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.
I get to go to Togo once a year. Last year, I went during surgery week. It was overwhelming to see people’s lives being changed in a fifteen-minute surgery. I had so many stories and photos when I came back because our eye surgeries make such a huge impact.
This year, I wouldn’t be seeing any surgeries. I was going for ministry week instead.
I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive because I wasn’t sure if I would be getting many stories or photos. I’ve been working for Sight.org for two years, so I know that our ministry weeks make an impact, but it is not as in your face as our surgery weeks. I’m a preacher’s kid, so I’ve been around ministry my whole life. Ministry week didn’t feel like it would be as much of an adventure as surgery week was.
Boy, was I wrong.
Our eye surgeries are a doorway to ministry. These villages would not allow us to even enter without first doing eye surgeries. Through them, we build relationships and trust with the people.
After we spend several weeks in a village, they welcome us with open arms.
The first village I was in was called Landa. It is in the region of Elevagnon. Our ministry team has been in Landa since January. They have read the word with them, prayed with them, worshipped with them, and shown them the Jesus Film.
The first night I was in Landa, we watched a film called Mary Magdalene. Over fifty men, women, and children came to watch. As I sat with them and watched I had so many thoughts going through my preacher’s kid, Seminary trained brain.
“Ok, so this film is in their language, but other than that, how are they possibly relating to anything going on?”
“Everyone in this film is white, and I’m surrounded by Africans.”
“Shouldn’t we just be loving on these people instead of staring at a screen?”
“These children are staying up past their bedtime and it’s a school night!”
Obviously, I was overthinking everything.
I prayed through the whole movie and I tried not to let my skeptical thoughts ruin my first night in the village.
What happened next shattered all my skepticism.
When the film was over, our ministry team encouraged the people with the word, prayed, and then offered to give Bibles to anyone who wanted them.
A young man stood up and said, “We have heard you tell us about Jesus and we all believe. We have watched the Jesus Film and now this film, and we love everything that Jesus has done for us. Yes, we want Bibles, but we really want a place to meet! Will you please give us a place to read the Bible together and pray together?”
I have never heard anyone so hungry for the Word of God before. They were starving for more of Jesus.
I was completely humbled. Jesus was so much bigger than my skeptical thoughts.
We told them that we would be there again the next night and would set up a place for them all to meet and bring them Bibles.
The next night, we met under a large mango tree. We sat down, started playing drums and singing.
At first, no one was there. But suddenly, one by one, they all came back. They truly wanted more of Jesus. We sang and prayed for an hour and then encouraged them with the word. It was so refreshing to be around a bunch of baby Christians who just wanted Jesus. They sang and danced for Jesus with all their hearts.
It started storming just was we opened the boxes of Bibles to give away. They all stayed, in the rain. They even stayed as we prayed over them.
They didn’t care about the rain because they wanted more of Jesus.
This is the beginning of a brand-new house church in the village of Landa.
Matthew 5:6 says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.”
I know that Jesus is filling the people in the village of Landa, because they are hungry for Jesus.
Our ministry team has a long road ahead of them as they walk alongside this new house church. If you would like to see the steps that our team takes in establishing a house church, go to our ministry page. We would love for you to pray for this village.
Dear friends & supporters,
You are truly amazing and we thank you.
Since you and I began this journey of restoring sight to the blind and furthering the gospel in Togo, we have touched more lives than I had ever imagined. Even if you have only given $150 in the life of Sight.org, there is a person in the world who was blind that can now see because of you. It may be someone who is now able to work, or a child who can now go to school. If it were not for your selfless act of reaching out to make a difference, someone in Africa would very likely have remained blind to this day and for years to come. You would have never given to Sight.org if you didn’t have a heart for others, and this characteristic in you is something the world longs to see.
You have been generous, and the world is a better place thanks to you!
Through your support, the team has been growing in tremendous ways. We’re finding that even though we are performing eye surgeries and sharing the gospel, the greatest thing God is calling us to do is to love. Every time I go to Africa, I’m hearing God telling me that my job is to love and his job is to heal. And as a result of simply loving others, I’m seeing healing in the lives of others that far surpass what I have ever seen.
On my last trip to Africa, we went to visit a new house church that we planted a few months prior. Everyone is a new convert, and we spent the majority of each day doing church, praising, worshiping, and reading from the Bible, and throughout, we would take prayer requests. On the second day, we asked the group if they had testimonies to share. This question was brought up every day, and every day we received reports of miracles! To my knowledge, God answered every single prayer that the villagers requested! From physical healings to relational healing, God was moving in such tangible ways that the missionaries (me included) were taken by surprise! As a result, a buzz went across the village of news that this little group of Christians was hearing from their God. It was amazing in ways that I cannot describe.
I have never seen a group of new believers so excited to be Christians.
Here is one of my favorite examples of an answered prayer: A lady requested prayer for her son’s return home. He had been gone for four years. She had no idea where he had gone, she had no way of contacting him, and she didn’t even know if he was alive. The following Tuesday, guess who came into town? That’s right, her long lost son! He took three days traveling across three countries to return to his mother. After four long years, her son was finally home!
As we look back over 2016, we are so thankful for supporters like you.
Last year, we performed 450 eye surgeries. The transformation of a blind person being able to see is enormous. But what I’m finding is that the transformation through surgery doesn’t hold a candle compared to the transformations we are seeing in people who have had an encounter with God. I would like to further express the power of love through the testimonies of the following stories of Jeanaway and Malibow. For each of them, we asked God to show us how to love these two people. We knew little of what to do, but we knew that if we could love these two people, God would do the rest.
