Ivory Coast

‘If you are satisfied, don’t go to Africa’

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford’s Crossfire ministries travel to Africa’s Ivory Coast by PASTOR Keith Hemmila Crossfire Ministries If you are satisfied with your life and happy with yourself, don’t go to Africa.  You will come back forever changed.  Abidjan was just another dot on the map until we visited this city. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but now it has a permanent home forever in our hearts.  We still see a multitude of faces, beautiful people going through the motions of everyday life, with a hope that someday things will improve.  Civil War broke out in early 2001 that crippled the country.  Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s largest city of 3.8 million, was hardest hit.  The war caused 800,000 Europeans to exit  the country along with the world bank.  This beautiful city turned into a refugee camp. Young people between the ages of 16 and 25 populated the city.  Many had lost their families in the war and had come to Abidjan to reestablish themselves.  Every morning it hit us that in a few days we would be going home, but for these people, this is their life.  While we drove through the city, we felt helpless as we encountered so many people in need. Our hearts were troubled as we caught sight of an elderly woman begging for her daily food.  Children walked between the cars at intersections selling goods from newspapers to toilet paper.  But the most heartbreaking scene was a young man walking on his feet and hands because his body was so severely twisted.  Medical facilities were minimal for this unfortunate man.  It was a startling reminder of the difference between our country and a third world country. Myself and wife Judy Hemmila, Sherry Holmes, Shirlee Kamstra and Linda Penn-Davies made up the team that went to Abidjan.  The purpose of our visit was to work with Bishop Anthony Yeboah, Field Director of Free International Missions.  Pastors preached at eight services in three different churches.  The three other participants came as support staff.  Rice was purchased by Crossfire Ministries and distributed to needy people.  Also, this team had the opportunity to visit a new church Crossfire Ministries helped finance in 2008. The road trip to our first ministry event was shocking.  Garbage lined the […]