The suffering endured by the people of Central African Republic (CAR) during years of civil unrest has been unimaginable. Pastors in the CEBÍ church association (BMM-affiliated churches) have been emotionally and spiritually drained through personal loss and through ministering to hurting people. When CEBÍ held a pastor’s conference April 22–26, 2019, the pastors were so hungry for this refreshment that 233 attended, some of whom spent five days in treacherous travel to get there.
One of the speakers, Steve Gault (BMM Field Administrator for Africa and Europe), spoke on soul care. He used an example from his MK years in CAR, when someone would shout, “Así Asá!” to indicate his family’s water tank was full and overflowing. He led the pastors in this chant to remind them that they must fill their own spiritual tanks so they could serve out of the overflow.
Late into every night, Steve heard pastors laughing, talking, and sharing stories. The conference was rare, exquisite joy for these pastors who have suffered so greatly for Christ.
When Ryan and Joy Owen added a coaches’ clinic to their Play with Purpose evangelistic basketball camp, held August 26–30, 2019, in Ghana, they expected 10-15 local school coaches. Instead, 37 came from across Ghana. Bob Jones University coaches Mike LeViere and Burton Uwarow taught classroom skills and practical techniques while weaving in the gospel. At the Ghanaian coaches’ request, Ryan has distributed hundreds of Bibles for their teams.
After the morning coaches’ sessions, Coaches LeViere and Uwarow, along with several BJU players, led University of Ghana students in afternoon sessions. Students were eager to learn and were very attentive to the gospel given by the BJU students and by the Owens’ coworker Rob Whitty.
More students have begun attending the Owens’ Wednesday night meetings, and Ryan has had multiple opportunities to counsel students around campus.
When Les and Carol Carew moved to Chad, Africa, to help war refugees from Central African Republic, they had no idea of the amazing things God would do. For the last two summers, they have held two-day children’s outreaches in refugee camps. To their shock, over 700 children came to the first outreach! Many made decisions to follow Jesus or to recommit their lives.
Several women and children from a Muslim Fulani tribe attended. They had gone many days without food, and most of their men had been killed. The Carews’ meals fed them the only meat some would eat for months. One of the few Fulani men told Les and Carol, “Never have any of my children been shown so much love by anyone, let alone strangers!”