This update comes to you from Winifrede, WV. Needless to say, I'm enjoying the beauty of the Mountain State. I arrived here on May 28th. for a visit with my elderly mother and to give my sister a break from her caregiving responsibilities. If it be the Lord's will I will return to Côte d'Ivoire on July 1st. All is in His hands. I'm praying and waiting upon Him for clear guidance. I am claiming Isaiah 41:10 for my dear mother and for myself, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
After two hospitalizations in April for lung and blood pressure issues, then a surgical procedure for sealing three small back fractures in May, Mom is very weak. We are caring for her at home and, at this time, she isn't responding well to physical therapy. She's tired and just wants to go and be with the Lord. This is very difficult for her and those who love her dearly. I'm constantly crying out to the Lord, asking Him to extend mercy. Thank you for calling on our Father on her behalf.
My heart is so torn between love of my mother and love of ministry in Africa. May I continue to wait upon Him with all confidence that "He will make a way when it seems there is no way. He works through ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me" (and for my precious Mom).
We rejoice in all that the Lord is doing in Côte d'Ivoire:
> On April 25th., Pastor Kobenan Gboko baptized 13 people (9 from Gouméré and 4 from Siago).
> In this month of June, there will be two CHE (Community Health Evangelism) teaching sessions - one for the Bible Institute students at Bouna and the other in the village of Taoudi. Please pray for Verlin Anderson as he will do most of the teaching, since I'm not able to be there to help.
> The Lord has provided and two of our Ivorian pastors (Samuel Ouattara and Paul Amiézi) will be attending the International Fellowship of Free Will Baptists and the 75th. anniversary of Free Will Baptist International Missions during the National Association meetings in Oklahoma, July 18-21. Please pray that their participation in these meetings will be a positive experience for them and that becoming acquainted with these two servants of God will be a blessing to many.
Dear ones, I hope that news about my mother will not be a source of discouragement for you. I hope that sharing from my heart will not be burdensome.
It's just that we've known each other for a long time and you've been so supportive.
I continue to count on you to be there for me, both in my days of joy and in my days of tears. Thank you. God bless you.
Looking to the Faithful One,
Alice F. Smith (304) 949-2713