Home > Andrew's Blogs, Mango Togo > 3 Reasons Why We Invest in Togo: Julienne, Bawa, & Marie’s Aunt

3 Reasons Why We Invest in Togo: Julienne, Bawa, & Marie’s Aunt

Recently a group from GLBC have been helping sort donated medical supplies for the Hospital of Hope in Mango, Togo.   We’ve invested a lot of money and time in Togo (both the existing Hospital in Tsiko and the Hospital of Hope being built in Mango)  as a congregation and this email from Tim Neufeld in Mango reminds us that our investment and partnership has weighty consequences.

Mango Musings
August 21, 2011

It’s 5:30 and night is fast approaching.  Julienne came to the house at 3:00, one of those rare occasions when she was on time.  I didn’t expect them to spend this much time together, but Julienne has been wrestling with the issue of possibly losing her son if she carries through with her plans to break off her relationship with the father of her child.  He is back in Ghana, and Julienne continues living with his family.  With her successful high school exam, she has the possibility of further government training, and we think she might be hoping to use that as the excuse for leaving his home.  I’m sure the situation is dicey for her, and she is hoping to make the move as inoffensively as possible, and hopes to persuade him to allow her son to come with her.  In this culture the father of a child has all parental rights, unless he is guilty of failure to provide financial support.  By her living with his family, he can claim to have provided room and board, both for Julienne and for her son.  We know that God is still in charge of what happens, and are praying for her.  At the moment her son is being raised in the Muslim faith, as Tariq’s brother is a staunch Muslim and takes him to prayers very faithfully.  This man also has his wife dressed in a full-length burka, and she never goes out unveiled.  This is really rare here in hot Mango, but the man means business, although Tariq himself seems much less serious about his faith.

Here we are again, and it’s Monday noon.  A gentle rain is falling.  It rained harder at around 4:00 this morning, and that delayed the work on the Wendell Kempton Medical and Ministry Center.  It’s hard to work right after a heavy rain, as the ground becomes a lake of mud in places.  It will be good to have Rob Coty here to work more on our road system.

As I was leaving on my bicycle this morning to take some shoes to Nogbedji for repairs (he isn’t a shoe repairman himself, but knows someone who plies that trade), I found a boy of perhaps 13 years standing in front of the yard.  He was skin and bones, looking like he was sick with AIDS or perhaps a victim of starvation.  When I stepped outside he told me he would like to talk with me.  About that time, Marguerite, Esther’s house helper came outside, and I asked her to question the boy for me.  We found out that his name is Bawa, his father is dead but his mother is still alive, and that he has been sick for two years and unable to go to school.  He very timidly asked me if I would help him.  My first reaction was one of pity.  While the people of Mango are very poor, they at least are eating, and we don’t see much evidence of hunger.  I asked him if he could bring his mother to our house so we could talk with her to find out why he is so thin, and then see if we could help him.  Now we wait to see if she will come with him.  I imagine the first step will be to get him examined by a doctor, or someone who passes for one here in Mango.  It is so very difficult for us to take people to Southern Togo where our hospital is located, so we make do with what we currently have in Mango.  While we always have our doubts, we do know of a number of people whose lives have been saved in that medical facility.

Last week Esther met an aunt of Marie, who has a large tumor or cyst in her abdomen.   She was having trouble breathing, and was evidently very sick.  She has been to the local hospital and the family has asked several times for a diagnosis, and been stonewalled.  The local medical culture feels it is unkind to tell someone that they are terminally ill.  Knowing the way they think, we are left wondering if she has terminal cancer, and the medical people would rather let her die without knowing. We thought of the hospital in Tsiko, where they would at least let her know what is happening, and if there is perhaps a treatment that could prolong or save her life.  It will be so good when we have our own doctors and nurses here in town.  Thank you for your prayers and your gifts that are helping to build a place where people will receive compassionate medical care, as well as a place where we will share with people the Word of Life.

It’s raining harder now and we are even hearing thunder.  I think it’s time to get this off before we lose power, and they shut down the phone syster.

Yours in His service,

Tim & Esther Neufeld

Categories: Andrew's Blogs, Mango Togo
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