Dear Family and Friends,
After three rather turbulent flights (Charleston-Atlanta;Atlanta-Paris;Paris-Abidjan), I arrived back in Côte d'Ivoire the evening of July 22nd. Praise the Lord for my safe arrival and no baggage problems. Needing a few days in Abidjan for rest, banking needs, food shopping, and visits, I returned to Bondoukou on July 30th. Due to our unbelievably bad roads, the trip was long and slow. The following day, I felt like I'd been beaten with a BIG stick! Hopefully, I'll not make that trip again until October when my Ivorian identification document expires. It is good to be back in my African home, and I look forward to the Lord's plans for me in the remaining months of 2010.
My greatest desire is to be used by the Lord to bring lost souls to the Savior. An e-mail from a dear lady spoke of how much she enjoyed meeting our two Ivorian delegates to the recent National Association meetings in Oklahoma. She is praying that our Free Will Baptist missionaries will continue to have fruitbearing ministries all over the world. Pastors Samuel Ouattara and Paul Amiezi represent many other precious souls who have been brought to Christ here in Côte d'Ivoire. American missionaries are now few in number in this country. Thankfully, the Ivorian church is actively announcing the Gospel to their friends and neighbors. Please pray for a bountiful harvest of souls, as we patiently await the return of our Lord.
The month of August is a very busy time for the Ivorian church. The country celebrates 50 years of independence on the 7th. Our churches will be having special prayer services, at the request of the government; the Bouna church will host the National Youth Retreat August 12-18; the First Bondoukou church will host the Pastors and Wives Retreat August 16-19, followed by the General Assembly meeting of the national church August 19-21. The dedication of a beautiful new church building in the village of Kouafo (Bondoukou region) is also scheduled during this time, but the date isn't certain.
I'm so excited about joining Debbie Anderson in the CHE training sessions with the Gouméré church ladies. Debbie did the introductory lessons while I was Stateside and reports a positive response. Thank you for praying for this effort to instill truths in their hearts - truths that will help them to be in good health, which is: being at peace with God, being at peace with yourself, being at peace with your neighbor, and being at peace with your environment.
Once again, I want to thank you for your prayers and words and acts of encouragement during this last crisis with my Mom. I also want to thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support. God bless and keep you.
Love and prayers from your missionary,
Alice F. Smith