Meheza: “I am free”
You have probably heard us talk a lot about a woman named Meheza (or Meza for short). You may have wondered who she is. Simply put, Meza is the backbone of our Togo team.
Meza is the Togo National Director of Sight.org.
Back in 2010, Meza was working on Mercy Ships with Lewis Swann (founder of Sight.org) and they became good friends while working together.
In 2012, Lewis left Mercy Ships to start Sight.org and Meza went back to Togo, her home country. Lewis begged Meza to work for him at Sight.org.
He knew that she had everything needed to be a great National Director. She grew up in Togo, she had experience in nonprofit work, and she came from a long line of strong Christian leaders.
Lewis knew that Meza was perfect for the job, but she turned him down. She already had a job and wasn’t quite sure that this new nonprofit that Lewis had started would actually pan out.
She kept an eye on Lewis and Sight.org though. She knew everything that his team was doing in Togo. She started realizing that God was really working though Sight.org
Lewis asked Meza a second time to join him. She still said no.
Then one day, Lewis and his team (which at that point, was just three people in Togo) got themselves into a bind. They needed help and Meza was the only one who could help them. She joined them on the field and saw the work first hand. She fell in love with the mission of Sight.org.
Lewis asked Meza a third time to join him. This time, she said yes.
Meza truly is a perfect fit for the National Director job at Sight.org. When Meza is leading the Togo team, she is in her element. It all comes so naturally to her.
However, everything has not always been easy for her.
Meza’s husband works in France, so they have a long-distance marriage, which is not easy.
Two years ago, Meza was pregnant with their first child. She had several complications during her pregnancy. She was put on bed rest for the last few months of her pregnancy.
Obviously, this put a halt on her job duties with Sight.org. Thankfully, her beautiful baby girl, Flavia, was born healthy and happy.
Flavia is now a part of the Sight.org team. She goes everywhere with Meza, even into the field with the medical team. She has inherited the entire Sight.org team as her “aunts and uncles.”
As any mother knows, carrying a baby to work with you is not exactly easy or fun, but Meza does it all without any complaints.
During my last trip to Togo, I had the privilege of traveling all over Togo with Meza. She stayed with me every minute of every day. She didn’t bat an eye when I forgot my extra photos for my visa.
She took two weeks out of her busy schedule to be my tour guide. She listened to my constant questions and answered every single one of them patiently. She laughed at all my silly quirks.
She shared a room or tent with me every night and cooked for me. She left her daughter for days at a time just to join me with the ministry team (which she usually doesn’t have to do).
She went out of her way to find new flip flops for me when mine broke. She took pictures of me when I wasn’t looking, to help me commemorate the trip. She helped me process everything I was seeing.
She even let me carry around her daughter on my back as I pretended to be an African momma.
She was extremely patient with me, and I got to see that same patience with the Togo team. She is constantly dealing with difficult situations that come from working in a third world country, but she always stays so calm through it all.
Being a woman in leadership is not common in Togo, but this doesn’t stop Meza. She can walk into any government or business office and immediately command the room. She has accomplished more than most women have in her country.
There has only been one time that I’ve seen Meza get shaken. That was when sweet baby Natalie died.
Meza put all her energy and thoughts into keeping that baby alive. Meza was the first person to find Natalie and her family. She stopped at nothing to help that family.
I saw the true essence of her servant heart come out when we were helping Natalie and her parents. Naturally, her heart broke when Natalie died. But I also saw her strong faith in the midst of it all.
I have observed her strength all over again in the last few weeks. Last month, Meza got to go to France to see her husband.
She started getting headaches and feeling tired and fatigued.
When she went to the doctor, she found out that she has diabetes.
Diabetes is no laughing matter, but having to deal with it in a third world country just makes it even more difficult. Every time I talk to Meza about her diagnosis, she calmly tells me the facts and moves on to the next subject.
Her faith is strong and she knows God is still taking care of her.
Please pray for Meza as she learns to treat her diabetes.
Thankfully, she lives in the capitol city of Togo, so she has access to the treatment she needs. We also have three American nurses who will be in Togo with Sight.org this month, so they will be able to encourage her and give her advice.
It is no coincidence that the name Meheza means “I am free, I am good, I am ok.” God’s hand is on Meza’s life. No matter what she goes through, she is free and ok because God is taking care of her.
P.S. Meheza will be in the United States very soon! She will be at Sight Night: The Joy of Sight and would love to meet you if you are in Tyler!
Get ready to fall in love with a group of people you have never met before!
During the month of July, there will be several volunteers traveling from Texas to Togo with Sight.org. We want to introduce them to you so that you can pray for them and follow along with their trip.
Steve and Helen Clark
The Clarks got connected to Sight.org last year when Wayne and Elaine Riley became missionaries in Togo. The Clarks and the Rileys have gone to church together for about thirteen years. The Clarks have been married for 34 years, and they are so cute together! They have four children and three grandchildren.
Steve started volunteering in the Sight.org office last year, and he has become our most beloved volunteer. He is a hard worker with a servant’s heart. He is a former fighter pilot, civil engineer, and public school counselor and administrator.
Helen is originally from England and was a British Registered Nurse. She now works in Tyler as a physical therapy assistant.
