Dear Bonnie,

This week, please intercede with us for Dr. Yacouba Sanon in Côte d’Ivoire.

Located in West Africa, Côte d’Ivoire is a religiously diverse republic of 26 million. Around 43% of Ivoirians are Muslims (mostly Sunni) who reside mainly in the north, while 34% are Christians who live primarily in the south. After gaining independence from France in 1960, Côte d’Ivoire thrived economically due to abundant coffee and cocoa exports. However, recession and drought in the 1980s led to economic instability, increased crime, and political unrest. In recent years, Côte d’Ivoire endured two religion-fueled civil wars in 2002-2007 and 2010-2011. Pray for peace to prevail as the country awaits elections on October 31. Stakes and anxieties are high due to unresolved postwar grievances, socioeconomic inequalities worsened by the pandemic, and controversy surrounding the incumbent’s candidacy.

Originally from neighboring Burkina Faso, Yacouba first came to Côte d’Ivoire in 1993 to pursue theological training at FATEAC, which is now the Université de l’Alliance Chrétienne d’Abidjan (UACA) and a partner school of the Vital SustainAbility Initiative. Yacouba then served as a pastor in Burkina Faso for several years before FATEAC sent him, with financial support from ScholarLeaders, to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for doctoral studies in 2007. Yacouba earned his PhD in Old Testament in 2014 and currently teaches at UACA. Yacouba and his wife Marie-Laure have two sons, Josiah and Jedidiah. Check out Yacouba’s 2015 InSights Perspective on Lament: Expressing Your Suffering to God.

Yacouba shares the following message:

We praise God for his faithfulness during this COVID-19 pandemic, which has shaken but not destroyed us. We have not recorded any unfortunate cases in our community. However, the impact on the Seminary has been felt on both academic and economic levels. 

We were able to continue classes using Zoom and other online educational programs, but the Seminary experienced substantial decline in its revenue. Our “recovery plan” includes temporarily laying off employees and cutting salaries, which will continue for a couple more months. Despite the financial burden on every family, professors and staff members remain dedicated to pursuing our mission during these challenging times. For that we are grateful.  

Pray that God will continue to sustain our Seminary through the pandemic as we try to envision life after COVID-19. Pray that we may come out stronger, wiser, and more dedicated to the Lord and to his work. 

We also need prayer for the country. Presidential elections will be held at the end of the month. Please pray with us for peace before, during, and after the elections. Pray for all the political actors in the country, that the Lord may soften their hearts and guide their actions. 

Pray also for church leaders and other religious leaders, that the Lord may endow them with wisdom in this delicate time.   

Thank you for joining us in prayer,  

Yacouba Sanon