Monday, May 9, 2011

Voice of Hope

Recently at the Council of Bishops meeting in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia we heard testimony from Bishop Boni of the Cote D’Ivoire Annual Conference about the violence that was happening because of the civil unrest over the presidential election. The bishop recounted how for days there was continual bombing and shooting and everyone was in constant fear for their life. At one point gun men came into the church where people were hiding. The people had to keep very quiet so the gun men would not find them. Among the group of people hiding were many women with babies. The babies had to keep quiet or the gun men would know their whereabouts and shoot them. They prayed earnestly that the infants would keep silent while the soldiers were looking around the church. God answered their prayer and for two hours they made no noise. The soldiers left and no one was killed.

Another amazing part of the testimony was the “Voice of Hope” radio station that the United Methodist church continued broadcasting throughout the constant bombing. All other radio stations and phone lines had been cut but the UM radio station continued to play Christian music uninterrupted by God’s grace. The music and the encouraging word of scripture kept hope alive during this terrible ordeal. The bishop thanked everyone for the support of this radio station. It was indeed a voice of hope and it continues to air in Cote D’Ivoire as the unrest continues.

Please pray for our United Methodist sisters and brothers in Cote D’Ivoire. They have one of the largest churches in the world. Our UM presence is waging peace in the midst of war. Thanks to God for protecting Bishop Boni and his staff during this difficult time.