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Beloved New Region

Beloved New Region

The region of Elavagnon is the biggest challenge Sight.org has ever faced.

This entire year, we will be serving this region through eye surgeries and ministry. This area is poorer than any region Sight.org has ever served, and the Ministry of Health in Togo believes there are thousands of people in this region that are blind as a result of cataracts.

This region has zero access to eye care, and from what we have seen; the people living in this region are in worse conditions than any population we have ever served.

Elavagnon, Togo

This week, our medical team will be giving sight to 60 people in this region.

 

Elavagnon, Togo

Last month, 50 people in this region received their sight back.

Nine year old Faritte was one of the patients in these surgeries.

When he was three months old, he was hit in the eye with a stick. This caused an immediate cataract. He has not been able to see in his left eye since that day. Because of our mobile eye clinic, he is now able to see again. The photos below are from the day of surgery and a week later. We will check on him again in a few weeks to make sure his sight continues to improve.

Faritte

 

After our first round of surgeries, our ministry team started building relationships with the patients and their families and neighbors. Through these new relationships, 75 people put their faith in Jesus.

Ministry

Our ministry team is now working to start a new house church in this village.

If you would like to know more about this process, read our blog about our last house church.

At the beginning of this year, we asked you to pray specifically for this region. We are already seeing God move. Thank you for pouring your heart prayers into a village that you have never even heard of. God is so good.

Urgent Prayer Request

Urgent Prayer Request

Urgent prayer request for Sight.org! Our medical team is in a new village doing screenings this week. We knew that the needs in this village would be more numerous than the other villages we serve, but they are even bigger than we imagined.

This village is so far from medical care, that the people have neglected their health needs or tried using traditional medicines that did not work. Many will not be able to have surgery because their eyes are so bad. Our team can give them certain medicines that will help, however. There are many children there as well in the same situation. The medicine we are providing for them will save the small amount of light that remains in their eyes, keeping them from going completely blind. There are still many will still be able to have surgeries.
Please pray for two specific patients. There is one lady and one young girl who have complicated cataracts. Both of them have already lost one eye from cataracts and we are trying to save the other eye. The young girl in this picture has a very strong faith, so praise the Lord for that.

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Also, please pray for Lewis Swann, our founder, as he is traveling to South Africa today. He will be there for two weeks. He is checking out the eye ministry called Grace Vision. They have a very similar program to Sight.org, so Lewis and his wife Naomi are going to observe their ministry and learn from them how to better the ministry of Sight.org.

Thank you for your prayers!

If you feel led to donate to these needs, go to Sight.org/donate and put “Village of Elevagnon” in the comments.

You are amazing

You are amazing

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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!

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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!

Written by: Lewis Swann, Founder of Sight.org
November Update from our Missionaries

November Update from our Missionaries

Hello friends and family. It’s November and we have entered the second season of the year, Harmatten season.  The rains have ended and vegetation is drying up and everything is turning brown. There is fine dust or dirt in the air and the temperatures are HOT and cool in the evenings.  We totally miss FALL and SPRING and even WINTER—Togo does NOT have these seasons.

So needless to say, Togo does not celebrate Thanksgiving like Americans, and only some Togolese people celebrate Christmas. I have not seen any Christmas decorations here in Atakpame but I’m told you can find it in Lomé.  I tried making a Christmas tree out of toilet paper rolls and that was a waste of time. It looked more like a rocket with lots of fins.   I am going to have to be MORE creative to come up with something to make it feel like Christmas around here.

Sight.org has served in the Plateau region for a year now ending in December and will be moving to another region for a year. The government wants us to minister in Elavagnon, northeast of Atakpame.  We are saddened by this as the Plateau region is very beautiful and full of mountains and we have made many friends in the villages we have visited.  We could possibly be back in four years to see them again. We will be going to a flat, plains area. I will be able to tell you much more about it in January when we go to check it out.

Sight.org

Sight.org

We will especially miss one village, Adjahon.  It’s a very small village but we have built beautiful relationships with these people.  They have been growing in God’s Word as they have an audio Bible to listen to each week.  There have been around twenty adults who attend consistently.  We got to study, pray, and worship with them this last week.  God has been moving in their midst according to their testimonies! They are excited to see what GOD is going to do in the days to come.  Malibow (the woman with epilepsy who fell in the fire) lives in this village.

Sight.org

Sight.org

We also met Afowa in August, a 30 year old woman who became a believer when our ministry team was in her village. We also prayed for her distended stomach as we thought she had a tumor. We revisited the village later and found that Afowa had worsened and we were asked to pray again for her. I can’t explain what happened but we certainly “felt” the kingdom of God come into her little room as we prayed for her. We felt lead to take her to the hospital in Tsiko. She had never been to the doctor.

Sight.org

After several tests, they found that her liver was not functioning and prescribed some medications for her to take. One day in October, she had asked about our ministry team that had traveled with her. Her husband happily professed that she was very thankful that we had taken the time to care for her.

The very next evening, we received word that she had gone home to be with the Lord. We are thankful that she does not have to suffer anymore but ask that you pray for her husband and three children, the youngest is a four-month-old boy. Please pray for her family and the village as they continue to mourn.

We have become close to these families. We will have to go visit them on our “off” weeks to keep in contact. Missions is all about relationships.

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We had fifty-one children in this village for our children’s ministry. They loved coloring their pages.

We are hoping to return to the US in February 2017 for a short furlough to visit our children, grandkids, and friends.  We can’t wait to meet our two new grandbaby boys who were born in May and July of this year. Lord willing with your help we can purchase our tickets to come home and return to TOGO for another year.

May God Bless your families and increase your faith in the work he is doing in your life!  If God moves upon your heart to give toward our flights, please check our FB page to sign up for a “spot.” No gift is too small! Also, if you give between now and November 29, you will entered into a drawing for a giveaway of a handmade patchwork bag from Togo. We appreciate your giving hearts to make this possible for us!!  GOD Bless You!!

 

 

Teaching Children Different Ways to Worship God

Teaching Children Different Ways to Worship God

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.

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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! 

Sight.org

Sight.org

Sight.org

 

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

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.

Sight.org

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!

 

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