Serving in Africa
Jerry & Cherry Skiles
28205 Ogle Rd
Shedd, OR 97377
Graduating from High School, I am sure my classmates would have put me close to the bottom of the list of those who would be a missionary. I would have been in full agreement. So, almost 50 years later and with over 35 years of mission work behind me, I ask myself, “How did it happen?” God’s Grace, start to finish.
To flesh that Grace out, I would say I fell in love with Jesus and seeing His Will and Kingdom spread to all the languages and nations of the world. He gave me a good wife (Cherry) who trusted and encouraged me to follow Jesus’s leading wherever it would take us.
I was given good examples to follow by individuals in New Tribes Mission and Shield of Faith, individuals who were wholly given to doing God’s will, with full confidence of His concern for meeting our physical needs.
The Lord took my wife and I, with our 4 children, to the 12,000 individuals of the unreached Loron tribe in Ivory Coast, where we lived, learned, and eventually saw a Church established that is today functioning on its own. After almost 10 years among the Loron we moved to the 3,000 Loma tribe and saw the Lord work His Grace in their lives. For 5 years we worked unhindered with them until in 2002 a civil war broke out and rebels controlled the region we worked in. Security concerns prevented our living full time in the area, so we began an itinerant ministry that continues to this day. (Full reconciliation in Ivory Coast took place in 2011.)
During the time Cherry and I are not in Ivory Coast ministering to the tribe, the Lord has given us opportunity to teach around the world volunteering as Farmers to Farmers. We also started a Fellowship of Believers meeting in the mid – Willamette Valley in Oregon.