Experience has taught me that when the Lord directs a man to plant a new church, the Lord will give him the particular people that he will need to help with that church and to help with the ministry in general. This has certainly been the case with us in the Ivory Coast. Each church plant in which we have been involved has been developed through the help of key people who came to Christ and immediately got involved. With time and training, these people become important elements in the Lord’s work. As you can imagine, these people generally are “near and dear” to the missionary’s heart.
Sapané (Sah-pah-nay) Coulibaly (koo-lee-bah-lee) was definitely one of these people in our ministry here. After becoming a key member of the Bingerville church, the Lord used Sapané to open our work in Zanaplédougou in the far north of our country. There is no exaggeration from a human perspective to say that without Sapané, there would be no work in Zanaplé today. He is the specific man that the Lord used to get this work started.
The first converts in this village came through the funeral services of Sapané’s father. At that point in time, the village invited us to start a church there. Sapané opened the church in January of 2009. For 12 years, Sapané evangelized this village and pastored the church. He oversaw the construction of its building and began reaching out to other villages. He became a very well-respected missionary/pastor in our Independent Baptist community in the Ivory Coast.
The Lord called Sapané home this past January after a bout with cancer. It has been devastating for us as well as the church in Zanaplédougou. The personal loss that I have experienced has been overwhelming. I recently met with the chief of the village who has asked us to continue with the church there and the development of its land. That is certainly what we wanted to hear. Please pray with us as we endeavor to find the right person to continue this work.
Bob - February 14th
Becky - May 22nd
Bob, Jr. - December 12th
Marylyn - July 25th
Morganne - May 30th
Lucien - September 20th
Bingerville, Côte d'Ivoire