Joy Meets Despair in Nahibly Camp

By Laura Livingston, West Africa Alliance Theological Seminary (FATEAC) scholarship administrator/Women’s Academy teacher

FATEAC staff members are conducting trauma healing seminars and training in places like Duekoue. Called the “Crossroads of Hatred,” this town in the western part of the country is where the worst war atrocities occurred, following Côte d’Ivoire’s failed 2010 presidential elections.

Some 434 women (not counting men and children) attended the January conference in the Nahibly Camp for the displaced in Duekoue. “If God is Good, Why Do We Suffer?” and “Forgiveness” were the two topics covered during the four-hour event.

It was the first such meeting we have been permitted to hold in this place of despair. Each woman who attended went home with a bar of soap and a booklet based on David’s Psalms of lamentations, “God, You Are the Light in My Darkness.”


Much time was given to listening to women like Jeannette, whose two sons (students) were kidnapped and killed during the violence in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s capital. Jeannette’s husband later abandoned her, and her family rejected her, blaming her for the deaths. She lives alone in the camp and has no one to help her find care for the large goiter that is plaguing her health.

We also spent time with Catherine, a 37-year-old widow with seven children, and Athanase, who still has buckshot in his body from the violence.

Garden Delights

Even in the midst of sorrow here, there are unexpected joys. Amboise’s wife has created a tiny kitchen garden that is squeezed between the roots of a large tree felled next to her family’s tent. She proudly offered us the “first fruits” of her garden—a gift given in thanksgiving to the Lord.

We also had the joy of meeting 18 newly baptized believers from the camp. They are the fruit of a small congregation’s ministry in the camp. It began after we provided trauma counseling training to church leaders in Duekoue in July 2011.

Thank you for your support and prayers that allow us to take gifts and encouragement into this place of despair.

What You Can Do

Pray for the new believers in the camp to grow in their faith; pray also for Alliance workers the world over, who often face steep challenges addressing deep needs for which only Jesus can provide the solution.

Read”The Light in the Night,” Laura’s sidebar about the trauma healing ministry, which follows Jeter Livingston’s (Laura’s husband) article, “Taking Missions to Heart,” in the March 2012 alife.


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