Come with me to the village of Kpaha.

We knew that 2013 was going to be an exciting year, and it is quickly becoming one already. We are continuing the ministries of our first village church plant and the Bible Institute, while also branching out to start a new church among the unreached Lamba people and also starting a small orphanage on our Bible Institute property. I will give more updates on the orphanage construction with my next post.

We had more questions than answers about these new ministries, but we were confident that our Sovereign Lord would give us the wisdom that we needed, when we needed it. He has opened doors for us and allowed us to get connected to many people that have shed light on our path and helped us tremendously. God has provided us with both a great translator and a wide open door among the Lamba to start our first church.

I would like to take you on a little tour of the village where we are going to start that church in less than two weeks. It is among the largest unreached people group in Togo, the Lamba. The village is called Kpaha and it is another ten kilometers down dirt roads after traveling about thirty-five kilometers north of our house.








The most important thing to do when seeking the opportunity to plant a new church in a village is to talk to the village chief and get his permission to do so. Thankfully, we were able to meet with both the village chief and the chief of the region, “chef canton” and they were both glad to have us come out to their village and gave us their approval to start a new church among them. In the picture below, it was very important for the chef canton that our feet were in the picture too. I just thought that was kind of interesting.

Chef Canton









We met them both at the local school where they graciously gave us permission to use one of the classrooms for our Bible Studies as we get started out there. The kids were having a big soccer game that day, but you can see the school in the background.







You see a lot of interesting things when you walk around in the villages.

I saw a lady making this long rope…

Ball of rope







using this straw.








Wow! It takes several days for the whole process of cutting the straw and weaving the rope and she sold me the ball of rope for $2.20. Let’s just say that if lazy people exist in these villages, I’ve never meant one.

I next came across this young girl in her kitchen cooking up some pâte. It is basically just flour and water. Heidi has tried some before, but she was hardly able to get it down. Time did not permit me to try some. Maybe next time.

Girl cooking







At each stop we take time to get to know the people a little bit, learn about their life and share the gospel with them too. At the next stop, I saw another young girl picking fruit from a tree with a long pole and I asked her if I could try my hand at it too. It was not easy to snag the right fruit with the hook shaped end of the very long pole. I enjoyed trying something new, and they got a kick out of the white guy having trouble doing what they do every day with ease.

Picking fruit







After talking to these villagers for a moment, I noticed that the young boy had caught a bunch of frogs and was drying them out on his roof before eating them. Did I ever explain why I do not eat village food? I know the missionary prayer, “Lord, where you lead me, I will follow, what they feed me, I will swallow.” But I have never prayed that prayer and do not intend to.








Now take another look at the picture and notice the clay pot to the left of the picture. Any idea what that is? A fetish for their voodoo worship. They pour the blood from the chicken sacrifices into the pot and also put the feathers on the outside. That’s why we are planting a church among these people. God in heaven deserves the worship that they are currently giving to their false gods.

This last picture was of a very well spoken man that I talked to for a long time about the gospel. He had lots of reasons why he should reject this “white man’s religion” and why he should not reject his ancestor’s religion. I felt like I was living out my years of studying apologetics and I guess I was.

Village man







There was a strange sense of confidence that filled me while trying to answer his reasons to refuse the gospel. Even though this man seemed so unwilling to believe the gospel, I know he is no match for the overwhelming grace of God and the awesome power of the omnipotent Holy Spirit. I look forward to speaking with him again and prayerfully sharing the good news with you that he has accepted the good news that I’m sharing with him.

24 thoughts on “Come with me to the village of Kpaha.

  1. Leaving behind family, friends and the luxuries of America sure is worth it! I’m encouraged to no end by you and your family’s sacrifice and steadfastness. May God bless you and your ministry abundantly.
    Love you brother, Shane

  2. Bro…that is some crazy stuff! I feel like I’m looking at a National Geographic magazine with Gospel-narration – awesome! I’m fairly confident that you could not ask for a more “interesting” place to live. May the Lord continue to salvage the lost in your neck of the woods.

    • It is a completely different world and one that we love being a part of. It’s no Paradise Valley, but it is definitely interesting living here. Let’s talk about a time that you can come visit. We would love to have you.

  3. I love reading your posts! Togo looks very interesting. I’m very happy to see your progress with the Lamba people and look forward to reading more updates. God will be glorified as His Word is preached in their villages. His will cannot fail. You are part of the greatest mission on earth: spreading the worship of Christ among the unreached. Rejoicing with you!

    In regards to the Togolese cuisine, you need to cultivate a taste for Tabasco sauce. Any food item (or non-food item for that matter) drenched in Tabasco sauce, immediately becomes delicious. Frogs, yuck! Frogs with Tabasco, Mmmm!

    • Glad you like the blog Joey. I like opening up our lives and ministries to let friends, family and ministry partners get a peek into our little world over here. I’m thrilled about the open door among the Lamba and appreciate greatly your prayers that God would do a marvelous work out there for the His name’s sake.

      You might be the only person that I know who would do just fine eating village food. You would carry that Tabasco around in your pocket and eat whatever they put before you with a smile on your face. I love that about you.

      • The only thing that sounds worse than dirt for me is spicy dirt. If someone can come up with a sauce that both makes it safe for us to eat and also makes it taste like BBQ, I would be all over it.

    • I hope so. There’s no doubt this man could teach me a lot. It’s been said that in every man there is something wherein I may learn of him, and in that I am his pupil.

  4. WOW…how interesting to know you are coming across this daily. Praise God for opening that door for the new church. I love getting your emails and staying in touch. Give Heidi and the girls hugs from Aunt Gail.. Hopefully I’ll see you when you are home again.
    Praying for your safety and that Gods’ will be done.
    love you all,
    Aunt Gail

  5. I know the missionary prayer, “Lord, where you lead me, I will follow, what they feed me, I will swallow.” But I have never prayed that prayer and do not intend to. — LOL’d on that one.

    We really enjoy these posts, so keep em coming! We pray for yall all the time.

    PS – You made Challies’ “A la Carte” again :)

    • The other missionary prayer is “Lord, I will put it down, if you will keep it down.” The last guy in the photos did offer me some village food and I know so many say that you should eat it, but the missionaries that do usually end up going to the local clinic to figure out what stomach bug they got from eating village food. I told him that if he came to America, he would get sick eating our hamburger, fries and a coke.

      Challies is a cool guy and I’m glad that he likes the blog. I like his too!

  6. I know the missionary prayer, “Lord, where you lead me, I will follow, what they feed me, I will swallow.” But I have never prayed that prayer and do not intend to. — LOL’d on that one.

    We really enjoy these posts so keep em coming!. We pray for yall all the time.

    PS – You made “Challies’ A la Carte” again :)

  7. You really didn’t have time to try the flour & water…yeah, right! We know you too well to believe that one. Seriously, you are doing great. We are so thankful that you are allowing God to use you to reach the people of Togo. What a great work He is doing through you. Praise Him!

  8. Praise the Lord for new opportunities to plant new churches in Togo. May the Lord give you wisdom as you serve among the Lamba people in Kpaha. Remembering you in our prayers.

  9. Enjoyed the tour! We are so thankful for your ministry there in Togo. We love and appreciate you and Heidi and your family. God is so good!

  10. Pingback: Friday Faves | Servant Living

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