Hundreds Come to Christ in Bamako

Pastor Christophe DEMBELE. our Praise Mali Country Leader, tells me that last week there was a big evangelistic crusade in Bamako, Mali.  The evangelist was Dr. Dag Heward-Mills of Ghana.  Over 50,000 attended.  Almost 3,000 accepted the Lord. Mills and his evangelistic team and organizers (including Pastor Christophe Dembele) were received by the President of Mali Amadou Toumani Touré in his presidential palace.  Pray for the new converts, for God’s protection upon them, that they would be discipled, grow in the Lord and stay firm.  Pray for all those who were touched in some way by the Gospel. Remember that Mali is approximately 90% Muslim.

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Bible College in Sudan Is Bombed

Via Samaritan’s Purse

The Heiban Bible College, a pastor training school constructed and dedicated by Samaritan’s Purse in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, was bombed by the Sudanese Air Force on Wednesday afternoon. Two buildings were destroyed.

This is the latest attack in South Kordofan State, where the Bible college is located. At least four churches built by Samaritan’s Purse have been destroyed since August by bombing or burning, including Angolo Church on January 10.

“We are deeply concerned for the welfare and lives of the people of South Kordofan, and we condemn the bombing of churches and Christian facilities,” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said.

Across the border in the newly independent nation of South Sudan, Samaritan’s Purse began working in Yida refugee camp in August 2011 after hearing reports of thousands of refugees from the Nuba Mountains, where they were subjected to aerial bombardments and ground attacks from their own government.

A total of 28,500 individuals have been registered in Yida camp, where we are helping with food, nutrition, and clean water. Please pray for the people in South Kordofan State affected by the ongoing violence, and for our relief work in South Sudan as we bring help in the Name of Christ.

Think Coffee. Pray for Cote d’Ivoire

Remember to pray for our national pastors and brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ in Cote d’Ivoire.  Here one way that you can remember to pray for them.  Pray for them every time you drink coffee. Why!?

Where Kandee and I lived for 2 weeks in the jungles of Cote d’Ivoire, many of the Christians were raising coffee.  We got to see a coffee plant for the very first time.  I bit into a coffee “cherry,” as they call them, so I could see what it tasted like.  It DIDN’T at all taste like coffee! There are two little coffee beans inside the cherry.  They are whitish, quite soft and have no inkling of a coffee taste.  How did someone ever discover that? Who would have ever imagined that if you took the seeds out of this cherry, dried them, then roasted them, that it would … taste like coffee … and become likely the most popular drink on this planet earth?

Coffee grows very well in Cote d’Ivoire.  The country is located in what coffee industry people call the “Coffee belt.” Funny thing is: the Ivoirians DON’T DRINK COFFEE! When asked, “why?” Joseph, our Praise West Africa Director replied, “It’s too hot to drink coffee.”  So they must export their coffee in order to make any money in the coffee business.

Back in 2002, war broke out in Cote d’Ivoire, civil war, the north against the south, Muslims against Christians, one tribe against another, and then there are all the ordinary gangs and criminals who joined the fighting and killing.  At that time, all western companies pulled out of the country, leaving Ivoirians who farmed coffee, as well as cacao and rubber, with nobody to buy their product.  They farm rice too but they eat their own rice.) Many of them abandoned their crops and their homes in order to find safety.  The war is over now.  Ivoirians are back in the fields, producing coffee, cacao, rice and rubber. But they still need the foreign industries to purchase their products.  Check out this excellent video documentary on “The Coffee Addiction.”  It is so interesting!!!

Kandee had the idea: what if we could help out a little and find an American free trade coffee company who would buy Ivoirian coffee and give them a decent price for it.  Both Kandee and I love to “facilitate”, to link people with other people, kind of like “match-makers.”  One of Praise International’s goals is to facilitate the ministries of national pastors, to help them make enough money to feed their families, put their kids in school, make a positive impact in their communities.  Well, we have spoken with several about this idea and it might just happen.

So back to my idea.  Every time you drink a cup of coffee, could you pray for our Ivoirian national pastor, their family and the Believers in their churches?  When you drive by a Starbucks, Dutch Brothers, Tully’s or another of the many, many, many coffee/espresso shops, could you prayer for Ivoirians?

Here’s another idea, maybe not that original, but I’ll throw the idea in anyway.  One of the goals that Praise International has is to provide a $35/month sponsorship for national pastors in poverty-stricken counties.  This $35 gift may not seem like much to us but $35 for a pastor in Cote d’Ivoire is huge!  In rural Cote d’Ivoire, $35/month is about the average salary for someone who works.  How many lattes do your drink in one month?  With the average latte costing $3.50, $35 would be 10 lattes.  Between every member of your family, could you “donate” the cost of 10 lattes to a Ivoirian pastor?  Just a thought.

Our Praise Pastor, Moussa Daou lives and serves in Simba, a village in Mali. He is a visionary pastor, very committed to evangelism and discipleship.  He has 3 bunch of Believers in that region, but they have no church facility.  They have acquire a big piece of land.  They can’t build a church building because they lack the funds. Pastor Daou has no car. Because of the distance between the three churches he is need of some form of transportation.  Even a scooter would be nice.  Pastor Daou is also praying that God provide some farm equipment, such as a pair of oxen and a plow.  Please pray for Pastor Daou and his family, his wife, Neema and their 6 children.