Jeanaway was seventeen years old and had been blinded by cataracts since he was seven. We immediately checked his eyes, and afterward, we asked if we could pray for him. He said that no one had ever prayed for him before, and after we prayed, he gave his life to Christ. A week later, we performed eye surgery on Jeanaway. But since then, he only wants to talk about Jesus. Months later, everyone who knew Jeanaway before has expressed that he is unrecognizable compared to who he was before.
Today, Jeanaway is a man of deep conviction whose calling is to pray for others.
People are traveling far to receive prayer from Jeanaway, and many are leaving the local witchcraft traditions as a result of his prayers over them. This is the Jeanaway we have always known, but Jeanaway tells us a darker past. Jeanaway loves to tell us about the man he was before, as he rejoices at the transformation God had made in his life. Jeanaway tells us that he tried to end his own life by drinking poison…twice. Good people stayed away from him, and bad people were attracted to him. Every time he could get ahold of money, he would spend it all on alcohol.
By his own words, he was living for hell, but now, Jeanaway says he is in paradise.
Jeanaway asked that I shared this message to others: “If I can say anything to people who have lost hope, tell them the history of my life and say, if you go and wait for Jesus, your life will change like how God changed my life. Don’t lose hope because Jesus loves you.”
Malibow is a young lady I met a few months ago who joined a house church that we started in her village. Malibow has epilepsy, and at one point an episode caused her to severely burn part of her face. Sadly, people in Malibow’s situation are often treated as outcasts in rural African society.
When I saw her for the first time, she was drenched in shame. At the time, she kept her head down and couldn’t even look us in the eye. But over the course of these few months, God has done a major work in Malibow. Before, I refrained from taking photos of Malibow due to her emotional condition, but now, it’s a different case.
These days, she is glowing! She is a star member of our church, and every time she prays, tears start raining down her face. I feel like these pictures speak for themselves!
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and know that you are a big reason why all of this was possible. These testimonies are being shared to hurting people throughout Togo thanks in large part to your support! You are doing a wonderful thing, and we are very grateful for you!
When you donate to Sight.org, you give so much more than eye surgeries.
You can see evidence of that in the village of Adjahon.
Adjahon is a village full of people who know the name Jesus. Many of them go to a church. Several people in this village have received eye surgeries from Sight.org and can now see. But God is doing bigger and greater things than our human hands can do.
A few months ago, we went into this village and started a small house church. We gave them an audio Bible and asked the “Person of Peace” to sit with other villagers and listen to God’s Word. Now, God is doing miracles.
We prayed over a woman with epilepsy, and God transformed her life from the inside. She is now overwhelmed by God’s grace.
She can’t pray without weeping.
We prayed over a woman who had not had a full night’s sleep in eleven years, and now God has granted her peaceful sleep.
We prayed over a woman who had not seen her son in five years, and he has now returned.
God is working in this village. They have all been to church, but they have never experienced God in such personal ways.
God used the eye surgeries to build a relationship with these people, and now the whole village is seeing God move in miraculous ways.
We always think that we know what we are doing. We think that we have the tools to fix people’s lives. But God always blows us away. He does so much more than our hands can do. We are his hands and feet, but he is the God of the universe.
All of this started with you. Without you, this ministry would not be possible. God is using you to do miraculous things in the country of Togo, Africa. THANK YOU.
This Thanksgiving, we are thankful for you and for God’s gracious work.
In September we started expanding the ministry weeks in the villages here in Togo, Africa.
We have been visiting different villages each week. We get permission from the chiefs of that village first.
We do health teaching, children’s ministry, show the Jesus Film along with other Bible films, fit and give eyeglasses, do door to door ministry, and pray for those who ask for prayer. We also meet any other needs that we’re able.
We also have been finding a “Person of Peace” in each village who will be responsible to play the audio Bible. We leave it in their care to help spread God’s Word in these villages!
The audio Bible is wonderful because it is played in Ewe, which is one of the languages they speak.
We want to teach the children different ways to worship God and we are using instruments to do this.
Wayne and I asked a blacksmith to make bells and triangles to add to the musical instruments that we have been collecting here in Africa! We also have African shakers and home made shakers.
The children love singing and playing the different instruments. We now have about 23 instruments and will add to these as we can. Usually we have about 50-150 children in one village, depending on the size. We “take turns” passing the instruments around and sing a lot of songs, to give everyone a chance to worship our Lord!
We also try to have a coloring sheet with a Scripture that goes along with the lesson of the day. This can be costly to make copies for each village, but when you see their faces and watch them color, it’s worth the expense! Crayons are not readily available here but I sure am glad I bought several large boxes of crayons. They will go a long way!
Sight.org has collected MANY used/unwanted eyeglasses. These are given to people who need a little help with their vision. Many want glasses in order to read their Bibles! They even bring their Bible to the screening to make sure they can see with the glasses! The eyeglass cases are just as important because they don’t want anything to scratch their glasses.
Seeing is everything!
So if you have some eyeglasses that you have outgrown, contact our Sight.org office in Tyler, TX to make your donation! Or if you don’t have any eyeglasses and would like to buy some reading glasses from the weakest strength 1.25 – 2.50 strength. We run out of these quickly! You can also make a monetary donation to help with the shipping costs.
We would like to invite you to help with the work here in Togo, Africa in giving $10 for color sheets or instruments.
We truly appreciate all our family, friends and church body who support us each month in order for us to do the work here in Togo! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!