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4000 Attend Mango Hospital Ground Breaking

From ABWE Missionaries in Mango, Togo.  Three things stand out to me:

  1. Mango is ready for a hospital and ripe for the Gospel.
  2. God is at work there.  So many things are coming together that can only be attributed to God’s grace and work in a special way.
  3. It rained.  Make sure you read the last paragraph.

October 24, 2009

It’s a cloudy Saturday, and I think it best to write today as we travel to Dapaong tomorrow and have meetings in the evening here in Mango.  The big news is of course the laying of the first stone for the Wendell Kempton Medical and Ministry Center on Thursday.

First off, the President didn’t come, which was both a disappointment and a relief.  It certainly lowered the level of security, and that was a blessing.  He did send his greetings, and the person who announced the change in plans attributed his absence to a last minute affair of state that required his presence in Lome.  We did have four cabinet ministers and five representatives from the Togolese National Assembly, so there was plenty of “star power” in attendance.  The authorities here told us they estimated the crowd at 4000, and people came from distant villages, and from as far away as Lome.  The day started off with a light fog, which cooled things down early in the morning.  But that burned off, and it rapidly heated up.  We were under a canvas shelter, but most of the crowd was seated, or standing in the sun, which had to be very uncomfortable.

To me, the high point of the affair was when Pastor Pat Nemmers preached from Mark 2 about the paralyzed man whose friends brought to Jesus.  Our desire here is to talk about our Lord Jesus Christ, and to show His mighty works, and wonderful teaching.  Pastor Nemmers spoke of how we can be healed physically but then lose our souls. Jesus, however, went beyond healing the man physically, forgiving his sins and giving him eternal life in the process.  Our friends here see Jesus as a powerful prophet, but not as God in the flesh.  The story in Mark 2 defines His deity in a powerful way, for only God has power to forgive sins.  I was impressed that the message was finished in 20 minutes, and that included translating it from English to French and then to Anufo.  With the heat, as well as other speakers and activities, it was a wise thing to do.  The following day we met with the Préfet, and as we prepared to leave him he commented to us about how much he appreciated the message from the Bible.  He said that several people had come to him to tell him how they were impressed by Pastor Nemmer’s remarks.  Our prayer always was that Jesus Christ be praised, and I believe that happened on Thursday in front of 4000 people here in Muslim Mango.

Bill Hanson, ABWE Project Office director spoke about the various ministries of the hospital, and there was a loud cheer from the women in the crowd when he said there would be separate wards for women and men.  The local hospital mixes everyone together, which has to be embarrassing for Muslim women, or for that matter, for any women.  There was another loud cheer when he said there would be three operating theatres.  There is no surgery in the government hospital, and that means in emergency situations people have to travel to Kara, 140 km south of here, or even over to a Catholic hospital in Tanguieta, Bénin, several hours to the east on a dirt road that is impassible during the rainy season.  Understandably, people sometimes die before help is available.

During the VIP meal that followed the ceremony Ron Washer, ABWE Director for Africa, met with government ministers who assured him of their support for the project.  One offered to put in temporary electric power for the construction phase of the project.  Another promised help in finding water for the wells we plan to drill.  City water is contaminated, requiring expensive filtration, and it isn’t always available, so we plan to develop our own system.  Recently we spoke with several of the local employees at the water company, and they pooh poohed the idea of drilling a well here in Mango.  According to them there is no water available, and every attempt to drill wells has failed.  The Minister promised to send engineers at government expense who can help us locate water.  We’ve started to pray for pure water.

As we left the Préfet’s office, he spoke of the rain that fell on the property following the end of our ceremony.  There is a belief here in Togo that if rain falls after a major event, it is an omen that God is pleased and has promised His blessing.  The Préfet said that surely this was a sign that God is going to prosper our plans, and that His blessing will rest upon the Wendell Kempton Medical and Ministry Center.

May Jesus Christ be praised,

Tim & Esther Neufeld

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  1. November 4, 2009 at 6:34 am

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