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This Message Board is for the use of former missionaries of the Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan Mission, those who are headed to the mission, and others interested in the topics related to these matters.

The missionaries who are currently in-field do not have access to the internet, and these messages are never seen by them. This site is maintained by returned missionaries from the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission.

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Suggested uses: Looking for a long lost friend, exchanging information about the mission, ask a question to lots of missionaries, etc.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 27 -- Add Message

Kickstarter 21 Aug 2014
Hi, I just launched a Kicstarter Campaign to create a Scholastic Canteen/Cafe:
Josh Day Send Email
Paul Ryan Phipps 08 Dec 2011
Paul Ryan Phipps who served from 1999-2001 passed away yesterday December 7, 2011. A service will be held Saturday December 10th at 10:30 am. Please meet us at the Grove chapel located at 434 East Battle Creek Drive in Pleasant Grove, UT.
Sean Williams Send Email
Election Crisis Update 10 Dec 2010
All is still calm here in Abidjan. "Les Blancs" Elders are headed to Togo and Benin until the current situation is figured out. Which is wonderful that they can continue the work without too much upset.

Right now the international community is fully and unanimously supporting Ouattara as the legitimately elected president of Cote d'Ivoire and have asked Gbagbo to step down. Gbagbo's sandbox is getting smaller and smaller and he will be forced to negotiate an exit - the problem is, the longer he delays his exit, the less options he will have for his future. So far, both sides are committed to a peaceful solution but there is still a lot of rancor towards Ouattara because many Ivoirians feel he is responsible for bringing the civil war in 2002. So even if Gbagbo does relent, he can still be useful to mend the hurt that often comes from a divided nation. On the other hand, he could stir up the people that don't support Ouattara and continue to be a thorn in the progress of the country. I just hope he will exit gracefully so that it doesn't further divide the nation. We really need a reconciliation like Nelson Mandela brought to South Africa.

Even though everything is getting back to "normal," we are going to spend the holidays in the U.S. I'll send another update when we get back to Abidjan. has excellent news (in French) in case you want to follow the latest.
Jay D Biddulph Send Email
Elections and Such 07 Dec 2010
Things are calm for the moment, just weird. We figure they will stay calm for a time. Several members are convinced that everything will be worked out peacefully. Here's an account of what is going on.

So a quick history lesson for those that didn't follow it here in Cote d'Ivoire feel free to correct me, if you know better or you were here. 1999 Christmas eve, peaceful coup d'etat organized by Gen. Guei. Bedie is ousted and flees to France. 2000 elections are organized but Ouattara (former Prime Minister under Houphouët-Boigny) is excluded as a candidate due to a question of his nationality, all orchestrated by Bedie. Many people consider Ouattara to be from Burkina Faso, the truth is he has a father from BF but he grew up and spent his entire life in Cote d'Ivoire. Guei calls for elections but tragically throws himself in as a candidate both PDCI and RDR boycott the elections. 2000 elections happen, Guei loses, attempts to declare the elections nul, Gbagbo assumes presidency and Guei is eventually assassinated in 2002 in a "supposed" coup attempt under mysterious circumstances. The military in the north splits off from the Ivorian Government Forces to create Les Forces Nouvelle (FN) and the French put themselves in between. Civil War! Several Peace Accords with the final outcome Ouattara gets to be Ivoirian for election purposes, elections are mandated, Gbagbo manages to put elections off until 2010. I get assigned to the Embassy in Cote d'Ivoire and arrive in September 2010 just before the elections.

I observed elections in two areas during the first round: Man and Guiglo. Everyone probably has some idea of where Man is and Guiglo is 100km south of Man. Both of these areas had historic significance due to violent clashes between the opposing parties during the civil war in 2002-2004. Our observations went very well. Most people stayed civil and voters came in very high numbers (over 80% registered voters) to choose their candidate (there were 14 in the first round). I won't bore you with the details but I saw what I interpreted to be mostly clean, free and fair elections. Under no observed coercion or intimidation did voters cast their voice - and their voice split between three candidates: Gbagbo 38%, Ouattara 32%, Bedie 25%, no majority so they have to do a second round, this time between Ouattara and Gbagbo. I must admit that it made me proud to watch as voters came in to stations to vote, old ladies, old men, young people all trying to make their voice count. My eyes often welled up with tears, sappy I know, but the pride I had for my Ivorian brothers and sisters and the march of democracy moved me that day.

Because the second round would probably be more tense we didn't go to Man for observations. We went back to Guiglo and helped out in Daloua. I always considered Daloua "mon village" but I had never been there. This round was not quite as clean. This time we saw organized intimidation, we heard and actually saw casualties of violence, reports from other observers about burning of ballot boxes, all this in the West of Cote d'Ivoire in Bete country. I was even on local TV because we visited a voting station in a village (Guytrozon) that had some technical difficulties that were "resolved under the watchful eyes of international observers." Again pride filled my soul for Ivoirians because for the most part the second round was mostly free, fair, and transparent, the intimidation and coercion wasn't enough to sway voters toward one candidate or the other and voters still turned out in numbers (70-80% ). We don't even get that kind of turnout in the U.S. where Democracy is our export.

