His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations. His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And his presence with us leaves us no other choice. — John Stott
Once again, it is our privilege to “dare” more years of serving the Lord in Cote d’Ivoire. Verlin’s ticket is purchased to depart on March 7. Debbie will follow likely within the month after Verlin has our vehicle operational and has evaluated the circumstances that affect our local and travel ministries.
Once again, we go, knowing as Stott worded it, that “His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success.” Whatever any disciple achieves is accomplished only because of Jesus’ power, while using his earthly abilities and gifts. Once again, we recognize that our going and serving this way relies on your obedience to serve, pray, and give. Thank you for sharing abundant life in Jesus with Ivorian people and people groups!
Prayer is the risen Jesus coming in with His resurrection power, given free rein in our lives, and then using His authority to enter any situation and change things. — Ole Hallesby
According to some of our Ivorian contacts, life in Cote d’Ivoire’s interior has mostly returned to normal despite COVID-19. Life in Abidjan still requires more significant restrictions because of the large population living in close proximity. Nonetheless, the nation reports only 30,526 cases with 171 deaths through the World Health Organization as of February 12. These low numbers seem inexplicable to some health professionals who fail to identify life circumstances that diminish COVID-19 replication.
The Ivorian CHE network regularly trains and mentors amidst seven evangelical denominations. During July and August, one of those seven groups offered four different CHE training opportunities among their churches. This denomination works primarily in middle and western Cote d’Ivoire.
Even during the pandemic’s zenith, teams using Community Health Evangelism (CHE) strategies continued working within the confines of the law to share the Gospel and best health practices. They saw great results during 2020, as we reported in our last quarterly. On the broader scale of all of West Africa, we heard this summation from Dayo Obaweya, a Nigerian who serves as a West Africa Coordinator and Chairman of the Global CHE Network’s Representative Council. In a recent Facebook post, he revealed, “This year witnessed more people accepting Christ during our programs all across West Africa. Despite the pandemic, we executed more programs than the previous years. More empowerment training, discipleship training, photography, crusade organization, and several more. Thank you for helping us do more…”
We are incredibly blessed to work in collaboration with hundreds of people who “use His authority to enter any situation and change things,” as Hallesby encouraged. Praise the Lord that His authority transcends natural and manmade hindrances. We press forward to the mark set by Jesus-Christ with the assurance of His power.
God has work to do in this world; and to desert it because of difficulties and entanglements, is to cast off His authority. It is not enough that we be just, that we be righteous, and walk with God in holiness; but we must also serve our generation, as David did before he fell asleep. God has a work to do; and not to help Him is to oppose Him. — John Owen
CHE Training participants
in W. Cote d’Ivoire
Practically every month of our time in the States, we received encouraging news from Ivorian associates using CHE. One recent Ivorian report revealed the activity of a new CHE team in the west formed by some of whom we have trained. One team leader is a local pastor who completed a month-long CHE internship training in 2019 that followed some CHE training sessions with us in 2017. Other CHE-trained teammates followed up with him due to his affiliation with Healthcare Christian Fellowship International (HCFI).
After the training, he began to visit leaders in the numerous villages of western Cote d’Ivoire. He evaluated their openness to the Gospel and CHE per what he had learned. After completing several Awareness Meetings by December 2020, some villages decided to press forward. They initiate to reforest areas where brush fires have caused severe damage and to provide literacy training. The team helped them identify the resources needed in terms of people, material, time, and some Ivorian-managed finance so the eager local residents can launch their redemptive work. Their next step is to train village committee members to direct the program and Community Health Evangelists known as CHEs (pronounced ‘chays’) who will make visits with the local household leaders – moms and dads! We rejoiced that one of the ladies we trained in early 2019 at a medical facility is a dynamic member of this growing team.
Children’s DBS under
the neighborhood tree
This week’s phone call confirmed that the children’s Discovery Bible Study (DBS) ministry has restarted outdoors in our neighborhood. Children eagerly come for the Bible and health teaching.
