3.17.11

Ivory CoastThe political stalemate in Ivory Coast has not budged as upwards of 400,000 people have left their homes to try to find safety from the fighting. Many of these people have crossed the border into neighboring Liberia, and some are trying to get into Ghana or Guinea, but all are feeling the effects of a country that is on the brink of civil war.

Although this situation has received little press in the mainstream news agencies, we are closely watching the events that seem to unfold daily because of the high concentration of believers in that country. Our best estimates are that there are over 20,000 believers that call Ivory Coast their home. Here is a recent report from a VGR employee in that country. He is also the pastor of a local assembly. We are not using names for safety reasons.

It is very hard right now in Abidjan, because the fighting has made everything so expensive. The fighting has been as close as one mile from our office, but no damage has been sustained. The area of the city where our office is located is close to being overrun. We are not sure what this will mean, but it does put us right in the midst of the fighting. Another VGR employee lives in a different part of the city, but his area is greatly affected by the fighting as well. As this message is being sent, he is under the bed because of the bullets, etc. Many people have been able to leave that area, but he was unable to leave. All this day long, there is serious fighting going on in that area. The brother needs to be remembered.

We have no news of any casualties from the believers, but contact is very difficult. A rocket fell on the house of a brother with a large family. There are about 15 people living that house, but no body has been killed or wounded. We are thankful to God for that.

We cannot go to church to worship, so we are trying to hold home services on Sunday, but it is too risky and most of the believers are not able to show up. From this week, we will start gathering in houses or classrooms, in the areas where the war has not reached yet.

Please keep the Ivory Coast believers in your prayers. Knowing that the Bride of Christ is praying for them will be a great comfort as they do their best to survive this desperate situation.

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