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Archive for July, 2009

July 28, 2009

Bono’s Hope in ‘Rebranding’ Africa

Filed under: Changing Lives,Ghana — TimMc @ 7:50 pm

“Amid poverty and disease are opportunities for investment and growth — investment and growth that won’t eliminate overnight the need for assistance … but that in time can build roads, schools and power grids and propel commerce to the point where aid is replaced by trade pacts, business deals and home-grown income,” said Bono, lead singer of the band U2 during a recent interview prior to President Barack Obama’s visit to Ghana.

July 27, 2009

Rhonda Sand, Founder of Purposeful Africa Shares Her Heart about West African Orphans

Filed under: Announcements,Orphan Care — TimMc @ 3:54 pm

The founder of Purposeful Africa, Rhonda Sand, has just posted a great article in her own blog about her desire to make an impact on the plight of orphans throughout West Africa. We encourage you to visit Rhonda’s blog and read her vision for ministering to orphans by using Purposeful Africa.

July 17, 2009

News from Benin, Please Pray for President Yayi

Filed under: Benin,Prayer Requests — TimMc @ 3:26 pm

President Yayi

President Yayi, elected to lead the country of Benin in 2006 is an evangelical Christian. He is dedicated to eliminating poverty in his country and is very open to evangelical assistance for his people. Please pray that God would continue to give President Yayi clear direction on how to lead his country. Pray that President Yayi would seek God daily and desire to deepen his relationship with Him.

In June, Samaritan’s Purse completed a visit with President Yayi. Please visit the Samaritan’s Purse website to read more about their interaction and ministry within Benin.

As Purposeful Africa moves forward with its plans to visit West Africa and the country of Benin, pray that God will bless our efforts there and that we will bring glory and honor to Him as we minister.

July 7, 2009

The Purposeful Africa Website is Live and Operational!

Filed under: Announcements — TimMc @ 7:26 pm

pafrica

We are please to announce that PurposefulAfrica.org is up, live, and fully operational. We hope that you will find the information about us and the exciting journey we are attempting to put together appealing. We pray that your heart will be touched by the incredible needs that await us in West Africa. Over the course of the next several months, we will continue to add more details about ministry partners, locations, and ministry opportunities. We hope that you will visit our site frequently and will be blessed by the time spent here.

Thank you,

The Purposeful Africa Team

Jeremiah 31:10 – Hear the word of the Lord O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands… NIV

Purposeful Africa is Working with Finishers Project

Filed under: Partners,Prayer Requests — TimMc @ 7:16 pm

Purposeful Africa is serious about people of faith getting involved in Africa and we are actively recruiting to that end. To assist in that effort, we have joined Finishers Project where thousands of people have expressed an interest in serving in missions. Finishers Project is a place for people to match their passion and preferences for serving God with scores of ministry organizations. We anticipate that many people will join Purposeful Africa to be involved in sharing the hope we have in Jesus with the people of the nations in which we will serve.

Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Please pray that Purposeful Africa will be able to partner with people who have a heart for West Africa and a desire to serve in the roles where we currently have needs. At the moment we need to fill four positions:

Mission Representatives
Marketing Manager
Marketing Sales Personnel
Media Development Specialist (This is the most critical and pressing position at the moment.)

**If you’d like more information about any of these positions, please feel free to contact us at (888) 771-8717 or email tim@purposefulafrica.org.

July 6, 2009

Business as Mission Conference in Dallas Oct. 14-16, 2009

Filed under: Business as Mission,Changing Lives — TimMc @ 4:21 pm

dallas-skyline1

Global CEO Network is hosting a conference in Dallas, TX for CEO’s or senior executives who are passionate about using their companies for Kingdom purposes. This is an invitation only event. To learn more about Global CEO Network and to learn more about their organization, please visit their website, www.globalceonetwork.org.

If you know of someone who may be interested in using their company to aid in business as mission, please encourage them to request more information about this conference.

Liberia, A Country Profile & Prayer Guide

Filed under: Country Profiles and Prayer Guides,Liberia — TimMc @ 12:57 pm

liberia

After almost two decades of civil war, which claimed over 250,000 lives, Liberia, Africa’s oldest republic and still one of its poorest nations may be on the rebound. In 2006, the country took the bold step of electing the first woman president ever for the continent of Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. With the presence of several thousand UN troops, she has begun the daunting task of rebuilding Liberia. The people are responding well to her leadership and much progress is being made in rebuilding the shattered country.

Liberia is a lush, rainforested country located on West Africa’s southern flank. Visitors will enjoy the opportunity of exploring the sprawling city of Monrovia, relaxing on the beach, or venturing into the pristine wilderness of Sapo National Park. A great description of Liberia in times past can be found in Graham Greene’s “Journey without Maps”, an account of his overland trip across the country in 1935. Of course, it’s not an up-to-date guide-book, the descriptions and the atmosphere of the country it creates – particularly when dealing with the mysterious and jungle-rich interior – make the book a valuable and entertaining introduction for anyone planning to visit Liberia.

