Story number 1 for 22 Aug 2000

By August 22, 2000

We begin today in the Ivory Coast where a junta leader and the elected president he replaced are among 19 candidates registered to run in presidential elections to restore civilian rule. The political tensions have caused some unrest in recent days. Evangelical Baptist Mission’s Tim Philips says the effect on their work is minimal. “The Ivory Coast is supposed to be a stable country, politically; obviously, it’s not. Where I was, we’d get lots of messages from the Embassy, we’d hear from people in town who were working and they’d say, ‘Don’t come into town because there’s rioting going on’, so we’d just stay up in the campus. Right now, I’m not sure they’re real concerned until we hear something concrete.” Despite the unrest and fighting, Philips says the people are looking for hope. “A lot of the military have come out to the school and have asked for New Testaments, or asked for gifts like that. Literature can still be given out pretty regularly. I don’t think they’re anti-missionary-I don’t think the government is, and I don’t think that it’s ever going to come to that.”

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