The Toura people (numbering about 26,000) live in northwestern Cote D'Ivoire. They are, by definition, an unreached people, though some mission work has been carried on among them. The AD2000 Women's Track chose two villages, Gourane I and II. In December, we went with the surface objective of providing health care, but also to bring the gospel. Three medical doctors from the Hospital Fellowship and one nurse accompanied our thirteen women.
Gifts of soap and shea butter were distributed to the villagers. Last-minute obstacles were mounted by Satan - the most serious of which was no accommodations for the team. But the Lord solved this by touching the heart of the chief, who gave us a place in his household buildings. We lived there for a whole week while he moved into another hut.
Mornings were dedicated to treating the sick. In the afternoons, the medical team assembled the villagers and taught them general hygiene, while the remaining team did house-to-house evangelism. This was very beneficial, because people could give themselves to Jesus in the privacy of their own homes. The evenings were set apart for films, the Jesus film, and two other local films on salvation depicting traditional customs - Solution and Warfare.
Generally the Toura are animists. Masks are considered holy and certain animals sacred. When we arrived, the village chief warned us not to say anything disparaging their masks. This caused concern because in one of the films, a scene showed how hopeless it is to put trust in masks. But when the film was shown, no one said anything. We had prayed that the Lord would take care of this. At all the shows there were people who braved the public, and stood up to accept Jesus. At the end of the expedition, a total of 43 people gave their lives to Jesus.
Praise God for His protection. The powers of darkness were at work trying to prevent this: The villagers had offered animal sacrifices against the team so that no person could be converted. At night, there were people chanting around our house. We took turns sleeping, while others interceded.
A young man accompanying the team stayed behind to take care of the converted people. We also managed to negotiate with the chief of the village for land where we could build a church and a house for missionaries. All this in one expedition! The women came back leaping with joy !
We had prepared well. In November, we had gone to the village on a fact-finding mission and carried out a prayer walk. We had also distributed used clothing to the villagers.
Each woman testifies to the fact that during the time spent in the village each one was constantly very close to the Lord, knowing that it was a dangerous place, infested with powers of darkness. This explains the victory over every obstacle.
The women will never be the same again. We saw the move of God in all we did and how we surmounted every obstacle.
In March, the team plans to go back to the village to follow up and encourage the young missionary and the converted ones, and do more evangelism.
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