Authority exercised with humility, and obedience accepted with delight, are the very lines along which our spirits live. — C.S. Lewis
The word “authority” in our world frequently carries negative connotations. Distrust may stem from abuses of power that people have seen or experienced. Without the Holy Spirit’s help, people cannot exercise authority with humility. Instead, their human efforts tend toward oppression, hypocrisy, or the destruction of others’ identities. However, faithful disciples never abuse Jesus’ power. As they submit to Jesus commands, His authority operates through them in holy (i.e., distinct or separate) and appropriate ways.
Why bring up authority, you may wonder, in a missionary newsletter? We simply want to remind any reader that no one needs to fear doing the will of God. If He calls you to a task that feels scary, even if it is missionary service, He will equip you to do it while never leaving you nor forsaking you along the way. Do not miss out on the joy of following Him. No human authority can ever match the kindness, uprightness, and compassion experienced in the communion with Christ.
AUTHORITY WITH PROVISION
(see SOS & SOP)
The summary of giving during the previous quarter is available on the third page of the PDF copy. Give thanks to God with us for this display of the Lord’s amazing grace to provide through fellowships of believers! Donations made during the 4thQ of 2020 lifted the sub-account cash balance to where we will leave for Africa with good consciences in respect to our God-given responsibilities. Since beginning with the CHSC in December 2013 and going through February 12, 2021, donors have sent 2,124 gifts to support this ministry through the CHSC! Nine of ten individuals or groups who have given continue to give regularly or on occasion. The monthly giving average is within $500 per month of meeting our budget since our refocus in service with you in 2014. These are phenomenal numbers. We do not exaggerate when we say that our ministry partners are among some of the most faithful and generous people imaginable. We simply report what is measurably true! Thank you for walking the way with us.
PRAISE & PRAYER REQUESTS
- ???? With all our hearts, we thank the Lord and you for the prayers and sacrificial gifts enabling us to return to Cote d’Ivoire with an assurance of God’s leading! May our Father multiply your joy and capacities to bless His work in future contexts.
- ???? Give thanks to the Lord also for the extraordinarily meager price of Verlin’s return ticket through an agency that serves Christian workers: $442.10! This is less than 1/3 to 1/5 of what we typically pay.
- ???? Pray for our families as we make another extended separation. We are grateful that both sides of the family wholeheartedly embrace our calling, but the goodbyes are never easy.
- ???? Pray, trusting the March legislative elections in Cote d’Ivoire will not deteriorate to destructive riots. Unease about some particular, unresolved political issues continues there, as here. Request for peace from strife among men so the Gospel can spread unhindered; that Ivorian daily life will allow individuals to consider and accept Jesus’ claim on their life.
- ???? Ask the Lord to direct our resettling into African life and routine. There are many adjustments—including the heat and getting the vehicle and appliances in good working order—that take time. Also, there are many unanticipated adjustments which we will undoubtedly have to manage.
- ???? Continue to pour out prayers for the many workers using CHE strategies to bring the transforming authority of Jesus-Christ’s to community and society. Pray for protection, fruitfulness, and stamina.
Your Partners in the Gospel,
Verlin and Debbie
Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC) is a mission of dedicated medical professionals who participate in the CHE Global Network. Together, in a loose affiliation of individuals, churches, denominational, and nondenominational agencies, we share God’s Light and Truth through Community Health Evangelism (CHE). Verlin and Debbie accept donor partners to contribute as led to provide support as we maintain residential ministry in Cote d’Ivoire to expand CHE ministries under the auspices of CHSC & Ivorian partners. Tax-deductible contributions by check are to be made payable to the CHSC with Andersons #0118 written on the memo line. Mail to CHSC – PO Box 132 – Fruitvale, TX 75127. Give online via the CHSC @ www.che4a.org (3% fee) or TDF (0% fee).
Prior ministry Videos: Work, Watch, Wait
and Belief Trap
2020 Q3 Report: Give me a “V”
– AWA Report 20_10_24 PDF
2020 Budget Info:
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Andersons Witness in Africa.
It is also a brand of bottled water in Cote d’Ivoire where we serve.
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