Saved, before too late!

In the fall of 2019, HBB received a man with a terrible necrotizing fasciitis of his leg (this is what lay people call “flesh eating disease.” It is very, very hard to treat, and often the infected person loses their affected limb.)

When the man arrived, he was very angry/bitter. He cooperated in his physical care, but he wanted nothing to do with the chaplains who tried to share about God with him each day. Because of his infection, the man was with us over 2 months. After a time, the chaplains got “tired” of always being turned down by the man. He didn’t even want prayer for his situation while almost every-one else does, even if they are “not Christians.” In frustration, after months of being rejected and putting up with the meanness of the man, one of the chaplains gave him a Bible and said, “Look, I don’t have time to always be trying to get you to talk to me about God. There are other people who are inter-ested and need me. Here is a Bible for you, and you can read it for yourself if you want to find the truth.”

About 3 weeks later (the man was admitted for a long, long time trying to have his leg saved), the man asked for the chaplain to come and see him. When the chaplain arrived, the man was beaming, the most happy/cheerful that anyone (even his family) had ever seen him. He said immediately, “I understand now! I believe! Thank-you for sharing this Good News with me!” And then the man said that he wanted to learn more about God & Jesus. So the chaplain got him a Source of Light (SOL) Biblical correspondence course, that he could do with his Bible from his bed. The man went through the lessons like a sponge, absorbing and soaking up everything that he could.

He was finally released from the hospital in December -with his leg intact, with a newfound faith and peace, with his Bible, and with more SOL lessons. In mid-Jan, he returned for a follow up appointment. He was still extremely happy and thanking everyone for sharing Christ with him and for changing his life. After the appointment, the man was given another set of SOL lessons, and sent home. A few hours after he left, the hospital got a call, that this man had been killed in a terrible auto accident on his way back to his village!

Some people would say, “That’s not fair! That’s horrible! How could God not protect him after he gave his life to Him!” It is sad, and it was shocking, but as Christians we really should be saying, “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! This man had an opportunity to accept Christ, before he died! God has every-thing under control and in His plan!”

This is why we’re here in Togo! To share the best medicine of all—the Good News of Jesus Christ! It is life changing and will save you in the end! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!

-Shared by Michael & Cheryl Gayle

Meaningful Conversation

Birds chirp in the heat of the afternoon. The clinking of my neighbor’s dishes in the sink filters across the lawn mixing with the dizzying whir of the fans overhead. The engine of a motorcycle rumbles to a halt as someone returns to work from their afternoon break. Imagine a world where you hear none of this: not the washing machine droning in the room next to you, not the sound of little voices shouting to one another in the distance, not the road traffic just beyond the compound walls, not the scraping of your chair across the floor, not the clacking of keyboard keys as you type. Instead of hearing all of this, imagine your ears are filled with silence.

BEN_2October2019_Strayer_424.jpg

This is reality for the deaf. And those born so have no understanding whatsoever of what it is like to experience sound. Every day the hearing take their auditory sense for granted. Being born deaf, going deaf at a young age, or having gone deaf years in the past affects the development of a person.

| DEAFNESS TOUCHES A PERSON’S BEING. |

If you are reading this and you are hearing – assisted or not – you understand sound. You know what it means to be loud or quiet. You likely learned language by listening first. You know the sound of your mom’s voice, your dad’s voice, the voices of family and friends. As someone who can hear, you know what the combination of letters for your very own name sounds like. The deaf live in a world completely different and yet entirely the same. We may see the same things but we do not hear nor perceive, the same way!

TGO_22October2019_Strayer_051.jpg

Here in Togo, special needs like deafness are seen as a curse and many who are born deaf (or have hearing impairment) are seen as a burden and even an embarrassment to their families. Often neglected or mistreated, deaf children do not receive much, if any, education. However, a great burden has touched the hearts of those serving in Togo and they have begun to work with boys and girls that have never had a meaningful conversation with another human. Strategic meetings have started and they are saturated with prayerful desires to see the deaf engaged and reached not just with a language for education but with the truth of Jesus Christ!

Do you have a heart for deaf community? Do you believe they have a right to receive a quality education? Do you wish to see them thriving in life derived from community connection? Do you have a desire to see them reached with the truth of Jesus Christ? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then we are asking you to use your own voice today in intercession on behalf of the deaf. Join us in prayer as we seek God’s direction for deaf ministry.


TGO_22October2019_Strayer_060.jpg

Partner In Prayer!

