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.”
During 2016 Hôpital Baptiste Biblique (HBB) saw another example of the connection of healthcare and God’s church. In June , M. Agouda, a retired teacher from the village of Gbadigbena, came to the clinic for treatment where he heard and responded to the gospel of grace during his consultation. Coming back for a follow up visit in July, he spoke with a chaplain asking for help. A group of new believers had grown up in his village because of his testimony. The chaplain spent time with M. Agouda and provided Bible Study Materials from the Christian Materials Center.
God also directed M. Agouda’s path to cross with another believer from a small church which had been started through the outreach of the hospital many years ago – a village much nearer to him than our hospital. This church leader began to visit, pray with him and encourage him in the Bible. Two of the HBB chaplains traveled to this village in August to encourage this small group. In September, the Evangelistic Mobile Clinic, made the more than 3 hour trip to provide a free day of clinic to the village at the church meeting site. By October, one of our surgeons, Eric Miller, accompanied the chaplains to see how God was leading in the establishing of another gospel outpost in a dark place.
This group continues to meet and study God’s Word together. At the end of December they journeyed to the regional church conference where they connected with an experienced Togolese pastor whose heart has already been burdened to reach out to this remote area. Please pray for this small group of believers and others like them to grow into strong churches.
Sharon Sedzro was born 3 months premature, and weighed less than 4lb (2kg). The doctors told her mother that she would only live if they relied on God. She lived and was later the catalyst that brought about a children’s camp ministry that missionaries from the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism had tried to start over ten years earlier. Storyteller Brian Funderburke shares the story of Madame Sedzro, Sharon Sedzro, and Judy Bowen, and how God worked in their lives to restart a children’s camp ministry that is impacting hundreds of Togolese children.
Storyteller Cy Hayden is sharing the story of Jeremie, who is a Chaplain at the Hôpital Baptiste Biblique and a local pastor in Togo. Jeremie almost lost his pregnant wife due to a coma because of a sickle cell crisis. His son then developed hydrocephalus a month after his birth. Through multiple miracles, God healed both of them.
Under the teaching of ABWE missionary Rebekah Poteat, Abra Sakpa has been learning Bible study methods and is using them to teach 20-25 women about the Bible. Her vision in learning and teaching the Bible is that she might teach other women, who will then go out and spread the gospel themselves so that the farthest corners of Togo might be reached. Storyteller and ABWE missionary Hannah Strayer tells this story of God working in the life of Abra and her vision for Togo.
After years of growing up in fetish worship, Martouka Anani fell deathly sick and remembered the gospel he had heard as a child. Even though his parents disowned him from walking away from the fetish religion, he pursued Jesus and devoted his life to sharing the good news with others.
Now he is a pastor of a thriving church and a teacher at the Bible Institute, training up other pastors to step into teaching roles to transform Togo for Jesus. This is his story – please watch and consider support the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism’s mission to impact more lives and expand the multiplication of churches in Togo, West Africa. Storyteller Hannah Teramura tells the story of Martouka.
Gaglo was there when the first ABWE missionaries came to Togo. He helped build the hospital and has seen first hand how it has made an impact on the Togolese. Over 32 churches have been planted because of the hospital. Gaglo not only works as a physician’s assistant, but is also a pastor for one of the church plants. In this video Storyteller Liz Ortiz tells his story.
On Saturday (May 21st) we were able to celebrate the independence of Lomnava church! The presence of our colleague Pastors and missionaries in Togo were encouraging to me.
Pastor Philip McMillen (the West Africa Regional Director for ABWE) welcomed the audience and Pastor Jason Laird (Togo South Team Leader) gave a message on the Nature and Importance of the local church. Pastors Tona, Happy, Leo and Caleb are some of the Togolese officials for the event.
Pastor Bernard and the 5 new deacons made their vows to God and to the church. Marouf, one of the deacons, is a Muslim convert to Christianity. He is married with 6 children and all are members of the church. During our prayer meetings, he always expressed his desire to win his fellow brothers for Christ. Please pray for him in his new role in the church.
There is currently another pastor residing in the church parsonage and we are in the process of building a new home for him so that Pastor Bernard can move his family close to the church. Please pray that God will provide the remaining funds needed in order to finish the house.
Joseph and Bernard
Joseph and Francisca Akakpo
Choir from Kelegougan church
Pastor Bernard and his family
Pastor Leo praying for pastor Bernard and his wife
New life, evidence of a changed heart- what should follow but a public declaration of faith?
On Sunday May 24, the new church plant of Kpotame held their first baptism where 12 people got baptized! One was a believer who is somewhere in his 80’s (No birth certificates back then!). Continue reading Baptism at Kpotame
This Easter 10 churches got together to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ! There were over 700 people gathered to worship all morning and then picnic together and fellowship. Several members of the Togo South Team participated in a missionary choir as well. Here’s a video of a choir special.