From the Heart

Last Night in Africa

One more night to sleep under a mosquito net and one more morning to wake up to the beautiful harmony of rooster crows, motorcycle horns and beating drums.

I can hardly believe that tomorrow is my last day here in Togo. It’s been a full and exciting four weeks and they have flown by. It feels like we just got here but I’ve also been here long enough for this place to feel like home. Dodging motorcycles on the street, taking bucket showers, and bargaining with banana vendors no longer seem foreign. This is life here and I’ve grown comfortable with it. And I love it so very much.

Our last week in Lome began with teaching classes to kids at a city church and getting to spend time with some new believers here. This area (a district of Lome called Zilikpota) is a major center of fetishism. People come here to buy their idols made from stone and recycled metal. It was hard to see the darkness of a place so defined by darkness. But it was also incredible to witness the light that comes into families and homes when their lives are transformed by Jesus!

We actually just learned that the new believers in Houve, a village we visited three weeks ago, are now planning on starting their own church!! Praise the Lord! Please pray for the missionary in that Keve region, Pastor Atcham, as he leads this young congregation.

We were also able to visit the site where Pioneers-Togo plans to build a new office building. Their current rent is a huge financial burden and their vision is to build a new center where they can train and equip missionaries for church planting and also open a clinic to raise funds for the ministry. They have owned the property since 2009 but have had to put their building plans on hold because they lack the financial resources (about $70,000 for the first phase) to continue. Please be praying for God’s provision!

Our team flies out of Lome tomorrow (Saturday) night and we’ll be landing in Orlando on Sunday evening. We are spending Monday-Wednesday at the Pioneers Headquarters for Debriefing. And then Thursday (7/11) I fly home to Pennsylvania! Prayers for all the flights and travel logistics involved would be immensely appreciated 🙂

Please also pray that leaving this “home” and returning to my American one will be a grace-filled transition. I will definitely rejoice to be home and reunited with my family and you all! Having very limited communication has been perhaps my most difficult challenge. But I will also definitely mourn to say goodbye to the Pioneers-Togo leaders and the many people whose lives have touched mine the past few weeks. I will miss the villages and the swarms of children so hungry for affection. I will miss the joy of seeing how people’s eyes brighten when they hear the story of Jesus for the very first time. I will miss the market, the colors, and the church services. So pray that God would show me how to leave part of my heart here without regrets. I want to come back to America with a larger heart, that is excited  to serve God — not only in Africa, but wherever He has placed me.

As I reach the end of my trip, I find myself awash with gratitude for the sovereignty of God.  I know He brought me to Togo for such a time as this — I’ve seen evidence that He is with me every day. He has been so faithful in answering prayers and providing for my every need — health, finances, strength, comfort. And He’s blessed me with all of you!! I am convinced that I would not be in Africa without the gift of prayer, encouragement, and financial support you all have so generously blessed me with. Thank you for helping me to witness that God is able to do so far abundantly above anything I thought or imagined!!

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! ~ Psalm 108

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