Jul 24

Out of the mouth of infants…

“Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies
you have prepared praise” – Matthew 21:16

Our church in the US often have a special service at the end of VBS where the children perform songs and recite Bible passages. Here in Lomé, Togo, they have a similar Sunday, but at the end of the (Sunday) school year.

The children dancing (click here to listen)

This past Sunday was the Sunday School children’s program. It was a delightful time of song, dance, and Bible verse recitation. You can see videos starting here.

They also had a special offering “competition”. In Togolais (Ewe) culture, a person is given a name based on the day they were born. Only after the parents get to know the baby (a week or so) are they given a religious or western name. Because everyone is known by their “day name”, everyone knows what day they were born on. For this special offering, they call out each day of the week and those who were born on that day comes forward to put their offering in the plate. The amount for each day it totaled and the winning day is announced, along with the runner up.

I did not know what day I had been born, so I had to ask Siri. She informed me I was born on a Thursday, so you can call me Yao or Yawovi.

In the offering my day came in second, only to be beat out by Sunday (on which Pastor Kossi was born), because there were many people born on Sunday and only a handful on Thursday. Pastor Kossi told me years ago he told the congregation that he would pray that more people born on Sunday would come to the church and that those who were expecting would give birth on Sunday. It seems God answered his prayer. I told him he needs to pray that more people born on all days come!

It was a great and joyous day based on the salvation we all have through Jesus, who took the little children in His arms and blessed them.

Jul 04

Rain Delay

Today durning class with the pastoral students we had a torrential rain. No big deal in the US, but when you are in a tin-roofed church, a heavy rain drowns out any class (you think the gym at ILC is bad during a storm!).

When the rain started, the students moved up closer to the lecture and I moved closer to them and we tried shouting over the noise. At one point the rain got particularly heavy, so we took a 5 minus coffee break at which point the rain let up some and we could continue.

Click here for a video of the interruption
The rooster seeking refuge

The rain was so bad that a rooster sought refuge in the church. I guess he was wondering by when the downpour struck.

Rain also paralyzes the city and causes travel problems as most of the roads in the city are dirt roads and they become even more difficult to travel on, if not impassible. Also most of the transportation is by motorbike, which isn’t pleasant during a heavy rain.

This past week, Pastor Kossi was traveling up to the land the church body has purchased and is farming. He was caught in heavy rains and his cell phone stopped working because of the water damage. He has since replaced the phone and purchased a rain poncho to wear while riding.