Dear Family and Friends,
My belated Happy New Year wishes come to you from the cold and snow-covered Mountain State, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia! Though previously scheduled for January 16th., I arrived home on January 6th. and have pretty much been in hibernation. Coming from the extreme heat of Africa into the extreme cold of eastern U.S.A. has been quite a shock to my body. Brrr! I just can't seem to get warm. Drinking hot tea is helping me to survive.
Needless to say, my mother (91 years old on January 14th.) is very happy to have me home. In addition to being her caregiver during the week, I will be attempting to visit supporting churches and conferences on the week-ends. You can also expect me to "visit" with you through letters, e-mails, and telephone calls. I want to communicate to you my sincere appreciation for your faithful prayer and financial support since I began working for the Mission in 1975. The good Lord willing, I'll be busy right up until I officially retire from overseas service the end of July 2011. I know that I can count on you to rechannel your support to other Free Will Baptist missionaries after I retire. After all, you aren't supporting a personality. You are partnering with your denomination's Missions Department in taking the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. May the Lord's richest blessings be upon your continued obedience to the Great Commission.
I know that Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) was in the news for awhile after the contested presidential election on November 28th. Though nothing is being reported at this time here in the States, the political standoff, accompanied by violence and killing, still exists. I read several articles on the internet each day. The news is very troubling and I grieve for the Ivorian people. Please pray for God's intervention in that situation. Pray for the resolution of the serious problem of two men claiming to be president of the country. Pray for an end to the violence and killing, especially in Abidjan where a large number of our church members live.
My co-workers, Verlin and Debbie Anderson are also in need of your prayers. Verlin's father, Earl Anderson, recently went home to be with the Lord. Verlin was able to come to the States for the funeral on January 22nd. and hopes to return to the field on the 27th. He and his family hope to be able to return to their ministry responsibilities at Bondoukou shortly after his arrival.
I've so much more to share with you but will stop for now. Please ask the Lord to help me as my heart is burdened for the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters in Ivory Coast. My greatest comfort is knowing that God is in control. Ask the Lord to help me to able to adjust to life in the U.S.A., especially to the cold weather which is predicted to be around for quite awhile. I promise to keep in touch.
Love and prayers,
Alice F. Smith
1952 Fields Creek Road
Winifrede, WV 25214