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!
Greetings from beautiful Atakpame, Togo!
We have now been living here for 6 months. Alex just received his visa, so we will be having an empty house available soon. That means friends can come see us! We will have the room to house you! So please consider our invitation!
August just seems to have flown by. We are still loving our little church here. This is the climb uphill each Sunday we make to go to church! What a workout! Motos don’t even try to climb this mountain.
We just returned from our outreach ministry week in Amou-Oblo which is close to Amlame. It is about an hour and a half from Atakpame. A couple weeks prior we did 64 eye surgeries in Amou-Oblo with excellent results!
We are happy to be a small part of this work. As you can see our team was rather large this time as our founder, Lewis Swann, and volunteer Rachel Baber RN joined us.
Our team also did our first non-eye medical ministry. Rachel held several clinics not only here in Atakpame but also in the bush! We prayed over a woman who had epilepsy and had fallen into a fire. She does not have a husband or children. She only has her parents to take care of her. God did a miracle in her life while we were praying over her! You can read more of her amazing story in last week’s blog.
We saw countless children, women and men that had needs. We were able to meet some needs but not all. We had the privilege to pray for these two children. Their parents told us that their limbs need straightening. The girl in white and blue who is 9 years old, crawls on her knees everywhere, so we were able to find crutches for her. The young boy is 4 years old and his right arm is twisted and has pain. There are so many NEEDS here!
Not only were we meeting eye needs but basic health care for the people in these villages. Most are not able to see a doctor and do without, but when “free” medical care comes they come with their needs! It was a tremendous experience. We are so thankful that Rachel Baber came to do this for the people!
We also showed several films highlighting Jesus and were able to give out Bibles and literature.
We found a “person of peace” to leave the audio Bible with and she will be responsible to play the Bible several times a week for all to hear. We not only bring individuals to Christ but also desire to see them grow. We will be checking on these villages to see their growth! We hope to plant churches this way.
Please be in prayer for this small village as we have heard it has many Voodoo “witches” Pray for the gospel to break forth and deliver every single person in that community.
What a blessing to find out that Rachel played the violin too! I played and gave a violin lesson at a school where we held one of our clinics in Amou-Oblo. The children were very curious. I loved it!
We had a prayer tent and a medical tent and I got to spend some time with the children.
We are learning new things about our team members everyday and finding that God has put together some of the most qualified, loving, and committed Christians to work with here. We held our first team building event at our house this month. We did six team building games. We had fun and fellowship and they all got their first taste of Mexican food!
We are truly blessed to be a part and have a place here in Togo.
If you would like to have a part in this ministry by supporting us, please go here. You can make a monthly donation or a one-time gift! We also covet your prayers and rely on them to effectively reach out to some of these people who have no hope. May God Bless your giving!!!
God is so good.
After performing eye surgeries, we returned to the region to share the gospel and plant house churches. In every village we went to, we found many happy people whose sight has been restored, and we found big smiles and warm hospitality everywhere we went.
In one of these villages, we planted a new house church with 20 to 30 new believers in Christ.
And the coolest part about it? They accepted Christ just a few days before!
After the new Christians accepted Christ, we asked them to meet us the following day. At that time, we got to know the new believers and asked them to identify who we call “The Person of Peace” as described in Luke 10. The person of peace is someone who the group identifies as the respected, trusted and responsible person from the village.
In one accord, the entire group pointed to one lady. This lady accepted the responsibility of managing an audio Bible that we gifted to the group. She will coordinate weekly meetings to listen to the audio Bible followed by open discussion. From now on, pastors and ministers from Sight.org will return to that village to continue in discipleship.
And one day, we hope and pray that they will grow to a point that they are prompted to reach out to the surrounding villages to further the gospel and start more house churches. Honestly, watching a new church come together like this is the most beautiful thing ever. I would love to do it every week of the year, and I don’t think I would ever get sick of it. It’s simply too amazing to describe.
We saw amazing restoration in many people, and one of my favorite stories of restoration was in one of our new sisters in Christ. With our volunteer nurse, Rachel, this ministry week began with offering basic medical care for those in need.
During that time, many came with very sad conditions. One lady suffered from epilepsy, and one of her episodes led her to fall into a fire where she severely burned her face. Sadly, this is very common for people with epilepsy in Africa, and such people are often treated as outcasts. In her own words, she had no one.
Deep hurt and shame was plainly seen in her eyes. People like this often hear people say bad things to them. She hears that she is cursed, a nobody, and much worse. I asked some of our team to pray over her with me. We began, and the tears ran down her face. It’s hard to describe, and I have only seen it a few times with this level of clarity, but it was very clear to everyone praying that God was bringing major restoration in her life. To the point of convulsion, she wept throughout the five minutes we prayed over her. Then, when it was all over, joy was all over her face. At that moment, she had received Christ.
The next day, she came to our first church service. She was in the back corner, looking up and praising God. Before, she was drenched in shame, and now, she is restored. One of our pastors went to talk to her, and she explained that something happened during our prayer, and that she knows that her life is forever changed. It’s so clear to see a life restored by God. As I looked into her eyes, it was like I was looking at a totally different person. God is so good.
God is so good.
The mission of Sight.org is to give sight to people who have limited access to medical help in Togo, Africa. However, we do not focus only on sight. In order to focus on the entire person, we focus on three different facets – sight, ministry, and farming. Here are three exciting stories about each one of these.
Meet Jeanne and her husband. Before her surgery, she was only able to perceive light. After surgery, her vision went to 6/12 (the equivalent of 20/40 vision)! Her husband calls twice a week just to say “thank you.” He reports that she’s doing very well.
Our team says that the thing they notice the most about their patients is that even their appearance changes after their eye surgery. Do you notice how different Jeanne looks from the first picture to the second? Once she was able to see again, the light came back into her in more ways than one! Patients are almost unrecognizable after their surgeries because they have hope again, and that hope changes them on the inside and the outside. Praise Jesus that we get to do this work! You can be a big part of giving sight to people like Jeanne.
While our team is doing eye surgeries, they are also speaking truth into people’s lives. We encourage the patients before surgery when they are scared. We tell people about Jesus and his healing power. The patients know that we can only do this because our team loves Jesus. Also, at night, the team sets up a projector and screen and shows the Jesus Film to people in the village. Many people watching the Jesus Film are the very same people who have received eye surgeries that week.
Last week, our team showed the Jesus Film to 250 people in a village largely unreached by the gospel, and 65 people committed their lives to Jesus Christ!!!! 65 PEOPLE!!! This is not the only village that we will go into that is unreached. There are 280,000 people and six different people groups in Togo who have never heard about Jesus. Please continue to pray for these efforts to take the gospel into these villages!
These are our first farming students in Togo. They went through four months of training on our farm, learning better farming techniques so that they can get better nutrition, which can prevent eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and pterygium. The ceremony of graduation was held in August 2015. We are so proud of our students!