After language study in France (1989 to 1991) we initially served in Tengrela in northern Cote d'Ivoire (1991 to€“ 2002) translating the Bible (Tom) and carrying on a children's ministry (Laura). We anticipated continuing these ministries in Tengrela for many years to come, but after rebel soldiers in northern Cote d'Ivoire ransacked, then moved into our house in March 2002, we were forced to relocate across the border to Fourou in southern Mali. There we found a few Christians meeting together, but with little knowledge of God's Word, and none to teach them. Little did we know that this group had been praying for someone to come and help. So, in response to their prayers God, as a result of the Ivorian rebels'€™ activities in Tengrela, relocated us and our ministries to southern Mali (2003 to present).
Now in Fourou, our ministry focuses are Tom's mentoring the lay-pastor, Mamadou, in the Bible and leadership, and along with Mamadou translating the Bible into Shempire the Senoufo language spoken in the Fourou area. Laura'€™s focus is on reaching the children in the community through providing a safe place where they can play, memorize verses and hear stories of the Bible focusing on who God is and what he has done, especially through Jesus Christ.
The children do love these stories, especially those of Jesus and they also get really excited about the various activities that go with the lessons. Their favorite is acting out the stories with rough or low tech props. With the help of Daouda, a leader in the church, and several of the older children in the Bible club, the Bible club and its activities are conducted six days a week.
God has blessed the evangelistic outreach of the believers in Fourou so that the number of people following Jesus has grown in town and to a degree in the villages. We have had the joy of assisting the church in these and other endeavors helping our brothers and sisters to share the joy and peace that they have in Christ. These all-night, lively, evangelistic activities are so popular that the chiefs of other villages and many Fourou neighborhoods have asked the Fourou believers to come to their area and share the Gospel.
Primary Ministry :
The Requadts primarily focus on translating the Bible, ministering to children via Bible clubs and mentoring church leaders in Mali.
Prayer Needs :
Please pray that the hearts of the Shempire would soften to the truth of the Gospel and that the people would be delivered from their bondage and fear, that progress in translating God's€™ Word would continue and that the children who hear the stories from God'€™s Word would put their faith in Christ and grow in him.
Major Challenges :
There are few educated people among the Shempire whose language is extremely difficult. The traditions to which the people cling to and the fears from fetishes and the worship of ancestors make ministering the Gospel among the Shempire a challenging endeavor.
The People :
The Shempire are primarily farmers and strongly oriented toward traditional religion (animism).