For more information on how you can partner with us in prayer, at this time, please contact the Wards at andrewandmary@abwe.cc or the Aldermans at jja@converge.org

-Shared by Hannah Strayer. Read more at http://hstrayermedia.org/insta-stories/2019/11/6/meaningful-conversation

Spiritual and Medical Care

Holistic — /həʊˈlɪstɪk,hɒˈlɪstɪk/
adjective

PHILOSOPHY
characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

MEDICINE
characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.

Madame Agathe shares the Gospel with a patient in the maternity ward.

Madame Agathe shares the Gospel with a patient in the maternity ward.

Holistic ministry is ministry that focuses on caring for a person by helping them with both their felt and spiritual needs. Some know they have at least one of the two, others deny or do not know they have either. At HBB, the medical staff knows the importance of hygiene, wound care, medications, operations, antibiotics, and so on and so forth. Patients are grateful to be taken care of by medical professionals when they are sick. However, their needs are not just limited to their bodies of flesh. Each patient has a soul with an eternal life ahead of it, yet many do not know what that eternal life is. That is why HBB is focused on caring for a patient’s spiritual maladies as well their physical ones.

2 chaplains shared about salvation in Jesus with this patient. First, she thought about it and second she stated she was saved. The chaplain noted, “to be continued”.

2 chaplains shared about salvation in Jesus with this patient. First, she thought about it and second she stated she was saved. The chaplain noted, “to be continued”.

Each patient that is admitted to the hospital has a medical chart to one in any hospital. However, unique to the missions hospitals are spiritual charts. Like a medical chart, spiritual charts allow the chaplains to tailor their ministry in order to meet the specific needs of each patient. These are primarily referenced by the chaplains but are available to all medical professionals attending the patient. Throughout the duration of the stay each patient is intentionally visited by a chaplain who spends time discussing spiritual topics (e.g. Salvation, salvation in Christ alone, the Bible, prayer, etc.). Each chart notes what day a patient was spoken with, what topic was spoken about, what evangelistic material was used, the response of the patient, and the name of the chaplain who spoke with them.


HEAL TOGO.

REACH AFRICA.

GIVE TODAY.

(click here to give)


-Story and photos by Hannah Strayer

Lamatou’s Story

In January 1987, I arrived in Togo as a new missionary. Dal Washer, a veteran missionary invited me to work in a church he was starting in the village of Kpakopé. It was there that I met Lamatou, one of the ladies attending the church. She had already received the Lord, but was baptized when I was there. She would help translate for me as I taught the children and ladies group. One day she shared with me that she had some real needs. She had 2 girls with 2 different fathers and wasn’t married to either of them. This is a common practice in Africa. Now that she knew the Lord, she wanted to live correctly, but she had many needs to care for. Could I help her? At this same time the hospital was in a need of a housekeeping worker, so I suggested Lamatou. There was some resistance by some of the missionaries since she wasn’t married and had the children. In the end, she was hired in 1988 and she continued to be a faithful worker at the hospital.

As my first Togolese friend she taught me many things. One day, I said to her “you are so nice to everyone, how come?” She then told me how she had been abused and punished by a stepmother. She would be forced to kneel in the hot sun and hold her arms up for a long time. As a child she decided she would never do that and would always be nice to others.

I spent some special moments in her place when she moved near the hospital. I remember how she went out of her way with her limited salary to feed me, but I didn’t know they hot pepper even for breakfast. In the night, when I had to go to the bathroom, their “toilet” was under construction. It was a huge hole with 2 long planks across the hole in the ground. As I was on the planks, I got to laughing and the planks started moving up and down with me and then I imagined myself falling into that big yucky hole. We laughed about that one often.

She also taught me to go the “extra mile” with a friend. In Togo, you accompany your visitor to the road, to their vehicle or even if on foot all the way back to their house. After one of my visits at her place, she took my hand (perfectly normal here for close friendships) and walked me all the way back to my house, maybe at least a mile or more. She told me that this is what friends do, so I suggested then maybe I should walk her all the way back to her house and we could do it all day long.

She eventually worked in the clinic at HBB doing many things, including translating. She knew at least 3 languages. Lamatou is Kabiye, so my learning Kabiye drew us even closer.

Lamatou met her husband at our hospital and I was there for her engagement time and their wedding, but some years later, when Lamatou could only give him one child, he left her for another women. I still regret to this day, that I suggested she should marry him. She was just so thankful for a job that helped support her son and pay for medicine for her diabetes.

Lamatou passed away a few years ago, but she’s my eternal friend. We always reconnected immediately even after it had been years apart. I thank the Lord for friends from another culture, their love for me and our eternal friendship since we are in Christ.

