A group of leaders from Xenos is just back from a trip to the African nation of Côte d'Ivoire, and, despite difficulties and persecution, reports continued growth among a network of house churches there.
Xenos elders Scott Risley and Jim Leffel, along with Linda Leffel and Mike Woods, spent 7 days there, training and encouraging 50 people who are working as church planters. They returned with amazing stories of God reaching into the heart of this country that for years has seen intermittent civil war, government instability, and ethnic tensions.
The team reports there are now over 700 home churches spread across the country. And God continues to open the hearts of influential village chiefs. The Xenos team reports “Chiefs continue to turn and follow the Most High God, which opens the door to many in their villages to come to know Christ.”
Here is more from the team’s report:
In many areas where home churches are growing; there is some kind of instability, poverty, or persecution. Believers may face being ostracized or persecuted by their village communities, where most people are animists or Muslim. Looking around at the church planting leaders we met with, our team was really humbled by their stories of faith under fire during the most recent civil war, trying to maintain their ministry as wanted men. These believers are courageous, committed, and completely unwavering and the work of God is prospering under trials.
The primary focus of our visit was church planter training. Several cities in the southern part of the country are church planting hubs sending out leaders into villages, where hundreds of people are turning from animism and accepting the Most High God as their savior. There are different zones which are being led by area directors who oversee more home church leaders, truly capturing Paul’s command in 2 Timothy 2:2. We taught a seminar on how to use the inductive study method in Ephesians and they are ready to teach other home church leaders in the areas they serve.
The city where the seminar was hosted has the largest home church planting activity in this movement. There are now 160 home churches, all planted in the past couple years. Of the more than 2000 believers in this area, most are converts from animism, and others from nominal Christian and Muslim backgrounds. Things have grown so much that they have planted another zone for sending and training church planters.
In another city that is a regional sending and training center, we have seen the ministry grow from 5 prayer cells in 2016 to 165 house churches today. One of the villages in this zone is where we visited, witnessed to and prayed with king last year. He is still involved in weekly Bible study and the home churches in his village continue to grow.
The team invites you to support this work through prayer and financial support. Praise God for the large number of people coming to Christ, pray that He would continue to raise up leaders for this movement.