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Mango Mission # 7

Update # 7 from ABWE Missionaries in Mango, Togo – Northern Outreach.

December 21, 2008

It’s warm inside and out, the city cut the water this afternoon, and we have no idea when they might turn it back on.  I do hope this doesn’t become the norm.  We drove up to Dapaong yesterday to show a film in the village of Nano, and arrived back in Mango at around 4:00.  One thing we discovered is that it is much cooler 40 miles to the north in Dapaong.  I think people are right on when they call Mango the hottest place in Togo.

It turned out that we didn’t show the film, since we had a problem with the projector.  I discovered this evening that we blew a fuse, and it looks like something else in the projector melted.  It’s kind of hidden behind the on/off switch, but by the way it looks, it could be a resistor.  Then we discovered this evening that the VCR/DVD player I took along isn’t working either.  It might be the generator we used.  I never bothered to check the output voltage, and it might have been high.  Live and learn!

Even without the film last night we had a good crowd, and while I’m sure there was some disappointment that we couldn’t show the DVD, the people all stayed and listened to Pastor Laré’s message.  We were served a meal at 9:00 after the meeting was over, and then drove back to Dapaong to spend the night in our formerly minus three-star hotel.  They have fixed it up, and it is really very nice now, with a/c and hot water.  We felt like we were in the lap of luxury, as my mom used to say.  This morning we had a continental breakfast, with bread, butter and jam, as well as hot chocolate and coffee.  That cost us $1.45 each, and the hot beverages hit the spot in the chill of the early morning harmattan.  We were supposed to be back in Nano by 8:00, but the road is really bad, and we actually got there at around 8:30.

Pastor Laré baptized five ladies in the lake behind the village. The lake is man-made, and people and animals all use the water stored there.  Our crowd stood by while a young boys loaded a barrel of water on a donkey cart.  I hoped to get some pictures, but discovered that my camera batteries had died.  Pastor Laré was wearing a bright orange T-shirt with CIA in big letters, and each of the ladies kind of danced their way down into the water.  They gave their testimonies, the pastor baptized them, and they danced their way out of the water while the congregation sang, and the drummers drummed.  It was definitely very African, and I must say, more interesting than the normal baptismal service in an American church.  One lady told how she used to sacrifice chickens when she had problems, but that didn’t help.  Then when she came to know and trust the Lord Jesus, she found true peace, and intends to live for Him the rest of her life.

Following the baptismal service, we celebrated the Lord’s Supper, and that was followed by another meal.  We learned that the ladies from Dapaong got up at 3:00 a.m. to prepare this lunch, and it was delicious and very filling.  They were also very tired, but African women are something else, and they proceeded to serve the 150 people who came to the service.  Pastor Laré told me that the five ladies he baptized donated rice from their fields for this dinner.

I don’t know why, but Esther and I were given a chicken and a guinea rooster as a thank-you gift.  I don’t like hauling animals in the car, but we didn’t really have a choice.  It would have been rank ingratitude to refuse their gift, so we stuck them in a box and hoped for the best.  They survived the trip back to Mango, and I gave the hen to the Nogbedji family, while our guard, Mumoni, gets the guinea rooster.  Guinea fowl are in the Peacock family, and while they aren’t as pretty, they are about as obnoxious with their screeching.  But they are good to eat, and like a duck, they don’t have any white meat, since they do fly.

The old man from Tamboang walked the five miles from his house to the church service in Nano, along with his two wives, and a number of children.  I think he is the person who gave us the guinea rooster.  The hen came from one of the village chiefs.  When I learned that he had walked all that way to come to church, I decided to take him home in the car.  It really is very dry, and the road has turned to dust.  I felt I should apologize to every person I passed, because I literally left them in a cloud of dust.  On the way to his place I came across a young bull standing in the middle of the road, and he was pawing at the dust as if to challenge me.  He didn’t move, and I had to swerve around him, just thankful that he didn’t decide to follow through on his challenge.  I left him in a cloud of dust.  There is now dust on the car and in the car, and on me and on everything else that was inside the car.  It’s nearly midnight, and there is still no water with which to wash!

Our missionary colleagues in Mango met again this morning, and Anna told us that one of the Muslims who has been coming actually gave a testimony, saying that he was thankful to be learning about the Lord.  I can’t tell you how much that encourages me.  These are busy, but blessed days, and we thank God for the privilege of being here in Mango.  Please do continue to pray concerning the property for the Wendell Kempton Memorial Christian Hospital.  And we do wish you all a most blessed Christmas.

Yours in His service,

Tim & Esther Neufeld

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