A few interesting facts about Monrovia:

  • It has a population of 4.5 million people, with 16 major ethnic groups divided in three language families.
  • English is the official language.
  • 38% literacy rate (was 64% in 1990 prior to civil war)
  • The country has abundant water, plentiful natural resources of iron, diamonds, rubber, timber, etc.
  • Liberia was founded as a Christian state. There continues to be freedom of religion in theory, but in practice there is pressure on Christians to conform to occult secret societies. Religious and denominational figures are mostly estimates due to massive numbers fleeing the civil war.

Specific ways to pray for Liberia:

  • The civil war was a tragedy for Liberia, the country was devastated and the people traumatized. It was also a blight that poisoned much of West Africa, especially Sierra Leone and increasingly Guinea. Its roots lay in deep ethnic hatreds, greed, lust for power, and in a compromised Christianity that gave Satan opportunity.
  • Pray specifically for:
  1. Government and leadership that rejects oppression, institutional violence, and the endemic culture of extortion and corruption.
  2. Reconciliation between the ethnic groups which were involved in fighting, atrocities and massacres – especially the Mandingo and Krahn on one side and the Mano and Gio on the other.
  3. A healing of the terrible physical, psychological, and spiritual wounds of the war – 65% of the population have been, and many are still, refugees. Almost the entire population has either been victims or perpetrators of unspeakable crimes.
  • The rescue of the children of war. Little children were forced to become soldiers. Virtually all 1,400,000 children under 17 have been traumatized, lost their education, and many orphaned. Hunger, violence, homelessness, and drug abuse are widespread. Pray for churches and agencies seeking to repair some of the damage, restore family life, and bring them the gospel.
  • For decades Christians compromised with evil on an alarming scale. Freemasonry imported by the early settlers fused with indigenous tribal secret societies to become a pervasive influence that corrupted and compromised politics and nearly every denomination, whether mainline, evangelical or Pentecostal. During the war, Christians who refused to compromise were persecuted in some areas. Stagnation, failure of the gospel to advance in Liberia’s hinterland, lack of concern for the lost, and spiritual impotence so widespread in the churches are due to condoned sin, witchcraft, alcoholism, and polygamy among ‘Christians’. Pray for the binding of these spiritual forces and for a new day of freedom and power in the Holy Spirit for the Church. (Continue reading…)

Cote d’Ivoire, A Country Profile & Prayer Guide

Filed under: Cote d'Ivoire,Country Profiles and Prayer Guides — TimMc @ 12:05 pm

cotedivorie

Côte d’Ivoire, formerly Ivory Coast, (the official name is the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire), is a republic with a strong executive power personified in its president. The country’s capital is Yamoussoukro, with a population of roughly 200,000 people. The country is divided into 19 regions and 58 departments. It shares borders with Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana. It also boasts over 370 miles of coastland on the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean). The southern and western parts of the country are forested, with undulating ground rising to meet the savannah plains of the north and the mountains along the western border. The country abounds in some of the best natural attractions in West Africa, such as the large rainforest contained in Parc National de Taï.

You will quickly notice that Côte d’Ivoire is different from many other African countries because of its the extreme ethnic and linguistic diversity. There are over 60 people groups – which include the Akar, Kron, Nzima, Hone, Voltaic, and Malinke peoples. With very few exceptions every Ivoirian has a mother tongue which is that of the village, along with traditions, family, and social relations within their ethnic group. Ivoirians are friendly and eager to engage visitors to their country.

A few interesting facts about Cote d’Ivoire:

  • Approx. 18 million people reside in the country.
  • The official language is French and there is a 42% literacy rate.
  • It is one of the world’s largest producers of cocoa, coffee, and palm oil. The post-independence boom produced both massive immigration of job-seekers from surrounding lands and a high level of corruption. Currency devaluation in 1994 led to further growth. A political coup in December 1999 caused a sharp downturn in the economy as capital inflows dropped. Many businesses have since left the country. Civil servants have received no cost of living salary raise in over 18 years.
  • The country’s economy is largely market-based and relies heavily on agriculture.
  • There is complete religious freedom. The government remains sympathetic to missions. Traditional religions are generally stronger in the centre and west. Islam (Sunni) is strong in the northwest and Abidjan. Both Islam and Christianity are highly syncretized with African traditional beliefs, making these three religions impossible to precisely enumerate.

Specific ways to pray for Cote d’Ivoire:

