Ivory Coast Needs Prayer

Please Pray for the Ivory Coast. ( Update: originally I posted an email from some dear friends but now I’ve removed some of it for privacy reasons. Please continue to pray for the nation of Ivory Coast because there is still unrest there.)

I spent a month in the Ivory Coast nine years ago. This situation is not very well published with all the other events in Japan and our own troubles. Please read and pray for those affected by rebel uprising. I have walked the streets of both Abidjan and San Pedro, and know personally many of the people who are now in refugee camps.

Dear Praying Friends, April 8, 2011

….I wish to thank you right now for the time you will take to read this letter. It is a little longer than we normally send out because it comes from our very heavy hearts…. The events there have been eclipsed by the recent natural disaster in Japan (with the state of its nuclear power plant and the tremendous loss of life there), the events taking place in Egypt, and more recently, Libya. One news source has called the events in the Ivory Coast “The Forgotten Emergency.’’

Since we are still here in the U.S., we have been following very closely through first hand sources of pastors in the Ivory Coast, internet news sources, and the press releases in from the State Department. The former president, Mr. Laurent Gbagbo, reportedly lost the election but has refused to step down, claiming there was voter intimidation at the polls in the northern region. The UN and much of the international community stand behind Allasane Ouattara as the legally elected president. Since January, Abidjan (the economic capitol) has become the war zone of the south. The second major battle ground to the north western region is the area where we first ministered our first term. Baptist Mid-Missions missionaries worked in this area from 1975 to 2003, and the ministries have been directed by national pastors and committees since that time.

We have read the reports of town after town being a battle ground. We have been to many of these towns and know pastors and churches in or near them. The western town of Doukoué was the scene of a massacre last week where 800 people are confirmed dead. They were victims of terrible atrocities. It broke our heart to see the pictures. We had been working with a pastor who had a church plant in this town, and know another pastor there. Although the pastor was not there at the time, it is reported that those killed were mostly women, children, and the elderly. Please pray for others who are afraid that the same thing might happen in their town.

The United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) has estimated that one million people have been displaced with now very limited health care in Abidjan because even health care workers are fleeing. We have read that nearly 120,000 people from the north western region have gone over to Liberia. There are over 1,250 confirmed deaths. San Pédro, the city where we live and minister was taken over by the rebels (now called “New Forces”) loyal to Ouattera. At this writing, things are calm, for which we praise God. Many of the nationals with whom we have spoken speak of their fear to move about. PRAY with us for the Christians with whom we work there. Emmanuel, who is directing the Bible Institute, had accelerated the courses by going to class Mondays and Saturdays, in order to finish a month earlier than scheduled. But since these forces came into town, they have canceled classes. Please continue to pray for their safety, and health.

We know firsthand what this means to those who have left everything material for the safety of their lives. We have confirmed that 15 of our pastors and their families have gone to Liberia and are now living in refugee camps. They will have difficulties in Liberia even with the help of the UNHCR and other aid agencies. Then, when they come back home, everything that they left behind may be lost. They will come back home sometime in the future not knowing what they will find. We saw this when we ministered from 1991-1994 with refugees who had fled Liberia’s civil war. One of the things that encourages them is to know they are not forgotten by their churches they fellowship with in the Ivory Coast or us, the churches in the US.

If you are asking how to help,

  1. YOU CAN PRAY. When you pray for the Kings please pray for the pastors, believers, and friends with whom we work. Pray for God to put a hedge of protection from theft and looting around the campus of the Bible Institute, Youth Center, and Book Store/Cyber Café; also, protection of our home.
  2. YOU CAN GIVE A GIFT.  BAPTIST MID MISSIONS (PO BOX 308011, Cleveland, OH 44130-8011) Designate your gift: WORLD RELIEF FUND – Ivory Coast. All gifts are tax deductible; and the total gift will be used for the effort. BMM will issue you a receipt.

These missionaries gave permission to forward their email, so I’m posting this, and hopefully some will see this and pray accordingly.

Jesus Christ said in: Matthew 25:34-40 – “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Please keep these dear christians in your prayers.



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