The Republic of Cote d’Ivoire is located on the Western coast of Africa and is slightly larger than New Mexico. French is the official language but Djoula is the most widely spoken of the 60 native dialects. Once hailed as a model of stability, Ivory Coast recently slipped into the kind of internal political upheaval that has plagued so many African countries. Religions are a mix of Christianity, Islam and traditional beliefs involving ancestor worship and magic. Religious persecution of Christians by Muslims is also growing in some areas.
The team works to see a holistic transformational church-planting movement grow among the people of West Africa. Working with national partner churches, we plant disciple-making churches and train leaders in pastoral ministry to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ to both animistic and Muslim people groups.
- The team works in partnership with the Association of Christian Churches in Ivory Coast to plant churches among a new people group, the Baoule, in the Beoumi region of central Ivory Coast. The team also reaches out to Djoula Muslims through contacts in the community and in the clinic.
- Ivorian church leaders are trained in basic Bible knowledge and ministry. Those who desire to serve as pastors, evangelists or church planters go through an in-depth pastoral training program at the training center in Abengourou.
- The clinic in Abengourou meets the health needs of local children and expectant mothers, as well as providing antiretroviral medications, counseling and care for more than 2,500 HIV+ patients. A new lab was built in 2008 to provide better care for those living with HIV/AIDS. In 2012 the clinic added a new maternity and hospitalization wing. The maternity area is specially designed for the expectant HIV+ mothers so that we can help them and their newborns avoid mother-to-child transmissions.
- Community Health Evangelism ministry empowers God’s people to rise up and work in the transformation of their communities. CHEs reach out to families in rural villages, urban slums and those living with HIV/AIDS in many regions of the country. The program now includes a new microenterprise initiative among HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. The CHE program is also an integral part of the HIV patient follow-up care, which has been recognized as one of the premier follow-up programs in the country.
- Child sponsorship was added to the ministry in Abengourou in March 2014, when more than 100 Ivorian children were added to the CMF child sponsorship website. Each student receives uniforms, a backpack, school supplies, health screenings, and a monthly visit from a social worker, in addition to other benefits. Spiritual development is provided through the CMF ministries.
In partnership with national leaders we’re seeing the church expand and take root in spite of years of civil war, HIV and a dwindling economy.
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