Sunday, November 4, 2018

Teaching, La Grace Foundation, Land, Worship, and Goodbye Togo...

It's Sunday evening here in Lome, Togo and the wifi seems to be fairly strong and reliable so I will try to get in one last blog post before I head to Nigeria tomorrow for a couple of weeks. 

The last few days have been a flurry of activity. On Thursday and Friday I had on-going Bible training classes with Pastor Kossi along with three of the the four pastors who graduated from the Mt. Horeb Lutheran Bible Institute of the MELC and were ordained back in March of 2016, and Deborah, the woman who teaches the children and trains Sunday School teachers in the MELC congregations. We reviewed the proper method of Bible interpretation and then applied those tools specifically to the study, explanation, and teaching of the parables from the earthly ministry of Jesus. It was a good couple of days.
My view from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm while teaching at the Mt. Horeb Lutheran Bible Institute in Lone, Togo
On Saturday we got up early to drive a couple of hours north of Lome, past the area where Pastor Kossi grew up, to see the six hectares of land (a little less than fifteen acres) that was recently purchased with a MDF (Mission Development Fund) grant that was approved by the CLC Board of Missions

This land is part of not-for-profit humanitarian foundation that Pastor Kossi and the MELC filed with the Togo government a few years ago. It has been approved by the Togo government and is called the La Grace Foundation of the MELC. Now that they have land they are also eligible to apply for development grants from the Togo government. The initial plan is to use this land to grow cash crops and to provide food to help support the Bible Institute students and MELC Orphans and Children In Need. The Chief of the near by village has given his necessary approval and is excited for this project as it will also provide jobs for area workers. The long range plan includes an elementary school. The initial plan and first priority is to build a chapel and begin evangelism in the area. There is only one other church (pentecostal) in area and it is currently not be served with any kind of regularity. Pray that the Lord will bless their every effort to proclaim the Good News of His saving Word to this area of the Togo and that He would bless their efforts to support the work that He has given them to do!
Agbadgi,Togo...the village near the MELC La Grace Foundation Land Project

Through the Togolese bush to see the land that the Lord has provided

Here and the pictures below show the plot markers on the three of the four corners of the six hectare plot of land. The fourth plot marker was visible from a distance but it was deep in the bush and on the other side of the marshy area near the stream where they plan to develop rice paddy land.

This morning we traveled to an area on the outskirts of Lome where door to door evangelism over the past several years has led to the beginnings of a new MELC congregation. Pastor John, one of the men who graduated and was ordained about 18 months ago, has a brother who lives in this area of Lome. He invited his John and Pastor Kossi to do evangelism work near his home. Today members from three MELC congregations, including Pastor Moses and a car load of members all the way from Ghana, attended the combined service in their newly dedicated chapel. I was given the privilege of preaching the sermon. I preached on John 14...Let not your heart be troubled...Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! There was much singing and dancing on this joy-filled day of worship.

I wanted to upload some of the singing and dancing but I just don't have the internet bandwidth to get it done. Here's a few pictures of everyone getting ready to head home after the three hour worship service...
MELC members from Ghana begin the long ride home

Benches, chairs, lectern, and drums were brought from the main MELC church

Newly constructed MELC chapel building on the outskirts of Lome, Togo
MELC Grace Chapel sign hangs above the door
Tomorrow I head to the airport for a quick one hour flight from Lome, Togo to Lagos, Nigeria. Depending on how long it takes to get through immigration and customs, I will either spend the night in Lagos and then head out early Tuesday morning by car with Pastor Mike Essien with the hopes of arriving at Badagry, Nigeria by 10:00 am for the start of the 2018 West Africa CLC Pastoral Conference. Or, we will go directly from the airport tomorrow evening and arrive in Badagry late in the evening. 

We are expecting nearly forty pastors, students, and evangelists in attendance from Ghana, Liberia, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, and me from the U.S.A. Your prayers for safe travels for all of these men and for the conference itself are requested and much appreciated. 

Please forgive any typos you find...the wifi was not as strong and reliable as I had first thought so I'm not going to go through the frustration of an edit.