Jim Arnold, Ivory Coast Field Coordinator — Brother and Update on Ivory Coast

Dear Praying Partners,

Sending a warm Thanksgiving greeting to each of you on this cold morning from the beautiful State of Georgia.

I am asking for your prayers this morning as my younger brother, Rick, fell today from a 3-story building and landed on a concrete slab in his village of Bakel, Senegal where he and his wife, Elizabeth, are serving as missionaries. He is in very critical condition and they are currently trying to life flight him to the capital of Senegal, Dakar, which is 17 hours by vehicle. He is bleeding extensively from both ears, has a deep 5-inch gash on his forehead, a broken collarbone and we don’t know what else, as they are in a village with no medical facilities and no X-ray capabilities.

Pray with us that they get him to Dakar and are able to stabilize him so they can get him back to the US. Not sure as yet how extensive his other unseen injuries may be. Praying for God’s mercies on Rick and the family!!!! Please pray!!!!

It is difficult to continue this letter with this weighing heavy on our hearts, but I will attempt to do so.

2020 has been a very trying year for each of us and finishing it out won’t be any less stressful or eventful.

We are dealing with the Covid crisis as best as possible as each of you are doing. We have tried to be extremely careful as with Denise’s low immune system, she would be very vulnerable to the disease. God is good and we are moving along. Denise has been doing some better over the past month for which we are extremely thankful!! Continue to pray for strength and complete healing for her in the days and weeks ahead.

My travels have picked up and I am thankful for that. I have recently visited churches in Michigan, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, and Georgia. It has been a real encouragement to get out and share the ministry progress from Ivory Coast.

I have had problems with my vehicle breaking down and having to be towed into shops over the past month. We have spent over $3500 in repairs and ask for help concerning this. The miles are stacking up and we would love to raise $15,000 to purchase something a bit newer with fewer miles and that is more dependable. Please pray with us for this help as this is what I use to facilitate our ministries in Ivory Coast and our Orphan ministries (FMI). Dependable travel is essential for me. My vehicle has over 200,000 miles on it and things are falling apart.

Our churches and pastors in Ivory Coast have had their struggles due to Covid and now, as a result of the fraudulent elections, the country is literally shut down. This not only creates a financial hardship for them and their church people, but also a safety concern for them. Many of their churches have had difficulty working through the Covid and many members still haven’t come back as they have fled to their villages for protection. Please keep Ivory Coast in your prayers.

OUR IVORY COAST MINISTRIES

  1. Pastor N’Dri Koffi Emmanuel— He is currently our team Coordinator in Ivory Coast and all runs through him. Emmanuel is pastoring our large church in the city of Bouake. He writes, “on a spiritual level, the health crisis has caused a cooling in the lives of Christians in our assembly.  Several, so far, have not returned.  While waiting for their return, another crisis arises due to the country’s presidential elections. We are helplessly watching the massive departures of Christians to their villages and hometowns. May God calm hearts so that calm may return. The membership has decreased from over 140 adults before the pandemic to 70 – 80. We currently have 50 adult Christians. The number of children has also fallen. Still on the spiritual level, we built a temple in Vavoua, a large courtyard in the Guitry sub-prefecture of Divo, and opened a field in Toumodi. Several projects could not see the light of day for the above-mentioned reasons. We need your prayer”.

 

  1. Pastor Konan Koffi Antoines—Pastor Konan is serving in the capital city of Abidjan where he pastors a large congregation, has other church planting ministries and oversees a Bible School. He writes, “We were encountering many trials and difficulties even before the pandemic situation. They got worse, but we still continued to believe in the faithfulness of God, Who entrusted us with His work here below.  So, coronavirus being an unforeseen situation and common to all social strata, sparing no area of life, has really affected us precisely in the financial area. Everything being closed for almost three months, even our churches, it was difficult to receive tithes and offerings to provide church needs but also our own needs. Small businesses (restaurants, hairdressing salons, shops, refreshment stalls, etc.) had to be closed. Unfortunately, the money was used to provide food supplies throughout the confinement period.  Due to the confinement, the financial means are, therefore, lacking to restart activities which are the main sources of income for entire families. The studies of many students are threatened due to lack of financial means. By the grace of God, we have not experienced any deaths from covid-19 in our community and we truly thank the Lord for it.

In addition to that, our country, Ivory Coast, is under socio-political tension because of the elections which took place on October 31, 2020. This situation put the whole economy in slowdown          or on hold, which is a disadvantage for all of us. Please pray for our country and our ministries.”

 

  1. Pastor Kouame Pacome— Pastor Pacome writes, “The work is going well on the whole and we have 45 adults and 67 children.  We rejoice in these numbers in spite of all the difficulties we have endured due to the Covid and elections. Our most urgent challenge is our place of worship which is a garage and needs to be enlarged because the place is very small, and the roof is in need of replacing due to the rains. We were the subject of violence recently in my village while we were there. It was October 31 during the elections when my village was attacked and burned down by the Opposition Party.  They have totally destroyed our village, killing some of our people and destroying our businesses and homes. This has created some tense times for us and has set us back ministry-wise as well. We need your prayers and funds to rebuild our meeting place to accommodate our people. Please pray for my wife who is in need of surgery. We don’t have the funds to help her at this time.”

 

  1. Pastor Kouakou Konan Rene— Pastor Rene writes, “We are worshiping in our living room at present with a total of 25 members. We are in desperate need of a pavilion for our meeting place as many don’t want to attend services in a restricted area during Covid.”

 

  1. Pastor Arsene Kouame Konan— Pastor Arsene writes, “Our church is very young and we are presently running 35 members. We, too, are in need of a meeting place. We would love to put up a small building or pavilion to accommodate our need. I am also praising the Lord for the healthy birth of our new son, Shemuel!”

 

  1. Pastor Janot Kouadio N’Gbra— Pastor Janot writes, “The church of Guitry is growing rapidly with over 60 members. We are in need of a building to accommodate our church attendance which continues to grow rapidly.”

 

  1. Pastor Yao Amani Mathias— Pastor Amani writes, “We have begun worshiping in our newly constructed church building. On Sept 20th, we baptized 9 people and are excited at how God is moving in our community. At present, we are running over 40 members and awaiting others to come back after fleeing the city due to the elections. We are in need of funds to install electricity in our church building.

 

We will continue to fight the fight that God has placed before us. Even in these difficult days, we know God goes before us and is fighting our battles in our stead. We personally thank each of you for your many prayers and financial support that helps us make a difference in West Africa.”

 

With Much Love,

Jim for the Arnolds

 

SPECIAL PRAYER FOR RICK!!!!

 

Special Needs for our Ministry:

  1. Pray with us that our God will provide the $15,000 needed to purchase a more reliable ministry vehicle.
  2. Pray for the need of $3,200 to buy two motorcycles for our pastors in Ivory Coast.
  3. Pray with us that God will provide $3,000 to build two pavilions for our extension churches.
  4. Pray with us that God will provide the $1,200 to put electric in our new church building in Vavoua.
  5. Two of our pastors’ wives need medical help totaling $2000.