I thank everyone who was praying for us on our trip to Ivory Coast. We could see God’s direction and help throughout our few days of ministry there.
We went there to plant the seeds of the message of grace that the Lord gave to the Apostle Paul. As far as we know, there is no one preaching it in these countries, other than in Ghana.
We entered Ivory Coast with some apprehension – we had never met the host pastor, his church is a charismatic congregation, costs would be much higher than in Ghana, and, until very recently, there was a civil war going on in Ivory Coast. The US State Department warns American travelers to travel no further than 35 miles from Abidjan to avoid being in areas where the rebels are operating and could be a danger to Americans.
As it turned out, we had no problems while we were in Abidjan. Pastor Georges and his church were wonderful hosts. We ate in the pastor’s home a number of times, and he even had a driver pick us up at the border from Ghana, and then bring us back to Accra at the end of our trip. The pastor could not have been a more gracious host, even though we differ on a number of important doctrines.
While we were in Cote d’Ivoire...
- We held a two-day pastor’s conference that focused on the message that the Lord entrusted to the Apostle Paul. 40+ pastors attended both days. There was a good, positive response from many of them, and there was some disagreement from others – other than Catholicism in Ivory Coast (a former French colony) – most churches are charismatic/pentecostal.
- We had two evening meetings in Pastor Georges’ church. One was for the leadership of the church - about 75 people attended; and one for the entire church - well over a hundred believers attended. In both sessions I focused on an aspect of the message of grace.
- I was interviewed by a crew from the French West African TV network. I had about 15 minute to explain what grace is, and why we had come to Africa to preach it. The interview was broadcast at 10PM on Wednesday evening to all the French speaking countries in West Africa –nine nations.
- I was a guest on 2 hour-long radio broadcasts in Abidjan. What a blessing to be allowed in both the TV interview and the radio broadcasts to speak freely about why we had come to preach this old message that is new to so many Christians.