International Mission Board
Editor’s Note: International Mission Board missionaries Mike and Heather McAfee from Tennessee and North Carolina are featured in the 2014 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions emphasis. This story is by Elaine Gaston, who has served overseas with her family in restricted-access countries and is now based in the U.S.
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (BP) – Dinner was a far cry from an Arkansas Baptist church supper.
On this night, six members of Arkansas’ Valley Baptist Church in Searcy squeezed into a modest Muslim home in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and dipped their spoons into African groundnut stew and fish sauce served over “attieke,” the staple Ivorian food made from cassava. They were eating with a local family who was breaking their Ramadan fast.
“Man, you couldn’t have told me 10 years ago I’d be over here eatin’ with a Muslim,” Paul Yingling said with an incredulous shake of his head.
But then, you couldn’t have told Yingling, and his wife, Jan, that God would so burden their hearts for Muslims that they would find themselves traveling to West Africa to tell stories about Christ.
Yingling is an automotive technician in Searcy. The Yinglings were part of the team of Valley Baptist Church volunteers who first journeyed to Abidjan last year to see how their hometown church might impact a West African city on the other side of the globe.