December 30, 2014

Goodbye 2014!

Our 2014 was a year of struggles and victories, highs and lows, discouragements and moments of elation!  I wouldn't trade 2014 for anything! 
-moving our home from language school to Togo; going from COLD to HOT
-getting to know a new culture, learning to accept customs and culture traits that are contrary to my own
-going from living in the poor neighborhood to living in a house that is considered upperclass here.
-watching Manny learn how to pick up lizards and frogs and teaching him that they are outdoor pets!!! 
-trying to make friends for my boys when they don't have a common language
-realizing that our boys need to have baths EVERY day because of how dirty they get here!
-learning how to cook again; cooking most things from scratch
-accepting that I can't do it all and hiring Afi to work at our house 3 days a week
-experiencing the excitement of making friends in a second language!
-going from a place where matching clothing is tacky to a place where it's just awesome.

God changed our environment from cool and comfortable to warm and sweaty
                             surrounding culture from familiar to foreign
                             language from English to French with a few Ewe words
                             attitudes from self-reliant to God-dependent

If all the changes were only external we probably wouldn't still be here in Togo, but God didn't forget to change US as well!  Thank you Lord, for leading the way and never leaving us, never!

December 27, 2014

Worshiping with Music and with Rice

A couple months ago one of the musicians from our church in Kpegolonou visited me and said that a group of musicians would like to minister to the other churches in our area. They plan to provide music lessons and conference workshops for worship leaders. Those are some of the things that my father did with the churches here and this group would like to continue doing them.

Empowering Togolese leaders to minister to one another is an important part of our ministry philosophy, so when I saw this young man with his own ideas and plans for ministry I wanted to help.

We've not only been helping with musical instruments, the group wanted to help some orphans in a nearby village. So one Sunday afternoon we drove out to Kpime Woume and worked with the pastor there. We sang songs, the pastor gave a brief Bible message, and then we gave each kid a bag. Each bag contained rice, tomato paste, and soap. Then we walked with the kids back from the church. It was a lot of fun.
Again, on Christmas eve the guys and I went visiting and delivering Christmas presents to several orphans in our home town of Kpalime. 

I’m happy to be a part of this group of young men who want to make a difference in their community.  Their passion to lead worship in music and provide for the orphans who need help is inspiring.