Helen will be assisting with medical clinics while Steve encourages our medical team and helps with the house churches.
This is what Steve says about their trip to Togo.
I want to go to Togo to serve but I also want to learn. I want to learn more about the people and the team so that I can serve them better here in Tyler. Since I am volunteering in the Sight.org office every week, I want to learn as much as I can about the ministry so that I can serve them better. Helen has a medical background, so she feels that she can easily walk alongside the medical team while they are there.
Joe and Becky Canal
The Canals also got connected with Sight.org through Wayne and Elaine Riley. The Riley’s go to church where Joe pastors. Joe has been the pastor of Tyler Christian Fellowship (TCF) for twenty-eight years. TCF is a tight nit community, so when the Riley’s became missionaries with Sight.org, the entire church became Sight.org supporters in one way or another.
This is what Joe has to say about their trip to Togo.
In April of this year Lewis Swann, Sight.org’s founder and president, invited me to become a member of their board of directors. Lewis felt that I would be a strength to the organization, based on my years of experience as a senior pastor. He saw great opportunity for me to encourage and disciple members of the Sight.org team as well as minister to the many individuals whose lives are being transformed through the work that they are doing in Togo. That’s why Becky and I are planning a short-term mission trip this summer to Togo, West Africa.
The main purpose of our trip is to minister to the spiritual needs of the leaders and full time workers on the ground. As the work is expanding the need for encouragement and discipleship is increasing for the team as well as those that they are reaching every month. We’re excited to help train and equip these dedicated people who are doing such amazing work among the poor.
Rachel is a Registered Nurse who went to Togo last year. She will be doing more medical clinics like she did last year. You can read more about Rachel and her last trip here.
Rachel has a huge heart for missions. She uses the gifts God has given her to serve everyone around her. She blew us away last year with her loving spirit when she went to Togo. We are beyond excited that she is joining our team again. The Togolese medical team can’t wait to see her again!
Lewis and Naomi Swann
The Swanns are the founders of Sight.org. They will be there alongside the rest of the team. You can read their story here.
Over the next month, we will be relaying stories from each member of this team as they serve alongside our Togolese team members. We are all excited about what God will be doing in and through them.
We ask for your prayers over each team member. We have developed a prayer calendar with helpful suggestions on how to pray.
Lewis arrived in Togo a few days ago, and he and the Togolese team are already facing spiritual warfare. The enemy does not like what God is doing through Sight.org and he is trying to stop it any way that he can. Please pray that everyone involved will have their spiritual armor on daily so that they can move forward in what God wants them to do.
Take a look at these three faces.
These are not the kind of faces that are treated well in rural Africa. They are often isolated or looked down on. Many people think that faces like these are cursed.
However, in the house church in the village of Adjon, these faces are loved.
They are taken care of.
They are prayed for.
That is because the love of Jesus has changed the people in this house church.
Everyone in this house church are baby Christians, but they have been changed. They don’t look at each other the same way they used to.
In a way, everyone in this house church has become outcasts. They are looked down on because they are Christians now.
The rest of the village thinks they are crazy because they meet every week to pray, worship, and listen to the Word.
But they love anyway.
They are determined to be a light to their village. They forgive their neighbors for calling them crazy, and they keep meeting.
They meet in the middle of the village, where everyone can hear them. Their praises cannot be ignored.
One night, a man was sitting in his house while the church was meeting. He could hear them saying that God wants us to forgive others, no matter what.
The next day, he came to the house church, humbled. He could not ignore what he had overheard.
He and his sister live in the same house, but have not talked to each other in years because of a grudge they are holding. He was so convicted by what he heard the night before, that he talked to his sister and asked for forgiveness.
God is doing miracles in these new Christians. However, they are also experiencing a lot of hardships and spiritual warfare.
We told you last year about a woman named Malibow. She suffers from Epilepsy and has scars all over her body from falling into a fire during a seizure.
She is now a Christian and her heart has been completely changed by Jesus. She is also getting medicine for her Epilepsy, so her seizures have lessened. We praise God for all of these things.
However, she has asked for continued prayer, because Satan overwhelms her with fear and nightmares every night. Her sleep has been stolen from her.
We also told you about a woman who had not heard from her son in four years.
After the house church prayed for her, her son came home just a few weeks later. Everyone was overjoyed that God had answered her prayer so quickly.
Her son was excited to get involved with the house church and even started building a fish pond for the village.
Soon, however, everything seemed to be against him. He faced one thing after another that kept him from finishing the pond.
He has also started struggling with certain sins that he has never experienced before.
He has asked for prayer that he can continue the work God has for him.
These faces love Jesus.
But they wouldn’t love Jesus if it weren’t for the Sight.org eye surgeries.
This house church was started after Sight.org did eye surgeries in their region.
These eye surgeries are so much more than just giving physical sight to the blind.
These eye surgeries make people want to know more about the God that we serve. They become hungry for the Word of God and ask for more.
We praise God for how he is using these eye surgeries for his kingdom.
We ask you to pray for the beautiful faces in this house church as they continue to grow in their relationship with God and as they experience hardships in the midst of it all.
Please prayerfully consider supporting the Sight.org eye surgeries that open a doorway for the gospel in Togo, Africa.