Warm greetings to you from Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)! My name is Rev. Jean Claude Masuka Maleka and I am a United Methodist missionary, assigned by Global Ministries to Cote D’ivoire, in the West Africa region. I have been consecrated deacon since 2003, and I am a full member of the Southern Congo Annual Conference.
I was called by God to proclaim the Gospel. I am humbled by the talents, gifts, graces and skills which enabled me to communicate the Gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit in such a way that men and women, children and youth continue to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and become responsible members of His Church.
I was born in a Christian family; my father is a UMC pastor. He taught me about Jesus Christ and gave me an opportunity to receive Him at my early ages. At 16 years, I was a Sunday School teacher, and later a trainer of Sunday school teachers! All my studies empowered and inspired me to serve. I hold a Masters degree in Peace and Governance from Africa University in Zimbabwe (MPG), a Masters degree in Bible and Theology (MBT) from Worldwide Evangelical Seminary (Canada), a Bachelor degree in History and Social Sciences from Lubumbashi Teachers College (Democratic Republic of Congo), and a diploma in children ministry through The Child Evangelism Fellowship Institute.
God gifted me to speak 6 languages including English, Kiswahili, French, Portuguese, Bemba and Chokwe. That’s why it is easier for me to work in the Cote D’Ivoire without any language barrier. My passion is to preach the message of salvation to all and build the church of Jesus Christ.
“We are called as a family to communicate Jesus Christ through preaching, teaching and witnessing” From left Jean Claude Masuka Maleka, on the middle Ephraim Masuka and Berthe Mafefe behind and on the right is Francine Masuka .
Our first born is Berthe Mafefe is 12 now and she is in grade 7; she desires to be a medical doctor. Our son is called Ephraim Masuka who is 9 years now. He is in grade 4, a very friend-maker. They are all attending The English Speaking School here in Abidjan, Cote D’ivoire. Continue praying for and supporting us. Francine is a committed trainer of Sunday School Teachers.
“Dear friend, you are doing a good work for God in taking care of the traveling teachers and missionaries who are passing through. They have told the church here of your friendship and your loving deeds. I am glad when you send them on their way with a generous gift. They are traveling for the Lord and take neither food, clothing, shelter, nor money from those who are not Christians, even though they have preached to them. So we ourselves should take care of them in order that we may become partners with them in the Lord's work.” (TLB). 3 John 5-8,
My role in the Cote d’Ivoire
I work with the United Methodist Church to revitalize evangelism and mission; to train clergy and laity who have passion for evangelism and mission to plant new United Methodist churches. There is a great need to train many evangelists and church planters who will be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in new areas. The church of Ivory Coast’s vision is to have more trained workers who will respond to the Great Commission and make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We are targeting the western and northern parts of Cote D’ivoire and the neighboring countries (Guinea Bissau, Guinea (Conakry) and Burkina Faso). The new United Methodist congregations are growing and creating bible study groups within their communities.
Brief historical overview of the United Methodist Church in Côte D'Ivoire
The British Methodist Mission began working in what is now Côte D’ivoire (Ivory Coast) in 1924, ten years after the pioneering evangelization by Liberian Prophet William Wade Harris in 1914 of several groups that already existed. Coordination developed between the Methodist Mission and missionaries from England, France and Switzerland, which included also Ghana, Togo, Benin and Cameroon. In 1985 the Protestant Methodist Church in Ivory Coast separated from the church in Great Britain and became autonomous. In 2001 it decided to integrate with the United Methodist Church, which took place in 2003 without affecting its autonomy. The name was changed to United Methodist Church of Ivory Coast.
It has a higher institute of theology in Abidjan which was opened in 2002 for the training of pastors, and a Christian Training Centre in Dabou. The church administers 46 primary and six secondary schools, a hostel for girls, an engineering college, a hospital, youth centers, an agricultural centre and a guesthouse for students. There are several associations for the training of laity, for students, for Sunday Schools, for the promotion of Protestant music, and a women's department. These associations take part regularly in seminars at the Christian Training Centre. Evangelism teams are at work in the congregations. Other ministries include a school for nurses, a centre for the detoxification of drug addicts and reintegration of alcoholics, training centers for the physically disabled, care for refugees and migrant workers and agricultural cooperatives for young unemployed people in the rural areas.
I thank God for the passion that I have to serve Him and plant churches in the world. I believe new churches reach lost people more effectively than existing churches. New churches reach new people; existing churches reach existing people. In Cote D’ivoire, we have 41 local church planters who continue planting churches. They need our support and prayers.
We are sending church planters with basic supplies
The training of church planters
Transport is a challenge; churches which have passion for mission are offering motorcycles and bicycles to church planters.
The western and northern parts of Cote D’Ivoire where we are planting churches are dominated by traditional worshipers and animists. Pictures below are some of the examples:
This big tree is being worshiped by some people in the northern part of Cote D’ivoire
Korhogo Mountain is a sacred place for animistsThis is a new Sunday school
These women were cooking for church planters during an evangelism campaign.
The need is too high those who are physically challenged but the church is assisting with what it can by offering wheelchairs.
Think about this for a moment.
We have all been commanded by Christ to “go into the entire world and preach the Good News to everyone.” This means that in order for us to fulfill the Great Commission, we would have to sell everything we own, tell family and friends goodbye, go to a foreign country, and learn a new culture and language! But God has called certain people to go as missionaries. That means that we don’t all have to go physically. We can fulfill Christ’s command by sending others. I thank God that you sent me to be your hands and feet in Ivory Coast.
· Pray for special anointing and wisdom.
· Pray that we will find favor with the people among whom we are ministering.
· Pray for our health and well being.
· Pray for a mission vehicle project which is our priority.
· Pray for our children’s well-being, both physical and emotional.
· Pray that our financial needs will be met.
· Pray that many will accept Christ and be discipled into a committed life-style.
· Pray that more workers will be sent into the harvest-field
I am not working independently in this foreign land. I have been sent by you brothers and sisters called United Methodists so that we share together the work and the rewards.
I invite you to extend your support by supporting my Missionary Advance #3021390. Consider also volunteering and sharing the story of the ministry with your church.
For financial contributions, you may:
- Use Global Ministries' website: www.umcmission.org to send a donation for my salary support. At the bottom of the page, click on "Missionaries". Scroll to my name on the missionaries page and my profile will appear. At the bottom of my profile is a link to make an online donation.
- Through mailing a check to your local church or conference office. Write “(for Jean Claude Maleka, #3021390) on the memo line of your check.
- Through assisting with my project support (Cote d'Ivoire Undesignated Advance #00332A, ATTN: Jean Claude Maleka)
If not sending through a local United Methodist Church, you may send your check to:
P.O. Box 9068
New York, NY 10087-9068.
Thank you so much for your support.
My contacts are:
Jean Claude MASUKA MALEKA
Address 01 BP 1282 Abidjan 01, Ivory Coast
Cell phone: +22556282278
My blog: http://hope2africa.blogspot.com
Skype is: Claude Masuka
Facebook: Masuka Maleka.