About this partnership
This partnership’s main goal since 2015 has been to release churches among the Worodougou people, and to continue to advance toward the north of the country until we are prepared to move into the northern neighboring countries.
In 2017 the need became apparent to build a church network in Cote d’Ivoire’s largest urban environments to serve as a foundation for the northward expansion. The intent is that this church network would be established in the next two years, by 2020, and will eventually be released as an official self-governing, self-sustaining, and self-multiplying Ivorian Association of Vineyard Churches as part of the global Vineyard movement.
The Cote d’Ivoire partnership is relatively young and currently only has four churches involved. A research team was sent to Cote d’Ivoire in April, 2015, by the Maryville Vineyard Church in Tennessee. Follow-up trips were taken in September, 2015, and twice a year thereafter and have included members from the Gilbert, AZ Vineyard, the Champaign-Urbana Vineyard, and the Cobb (GA) Vineyard. The most concentrated focus is among the Worodougou people in the north of Cote d’Ivoire and in 2018 will expand to both the largest city of Abidjan as well as to the Touba people in northwest Cote d’Ivoire.
Abidjan is the largest city and economic capital of Cote d’Ivoire with a large port and an international airport served by many direct flights from Europe. As a city with a thriving economy, it also draws many immigrants from other African countries making it an ideal location for a church network that supports the expansion of ministry opportunities deeper into Cote d’Ivoire as well as directly, through these immigrants, into many nearby countries.
There are about 224,000 Worodougous living in 213 villages and towns. Many are subsistence farmers in the small villages, raising rice, corn, yams, cashews and cotton. They are also involved in commercial enterprises or small businesses.
Most of the Worodougous are nominal Muslim. It is their mask worship and spirit/ancestor worship which really hold their attention. People are afraid of sorcerers, death, hell, and their ancestors, and spend most of their money on "protection" of various sorts.
Funerals are a huge expense, with different days of ceremonies, because of the ancestor veneration. In the larger towns and cities madrasa schools and teaching at the mosque provide the Islamic education. The Koran is memorized without comprehension except by higher level students. The older men and women, aware of death's closeness, become very religious. They are very regular at prayers. However, they do not have a steady attention to all the Islamic laws.
The Worodougous are 94.20% Muslim; 0.80% Christian and 0.20% Evangelical.
As the vast majority of Cote d’Ivoire is rural and most of its economy comes from agrarian enterprises (coffee, cocoa, and cashews) the above description of the Worodougou villages probably describes most Ivorian villages, though the religious demographics may differ. Overall, Ivorians are approximately 40% Muslim, 33% Christian (mostly Catholic) and the remaining percentage are Animist or claim no religion.
Cote d’Ivoire 2019 Partnership Update
Here’s an update on what is going on with the Vineyard Missions Cote d’Ivoire Partnership as well as our upcoming trip to Cote d’Ivoire.
