We had a very encouraging time in our village in Ivory Coast during the first half of 2014.
- Highlights include: a successful Christian ladies conference with around 150 Loron ladies from numerous villages attending;
- the completion of a series of studies in the book of Ephesians in which Loron Bible teachers participated in developing the lessons;
- new opportunities for outreach into Loron villages with the gospel;
- and two more teenage Loron girls completing the literacy course. Both of these girls have already become eagerly engaged in helping to teach others how to read and write.
A major and exciting step forward in the Bible translation project was the decision by Loron believers from around twenty different fellowships to commit themselves to become more engaged in helping to finance and staff a Bible translation team to complete the New Testament in the Loron language, and also begin work in the Old Testament. It has thrilled our hearts to see their enthusiasm and dedication.
In early June we travelled to Burkina to visit our missionaries working in three different locations there. We were impressed with their perseverance and zeal, and their desire to be a witness and testimony to those around them. Please pray as the work of NTM continues to expand in western Burkina. We have identified a number of unevangelised people groups with whom we would like to begin working.
In mid-June, when travelling from western Burkina to the capital, Ouagadougou [wa ga do goo], we came upon a road accident. A bus had swerved to avoid a donkey on the road, and had rolled over. Firemen had to cut the roof off the bus to free the passengers. We saw six dead bodies laid out on the side of the road as we drove past. It was quite shocking and reminded us of the brevity of life.
Only one life, t’will soon be passed. Only what’s done for Christ will last.
We are presently in Northern Ireland. We have been enjoying seeing everyone here. Our daughter, Leanne, has arranged a coffee evening on July 24 at the Faith Mission bookshop in Portadown for anyone who would like to hear a little more about the work in which we are involved in West Africa. It’s an informal event, (from 7.30pm) with a couple of brief updates about the work during the evening. If you are in the area, you are very welcome to come! (more info)
We have booked our flights back to West Africa for August 5. When we return we are hoping to get a new vehicle for the work. Our Mazda pickup is now over twelve years old and has done a lot of hard driving over rough roads, especially during the past eight years. The pickup has served us well, but we live many miles from a good mechanic and cover quite long distances, and the minor problems that we have begun to experience can quickly develop into major ones, so we feel the need to get a newer, more reliable vehicle. We’d appreciate your prayers as we look for new wheels.
We have a number of things planned for the second half of the year including some more travelling to different parts of Africa. Marina will, DV, be participating in a literacy seminar in October for our missionaries who work in southeast Africa, and I will be visiting some of the NTM works in Senegal and possibly Guinea. The remainder of the time will be spent with the Loron folks in Ivory Coast.
We thought that you would be interested to know that the Loron believers have chosen a name for their fellowship of churches. They are the original Christians in the area but there are now a number of other church groups that have come into the region, and so to clarify who they are, they will be calling themselves Grace Evangelical Churches of Ivory Coast. We think it is a very appropriate description of what they believe and teach.
Thank you for your interest in what God is doing in West Africa. We would ask you to continue to pray for us as we work among the Loron people and as we engage in ministries with our missionaries in West Africa.
Because of Calvary,
Paul and Marina