Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Herve’ Fleurant calls for more help for Ivory Coast displaced persons

Much of the American media attention has been on civil wars in North Africa and the Middle East. In the Ivory Coast another horrible tragedy cannot be ignored. Please read through this letter from the Ivory Coast that I received today.–KAS – Tuesday, 29 March 2011
HOPEworldwide >> Africa

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The situation our brothers and sisters are facing in Abidjan is rapidly becoming a humanitarian disaster as the country is on the brink of collapse. There are sporadic skirmishes throughout the city as more and more of the civilian population tries to leave in search of safety. There are new dead bodies on the streets with every sunrise.

The banks are still closed and sanitation services were suspended over a month ago leaving mountains of trash uncollected everywhere. The BBC reports that cholera has broken out in the city. Electricity and water are still available but no one expects that to last long. Food is getting harder to come by as most shops are now closed.

The UN is having a difficult time meeting the humanitarian needs and maintaining its peacekeeping duties. Donations for the Ivory Coast are trickling in but fall woefully short of what the UN is asking for. It’s been reported that over 500,000 people have fled to neighboring countries and to villages within the Ivory Coast. It is these people that the UN is trying to help. They cite news coverage in Libya and Japan as possible reasons for what has been called the Ivory Coast’s “forgotten” status during this crisis.

There are 1,750 members in the Abidjan church. Another 200 or so live in other cities throughout the Ivory Coast. Many have already fled with what little they could bring with them. Some have gone to their ancestral villages seeking refuge.Others, who were citizens of neighboring countries, have left and gone back to their home nations fearing attack due to the nationalistic fervor that has taken hold in Cote D’Ivoire. The homes of some have been looted causing those who still remain to delay their own decisions to leave.

“ Francis Dasse’, Lead Evangelist of the Abidjan church, spoke yesterday and as we continued to talk it became clear that the time to leave is now, while they still can. ”

The plan is to evacuate as many as possible to Lome’, Togo. The banks being closed in Abidjan forces all donations given to be sent to the church account in Lome’. Although the congregation in Lomé has only 60 members and it is a French speaking country will allow the refugees from Abidjan to better care for one another until they can return to Abidjan. The road to Lome’ goes through Accra, Ghana. The congregations and HOPE worldwide employees from the Accra church will assist the Ivorian disciples as they pass through on the way to Togo.

Our brothers and sisters desperately need our help. We are hoping to raise as much money as possible to send over to them in Togo. The funds will be then used for food, water, shelter, transport and medicine to help them survive in Togo until they can return to the Ivory Coast.

HOPE worldwide has established a disaster response fund for the Ivory Coast. We ask that you please pray and then donate what you can.

The Christians in the Ivory Coast are enduring extreme hardships as I write this, and yet when I speak to them they continually express tremendous faith and gratitude to God. The Church is still growing and in just the past week they have had 11 baptisms and 4 weddings! They are awesome disciples of Jesus, they are our brothers and sisters, let’s help them get through this terrible time. Let’s give.

Your brother in Christ,

Herve’ Fleurant



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