois where the sun is shining brightly and it’s beautiful. I am here over the weekend for meetings and will be heading back to Georgia in the morning. I continue to thank the Lord each day for yet another opportunity to serve HIM. This past Thursday, I was taking my wife back home from her pulmonary rehab and we noticed a man struggling to walk along side of the road. We stopped and talked to him and asked, “Where are you headed?” He replied, “Tennessee.” “Just curious, I asked, where in Tennessee?” He said, “Nashville.” Ummm, I thought, I drive right through Nashville on my way to Illinois the following day. I said, “If you can wait till tomorrow, I can drop you off there.” He cheerfully replied, “I can wait.” I then asked him if he had a place for the evening and he said no, but he would just camp out under a bridge. He was a retired navy veteran who had no home and was going to see his cousin in Tennessee who was going to help him get his ID back as he had his wallet and phone stolen off of him. We put him up in a motel for the night and he was ready the next day waiting for his ride. He thanked me over and over and I told him thank our Heavenly Father for His goodness, it is nothing I have done. During our 4 and a half hour travel, I learned much about his life, his family and his heartache. He was very intelligent and very articulate. I was amazed at his Biblical knowledge. In fact, he said his mother named him after Timothy in the Bible. My heart was saddened when he said he was a deist, believes in a God, but doesn’t have a relationship with Him!!! We spent a good part of the trip with me witnessing to him, but his answer was, “I will give it a lot of thought.” When I dropped him off, he began to cry and said, “Jim, you have been so gracious to me and have helped restore my faith in humanity.” I told him to keep his eyes on God, as man will always fail him. I gave him my contact number and some cash to get him through the weekend until he hooked up with his cousin. Often times, we see individuals like Timothy and we don’t take the time to lend a helping hand and show a Christ-like love. I am guilty of this as well, but Timothy has opened my eyes. I prayed with him as I dropped him off and then he asked to pray for me. I noticed in his prayer, he asked God for forgiveness and confessed his life before Him!!! I was so encouraged!! Remember to pray for Timothy. He had spent the previous two weeks walking and hitch-hiking from Tampa, Fla. He did mention that this 4 hour trip had saved him over a week of walking and hiking. He was so appreciative😊 Our ministries continue to move forth in Ivory Coast as we witness a tremendous growth in our new church plants; men, women and children coming to a saving knowledge of Christ and following Him in obedience of baptism. It is so exciting to see all of this happening. People are searching for the one True Answer and that is Jesus Christ!!! The devil continues to stir up trouble all over the world, but the Church continues to march forward. Please pray with us that the funds will continue to come in to help us build permanent church structures in all of our new church plant locations and funds will come in to help us sustain our pastors and their families working in these areas. As for the Arnolds, we have lost over $700 monthly support due to transitions in our supporting churches. This has dropped our support down to 62%. This is making it very difficult for me to travel with National Pastor teams in the fall and spring raising for projects and support for their ministries when I can’t sustain my own family. Please prayerfully consider supporting our ministry efforts as a church or individual family by taking us on or helping increase our monthly support you may be already giving. My heart desire is always to put our National Pastors and their ministries at the forefront, but unless our support increases, I will have to take this fall and coming spring to work on our support. Please prayerfully put this before the Lord on our behalf!!! If you have any contacts with pastors or individuals in other churches that could maybe have us come share our ministries, please share those with me as personal contacts go a long way in helping us get into new churches to share. My travels have begun and it’s so good to be back in the full swing of ministry after Covid had put a damper on traveling. In the next three months I will be traveling to churches in Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Indiana. Please pray for safety in travel as I report to these churches how God is moving and blessing our ministries in Ivory Coast and the Orphan Ministries of FMI. Many miles ahead, but so thankful for the opportunities. Thank you for your faithfulness in praying!!!! The many projects continue to stack up in Ivory Coast. We are so very thankful for the church who provided the funds for the two properties that we needed in Ivory Coast to build a church on. In addition, we thank the same church which provided the funds to buy new evangelism equipment to keep our evangelism team on the road in village evangelism. The old equipment was 20 years old and the devil didn’t have a very difficult time causing the equipment to fail (smiling). God always came through!!! We are still in need of funds to put up a pavilion on the newly purchased properties for our meeting place. The cost is $2000 of which some of that has been provided. Our Pastor Team Leader, Pastor Emmanuel, is in need of $2500 to repair his 20 year old vehicle to keep up with his travels as he visits all of our Ivory Coast churches and pastors on a regular basis bringing encouragement and direction to them. He truly needs a newer vehicle, but that cost would run $10,000 as they can’t buy imported cars older than 5 years old now. Please pray with us for these needs. As for family needs, God is so good and continues to bless us!! Denise is in pulmonary rehab twice a week and we are seeing very slow positive results. She sure would like the results to be quicker, or a complete healing from HIM, but His timing never fails. Pray for her daily as she continues to be a blessing both to me and the ministry even in her fragility. God is always on TIME!!! Thank you, each one, for your faithfulness in keeping us always before the Lord!!!! With much Love, Jim for the Arnolds Prayer Concerns: Pray for our support, increase from supporting churches, new families to pick us up, and new churches. We’re at 62% and every little bit will be such an encouragement. Pray for the needed $2000 to build the pavilion. Pray for the needed $2500 to repair Pastor Emmanuel’s vehicle.