by Brian Edholm, Cobb Vineyard Church, Kennesaw, GA, Vineyard Côte d’Ivoire Missions Partnership Member
It began before we even got on the airplane. However, everything we planned to do was accomplished, in spite of four (!) mechanical breakdowns with our vehicles, but thankfully, no problems with the airplane. Well, at least not while we were on it. Our original plane from Paris to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire was replaced due to mechanical reasons with one that had 80 fewer seats, yet our seats were carried through to the new plane without difficulty.
Before we arrived in Africa, the other half of our team from the Vineyard Church of Central Illinois arrived in Côte d’Ivoire several days before we joined them. They had experienced mechanical problems with their vehicle, not to mention managing the complications caused by incredible flooding in their area. Days later, after we arrived, three more mechanical failures occurred while we were all there together. Thankfully, two separate brake failures, a transmission failure, and their previous flat tire were all overcome with relative ease and only the loss of some extra funds! In each and every case no one was even close to being harmed. Though we were delayed, no delay caused the team to have to drop anything that had been on our schedule.
A young lady became one of the highlights of that unchanged schedule which included two trainings, one on church planting and the other on the practice of healing prayer.
This young woman, while experiencing pain in her side, walked 6 kilometers from her village to catch a bus to the town of Seguela to attend the training. She had previously delivered a stillborn baby and was three months pregnant with another child. Despite the pain she’d been experiencing for some time, at the end of the first day of teaching on church planting she asked for prayer. She appeared very serious and downcast, and she had all day.
We had not even gotten to the part of our schedule about healing prayer, but we went ahead and prayed for her, modeling the Vineyard prayer model. After three ‘rounds’ of prayer she said it was only a little better and sat down. A few minutes later she disappeared outside quickly while we were praying for a couple of other people.
About 10 minutes after walking out she returned and was all smiles. She told us, through a couple translators (Dyula to French, and then French to English) that during prayer the pain moved up higher on her abdomen. Then, when she went outside, she vomited and the pain was completely gone.
It was awesome to see her much lighter, happier countenance both then and throughout the next day! I am grateful to God for the healing He performed but also for His grace in allowing us to be witnesses and participants in His work. It was certainly more exciting than we had expected to train everyone on healing prayer the next day after having experienced God’s demonstration with this young woman’s healing already!
Here is a 2:49 minute video of our trip featuring some of our vehicles! The music was recorded live during the trip and closes with part of a Vineyard song that was discussed during the teaching on Worship in Music and Song, hence its relevance to this trip.