December 2021 Update – Ivory Coast

ENW just returned from our Ivory Coast tour. This was the first “out of country” tour since spring 2020. It was great to be back face-to-face with these dear pastors and theological students.

Dr. Rein Allweil was my traveling/teaching partner for this training. He also was very helpful in getting us all set up for filling out travel forms/documents, lining up Covid-19 testing required to travel both ways, and more. It was a blessing to have him along for many reasons. We flew out of Greenville the day after Thanksgiving and returned home on December 15th. It was wonderful to be back in time for Christmas.

It is always a joy to serve alongside Bob and Becky Mach. They have been church planting in the Ivory Coast for 25+ years. God has used them to not only plant several churches, train the national men for these churches, establish a literacy center (made up of a huge majority of Muslims), spearhead a very effective medical ministry (used to penetrate villages for potential church planting, organized along with their very competent co-laborer, Kristine McLaughlin who is a Physician’s Assistant), and also begin an institute and seminary. It is ENW’s privilege to serve as adjunct professors in the seminary as well as to conduct annual pastoral training conferences.

This tour was especially encouraging in several ways. First, the pastor’s conference was much better attended than expected. We were thrilled to have 24 pastors attend. The topic for the conference this year was “Foundations for Biblical Leadership” which was very well received by the pastors. A couple of the highlights from the training were sessions on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and Leadership Principles from the Life and Work of Nehemiah. Equipping men to lead the churches of Christ is crucial for our day and is always an honor to contribute to this end.

Second, the Institute/Seminary course was “Foundations for Church Administration” and was received with enthusiasm and many great questions. These students are sharp, alert, and encouragingly inquisitive. What a blessing it is to interact with young men so eager to learn – to God be the glory! A couple of the highlights from the training were sessions on “Who I am Determines What I Do” and “Maintaining Priorities Without Neglecting Responsibilities”.

ENW is already making plans to return to the Ivory Coast for another training opportunity in May. That week will feature teaching on Foundations for Participation in Local Church Life.

ENW will also be in Uruguay and Bolivia in June. If you would like to help with travel expenses or join ENW’s team of regular supporters, please see our website for a PayPal option. If sending a check is easier, please send it to Grace Bible Fellowship at P.O. Box 1015, Somerset, PA 15501. Notate it to be for ENW support or applied to ENW’s travel expenses. Please know we do our very best to make sure the finances are invested in the way and for the purpose for which it was given. Thank you to each of you who give and regularly contribute.

One of the new opportunities for ENW is to fill the pulpit for a church in Maine. Cornerstone Baptist Church, near Portland, is searching for a pastor. Their search team has asked if ENW could help provide some consistent pulpit help as they pursue a man to fill this needed role. ENW will be helping them until the beginning of April. I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers for their search.

On a very seasonal note, Chris and I pray that each of you had a very Merry and Hope-filled Christmas. Christ is The Hope for our hurting world. May He be at the center of all your holiday activities. We are humbled and grateful for His kindness, sovereign care, and answered prayers. He is truly a Faithful, Loving Heavenly Father. May He be exalted during this season as well as throughout the year.