Ivory Coast Annual Report – 2020
As we begin a new year, we look back to the year that has come to a close to take inventory of all that the Lord is doing in Ivory Coast. In many respects, 2020 was a difficult year for the country of Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast has had to deal with the global pandemic as well, although they have not been hit as hard as other countries. During the weeks that the churches had to stay closed, due to quarantine, going online was not an option for most of them.
2020 was also a year of presidential elections, and that always spells political tensions and violence in the streets. We praise the Lord that in spite of some interruptions of normal activity and some deaths from riots, it did not turn into a civil war and they were able to hold elections as scheduled. The National Convention of FWBs had to be postponed for 4 months.
On the bright side of things, in spite of all the difficulties, our FWB work experienced growth. The latest report shows that we now have 165 churches (large and small) with a weekly attendance of more than 10 thousand. Besides the Ivory Coast, they have planted 3 churches across the border, in the country of Burkina Faso, and support a missionary family in Ghana that is planting a church there. 540 conversions were reported with 373 new believers baptized during the year.
54 pastors serve these churches (that’s an average of 3 churches per pastor)! The Bible Institute has been training pastors for our churches for 33 years. This year, the National Association started 2 more training programs. One of the programs is for those who work in the villages and have a low educational level. The other program is at a Bible College level for those with at least a High School diploma. With these three programs, we now have a total of 124 leaders in training. We hope this will soon help them diminish the leadership deficit and allow them to continue to expand.
In March of last year, the Women of Good News dedicated their new Conference Center and held their national women’s retreat there with over 500 participants. The FWB Hospital at Doropo started renovating the maternity last year and finished in January of this year. All the equipment was upgraded. They had approximately 1000 deliveries there last year.
Praise the Lord for all who have contributed to facilitate the gospel being preached, churches established, leaders being trained, people being helped, and the Lord being glorified!