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Fan to Flame

The Lord heard your prayers this past week for the Million Village Challenge (MVC) gathering in Abidjan. For some, it was their first time to attend a ministry conference with interaction and planning rather than sitting in lecture sessions taking notes. On the last day many people preferred to skip some of the lunch break to have more time in the breakout groups as pictured here (1 of 4 groups)! Together they identified ten locations around Cote d’Ivoire where they sensed the Lord asking them to establish model Community Health Evangelism (CHE) villages. Each of these in turn are to influence ten other villages which will then multiply themselves to reach yet another ten. In so doing, each of the initial villages can reach 100 others. Using this MVC method to touch the spiritually unreached and unengaged, the Church in Cote d’Ivoire must initially impact 70 sites to attain a tipping point and so do her “part” in the worldwide challenge. Ask the Lord to fan to flame the coals of fire placed in lives this week, and so spread this proven strategy. Pray that some yet unscheduled participants will follow through on their desire to receive training. If they do, they can put in place multiplying wholistic ministries and share this challenge and vision with others. Remember that in places where CHE is fully applied worldwide, one in three persons participating becomes a believer.

We regroup this weekend to start the 5-day Community Health Engagement (CHE) trainings, four at one time, at the nation’s premier university this Monday. Master and doctoral level students in public health take this CHE training as part of their required classes. This time, our eleven CHE volunteers come from the US, France, and Nigeria, with the remaining eight from Cote d’Ivoire. Three of the Ivorians are from the first group of students who were trained in 2013, so the university is in the mentoring process to direct these sessions in the future.

Prayer and Praise:

  • We praise the Lord for the good Million Village Challenge event, despite last-minute trials. The participants were not great in number, but the organizations and churches they represent have great capacity and influence. Most felt this was something they must do. Several expect to plan CHE training sessions once they consult with their ministry teams back home for possible dates.
  • Pray for safe travel of the CHE facilitators coming from Nigeria and France and from up country for this next week’s university trainings. Ask for good health, Spirit-led teaching, clear understanding among the students, and excellent collaboration within our team and the university hosts. Ask that the joy, wisdom, and creativity of our Savior and Lord be revealed to the students as well.
  • Last year Verlin had an extremely difficult week during the university training. He got only a couple of hours of sleep each night. Three training levels ran at the same time along with a workshop, so the oversight was intense, as it will be this year. Two trainers were called in to work that week at the last minute, although both had asked appropriately for time off in advance. Two trainers this year had similar predicaments, but thankfully their bosses released them. Hopefully Debbie’s presence will relieve Verlin of some administrative tasks that can allow him to get more sleep and have time to review his own teaching sessions.

Your partners in the Gospel,

Verlin and Debbie


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