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Verlin and Debbie Anderson

BIO

Life and ministry in Africa are not new to our family. We purposefully prepared for it. Saved as children, we met while completing our college degrees in Nashville (Verlin: BSN Nursing, 1994, and B.A. Pastoral Administration/Missions, 1987; Debbie: B.S. Secondary Education/English, 1987), married, and began raising a family. Responding to the Lord’s call in 1997, we joined our Baptist mission through whom we served 16 years in Cote d’Ivoire. We worked in church-planting efforts, but focused on introducing Community Health Evangelism (CHE) in as many venues as possible. Living through three armed conflicts convinced us even more that CHE is a tool that brings lasting transformation to individuals and communities. Many poor in Cote d’Ivoire languish without access to clean water, healthcare, education, and shelter. Malnutrition, AIDS, malaria, and other preventable diseases ravage daily life. We work in partnership with public and Christian groups throughout the country, facilitating Community Health Evangelism (CHE) teams. Daily ministry with Ivorians includes modeling disease prevention and good nutrition, demonstrating microenterprise and Farming God’s Way, and sharing Jesus in word and deed. Individual lives are changed physically, spiritually and socially by Christ. Local churches grow and show community transformation that endures and improves throughout generations. Our passion is to further fuel and equip West African CHE teams who strive to multiply hope in their neighborhoods, their country, and their continent.


Donations can be sent by mail to: Christian Health Service Corps PO Box 132 Fruitvale, TX 75127

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Does God Propose?

The last three months have amusingly let echo in our lives an expression passed among Ivorian believers. “Man proposes but God disposes” (Proverbs 19:21 TLB; Thomas a Kempis, Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit, from Of the Imitation of Christ). Reviewing our last quarterly and the weekly editions that followed, we know a virus changed the plans of millions of people even more than for us.

In February, we rushed preparations to renew contact with ministry partners in MI, ID, IL, OH, NC, FL, MO, and TN. As COVID-19 reactions struck and

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Appearances

Appearances are not always as they seem. That reality resonated with Debbie this week. For a few days, she helped her parents, Eddie and Sandra Payne, sort through belongings. Within the year, they hope to move to a one-level dwelling more suited to their octogenarian health and lifestyle. She enjoyed the side benefit of new tales from their missionary career. The following is a story she heard that we reflect upon as our nation reels from sectarian-propagated violence.

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Feasting CRISIS

We sense peace and stability when food in the house suffices to feed the family. Birds sense the same, too! Similarly, pandemic experiences drive home to Ivorians that churches using Community Health Evangelism (CHE) and Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) disseminate truth in culture more effectively. The peace and stability of Shalom reign in real life.

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Normal is Nice

Who would have thought “normal” could sound so good! This week and last, Ivorians contacted us from Cote d’Ivoire. Some sense a growing return to former norms as the travel ban no longer applies except to and from Abidjan. Thankfully, schools across the nation will soon . . .

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The Unexpected One

Jesus delights in using unexpected people. Our Lord did not peruse the population of Israel for the “most likely to succeed” when selecting His disciples. Instead, He chose fishermen, a tax collector, a demon-possessed harlot (redeemed!), and several were likely political extremists. The Savior-King . . .

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Phone a Friend

Several trainers in our home town continue meeting in small groups. They follow government guidelines for social distancing, wearing masks, and cancel or divide gatherings of more than ten people. A regional pastor informed us that his whole church has begun using DBS all over their village. It is their means to continue meeting for prayer and study these days.

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Leadership LEAP

Recent lifestyle adjustments due to COVID-19 remind us of two things: change is a constant, and, never let a crisis go to waste without thinking of how to improve the future. Such thinking may seem audacious to some, but . . . Audacity is a leadership quality summarized in the LEAP acronym (i.e. love, edge, audacity, and proofs).

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