Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
Area: 322,463 sq km
On the west African coast between Ghana and Liberia. Rainforest in the south and savannah/highlands in the north.
Population: 21,570,746 Annual Growth: 2.31%
HDI Rank: 163 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)
Peoples: 106 (32% unreached)
Official language: French, used by a high proportion of the population. Jula is the most widespread indigenous language, used as a trade language in the north and Abidjan Languages: 93
Largest Religion: Muslim
Challenges for Prayer
Evangelical agencies had a late and slow start compared to other West African lands. CMA arrived in 1930 and focused on the Baule in the centre of the country. Mission Biblique began in 1927 among the Yacouba and Guéré in the southwest, later joined by UFM, and WEC began in 1934 among the Gouro and Gban (Gagou). AoG, though starting only in the 1950s, now has churches all over the country, surpassing all the other denominations in terms of growth and outreach. The number of mission personnel shrank drastically due to the outbreak of violence in 2002 and has not recovered to former levels. This has in turn cast greater responsibility onto the indigenous church, but foreign missionaries are still welcomed and needed in most aspects of ministry. Evangelism, church planting and Bible translation ministries only scratch the surface of possibilities.
There are now several African mission agencies; some are denominational. They work mainly in Côte d’Ivoire but increasingly beyond, targeting the remaining unreached peoples of West Africa and the world. Main areas for prayer:
a) Missionary training. CAPRO has a missions training institute in Abidjan to serve Francophone West Africa. It is the first such institute for this region. The great challenge is to prepare missionaries for Muslim outreach. A consortium of Methodists, the UEESO and the General Conference Baptists are developing a missionary training school. Pray for these endeavours, and pray that such schools would produce excellent Ivoirian missionaries for the harvest field.
b) Sending. Congregations are usually supportive of indigenous missionaries, but leadership can at times feel threatened, and economic strain can limit financial support. Many missionaries live by faith on very little income. Pray that God might supply all of their needs and that their churches might support them in every possible way.