-Story shared by Jane Schmitz

Only God

God has done what seemed, no, what TRULY WAS impossible: the graduation of 31 nursing students from our two schools of nursing!

We have two ABWE hospitals in Togo:  One in southern Togo, Hôpital Baptiste Biblique in Tsiko, where we have been educating Togolese nurses since 1997; and the Hospital of Hope in Mango (northern Togo).  A few years ago administrators of both hospitals reported the need for another nursing class in order to adequately staff the hospitals.

I had taught in our nursing program in the south since 1997, directing the program since 2002 – but directing and teaching in two nursing schools, approximately 7 1/2 hours apart, never even entered the realm of possibility in my thinking!  I had never considered having a nursing class in Mango! God had provided finances for the south – but this all started to come together at the end of my furlough –  and there was no money at all for the program in the north.

Only God could provide what was needed! We had materials, a building, potential faculty, most of the finances for the south – pretty much everything that was needed for the next nursing program (our fifth nursing class for HBB). But we had nothing at all for the north!  I made a list of what we did not have in the north: no building, no books/resources, no teachers, no assistant director to oversee the school in the north whenever I would be in the south; no money for. . . anything!

And God provided every single thing!

**Only God could have orchestrated the schedule so that we started classes in the south (May 30, 2016) and then, one week later, started classes in the north (June 6, 2016) – a staggered schedule that worked with the curriculum and allowed me to be at each site for every trimester final exam and evaluation.

**Only God could have provided each of the teachers needed – some who serve full-time in Togo, several visiting instructors who had taught with us in past years, and some nurse educators who had never been to Togo before!

**Only God could provide safe transportation between these two hospitals for the past three years: Over 30 round trips between Tsiko and Mango – over 13,640 miles which might not sound like much to our American minds – but in Togo, over some rough roads, weaving through herds of cattle, goats, sheep, ducks, people, motercycles!!!

**Only God could have provided a brand new beautiful car half way through the program: putting it on the hearts of a surgeon and his wife to give all the funds for the purchase of an incredible vehicle!

**Only God could have allowed us to graduate 16 new nurses in the south (June 8) and 15 new nurses in the north (June 15):  two incredible graduations during which God was honored (our #1 goal!); during which we had the opportunity to thank families, friends, teachers, colleagues.

**Only God knows how many times during the past three years I said to Him, “I cannot do this”!!!  And how many times He so patiently said to my heart, “No, Sharon, you cannot. But I can. And that is the idea!”  And truly, that is what God wanted – my total dependence on Him!

I shared these verses with our graduates at both sites shortly before their graduation ceremonies: Psalm 126:3 – our incredible joy as we recognize the amazing things God has done! And Isaiah 26:12 – everything we have accomplished is not because of us, but He is the One Who has accomplished all things!

-Shared by Sharon Rahilly

Teacher Appreciation Day

Our team has grown a lot over the past few years, adding more young families to the team. During the last 2 years we’ve been blessed by the presence of an experienced teacher, Marilyn Scraver, who’s patience, stick-to-itiveness, and kindness have blown me away.  How did she put up with 9 missionary kids of different grade levels and then sign up again for a second year!?  I’m sure she’d answer, “It was only by the grace of God,” but I also know she enjoyed the challenge.  What an amazing, tenacious lady.

We’re sad to see Marilyn go, but so pleased that she was able to be a part of our children’s lives.  Even though our kids participated only two days a week, I could see her enthusiasm rub off onto them and their love for learning grow because of her influence.

Here’s a poem from some of her students:

Aunt Marilyn has lots of energy, even though she’s short.
We don’t mind at all, because she’s a happy sort.

She wears lots of colors, but her favorites are blues.
And when we sometimes lose them, she always finds our shoes.

Bible verses, spelling, she’s taught us many things.
History and reading and flying things with wings.

For clean desks she always gives a treat.
She only does this because she’s very sweet.

She is always honest, and she’s very kind.
People like Aunt Marilyn are very hard to find.

by Leslie & AnnMarie Buczak with the help of Diana Duncan

-Shared by Mary Ward

 

Summer plans for Christian Schools

IMG_2650
Kindergarten class in Kara

IMG_3328
Boxed curriculum ready to go to a school

We received some exciting news last month, that will allow us to conduct the teacher seminars we’ve been planning for the summer months.  Tyndale House has approved a grant of $18,000 for teacher training and curriculum development!  This is the same grant that we received in 2015 that allowed us to develop Kindergarten Bible curriculum.  That’s one of the items needing revision.