Our Ivorian leaders recently shared some of the successes of the ministry there which was begun in 2016, and we couldn’t be more thrilled and amazed at what God has done! Here are some of the results and milestones of this ministry partnership:
Initial church planting movement in [Area1 (Names removed for the confidentiality of planters)] began in 2016 with 5, now 4, planters. They are seeing now three years later 1,466 disciples, 172 groups to the 11thgeneration, 6 “churches”, and 32 leaders identified
Second movement began in [Area 2] in 2018 with 4 planters. They have 193 disciples, 26 groups to the 5th generation, 3 “churches”, and 23 leaders identified
Ad hoc movement that was not even funded began in 2018 in [a major city]. They have counted 22 disciples, 3 groups to the 2nd generation, 1 “church”, with 2 leaders identified
Third movement in [Area 3] began in 2019 with 4 planters. Those four have gone thought Church planting, DMM, and DBS training. In July they will have completed their Vineyard/Kingdom values training
Vineyard Cote d’Ivoire is official recognized by the Ivorian government
Moussa, who leads Vineyard CI, and Dany, who works for Vineyard CI and handles all our logistics on these trips, both attended the African Vineyard Conference (West) in Accra, Ghana in May 2019. Moussa assisted in the DMM training with David Hinman from the Gilbert Vineyard (AZ)
A couple of resource-generating businesses have been started or are in the process of starting. One based on moped taxis in [Area 1] and another is a car wash in [Area 5]. The resources generated by these businesses will be applied to fund the Vineyard Cote d’Ivoire administrative costs. Once those expenses are covered they will be applied to other ministry expenses
The next movements our ministry colleagues in Cote d’Ivoire are looking to resource are in the major cities, starting with [Area 5], which has a population greater than that of the Atlanta, GA metro area. This is a strategic move, as this city hosts immigrants from many different African countries. This city can serve as an access point to these other countries, both neighboring and distant. In addition, the nation’s resources are largely found in the large cities so starting movements in cities is an essential step toward achieving a self-sustaining Vineyard Cote d’Ivoire
If you are curious about what it takes to sponsor a church planting movement like the ones described above, the model we are using calls for one or more churches to contribute to the movement over a five-year period. The contributions start at $10,000 the first year, scale up to $15,000 the second year and $20,000 the third year, and then back down to $15,000 for the fourth and $10,000 for the fifth. This is $70,000 total across five years. The church(es) can then elect to stop contributing to Vineyard CI movements after the five years or they can start over with a different church-planting effort in Cote d’Ivoire or elsewhere.
We will embark on a typical trip this week. We leave June 24th and will return to the U.S. on July 3rd. The team includes five people, all from the Cobb Vineyard Church, Kennesaw, GA. During this trip we will continue the training of church planters in three areas of Vineyard Distinctives: Kingdom of God, Healing Prayer, and Worship. After training the new church planters from [Area 3] we will return to [Area 5] to work with our African colleagues to “Train the Trainers” so they can conduct this training without us in the future.
All of these efforts are toward the result of an autonomous Association of Vineyard Churches (AVC) in Cote d’Ivoire that is self-governing, self-propagating, and self-sustaining. In addition, our hope and prayer is that it will be a strong enough AVC that it can, in turn, sponsor similar church-planting efforts in the future in neighboring or nearby French-speaking countries in West Africa. We invite and encourage you to keep Vineyard Cote d’Ivoire in your prayers throughout the year.
STORY: A Great Year for Jesus in Northern Cote d’Ivoire (March 2017)
STORY: Brakes, Brakes, Transmission, and Tires in Côte d’Ivoire (August 2018)
Population: 22.8 million
Number of Vineyard Churches:
Primary Religion: Islam and Christianity
Ave. Education: 9 years
About Cote D'Ivoire
Ivory Coast or Côte D'Ivoire, officially the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, is a country in West Africa. Ivory Coast's de jure capital is Yamoussoukro and the biggest city is the port city of Abidjan. Cote d'Ivoire is heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly two-thirds of the population. Cote d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil. Consequently, the economy is highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices for these products and in climatic conditions. Cocoa, oil, and coffee are the country's top export revenue earners, but the country is also mining gold.
Josh and his family have been a part of the Maryville Vineyard Church in Tennessee for nine years, and spent three of those years on the mission field in Haiti. They are now based back in Tennessee, and Josh works on staff at the Maryville Vineyard to do all things missions and outreach. He and his wife Amanda are still very involved in Haiti, while now having a larger concentration in West Africa.
Brian and his wife Elise have been in and around the Vineyard over 20 years in various locations, now attending Cobb Vineyard Church in Kennesaw, GA. Brian grew up in Cote d’Ivoire and returned there after 38 years with Josh on a partnership trip in September 2016 and has been part of the partnership ever since. Brian and Elise are currently in the process of planting a Vineyard church in Marietta, GA where they reside.
Current Church Partners
Maryville Vineyard Church, Maryville, TN
The Vineyard Church of Central Illinois, Urbana, IL
Cobb Vineyard Church, Kennesaw, GA
Consider joining our partnership by clicking the link atop this page. Together we can impact Cote D'Ivoire for generations to come.