  • Praise God that denominations are beginning to work together more. This has largely come as a response to the nation’s troubles – such as the interdenominational prayer concerts in several cities. Events like the March for Jesus and the visits of OM/YWAM ships have brought together thousands from many denominations.
  • Spiritism is still strong in Côte d’Ivoire. There are 4000 evangelical churches, but 5000 sacred fetish groves. Many Christians are still affected by the power of spiritism and fetishes; compromising both their witness and their own life in Christ. Pray for those who have not left behind their spiritist past that they may be completely delivered by the power of Jesus. Pray that believers will be able to withstand temptation to revert to old practices.
  • Pray for unity and cooperation among evangelicals. For the country to be effectively evangelized and the church to mature, denominational differences and competition must be set aside in favor of partnerships and teamwork.
  • The level of Bible knowledge and discipleship is low, partly a result of rapid church growth. Many churches accept the ‘prosperity’ gospel, and open air campaigns sometimes focus more upon miracles and healings rather than the One who is their source. However, this trend has been counterbalanced by the growth of Bible Institutes, Study Centers, and Correspondence Courses in which thousands of students are now enrolled. Pray that students at the new CMA theological school may grow in the mastery of the Word. Pray for the AoG’s new training institute, opening soon in Abidjan. Pray also for the Navigators and other ministries that focus on the much needed area of discipleship.
  • People groups that still need pioneer mission work and don’t have a major church plant include:
  • Pray for the strongly Muslim peoples of the northwest: Malinke, Fulbe and Jula-speaking peoples, where only a handful have been won through the ministry of SIM, WEC, and CBI. The Malinke/Fulbe group make up nearly 2 million people and are 99.9% non-Christian. More than 85 churches with 4000 members exist in Malinke territory, but they are composed almost exclusively of people who come from outside the region. Among the Mahou the Norwegian Lutherans have seen several congregations planted.
  • The large influx of foreigners presents unusual opportunities for evangelizing those who are separated from the strong ties of their tribal cultures. While their presence in Côte d’Ivoire is the source of much strife, it is also a timely evangelistic opportunity. Nearly 30% of the population is foreign, and the majority of foreigners are Muslim. (Continue reading…)

July 1, 2009

The JESUS Film and Sierra Leone

Filed under: Prayer Requests,Sierra Leone — TimMc @ 8:00 pm

Sierra Leone

The JESUS Film Partnership of Global Partners (Wesleyan Church) recently reported this story:

In a Muslim village…a local chief watched the JESUS film. The film touched him, and when it finished he publicly gave his life to the Lord. He further gave a public testimony expressing his appreciation for the JESUS film and his new conviction. According to him, Jesus Christ is mentioned in the Quran, but he now realized Christ’s true worth. His words moved many villagers, and 42 adults followed his example, giving their lives to Christ. Three weeks later, the chief called on one of the JESUS film team members and requested the film be shown in the other villages in his chieftainship. He also requested that a church and school be built in the village seat of his chieftainship. He said the “door is now open to you.” PRAISE GOD!

**Republished with permission from The JESUS Film Project. To learn more about the amazing ministry of The JESUS Film Project, please visit their website at www.JesusFilm.org.

Please join all of us at Purposeful Africa in praying that the subsequent showings of the JESUS film will touch the hearts of those people in the villages where it will be shown. Pray that many will come to Christ as a result of this great opportunity!

Togo, a Country Profile & Prayer Guide

Filed under: Country Profiles and Prayer Guides,Prayer Requests,Togo — TimMc @ 7:29 pm

togo

Togo is a tiny sliver of a country squashed between Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Benin. In spite of its small land mass, it still manages to squeeze in dense lush forests, savannah, coastal lagoons, long sandy beaches, and swampy plains.

The capital city Lomé is situated on the Gulf of Benin. It is the only capital in the world situated right on a border. Modern hotels line the beach to welcome tourists. In various places throughout the city, there are still pockets of colonial architecture to be seen.

Togo’s national parks are home to buffalo, elephant, antelope, and numerous tropical bird species. Coffee plantations and cocoa farms, waterfalls, and palm plantations all lie on the country’s plateau, which rises up from the coast and is within an easy drive. In northeastern Togo, the traditional mud-tower settlements of the Batammariba in the Koutammakou landscape gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 2004.

A few interesting facts about Togo:

  • The country has a population of approximately 6 million people.
  • The official language is French. There are 43 languages used in Togo. The literacy rate is around 52%. There are only two indigenous languages used in the education system: Ewe/Mina and Kabiye. There are 6 languages with a complete translation of the Bible, 7 with the New Testament, and 12 other languages that are works in progress.
  • Subsistence agriculture is performed by 80% of the population. Togo’s main exports are phosphates, cotton, cocoa, and coffee. Economic growth has lagged behind population growth due to endemic government corruption. Most foreign aid has been suspended because of lack of fiscal discipline and a poor human rights record. About a third of the population lives below the international poverty line of US $1.25 a day.
  • A period of intense anti-Christian rhetoric in the 1970’s cooled to an official indifference. In 1978, 20 religious groups were banned; only Muslims, Catholics, and five Protestant churches were legally permitted to function. In 1990 nearly all restrictions were lifted and there has been considerable religious freedom since.
  • Despite the influences of Christianity and Islam, over half of the people of Togo follow native animistic practices and beliefs.
  • As with many other African countries, football (soccer) is the most popular sport. Until 2006, Togo was very much a minor force in world soccer, but like fellow West African nations such as Senegal, Nigeria, and Cameroon (which is located in Central Africa) before them, the Togolese national team finally qualified for the World Cup.

Specific ways to pray for the country of Togo:

  • Regaining religious freedom in 1990 has given a decade of more rapid church growth and outreach to many people for the first time. Evangelicals have grown from 17,000 in 1960 to nearly 400,000 in 2000. (Continue reading…)