What an amazing time! The CD launch concert could not have gone any better than it did. Thanks for praying for us. I think this is why I love doing mission so much. You go with a clear word from the Lord. There is forward planning, and then the plans change almost daily and you end up thinking and planning on your feet as you go. Then there’s all the stuff that’s totally outside of your own control – which feels like most of it! But don’t panic, there’s no need to worry. Just keep trusting God and put your feet where they need to go, one foot at a time. Then the rest just falls into place. God; You are truly awesome!
July 28th 2019; truly a day to remember! – ‘Espoir de Vie’ (Hope of Life) CD launch concert
This visit to Abidjan actually lasted only 9 days, but so much happened. There were three phases really. The first few days I spent quite a bit of time with Ebenezer, and we did several radio interviews promoting the event and also organized the sound system for the concert. Baraka joined me from Rwanda again; his role was to coach the singers when the time came to begin rehearsals. He also did quite a lot of French/English translation – very helpful! I did some teaching with the singers on the first Tuesday evening; Lydie was there to translate for that. The prayer time afterwards went very deep. After that, Lydie told us that she had arranged for all the singers and me & Baraka to share a house for 5 days so we could rehearse the concert programme to the backing tracks. This was a lovely time of getting to know the group; we spent several mornings praying and sharing with each other; I felt it was a great opportunity for team building for the future of the group after I’m out of the picture (hopefully my french has improved – it was sorely put to the test!) God really touched their hearts. One morning, the worship was so sweet we were all in tears! We worked on the programme and rehearsed all the songs pretty thoroughly in the afternoons and evenings.
The last phase was really the concert day itself. You can imagine how busy that was. Yolande had been to a local tailors earlier in the week with our measurements, so our concert outfits duly arrived and we tried them on for size. The transport to the venue was seriously late! But so was the concert; by several hours. Nobody seemed to mind. The performance was moving; the sound system really worked well. The numbers attending weren’t huge, but there were a lot of senior pastors from various church denominations, plus government officials, visitors from the AGIR International School of Reconciliation (Francophone), and several leaders I’ve worked with from other countries like Allan (Kenya) and of course Joseph & Esther (Rwanda). At one point, Dominique from France got down on his knees to apologize and stand in the gap for the colonial abuses in Cote D’Ivoire. I joined him. Several leaders came forwards afterwards to say how much that meant to them.
The African youth of today – our future leaders and visionaries
I’m passionate about young people in Africa. They often genuinely love God but don’t know much about who they are or what they want. So as leaders, why not choose to believe the best of them? It’s so rewarding to get alongside them and take time to teach them; mentor them. If you are patient, you will see a miracle. They come alive, their self-esteem grows and then they will amaze you – and themselves – with what they can do. Working with the choir, I watched them grow in confidence and assurance as the week progressed. Some of them are quite experienced singers but none of them had done anything like this before. Reconciliation and forgiveness are subjects that go very deep into their personal life experiences and these things are close to God’s heart as well. During the performance some of them were surprised by the emotions that were aroused within them. There were occasionally a few tears as they sang and the passion in their movements and voices was real, as well as what we rehearsed for. Back at the house later, we debriefed round the group and I asked for their impressions (this was at 12 midnight!) They were all amazed at what had just happened. Baraka actually said something very significant; “Espoir de Vie just found out tonight what God has called them to do together!” I think he was right actually. I don’t think they really understood it before. I guess some things you can’t really teach; they just have to be experienced. I think we can say ‘’Espoir de Vie’ has truly just been ‘born’ as a group with its own vision and an exciting future. Right after I got home I heard that Marie-Nowell, one of the singers, went to a HWEC that was being run by one of the trained teachers from the ISOR. She encountered the Word of God, got healed of all her wounds and came back transformed. I found that so encouraging. Her experiences at the concert, so emotional and passionate, actually got ‘earthed and grounded’ in the Word of God right afterwards.
I’m thrilled to be able to say that because of your prayers and generosity, all of our funding needs have been met for the CD. Thankyou Lord! The CD is now available to purchase from our website shop, so please feel free to head over there and place your order. All the booklet copy and vocals are in French – just so you know!
‘Arise, Shine Zimbabwe 2019’ – UK mission team leaves this Friday; Aug16th – Sept 3rd!
I wasn’t sure I’d find the time to write this. The thing is; I’m off to Africa again this coming Friday, with three UK young people! It’s back to SA and Zimbabwe, for two weeks. Please pray for us. The team this year is Jessica, and Lucy who came last year, plus Sophia (24 yrs) who joins us for the first time. We’ll be spending a few days with Tammy & Leon in Jo’burg until Wednesday 21st; then flying up to Harare to do the childrens conference which takes place the following week. It will be so great to be with all our ‘One Way Ministries’ church friends and to see the children and young people once again. Thanks for all your support.
DIARY DATES – SUMMER 2019
- Aug 14th Nathan’s 30th birthday!
- Aug 16th Mission Team leave for Jo’burg, SA
- Sep 3rd Team returns from Harare, Zimbabwe
Love from Dave & Jean
With special thanks to The Crossroads Trust.
The Crossroads Trust is a Registered Charitable Trust, set up in 1987 with the following aims: to assist in the encouragement of missionary activity designed to foster the spread of the Christian faith; to promote better education between and within diverse cultural settings, and to provide relief for the poor and needy in society. Since 2005, the Trust has focussed solely on supporting the reconciliation ministry of Dave Bankhead and ‘We are One!’ Trustees include; John Jenkins (Chairman) and Simon Shaw. Registered Charitable Trust No: XN74834