KNEE-MAIL: Friday 8th June
Left: Crest of Côte d’Ivoire, West Arica
Quiz question: What is the “white gold” of Africa?
Johnny & Becky here from our home offices in “Historic
Henersonville” NC where the “Rhodies” are in full bloom!
BUT, here’s a CRAZY THING: Last week as we looked out
the windows at Mt. Pisgah (10 miles distant on the Blue Ridge Parkway), we confessed
that, as much as we love our new home, our HEARTS are not “taking root” here! We’ve
been vagabonds for Jesus for 20 years in Africa and England and we really don’t know
where “home” is anymore. Truth is, for me, home is wherever Becky is, and for Becky,
home is wherever I am. (That’s not, “Awwwww, how sweet,” it’s fact.)
Missions has done funny things to us, and that’s not all bad. Why? Because our
hearts can be at home anywhere the Lord Jesus takes us. For the past several weeks we’
ve been in a mad dash to get the French translation of the SONSHIP for Africa course – La
Grâce pour l’Afrique ready for publication. Our deadline is June 15th and it’s become
patently obvious that we are NOT going to make it. The work is just too tedious. Becky,
WHAT A CHAMP!, does the rough-out formatting of each page then sends it on to me for
the fine tuning and graphics. WHAT, you ask, is so tough about that? Well, I developed
the English version in Nairobi from 1993 – 2003, and it’s graphic intensive. Every page
(160 of them) has a “call out” and/or a graphic frame, and many pages have 10, 20, 30 or
even 50! Here’s the rub: In French, it takes a lot more space to say the same thing. All the
careful formatting we did before is useless and we’re having to reinvent the wheel with
every page, every paragraph, every frame. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. (See the attached
chart “Two Ways to Live” for an example.)
In fact, we’ve been so hard at it, we’ve developed GLUTEUS MAXIMUS
CRAMPINIUS (our rear ends are really sore)! YES, of course we get up and walk around
for a few minutes every hour, but after a few weeks, that offers little comfort! Fret not. I’m
NOT asking you to pray for our bottoms, but for our tops—our hearts—that we’ll have the
endurance to keep at it until the task is done. Actually, Steve Smith in Abidjan is still
sending us revisions of some of the lessons. SO, what’s the big rush? AUGUST! An initial
run of 300 copies of the manual will be printed (by a missionary in Ghana) for the
conference we’ll be teaching August 6 – 14 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast where some 300 people
– 150 pastor & missionary couples – will attend. That’s HUGE! More on that from Steve
Smith on page 2.
THE HAPPY PART OF ALL THIS IS that French speaking Africa will at last have a
discipleship course designed specifially to target the endemic, destructive legalism in the
church that hammers people with the externals of the law (as did the Pharisees) but never
disciples people into a daily faith in Jesus and dependence on the Spirit that will empower
them to obey it! RESULT? Rampant DISobedience. Sin, sin and more sin. Theft.
Corruption. Sexual immorality. Spousal abuse. Child abuse. Yes, IN the church!
SUPPORT STATUS? Since our March post-Chile & Spain UP-D8, we’re still keeping our
nostrils just above the water line. BUT (this never ends, does it?) WE DO NOT HAVE THE
AIRFARE for West Africa in our account! OUCH! SO... IF you have some of the Lord’s
money lying around un-designated, would you please consider making a special designated
gift for our travel? (Yep, it’s tax deductible.)
THANK YOU and BLESS YOU our dear, dear partners in ministry – monetary
Johnny & Becky (Photo above: With Steve & Carol at an Ivorian Missionary College retreat – 2008)
Donations may be made to: World Harvest Mission – 101 West Avenue Suite 305 –
Jenkintown PA 19046
ATTN: Jerry Kimbro, Treasurer or Dwight Coffey, Asst. Treasurer – Tel. 215-885-1811
For Longs – Missionary No. 50116
(Answer: Africa's “White Gold” is ivory!)
- PAGE 2 -
NOW PLEASE READ THIS LETTER FROM OUR HOSTS
– The Rev. Steve & Carol Smith in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Urgent and Sustained Prayer Needed
Over ten years ago, God began a work of spiritual renewal in Carol and me which
continues to this day. Through a ministry called Sonship, the Lord brought us back to a
Christ-centered simple faith in the gospel of the grace of God--not only for our salvation
but for every day of our Christian lives. This presentation of such basic yet powerful truths
from God’s word has changed lives all over the world among Christian pastors, leaders and
missionaries. We have planned for several years to share this wonderful message with the
pastors and wives of the denomination with which we have been working for the past 24
years, but because of the war and other roadblocks, were unable to.
But now, the Lord’s timing has finally come. All the pieces are in place for us to join
with our Ivorian friends to sponsor a pastoral and missionary couples retreat this summer.
Essential Facts and Needs:
• Dates: August 6-14, 2012
• Location: Large Catholic retreat center in Daloa, a city in central Côte d’Ivoire
• Participants: approximately 150 pastoral and missionary couples (300 people) with the
Union of Evangelical Churches (UEESO-CI).
• Speakers: Dr. Johnny and Becky Long, missionaries with World Harvest Mission for many
years in East Africa and London; used powerfully by the Holy Spirit to bring spiritual
awakening and renewal to pastors and leaders in several African nations and around the
• Cost: Only $134 per couple for food, lodging, materials, etc. for eight days! BUT…times
150 couples this becomes a $20,000 total need! The couples are being asked to provide
their own round trip transportation but even that will be big challenge for many. Our
mission and the denomination of Ivorian churches will both try by God’s grace to raise half
of the needed funds.
Needed from you and your church: PRAYER - URGENT, DAILY, SUSTAINED.
This is a really big undertaking for us! We have a wonderful team for preparing the
conference, but it lacks a few members. That’s you. This is a miracle-sized project in which
we are believing God for a spiritual breakthrough and revival among these dear Ivorian
servants of God. It will not happen unless focused prayer takes place over the next two
months. Could we ask many of you to commit to daily, weekly, or regular prayer for the
following needs? :
• Heart preparation of all attendees…that God would make them hungry and thirsty for
himself, his living bread and water.
• Wisdom, energy and humility for the organizing committee.
• The financial means in time!
• Protection for all involved.
• Revival and renewal of hearts, families, churches
and the denomination!
If anyone feels led to participate financially,
here are the options:
1. Write a check to Converge Worldwide with
Project #635049 Côte d’Ivoire on the memo line
and send to:
2002 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Interpreting for Dr. Long in 2008.
2. Or, call 1-800-323-4215, ask for Lisa Johnson and give by credit card.
If she is not in, leave your number and she will call you back.
Thank you for joining us in this adventure of faith.
The Lord bless and keep you all,
Steve and Carol
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Johnny back again.
Okay, Team. Them’s the apples. Can you help out?
First, to get the two SPEAKERS there (US!)?
Then, will you pray about sponsoring a pastor couple for a measley $134.00?
Thank you and bless you!
- Johnny & Becky -