Do you ever wonder if we as Christians really “get” that through His divine power, the Lord has granted us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue…” (2 Peter 1:3)? Do we really live like this is true? One way that such a firm faith shows itself in a third-world culture like the one where we live, is when the local population stops looking to rich nations, or individuals, or other wealthier church communities to be the solution to their problems. Instead, they begin step by step to learn to hear Jesus’ voice for themselves, and bind together in communities to bring lasting change. Oh sure, it may be nice when an outsider injects some funds, or tools, or information into the process (although sometimes that actually stops the progress entirely), but they do not wait for a hand-out or an “expert” from somewhere else to move forward
Verlin and Emmanuel, the president of the Ivorian CHE association, were pleased with obvious changes in some of the places visited this week and last week where CHE training has previously been completed by different teams. One group of villages built a pastor’s house with no outside help and plan a multi-lingual effort of literacy training. In a location 200 miles distant, local people painted and expanded the local elementary school with no government help, built a place for school children to be fed, began a fish farm, and eagerly look to learn more ways to improve their daily lives. This latter village is filled with adherents to another religion, so as these projects prove their capacity to work together to solve village problems, they also open doors for them to begin hearing the Gospel house to house. Our Savior DOES give us all we need for life and godliness, we must simply open our eyes to see it! Perhaps you need that reminder today in the various problems you face.
PRAYER & PRAISE :
Thank the Lord with us that we received our visas this week! Verlin also received his residency card. On Sunday we will complete the six-week training at the church in Bondoukou on how to lead Discovery Groups. Pray for the church council as they meet to discuss how to continue the Bible studies in neighborhoods. Please pray for our son Cason and daughter-in-law Suzanne as they make educational decisions for our granddaughter Chelsea. She will complete her time at the Mama Lere Hearing School at Vanderbilt this May. The plan is to mainstream her into a regular classroom situation for kindergarten. The question is ‘where?’ in order to select between the challenges each opportunity poses. This week, through our prayers, the Lord brought to light at the government level some of the lies and corruption that greedy men tried to use against our brother who owns the land where the CHE agricultural project is located. This will make it easier to affirm his rights. Keep praying for the remaining steps to right the situation which has delayed some efforts while strengthening others.
Your partners in the Gospel,
VERLIN & DEBBIE