November 15, 2016

3 months out

It's been 3 months since Alethia's birth.  Since then, I've mostly been a homebody, trying to get a handle on my new normal, but we did get the chance to visit the Kpalime schools to introduce her to the teachers.  Togolese baby girls have their ears pierced shortly after their birth, but Alethia's ears are untouched, so everyone thinks she's a boy.  I put her in purple and pink, but added a bow to help them figure it out since Togolese don't assign gender to color.

Aside from the earrings and all colors being neutral, I've noticed some other differences of mothering an infant between Togolese and American cultures.  Togolese wear their babies on their backs, while Americans usually just carry them in their arms or wear them in a wrap on their front.  Backwards.  My house-helper calls me special.  :-)  Then there are the diapers. Togolese babies don’t always wear them.  Many babies here rarely wear them, actually. Not my cup of tea. 


So life goes on, and mostly I’m just doing what I would normally do (based on the culture I was raised in).  It’s definitely an adjustment, though, going back to being a mother of a baby again.  This week has been good (as far as homeschooling during naptime goes), but then . . . it’s only Tuesday.  I’m sure there will be good weeks and not so good weeks ahead.  At least they’re cute.  

September 21, 2016

Adeta Christian High School for 2017

We have a tremendous opportunity to start a Christian high school in Adeta, Togo, but we need your help.

The Christian school in Adeta has been growing quickly because the community has seen the the high quality of education at our Elementary and Middle school. We’ve also seen an amazing spiritual impact among the teachers, students, and families of students through the teaching of the word of God and the making disciples.

It’s been amazing how God has brought many people together to accomplish the establishment of the high school. The local Togolese pastors and parents have been disiring to start a school for a while, but just recently a church in Virginia has commited to paying the operating costs for the first 3 years for the school to get started, and another ministry (CWE) has decided to build the new school building and pay for 3/4ths of the costs. That means only $10,000 remains needed to start the new Christian high school.

Please pray and consider contributing to this new project. It is an exciting opportunity to provide a quality education to Togolese young people who will be led by Christian teachers and role models.


April 22, 2016

Library books find a home in Africa

I remember once when my mother gave me a book for my birthday. I cried. I thought that a book must have been the worst birthday gift a parent could possibly give to a child. What was she thinking?!

The book she gave me was “The Jolly Postman” by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. And I loved it. Today, I love books and I love reading more than almost anything else. I can think of no better gift than a good book. I have hundreds of books on my shelves, and my kids already have mountains of books even though they themselves are just beginning to learn how to read. They ask me to read to them every single day.

 My kids probably own more books today than most Togolese kids will read in their lifetime. Very few books are available to Togolese kids, and most of the good books are closely guarded and locked away because they are so valuable. It is very difficult for the teacher to help their students become proficient readers when there are so few French books available to them. Today we made a big step in changing the situation.

This morning (April 22, 2016) a container filled with thousands of French books arrived for 14 elementary schools and 2 Jr. High schools. This is the first major step in a greater Library & Literacy Project for our Christian schools. The container of books arriving in Adeta, Togo is just Phase I of the plan. In Phase II this July, a team of librarians from Iowa are coming to train a designated librarian/teacher and the school principal from each of the Christians schools so that they will be able to properly care for the library and help the other teachers and students to use it. Then we will host a literacy seminar for all the teachers in the schools in order for them to know how to best use the new library and to better help the kids who struggle with reading.

Phase III involves solving some of the logistical issues of setting up small libraries in 14 different locations around the country of Togo. The Iowa libraries will be leading the organizing and cataloging of each school’s library. We are also buying and constructing bookshelves made to fit each individual school. After the training seminars we will be delivering the books and shelves North and South across the country.

 In Phase IV we will be converting the 20’ shipping container into a shared library for an elementary and Jr. High school. We will also be evaluating the other school library facilities to see how they can be expanded.

Our goal is to help kids to become proficient readers, critical thinkers, and students of the most important book: the Bible.

 I can’t take credit for this because it certainly wasn’t my idea. And many people have contributed their time and money toward this massive project. We are still looking for help to provide literacy training for the teachers and librarians as well as in converting the shipping container into a library and other construction projects.

If you are interested in assisting or contributing to the Library & Literacy Project among the Christian schools in Togo, please contact me at andrewandmary@abwe.cc

January 16, 2016

December 24, 2015

Christmas gifts to orphans at two churches


This is the second year where we've had the opportunity to give Christmas gifts to local orphans. This year we expanded upon what we did last year and included the kids at another church on the other side of town.








Manny and Cyrus came with me to give the gifts along with some members and deacons at the Kpalime church. We were also joined by two orphanage volunteers from Germany.







As we gave the gifts I explained that we are reminded to give to one another at this time of year because we remember greatest gift to us from God, His Son, Jesus.