Prosper Deh – Encouraging Christians to pray and work to make the world betterJuly 31, 2023
Leaving a Legacy of Christian GenerosityAugust 31, 2023
Spreading the message of generosity to widows and orphans
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
In this twenty-fourth episode of the Inspiring Stewards podcast, Nathan Jones speaks with Ayite Beugre from Côte d’Ivoire, Africa. Ayite is a minister with the United Methodist Church and has a ministry that serves orphans and widows. She testifies how GTP teaching on generosity impacted her and how she has spread it among those she serves. They give God what they have, like rice and corn, and joyfully meet real needs around them. She concludes by proclaiming that the best way for Christians and churches to make impact in our communities is to spread the Stations of Generosity training widely and be ourselves the message.
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The music is Concerto a’ 4 Violini No 2 by Telemann played on classical guitar by Jon Sayles. Published by Exzel Music Publishing.
This month, we remain in Francophone Africa as we spend time getting to know Ayite Beugre from Côte d’Ivoire. Among many other things, Ayite invests her time as a minister with the United Methodist Church and in ministry to orphans and widows in her country.
I'm your host, Nathan Jones, and once again, thank you for joining me on this episode of the Inspiring Stewards podcast.
Ayite, thank you so much for your time today. I'm going to kick us off with our first question. Give us a bit of your background, your life growing up, where you're from, that sort of thing.
Thank you so much. My name is Ayite. I'm Ivorian from the western part of Africa. I'm 57 years old, married to Joseph. We have now 27 years of marriage with six children, a girl and five boys.
My family is Christian and I'm a minister of the United Methodist Church in Côte d’Ivoire. I have 20 years of pastoral ministry. I'm a founder of an NGO. I take care of widows and orphans. This is what I can say for now.
Talking of academics, I have a bachelor's degree in theology, a master's degree in Bible translation, and a PhD in leadership.
Wonderful. Tell us about how you came to personal faith in Jesus and what impact that then had on your life.
It happened at a youth meeting in the year 1985, the first day of May. Our youth leader was preaching about life after death, asking if we were ready to die and meet the Lord. I was so scared! And he said, “Well, if you're not ready, you have a way! Jesus is the way. If you come to Him, you will be ready now and forever.”
So, when he came out with the altar call, I went up and they prayed for me. And since then, I'm a born again Christian. I'm so blessed.
So, my life changed and I used to win souls and to do discipleship because my aim and my goal is 2 Timothy 2:2. I believe that Christ can change life because He changed mine and that He wants us to win souls so that we will be children of His kingdom and work together with Him for His glory.
Amen. Well, tell us about what you're doing now. Jump ahead to 2023. Give us an update on how you God’s got you involved in His kingdom today.
Great question. In addition to pastoral ministry, in addition also to the NGO in which we take care of 110 widows and 100 orphans from different faiths, my husband and myself, we are part of the International Ministry of the Gideons. And I also write devotion materials for the Upper Room, the United Methodist Church, the French area, and Haggai Institute devotional book.
I also teach literacy classes in my mother tongue. And I also take care of what we call crisis management. I teach that also in my university where I got my PhD.
So, you're never bored?
Busy! Yeah, like bees! They make honey. That's me.
Busy bee! You're making honey, making honey for the kingdom. Amen. That's wonderful.
My family here in the United States has a foster child living with us, so I appreciate and understand that world. But that is a large scale, a lot of kids and widows to be caring for. So, praise the Lord.
I even have a piece of land and we want to build a peaceful place where they can hide and then get to do something. We train them, help them, and then they will go out so that we can carry on taking care of others.
So, this is my heart exactly, this NGO. That's me. That’s me.
That's wonderful. Well, I'm sure leads in part, perhaps to the next question I have. But given that this is the Inspiring Stewards podcast, how does this concept of stewardship inform your life today?
Well, I must confess that I got some of the teaching and the training at Haggai Institute when I went in the year 2014 in Maui. But with what Gary [Hoag] taught us, it brought light more to what I've learned before.
So, I decided to start teaching it to the women of my NGO. We've already started. And I invite them to bring their five loaves and the two fishes so that we can make a difference.
They are invited to bring the rice and corn to be able to help other people around themselves. So, my knowledge of stewardship, it's larger now since I took the training with Gary [Hoag] and I'm so grateful and thankful for that material.
So, let me ask a follow up question: with those women, when they realized they have something to give, what is that doing in their hearts and their souls that you see?
I can't tell you. I hope one day you will come here in Côte d’Ivoire.
I would love to!
The first day I gave the training, they started giving willingly! Even if it is not many things, they gave food, they gave money, they gave… and I said we need to organize ourselves. I asked them to wait for the next meeting so that we will do something.
They were touched. They said, “We never knew that we had something because as widows we are used to beg and to ask people to help us. But now, we understand that we too, we can help.”
What a beautiful picture of the kingdom!
Yeah, I agree.
So, I'm already seeing the answer to this question, but perhaps you have more to share but how are you seeing God at work in the world, either locally or in a larger context?
I see God at work in my context when men, women, young people, children respond to the altar call and become born again Christian.
When widows who cannot provide for themselves are able to put food on their table and when they enjoy the Word of God – because anytime I work, anything I do, I put the Word first because I recall that the Lord gave the Word and after that bread. So, the Word comes first and then bread comes.
They then regain their dignity. I feel it, I can see it. We experience transformations in their lives. When orphans have the opportunity to learn because we help them with schooling and scholarship, when they have the opportunity to succeed and to help other orphans reach their goal in life, then I see God is working in my country.
When I am with people who are not Christian and I am able to share my faith because I'm in a country where sharing the faith, giving, reaching out people with Gideons, Bibles, and other stuff, when I have the opportunity to do that, I see my Lord at work here in my country, Côte d’Ivoire.
So many good things and so many lessons for us to hear. So, as we wrap up this time, Ayite, what final words would you have for those listening today?
If we put all of that, all of us Christians, I believe that if we put into practice the seven stations of generosity, the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ will rejoice. The church will have a very positive impact on society, and we will answer this crucial question the Lord is asking each one of us: Who is your neighbor?
So yeah, let's go there and reach out to people and train about the seven stations of generosity and be ourselves the message. This is my take away for today.
That’s beautiful. Thank you, Ayite.