So then we wait for the results, and wait, and wait, the Ivorian Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) attempts to announce results on Tuesday or Wednesday. The commissioner is seated with the results in front of him but he is flanked by two men, one yelling that the results haven't been verified by the LMP (Gbagbo's) party, the other taking the results and tearing them. An odd site to see, grown men acting like children. The media is chased from the CEI office and no results past the "midnight deadline." On Thursday they announce results that Ouattara wins with 54% to 45%. In Cote d'Ivoire the Constitutional Court must ratify elections. The Constitutional Court (people say that it is full of Gbagbo supporters) threw out several voting results from the Northern regions and Bouake, this because of "rampant fraud" yet disputed by the international observers. Just enough to earn Gbagbo a small majority, 51%. Under the Ouagadougou Peace Accord (that reunited Cote d'Ivoire) the UN must validate the elections - which they did and declared the CEI results correct, and Ouattara the President.

So now Cote d'Ivoire is lucky enough to have two presidents. Gbagbo was sworn in on Saturday and so was Ouattara. The international community is calling on Gbagbo to step down, threatening sanctions. This makes things tense here because one popular rhetoric is that the West wants to control Cote d'Ivoire and Ouattara is constantly accused of being a puppet of France. . This made things very tense in 2004 which is why the Church moved Western missionaries out. Gbagbo's camp says that it is a sovereign nation and that the west should not meddle, Gbagbo is "100% pour la Cote d'Ivoire." Now we are waiting for a diplomatic solution to the deadlock. I can only guess that the troops from the north, Les Forces Nouvelle (FN) are preparing again to march on Abidjan (we hope they don't) and the Forces under Gbagbo's control will try to defend him. I always thought that Cote d'Ivoire was immune from the folly that plagues many sub-Saharan African countries; it was the shining star, the example that other nations should look to. Oh how the Lord makes us humble and the Destroyer really works hard at destroying. Pray for us here.
Jay D Biddulph Send Email
Government 06 Dec 2010
Does anyone know what the status of missionaries entering the country? With the political unrest I was wondering if there will be problems getting a visa since i enter the MTC in a month.
Michael Harding Send Email
FYI- Kent Pierson visiting R.C.I. in January 2009 19 Dec 2008
I'm going back on the 1st of January 2009 and wanted to know if anybody needs to send anything down or want anything brought back. Just wanted to throw it out there.


Kent Pierson
Korey Payne Send Email
where will i serve? 22 Nov 2008
Hey just been called the this mission on wednesday and im coming to the ghana mtc in march. I know a couple of people who have served here, one in 96-98 and one i think a year or so ago and have heard great things. one thing im wondering about though, ive been reading about togo and benin being included in this mission and how white missionaries have been going there instead of the ivory coast? or something like that. im just wondering will i actually be in the ivory coast itself after i leave the mtc or will i be in togo/benin?
Joseph Dunn Send Email
From Ben Oates - needing help 10 Nov 2008
Hi All-

I have spoken to many of you already, and have sent out emails as well, but for those of you who have not heard I will go into some detail. A Bishop (Giresse Kean), his wife (Clarisse) and their three children have been issued US Immigrant Visas and are in the process of becoming Legal US Immigrants. They live in the Ivory Coast, West Africa, where as many of you know is where I served my mission. For those of you unfamiliar with Ivory Coast, it is in West Africa, next to Ghana, and is generally considered a third-world country. The country has been through some rough times over the past nine years. Civil unrest started while I was there, got worse just as I left in 2000, and escalated to essentially civil war between northern Muslims and southern Christians. There is currently a cease-fire, peace was brokered between the two leaders, (the northern opposition leader was given a prominent position in government), but the country is still unstable. As dysfunctional as our own country may seem right now, it's still the greatest country in the world. They have been able to purchase airfare for the parents, however have not been able to come up with enough money to buy tickets for their children. For this reason I am contacting each of you to see if together we can come up with the $6,000 USD that they lack. I know that times are difficult and that many of you are hurting due to the economic crisis at hand, however, if we all help out we can achieve this goal. Even if all you can give is $10. Although it is a little early to the "its Christmas time" line I'm going to anyway since the retail stores have already put up their Christmas items. If any of you were planning on helping out a needy family this year now may be the perfect time. Help this family not only stay together but help them enjoy a better standard of living. Help them enjoy the luxuries that you and I take for granted every day. The only rush we have is that they only have two and half (2 1/2) weeks to get things together. As many of you are spread throughout the US I have asked Sean Williams, my brother-in-law and also a former missionary in the Ivory Coast Mission, to take the responsibility of collecting the money and ensuring its arrival in Africa. Sean has worked at the Bank of American Fork for the last few years and will be able to facilitate the collecting and cashing of the checks and sending one large check to Africa. His contact information is as follows:

Sean Williams
445 West 1420 North
Pleasant Grove, Utah 84062

Cell: 801-369-7686

I have attached below copies of their Visas as well as a family picture. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions and do not hesitate to pass this on to other who you feel may be willing or able to help. Also to let you know this is not in any way a tax deductible charitable contribution so the only benefit you will receive is knowing you helped someone in need...and the good karma you will get.

Thanks for your help,

Ben Oates
Korey Payne Send Email
visite 01 Mar 2008
I just wanted to let all of you know that Ex-Elder Seka Athanase, is visiting SLC -Utah for work training, and he like to meet some of is former companion's, that still living in Utah.
he will be here for 2 weeks starting from the 03/01/08 to 03/12/08, if anyone would like to meet him, you can contacted him trough this contact 801-808-7734.
thank you et on ce djo les Gaou et Gnata Utahans

Tetialy Alban Guillaume Gozo Send Email
Interview 29 Jan 2008
Hey mes Gars,
My girlfriend is doing a presentation on West Africa for a business class she is in and she needs to interview someone for it. If there are any Ivorians stateside that I can get in touch with (Like Frere Gozo perhaps), who would let her interview them, I would appreciate them contacting me. My contact info is on my page. Thanks!
Robert Joseph Guynn Send Email
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