Planting our first church in Togo has been such an amazing adventure. Watching God work in the lives of those who were completely ignorant of even the most basic elements of Scripture, those that had never even heard of Adam and Eve before. Villagers who were devoted to practicing voodoo, offering animal sacrifices and consulting witch doctors are now followers of Jesus Christ who have destroyed their idols and are growing in their walk with the Lord.
It’s now been over two years since we started that first church in the village of Tchandida and while we would love to stay there longer, we know that there are so many more villages out there full of people who have yet to hear a clear teaching of the gospel.
One of those villages, called Kpaha, is found among the Lamba people and that is where we believe the Lord is leading us to start our second church. We have been going out there for weeks getting to know the people and have told them that after Easter we would start holding Bible studies on Sunday mornings at 8:00 at the local school.
So last Saturday we went out to the village to show a gospel film and preach a little to the crowd before inviting them to come back the following morning for the start of this new church.
When we showed up the people had just come back from a voodoo dance and were all gathered around drinking the local homemade beer. Not exactly what we were expecting! There is no doubt that this place is going to be a challenge as they have a syncretistic mix of Catholicism and voodoo with alcohol thrown in on top.
The next morning we showed up around 7:40 at this school and waited for the people to show up.
8:00 came and I think we had one adult lady and a handful of kids. Once again, this was not what I was expecting. The longer we waited around the more I started to wonder if this was really the right place for us to plant our next church or if we should keep looking for another village.
The girls where having a good time…
but I wasn’t. I would like to tell you that I was full of faith that God was going to do a great work out there, but that was not the case. I was doubting, a lot. I kept thinking about the stronghold that voodoo has on the people there and how they were probably gospel hardened by repeated exposure to unbiblical forms of Christianity.
We waited around for a while and then I told my translator that maybe we will come back for Bible studies on Saturdays instead of Sundays.O, missionary of little faith I was. But little by little, bit by bit, God started sending people our way.
Heidi started teaching the song “Jesus loves the little children” and then I talked to them for a while about how God had sent us half way around the world to bring them very good news.
When it was all said and done, we had 28 in attendance and I felt foolish for my lack of faith in God. We encouraged them to invite family and friends back for the next week and then we took pictures so that we could work on remembering their names, which can be quite difficult to do.
We don’t know what God is going to do in this village, but we pray He pours out His grace in amazing ways in the lives of these people, delivering them from the power of darkness and translating them into the kingdom of His dear Son.