Your descendants shall gather your fruits. -- Virgil
We will still debate if this is the best way to go if the price were
the same. With the price difference, I am cheap enough to choose this way every
time. The travel is harder without a break, but it is over much sooner.
Tomorrow we will spend the day in Lome exchanging money and doing
some site seeing…and resting.
It looks like we will only have access to the internet maybe twice the whole
trip so we will not be posting much. My new computer does not have a port for a
land line so we have to go to an internet cafe to get online. Not too bad but
not as easy to get to. Today we stayed in Lome exchanging money, buying some
bibles to take to the village, and shopping a bit. Nothing real profound today,
but always good to be back here enjoying the sights and sounds of Lome. Not so
much the smells!
Today we came to Keve. We are staying in a hotel here that is not bad for
Africa. It doesn't have air conditioning but it does have toilets and showers,
which is more than I can say for the last place. Tomorrow morning we will start
the training in Badja with a group of 20-25 pastors. As I understand only one
of them is an ordained pastor and the rest are leading churches and preaching
every week but since they have no training they cannot be ordained. This
training will mean a lot to them. To gain credibility in the community and
respect from their church it is helpful to be ordained. However, they simply
have no access to this kind of training. Since this training was approved for
ordination, they should all be anxious to complete it. We will see.
Both Lary and I are in great health and feeling good. The jet lag was minimal
so that has not been a problem either. We are taking a lot of precaution eating
and drinking and it has paid off. Lary has this new gadget that "nukes" the
water with an UV light. It is supposed to kill everything in the water. I am
convinced it was a great investment.
Pray for the training tomorrow. We are excited to see what God will do.
What a tiring day! We got up at 6 to prepare for the training and for the trip
to Badja where the "classroom" is located. We hired a local taxi to take us
there and it cost us $10, which I thought was a lot to go 6 miles. I later
learned that taxis have a route they take and you pay for the whole route no
matter how far you are going when you hire one that doesn't pick up other
passengers. In Togo, if you get a taxi you only are purchasing a seat, not the
whole thing. Therefore, if another person needs a ride they will stop and pile
them in. We were able to get the full experience on the way back. It was late
in the day and there were not many taxis out so we had to share a ride. Lary
and I were two of fourteen in this taxi, which is not uncommon here. In fact,
that is probably average for what we see here. Often you will see at least that
many plus a few goats and chickens to make the experience even more fun.
The training session went really well. We had nineteen sign up when we were
here in June. We had twenty five show up today. Word has gotten out that this
training will be accredited by the Baptist Convention of Togo. Daniel has said
that church leaders are calling him now wanted to be a part but he has to turn
them away. The training is not as effective with a larger group so we limited
it to twenty five pastors. At that time we didn't think we would have that many
so it wasn't a big issue. Now, Daniel and I have decided to split the group up
in to two regions. This may complicate my project, but I will figure that out
as I go. The main thing is we are training pastors in this region and they are
responding incredibly! Splitting into two regions helps in two ways. First,
many of them will not have to travel as far. One man rode his bicycle 19 miles
one way to get to the training. While I am impressed with his diligence, I
cannot expect him to do that every week, especially during the rainy season.
The second way it will help is the size of the group. If we split it up into
two regions we could theoretically have two groups of twenty five in the
training. While this is a bit ambitious, I will not under-estimate what God may
do here. They value the education and the opportunity to learn. Some may go
through the program and go off to the seminary in Lomè then on to other
opportunities in the city. While that is not my initial desire, it is still a
good thing. The purpose of the training in the rural areas is to train rural
pastors so they can be more effective in those same areas. If they leave, they
have not had the impact where we have intended. I also realize that a rising
tide raises all ships. Meaning, if we are educating pastors and church leaders,
the kingdom benefits regardless of the location.
The men sat on wooden benches six hours today while Daniel and I taught. I was
tired of standing but I cannot imagine how tired they were of sitting on these
benches. I went through the initial information and pre-tests to test their
knowledge of the subject matter and then we took a 15 minute break. That break
was after two hours of tests and information. We then started again and went
another four hours with no break. I was hungry and wanted to take a break but
they insisted that we keep going. So we started at nine and went straight
through to three o'clock. I stopped teaching at 2:45 but then Daniel spoke for
a while about the possibility of breaking into two groups and identifying a
location to meet.
Today we taught on the Priority of Scripture and the Purpose of Scripture in the
life of the pastor.
I can receive texts here for free so please send me messages. It is costly to
reply but I do on occasion. I can also receive phone calls if there is an
emergency(for $3.50 per minute). I am very pleased that my new US phone works
here. It makes it seem like we are connected a bit more.
Since we will be out in the rural areas, we will not have access to email, no
electricity, no fresh water, or good food, or…… Thanks for praying!