International evangelist Andrew Palau and his team capped the first half of a massive two-year campaign in Côte d’Ivoire with an evangelistic festival last month in the nation’s political capital, Yamoussoukro.
The Luis Palau Association reported that more than 65,000 people were reached in the culminating week of the Yamoussoukro leg of the campaign, with 15,850 making public confessions of faith.
“God has opened this amazing door for Andrew Palau’s ninth African capital city festival,” campaign director Tim Innes said in a press release. “Tens of thousands have already come to know Jesus through this festival, including the outreaches in schools, prisons and special events for women and business leaders. The harvest and the eagerness we've seen has been absolutely humbling.”
Earlier this year, hundreds of local church leaders – after two years of planning, prayer, and preparation – invited the Palau team to help them share the Good News of Jesus Christ to all of Côte d’Ivoire. In response, the nationwide effort, which came to be known as “Love Côte d’Ivoire,” was launched, with attention focused on the nation’s two capital cities: Yamoussoukro (the political capital), and Abidjan (the economic capital).
The effort has so far brought more than 325 local churches together in unity in order to mobilize the Christian community to serve their neighbors and share their faith in Jesus. Yamoussoukro was the focus of the campaign this year. The historic effort is expected to continue in Côte d'Ivoire, with Abidjan as the focus in 2018.
“Wendy and I have fallen in love with Côte d’Ivoire," Palau said in a press release, referring to his wife. “Every year we serve with believers in a new nation and every year we ask how will we ever find friends and partners that share our vision for the Gospel in the way these do? But then every year we do. I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit’s leading to allow us to serve in Côte d’Ivoire now for two years. The potential this has to impact the nation increases because we get to work with these great leaders for another year.”
While the focus of the campaign is on the nation’s two capital cities, the Palau Association mobilized several of its Next Generation Alliance (NGA) partner evangelists to reach other cities in Côte d’Ivoire in an effort to reach the entire nation with the Gospel. In San Pedro, for example, a four-day festival featuring NGA Evangelists Richard Hamlet, Allan Greene, Reid Saunders, and Keith Cook drew 47,000 people in attendance and resulted in 5,251 public confessions of faith.
“We are all praying now for the hard work of the church to help each decision maker from the festivals,” the Palau team reported.
In Yamoussoukro and San Pedro, each decision maker received a Gospel of John (more than 100,000 were distributed in partnership with Bibles for the World) and will be followed up by the local church and one of the 2,346 “friends of the festival” who were trained in evangelism as part of the campaign.
To conclude his time in Côte d’Ivoire, Palau met with 100 church leaders and denominational heads in Abidjan to report on the work in Yamoussoukro and begin the planning for Abidjan efforts.
For the Palau Association, this year marks the launch of a massive, four-year initiative called “2020: Bless the Nations.” The effort sets to expand ministry in every aspect by building the largest global network of evangelists, increasing capacity for citywide evangelistic efforts, helping to foster City Gospel Movements across the world, and broadening the overall global reach of the Gospel through new media opportunities. The four-year push sets to culminate in a massive year of proclamation in the year 2020.
For more information on Love Côte d’Ivoire and 2020: Bless the Nations, visit www.palau.org.
By NRB Staff
Published: , 2017