Home > Andrew's Blogs, Mango Mission > 4 Wives – One With a Gold Tooth

4 Wives – One With a Gold Tooth

Missionaries (Tim & Esther with ABWE) on the front line in Mango, Togo give us a peak into an Imam’s hard working wives and one not so hard working wife with a gold tooth.  After you read this post, sit back and pray for this Imam, his wives, and the people of Mango.May 31, 2009

Esther and I just returned from a visit to our Imam friend, Abdoulaye, where Esther finally had the opportunity to meet his wives and children.  I think he has three wives, but there may be four.  Grown sons are still living in the household, and there are 32 children in the compound. That includes grandchildren, of course. I told him that I now understand why he has high blood pressure.  The place is a beehive of activity, except for the first wife, who boasted to Esther that she went to Mecca last year.   She showed her gold tooth, which is prominently displayed in the front of her mouth.  If you have been to Mecca, you are allowed to get a gold crown.  She said that it cost 25,000 francs, or about $50.00, and I guess everybody was suitably impressed.  The first wife has the place of honor, and so she gets to boss the others around, or so it seems.  At least I’ve never seen her lift a finger to work, while the others are always doing something.  You’ve heard the saying, “A man works from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.” That certainly appears to be the case here.  While I talked with the Imam and took his blood pressure, Esther went over to speak with a group of the wives, and they seemed to hit it off.  One of the younger wives speaks French, so they were able to talk, and I heard Esther asking them about how to say different things in Anufo, their language.  There was a lot of laughing and smiling, which is good.  I think it’s really important to develop relationships with the people here if we hope to introduce them to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Speaking of women who work hard, I’ll try to send some pictures that tell the story.  We purchased 120 cubic meters of sand on Saturday, and had it hauled to our property.  Every grain of that sand was dug out and loaded onto the trucks by women.  I complained last week when one truck driver I spoke with didn’t want to deliver sand because it had rained the night before.  I won’t do that again.  The work is terribly heavy and exhausting with semi-dry sand.  I think it would be nearly impossible if the sand were saturated with water.  The Oti River deposits the sand during flood stage, so there is an excellent renewable resource for building.  We hope to purchase and haul the remaining 80 meters of sand tomorrow, if the Lord holds off the rain.  Then we start looking for 200 cubic meters of gravel. I’ve no idea as to how they are going to load that.  Put that together with cement, which is purchased and hauled from Lome, and we will have the basic building materials for the Wendell Kempton Medical and Ministry Center here in Mango.100_2768


Please continue to pray for exoneration from taxes on supplies and equipment we need to bring into the country for the building of this medical center.  At this point in time we are still looking at taxes that go up and beyond 50% of the value the local authorities determine, which is (from our point of view) ridiculous.  We need God to work in the hearts of those who are authorized to make these decisions, and again, remember that the king’s heart is in the Lord’s hand, and like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wills.  So please do pray with us.

Yours in His service,

Tim & Esther Neufeld

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  1. June 1, 2009 at 9:46 am

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