Changed Lives

  • Mireille Abonga teaching a Bible Club in Anan
    Mireille Abonga teaching a Bible Club in Anan

I met Mireille Abonga the very first day that I went out to the village of Anan. It was February 2009, and she was eager to go soulwinning in the villages. Enthusiasm, resourcefulness, and commitment to serving Christ characterize Mireille. She is quick to listen, slow to speak, and discerning beyond her years.

Mireille began coming to the Bingerville church when it was a young church. Her family had been looking for a church for some time. Mireille was a young girl at the time, and her family began frequently attending our church. One day, a Sunday School teacher gave Mireille a tract. She took the tract home, read it, and then prayed to receive Christ as her Savior.

Mireille grew steadily in her new-found faith, and she has stayed anchored through tragedy. She lost her father when she was eleven years old, and her mother died in 2010. Several of her siblings have been wayward, but not Mireille. As soon as she could, she started teaching Sunday School and singing in the choir. Mireille is a gifted vocalist, and she is often asked to sing at weddings and special events. Having completed high school, she is now earning a college degree in accounting. In the evenings, Mireille teaches literacy in the Alpha Baptist Literacy Center which is an evangelistic church ministry. Most recently, in the fall of 2012, Mireille organized and developed a village Bible club ministry. Our “young villagers” have grown to love Mireille, and they cheer as we arrive in the village on Saturday afternoons. Mireille Abonga was saved at an early age, and she is now actively serving and glorifying the Lord in her life.     - Kristine McLaughlin

 

  • Jules Séry with his daughter, Rebekah, who is named after Becky Mach
    Jules Séry with his daughter, Rebekah,
    who is named after Becky Mach

Years ago in October 2000, a twenty-nine-year-old man named Jules Séry came to visit our church in Bingerville, Côte d’Ivoire. After visiting for several weeks, he met with me in my office and made the decision to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. I had no idea at that time how God would use this one man to make such an impact on our church and ministry.

Before long, we could see God’s hand on Jules’ life. He became conscious of the spiritual needs of those around him and burdened to reach them with the Gospel. When the church was a year old, I challenged our men to determine how to reach the Muslim and village communities better. At that time, we had no converts in our church from those two groups. Jules came to see me a few days later.  He had done a demographics study and determined that the Muslim community in Côte d’Ivoire had the highest rate of illiteracy. As such, he developed a plan to open a literacy center as a ministry of our church. 

This plan gave birth to the Alpha Baptist Literacy Center of Bingerville. Each year, 170 students, most of whom are Muslim, learn to read and write. Today, we have many in our church who have come through the literacy center and who can now read the Scriptures for themselves. Jules has directed this ministry from its beginning. Since 2007, the Ministry of Education in Côte d’Ivoire has declared our center as the best literacy center in our region that includes a quarter of the country’s population. Jules has been instrumental in teaching over 1,500 people to read and write. Even more importantly, he has been instrumental in giving the Gospel clearly and continually to these people who otherwise would not have heard the Gospel.     - Bob Mach

 


  • Mr. Felix Zoh and Kristine in Anan

Mr. Felix Zoh is a quiet, kind, behind-the-scenes type of guy. His wife, Véronique, is the same way. They come from the village of Anan, and they are faithful. Felix has a small chicken farm while Véronique cultivates a flower and plant nursery for a Lebanese businessman.

Felix has difficulty with his vision. Ivoirians frequently complain of dry, itchy eyes as the environment that they live in is dusty and smoky. Felix trusted the Lord as his Savior after being invited to church. As we began discipling him, we noticed that Felix was having difficulty with reading his Bible. One day, we brought a box of reading glasses to Felix’s house. After making his selection, Felix told us, “I’ve gone to many churches, but no one has ever helped me with my eyes. I want to know the Bible. I’ve found a church where I can learn the Bible.” Felix’s heartfelt sincerity and hunger for the Word touched all of us who were at his house that day.     - Kristine McLaughlin