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Recently outside our home in Bondoukou there was a ruckus, including the voice of a wailing child. Just as Debbie was about to go investigate, our worker Koffi came in with the story. A young boy in the neighborhood was supposed to deliver an article of clothing for a man, but instead he hid the shirt in the bushes outside our wall. When the boy’s deception was exposed, the man began viciously beating him in public. One neighbor wanted to call the police, while Koffi tried to reason with the angry man:  yes the boy had done wrong, but he could be corrected in a reasonable way. However, the man persisted for a time, insisting that it was his “right” in his religion, just as it would be to punish his wife. In fact, when a man marries in that predominant faith in our town, he is given a particular object to beat his wife when she disobeys.

This is only a small example of why we pray that the light of the gospel will penetrate spiritual strongholds in Bondoukou. It is a reason we train Ivorians to lead Discovery Bible Studies in their homes and begin Community Health Evangelism ministries that impact the wellness of whole communities. It is why the example of a husband loving his wife as Christ loved the Church, and cherishing daughters as much as sons, can shame the false religion of a neighbor without saying a word. It is how a wife voluntarily submitting to her husband’s family leadership in the Lord can speak volumes. How dangerous it is when we as Christians do not model lives transformed by the Gospel, when unbelievers see no difference in our families than in their own.

This weekend we will be with Corbin, our youngest, in Jackson, Tennessee, right before he begins his senior year at Union University. Mom hopes to put some pre-made meals in his freezer, while Dad discusses finances and car issues and we worship together at his chosen church. Dad will definitely hear the conversations better since he had the rubber cover of an ear bud cleaned out of his ear canal this week!

Prayer and Praise:


  • Pray for souls to come to Christ from the above mentioned religious group. We and the team in training work and pray in faith that many of these neighbors and friends will be set free from the bondage of the Enemy.
  • Nothing encourages a missionary in ministry more than hearing, “I regularly pray for you.” Those sweet words have been repeated often in our brief time in the States. We have chosen to sign our updates “your partners in the Gospel” since 2015 for a particular reason. It requires a committed partnership of going, giving, and praying to take the Gospel around the world, and we are so thankful for what you regularly do to make that possible!
Your partners in the Gospel,
Verlin and Debbie


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