World news and weather reports indicate that many of you are probably tired of the cold temperatures and snow. Cheer up! I know just the place for you to come and get warm - Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa! Yes, for weeks our temperatures have ranged from 98 to 102 degrees F. On Monday evening, I looked at the thermometer at 10:00 p.m. and it registered 92 degrees F! If you want to come, just let me know. My guest bedroom is ready. On a more serious note, we do ask for prayer. Not only are we suffering in the heat, but we are also experiencing longterm electricity and water cut-offs. We are asking the Lord to enable the electric company to be able to correct the problem with one of their big generators. We're trying to not complain, realizing that others are in worse situations. We look to the Lord for grace to cope and endure. I am encouraged by the words of an old hymn, "He giveth more grace when the burdens are greater, He sendeth more strength when the labors increase; to added affliction He addeth His mercy, to multiplied trials, His multiplied peace".
In addition to being a hot month, February has also been very busy. The Hanna Project Team came out again to work at Doropo where they did general and cataract surgery, eye exams, medical consultations, a school building renovation, village evangelism, etc. Once again, the lives of many people were touched in a very positive way, both physically and spiritually. The Andersons and I were privileged to offer the team food, drinks, and a short rest on their trips up and down country. Verlin also came to their rescue with vehicle breakdowns.
On February 3rd., the young wife of Pastor Philippe Fakéyé (Agnibilékrou Free Will Baptist Church) went home to be with the Lord after a long illness. Her body was taken to the morgue at Bouna. I attended a memorial service in her honor on February 26th., at Agnibilékrou. Verlin Anderson will go to Bouna for an all-night service tomorrow and the burial on Saturday, March 6th. Please pray for Pastor Philippe and his little boy, as well as for the Agnibilékrou church. Also, pray for unsaved family members at Bouna. Many will hear the Gospel for the first time during the funeral.
Since I need to start closing down, I won't go into a lot of detail. But, co-worker Verlin Anderson and five Ivorian Christians attended the West Africa Community Health Evangelism Conference in Accra, Ghana February 15 - 25. They all returned excited about all they had learned. God is definitely working through the CHE ministry all over the world. Please pray for the Gouméré Team's outreach to Karako and for Debbie Anderson and I as we will soon begin training sessions with the Gouméré women.
It is almost time for the electricity to go off. So, I'll go and take my bucket bath and get ready for a night of rest. Take care, one and all. Let us "keep our eyes upon the eastern skies and lift up our heads, for our redemption draweth nigh." Don't you love that old song?
With much love and appreciation,
Alice F. Smith