September 2016                                                                                                              

Dear Ministry Partners,                                            “Koupela!”

Thank you so much for your prayers and support as we transition into this new phase of life and ministry in Burkina Faso.  It has already been awesome to be back on the field and to say we have been some busy would be a gross understatement.

Upon arrival, after just a few hours’ sleep, we began fighting the chaotic Ouagadougou traffic to purchase vehicle insurance, picked up our ministry horse at the Toyota dealer (The Toyota HILUX pick-up), obtained legalized copies of our passports from the local police post, scheduled a face to face meeting with the Regional Security Officer at the American Embassy, began renewing old acquaintances , Sunday I will preach for the fifth time at our fourth church, we just finished a three day well drilling effort in Tensuka, and we have a full week of very important activity ahead of us.

Unfortunately, per our meeting with the embassy’s Regional Security Office, Ouahigouya will have to be put on the back burner for now.  The northern-most region of Burkina is completely off limits, and the RSO informed us that they will not permit embassy employees to go to Ouahigouya without armed escorts due to the threat of terrorism against Westerners.  So as much as we’ve dreamed and planned to live in Ouahigouya our doing so at the moment would simply put too many people at too high a risk.
We just learned today that our auto mechanic and friend, Vieux, has a businessman/cousin in Koupela who may be able to help us make connections with both the town Mayor and an agent who can help us find a home.  We’ll be making a trip this coming week hoping to meet the Mayor and rent a house.  This effort will, literally, be “cold turkey”.  We need your prayers for wisdom, open hearts, and open doors so that we can weed through the very complicated cultural barriers and overcome the religious opposition that will, no doubt, manifest itself.         That said, we have already set our sights on another unreached region of Burkina.  We made a trip with Mike Hillhouse a week ago to Koupela, a city of about 22,000, about 2 hours east of Ouagadougou.  The east, we’ve been warned, is VERY MUSLIM, and we will, no doubt, be the only Westerners in Koupela, but pioneering is what we believe God has called us to do.

Thank you so much again for your partnership and please pray earnestly that the Lord will work ahead of us and in us to make our presence in Koupela glorifying to Himself and salvation for the population.

John & Tammy Cooley

West Africa