TADCC, International

Touching Lives... Winning Souls

The Assembly at Durham Christian Center in Fellowship with the

IVORY COAST

Evangelizin​g Abidjan, Ivory Coast
December 2012

I give thanks to the Heavenly Father through His Son Christ Jesus our Lord for another successful overseas mission trip. Once again God demonstrated His power through signs and wonders to show the world that Christ Jesus truly is Lord.

Today, Sunday, is to be a day of giving thanks and testimonies at the church in Abidjan. My day started with problems in checking out of the Ibis Plateau Hotel in Abidjan. They could not contact anyone to verify my first card and the second one was rejected. When my card was rejected I then surmised that the negative elements from the war last year in Ivory Coast caused financial institutions to be leery of investing or accepting credit requests from someone in Ivory Coast. Earlier I tried to send money to the church in the Philippines but I received a message that the company I was using to transfer the money would not transfer money from the Ivory Coast. Eventually my card was accepted.

What made me even more aware of the troubles the country is trying to recover from were UN peacekeepers patrolling the city with automatic weapons mounted on trucks and armed military men with rifles.

"... UN peacekeepers patrolling the city with automatic weapons mounted on trucks and armed military men with rifles."

You would invariably see cars that were burned out and abandoned, giving the impression that you were at a salvage yard rather than the heart of a city. They would indiscriminately pull vehicles over to the side of the road to check for passports. I thought it very odd that our driver was pulled over three times by military men with guns in different parts of the city, including this Sunday morning.

After talking to Pastor Frederick and his wife I understood why security was so tight. Pastor Frederick wife said that God showed her in a dream that she was going to die during the war. She had been on a fast for three days praying for God to intercede and spare her life. One night she and Pastor Frederick spend 15 hours laying on the floor because the conflict started not too far from their home. When she finally did get a chance to leave her home she had to step over dead bodies that lay in the street. On the third day of her fast while riding in a van it was riddles with bullets. Thirty bullets in all. She could feel bullets whizzing by her but not a single one hit her. The driver of the van had a bullet to go through both legs, but miraculously no one was killed. Her birth country is Nigeria and they were taking people from Nigeria, Mali and other countries and executing them on the spot. It was after the assault on the van that Pastor Frederick convinced her to leave the country. Pastor Frederick, also from Nigeria stayed behind as long as he could. When the food ran out, with electric power cut, he with just the clothes he had on able to escape into neighboring Ghana. Pastor Frederick said that it was only the grace of God that he was able to escape. He would later return in the summer of last year to try to rebuild the while his wife only returned this year. Only he and one other person remained at the once thriving church.

I was truly excited about this morning's Sunday service. I knew the Spirit of the Living God had been moving in the services and I was ready to hear the testimonies. One lady told how God restored function to her kidneys. (You must remember that when these people came back to the country the infrastructure, banking system, health care and many other support institutions were destroyed, therefore people had to depend on God for medical care.) Another man testified of the power of evil spirits being broken over his house. Another woman told of how her body was miraculously delivered from persistent and constant pain.

But I guess the greatest testimony did not come from the nights that I ministered but it was from a visiting pastor. He recounted how when he was in Nigeria his landlord's wife went into labor and died. The landlord was heartbroken. The pastor spoke to him and told him that God would give him a wife. When the landlord followed the instructions of the pastor and put his hands on his heart and side and began to pray he RECEIVED WORD THAT HIS WIFE HAD COME BACK TO LIFE. Back from the dead - halleluiah!!!

The Heavenly Father is truly showing that His Son Christ Jesus is Lord. When I was in the Philippines I actually talked to a pastor with many witnesses around him that testified that he was raised from the dead.

The sermon this Sunday was from Luke 8th chapter where Christ Jesus calmed the raging sea and cast the demon out of the demoniac with His word. The disciples with amazement exclaimed, " What Manner Of Man Is This". Christ Jesus is more than a prophet, He is more than a morally good person, He is more than someone that took a beating for others and also He is more than someone who died for someone else.

"Christ Jesus is more than a prophet, He is more than a morally good person, He is more than someone that took a beating for others and also He is more than someone who died for someone else."

All of those things others have done in life. However, Christ Jesus proved that He is the Son of God by the miracles He performed, His resurrection from the dead and His ability to confer on all believers the same power to do the same works that He did.

After the sermon was over the Thanksgiving part began. It was a long exciting service with a plenty of singing, dancing and praising the Lord Jesus. Services started before 11:00 am and we did not leave the church until well after 4:00 pm. It was truly a form of giving thanks as the church members brought out 50 pound bags of meal, bananas, yams that were over about 2 feet long, and about five live chickens that were tied up to prevent them from escaping.

It reminded me of the days gone by when we were pound (give food) to my father the Pastor of our church because we could not afford to pay him a salary. I noticed on the church's program that N.G.O. partnered with Pastor Fredrick's church for this event. NGO's are governmental organizations that supply aid to people in distress. They different groups within the church to continue to bring the food out, both dead and alive. I believed that the chickens would soon become some family's meal. It was an awesome display I thought of the love that the people in the church have for Pastor Frederick. I also thought that it was great for the NGOs to supply such a great amount of good.

Much to my surprise and amazement I discovered that my church, The Assembly At Durham Christian Center, had supplied the money not only to purchase all the food, which was distributed to the families in need, but that the NGO did not have any resources and was looking to Pastor Fredrick's church to feed the people that were hungry and had no means of providing for themselves.

Pastor Frederick said that when he returned to the Ivory Coast he did not have any money and the landlord wanted the back rent for the eight months that he was away because of the war. He had no one to turn but God. Through his prayers and our prayers we were able to establish a relationship to rebuild the church. He was able to pay all the back rent along with buying the food to feed those that have no means of feeding. That is the primary reason he returned to the Ivory Coast. He wanted to help the people that had been so devastated by war.

When your country has been ravaged by war and the past is too painful to remember, hope is what you need most of all. You hope that your tomorrow will be better than today and that your future will not be worst than today. My visit to the Ivory Coast showed me that no matter what your status in life is the one thing that makes you want to get up the next morning is hope. I am thankful that we at The Assembly At Durham Christian Center were able to provide hope to the body of Christ in the Ivory Coast which is what Christ Jesus our Lord would want us to do.



In the service of Christ Jesus, the Son of the Living God,


Pastor Sylvester Williams