 

img_3350.jpg
Elementary class

A couple years ago, Andrew visited the classroom of a new teacher that had been recently hired by one of our schools and who had never had any training with us. All the student books, textbooks, posters, and charts were sitting in boxes on the floor unused. He had never been trained to use any of those materials so the kids never even saw them. That day served as a reminder that curriculum development and teacher training must go hand in hand.  Please pray that we’ll have wisdom to be good stewards of the money God’s provided for the schools and that this summer’s efforts will be effective.

Class is in Session!

This week, we received some pictures from our teammate, Joan, of a class that was held this week at the Bible Institute in Kara!

 

This is the view from Joan’s apartment in Kara. The large green roofed building in the back is the orphanage and next to it (hidden from view) is the Bible Institute.

And this week, 7 men have been attending class on that campus!

Honoré (pictured below), an ABWE missionary and Togolese National, is teaching the class. Here, they are focusing specifically on John 20:30-31.

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

Allen and I would love to provide some biblical teaching, too, so we were excited to see that being done. We don’t know how God will fit us into this ministry, but we are waiting expectantly with open hands!

Shared by the Batts family

Read more about the Batts’ Blog

Elementary Teacher Needed

This and last school year, the Lord has blessed us with a wonderful teacher for our missionary kids. Marilyn Scraver invested two years of her heart into our kids. However, in June, she plans to retire. Aunt Marilyn’s time here has allowed us missionary moms to apply ourselves to other work and ministries on our team. We are all prepared to homeschool again next year, but it would cause us to have to minimize what we are able to do for our team.

Would you please pray with us that God might send us another teacher for 1-2 years to teach our elementary aged MKs? Contact us to learn more!

 

Reading Room
Classrooms
Outside the schoolhouse

2018 HBB Christmas Catalog

We want to invite you to celebrate Christmas with Hôpital Baptiste Biblique this year! As we enter the Christmas season, our hearts express gratitude to God for the gift of Christ who came to save. Give a gift of physical and spiritual healing to those in Togo. Check out this link to our 2018 Christmas Catalog and see how you can make a difference!

https://indd.adobe.com/view/e3abaf7c-ddaa-4b34-9088-965f4b269da8?fbclid=IwAR3DAbjgV7Weqdiv_crZYEtSuLbbK2jeBKNTJM5fJ07GOcXPTDiEM9S3xGU

Have you met Prosper?

Early Sunday morning, we drove to a small church on top of the mountain. The ABWE leadership is visiting Togo. The vice president, Dave Woodard, is preaching this morning at a mountain church behind Hôpital Baptiste Biblique. He speaks on having a relationship with Jesus. To help illustrate his sermon, he points to a young boy sitting in the front row.

“I don’t know this boy or his name. So, how can I be his friend?” Dave then extends his hand in greeting and asks what the boy’s name is.

The boy replies, “My name is Prosper.”

Dave explains, “I now know Prosper’s name. However, I still don’t really know him. Likewise, many people have heard of the name of Jesus. But they don’t know Him.”

Dave takes a seat next to Prosper. “Now, if I spent some time with Prosper and talked with him, then we could say we are friends.”

Dave goes on to explain that if we want to grow in our relationship with Christ, we need to spend time with Him. To be a follower of God you don’t want to keep your relationship with God a secret. You want to tell others! “If I’m good friends with Prosper, I want to tell others about Prosper!”

Dave walks to the next pew where a young girl was sitting. “Hi, would you like to meet my friend Prosper?”

The girl smiles big as she wiggles in her seat and nods her head.

Dave finishes by saying, “We need to be actively telling others about Jesus and what he did for us on the cross.”

MountainChurch_Togo-13MountainChurch_Togo-1

-Shared by Liz Ortiz

Christmas Wish List for the Christian Schools

Christians in Togo Celebrate Christmas, too!  Here’s how YOU can spread a little Christmas cheer this year for your brothers and sisters in Christ in Togo, West Africa!

christmas list5

christmas list4

christmas list3

christmas list2

You can participate by making a donation at ABWE.org/give. Use account #0763451 for the ministry of Andrew and Mary Ward in Togo, West Africa, marking your gift for one of the needs mentioned:

-Teacher Medical Needs
-Student Scholarship
-ASEL Registration
-Curriculum

Christians in Togo Celebrate Christmas, too!  Here’s how YOU can spread a little Christmas cheer this year for your brothers and sisters in Christ in Togo, West Africa!

-Shared by Mary Ward