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Togo Property Purchased!

Update # 18 from ABWE Missionaries in Mango, Togo – Northern Hospital Outreach.  The property has been purchased!  Now the work begins.

It’s after midnight, and we finished our Togo Spiritual Life Retreat this evening.  Cleaning up took some time, but I wanted to get this out tonight, since tomorrow is a travel day, and we have good news.

Tim signs the purchase agreement as a witness!

Tim signs the purchase agreement as a witness!

On Thursday we signed the sales contract for the hospital property in Mango.  If you’ve been following that saga (and after more than two years it does seem like a saga!), you will understand our elation.  The meeting actually started early; something very unusual.  We arrived at the Préfet’s office almost 25 minutes early, and found representatives of both families already waiting for us.  The General Secretary was there as well, since the Préfet had traveled, and he came out to invite us into his office.  He started things by asking Mr. Baba to read the contract and then interpret it for those who don’t speak French.  He then asked if either family had any questions about the contract (written by our own lawyer, Maître Dévotsou), and they replied in the negative.  We needed a signature from a representative of each family, along with that of Steve Mills, our Togo Team leader, and since we didn’t have the names of the family leaders, they had to be hand written in on six copies of the contract.  Then there were two witnesses from ABWE, as well as two from each family.  Do the math!  Six times nine is 54 names hand written.  And of course, the man writing the names had to put his name in as well, so he had to write 60 names, and that took quite some time.  We started at 3:10, and didn’t get out of there until nearly 5:00.  Then we remembered that the buyer is supposed to buy drinks for the sellers, so we went over to the nearby buvette (watering hole), and everyone ordered soft drinks.  Muslims don’t use alcohol, at least not openly, so we weren’t pressed to buy schnapps or gin, which can be the case down south.  The Préfet returned early from his trip, and came right over to add his signature to the six copies of the contract.  He would not normally come into the office that late in the afternoon, but said that this had dragged on too long already, and he wanted to get it signed and ready for the judge to render it a legal document.  His instructions to the families were interesting.  First he commended ABWE for the love we have shown to the local people.  Then he exhorted the two families that are contesting ownership of the land to settle things within the bounds of the law. We have been instructed to check on things Tuesday, and should have the Administrative Certificate for the property by Wednesday.  Steve Mills, our team leader, said that he has never heard of getting legal papers that quickly.  Usually one waits weeks or even months, but our team did their work well, and the local authorities are anxious to clear the way for the hospital to be built.  Thanks to all who prayed, and please keep the project before the Lord.  We are aware of the economic problems faced by many people in the States, and know that God will have to move in order to provide the finances for building and equipping a hospital.  But then, that was always the case, so things haven’t really changed from the divine perspective.

Our little town of Mango was rocked by the murder of a young man with whom our co-worker, Alain Niles, played basketball.  Mango has a team, and Alain, who played ball at Moody Bible Institute, was invited to play with the team and help them to build basketball skills.  He said the young man, Fusséni, was a likeable person, and he was shocked by the murder, which appeared to be a robbery, but was almost certainly the consequence of a dispute that spiraled out of control.  The crime was very violent, and I’ve an idea that people have a pretty good idea concerning the identity of the perpetrator.  It is likely he has fled to Ghana, and we wonder if he will be apprehended.  Fusséni is the grandson of the Chef du Canton, whose funeral was celebrated last week.  We went to visit the family, and met several of the chief’s wives, including his first wife, a very elderly lady.  She died about the same time that Fusséni was murdered, so this family has been hit very hard, with three deaths in the last couple of months.  We grieve for the people and are praying that God will in some way bring comfort to them.  Their great need is to know the God of grace, who has sent us the Comforter.

Finally, some have asked about Sister Kiméwalu, and we have been by to see her this week.  She is not doing well, and is beginning to suffer a lot of pain.  She says she finds it almost impossible to sleep because of the pressure in her abdomen from the tumor and the build-up of fluid in the abdomen.  She just wants us to help her, and has difficulty understanding why we can’t do more than bring a few pain medications.  It hasn’t helped that people come by with quack remedies that promise a cure.  Please pray.  We do not have hospice care here, and the best we can do is to provide palliative care.  Being an uneducated person, she has not been able to really understand that, nor to understand what is happening in her body.  It leaves us feeling very helpless.  Sooner or later God has a way of making clear our utter dependence on Him.  Thanks to all of you who have prayed, and please keep it up.

Yours in His service,

Tim & Esther Neufeld

  1. Brian D.
    April 1, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Thank God for answered prayers. This is going to be exciting time watching everything develop in Northern Togo.

  2. Alan
    April 6, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Andrew, thanks for the update. Very exciting to read about the purchase of the property. I liked this comment near the end: “Sooner or later God has a way of making clear our utter dependence on Him.”

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