Jim and Denise Arnold, Ivory Coast Coordinator and FMI Acting Director — Updates
Dear Praying Partners, We are so excited to begin experiencing the beautiful weather. After a late, soggy spring, it is so nice to see the beautiful flowers blooming and to feel the warmth of the sun. I begin our prayer letter by giving you an update on Denise as many have been asking how she is doing. It truly has been a very bumpy ride, but God continues to show Himself. We continue our weekly doctor appts. which are a distance of three hours away, round trip. Denise’s numbers have begun to plateau out and stabilize. Her creatinine levels are around 1.2 with 1 being normal. Her HMG has been landing between 11.5-12. They want that above 12. That’s a big improvement from 6.8. As long as she is below 12, she will continue with the Epogen shots. They are very costly. We saw the rheumatologist yesterday and she is monitoring her lupus numbers to see if she needs to start a second round of the Rituxan Infusions which consist of 5 weeks of 5-hour long Infusions. These Infusions would start back up in June. The downside to the Infusions is it kills off the immune system and would cause Denise to go back on a strong dose of steroids and antibiotics. Please pray with us that this won’t be necessary as it will slow down her progression. She has presently gone from 65 mg. of steroids a day, down to 9 mg. They are weaning her off the steroids 1 mg. per week. Now for your question. How is Denise actually doing and feeling? She looks so much better, is able to do some things on her own, and is able to walk short distances. She still depends on a wheelchair for many outings and doctor appts. However, the doctors believe this will improve once she is off the steroids. She remains tired and weak and is trying to work through that. She is in rehab twice a week to help with that. It is moving forward slowly. Thank you for all your prayers and the much-needed financial support in helping us with our many medical expenses. That has been such a BLESSING!!! Wow, the cost of meds, doctors, and procedures is incredible. God is good!!!! Keep the prayers coming🥰🥰🥰 Ministry wise, everything is moving along beautifully. We continue to see an increase in attendance in each of our new church plants. With the newly purchased evangelism equipment, we have been able to hold evangelistic meetings in new areas around Ivory Coast and witness men, women, and children coming to Christ. These results are allowing us to start new church plants in strategically needed areas. Pastor Emmanuel shared with me that our new church plants are healthy and growing and seeing much spiritual fruit. We recently finished drilling a well for our large church in Bouake. During the hot, dry season, we often experience no rain for a three-to-four-month period making it difficult to get water. Last year, the water reservoirs supplying the large city of Bouake dried up making it difficult for our Baoule people to get water. With the well and water tower, we now have access to pure, clean water 24 hours a day. This has also been used as a ministry tool as people come in from all over the community waiting their turn to fill their basins with water. Our church people take advantage of the long lines by witnessing, preaching, and singing to them. Lives are being changed spiritually through the addition of the new well. God is so good!!! Not only are we able to provide water for their physical nourishment but are also able to share with them the Living Water, as well!!! Our Bible School, operated under our Pastor Konan Antoine, continues to graduate young men each year who spread out all over West Africa starting new churches in many different West African countries. This Bible school has been in operation for over twenty years now, having graduated over 400 pastors who have been instrumental in starting over 200 churches throughout West Africa. We continue to marvel at God’s hand of blessing on this vital ministry so desperately needed to reach West Africa for Christ. Finally, our orphan ministry, FMI, continues to push forward making a difference in children’s lives who have no parents to guide them. These children are very precious to us, and we rejoice that we are not only able to provide them a Christian education, but also raise them through the local church. Their education and food is provided through our many donors who have faithfully taken them on for monthly support and provide for their daily needs. We have so many children still in need of monthly support if you are interested. $40 a month cares for the needs of one child and makes a big difference in their spiritual growth. Please contact IGM if you are interested in caring for one of these. We thank each of you for your time and prayers that you have invested in our ministries in reaching West Africa for Christ. We appreciate more than words can express your generous giving in helping our family with the many medical needs and for helping with our ministry projects. We love each and every one of you and thank you for your generous help in reaching West Africa for Christ. GOD IS SO GOOD!!! With Much Love, Jim for the Arnolds Prayer Needs: Complete healing for Denise Our evangelistic campaigns will continue to bring forth fruit for His Kingdom Wisdom for our many pastors and their families as they serve their people. Pray for God’s protection on them. Pray that the need of $15,000 will come in to construct a church on our newly bought land in Guitry. Pray for the need of $4000 to finish putting a new church roof on one of our churches.