Story of Joshua SimoninPastor David described Josue (Joshua) as a drug abuser and a “highwayman”. (Highwayman: A holdup man who robs travelers along a public road.) He was caught and, for his life of crime, the judge issued a twenty-year prison sentence for robbery and violent crimes committed along the roads near the town of Daloa. He was serving his time during the crisis of war when rebel troops swept through the area destroying a portion of the prison allowing prisoners to escape. With no facility or personnel to keep the prisoners, the judge annulled Joshua’s sentence with the stipulation that he never see him in his court again. Joshua had a new slate. He made his way through the jungle to his birthplace, the “bush” village of DIEOUZON situated in the Gueré territory.

During the month of December 2013, Pastor David scheduled the showing of the “Jesus Film” in Dieouzon. Most every inhabitant of the village, young and old, surrounded the screen stretched between two bamboo poles. Joshua was among that group. Convicted by the Holy Spirit during the film, Joshua’s heart was burdened as he saw himself a man needing more than simply to be free from the guilt of his life of crimes, more importantly, he recognized his need of a Savior who could free his sin-sick soul. God had clearly opened his “spiritual eyes”. He seized the opportunity to free himself from sin’s prison.

Joshua Simonin Encouraged by MayorJoshua came forward during invitation and prayed, pleading for God’s pardon. He trusted Jesus as Savior and made a strong decision to serve HIM for the rest of his life. God not only pardoned, God changed him completely! HE placed a great desire in Joshua to share the Good News with others. He is now attending GAP Missions’ satellite Bible Institute in Bangolo under the guidance of his mentor, Pastor David. He fully understands what freedom means in every sense of the word. His change has been evident to those who knew him before. Even the mayor of Bangolo (see photo) extended a congratulatory hand of encouragement. Joshua, Pst. David, and I agree, only God could have put together such a wonderful plan.

Joshua’s story is only one of many. Hundreds of lives are being changed through the power of Christ as “Jungle Riders” take the Good News into remote villages like Dieouzon. There are still many villages that have never heard the story of Christ even once. Please pray for Pastor David and the “Jungle Riders” Team as they share the love of Christ in the ”Wild West” of Ivory Coast, West Africa.