Greetings everyone! I can't believe it is the end of January already! I have been here in Switzerland for exactly 3 months now and the time has flown by. I am still attending class 5 days a week for about 3 hours a day and taking the rest of the day to study, build relationships, read, crochet, and catch up with family and friends.
January 21st was my 31st birthday and although it was difficult to spend it away from home, my Swiss friends made it a wonderful day filled with cheese, chocolate, conversation, and lots of laughter! A special thanks to my adoptive community group at sojourn who sent me wonderful birthday cards that they made themselves. I was able to talk to my family via Skype, and my mom is arriving in Switzerland tomorrow so we can celebrate my birthday and her "I'm finished with Cancer treatment!" celebration!
As you can see, I am also busy trying to make hats for the babies in Togo (see the Crochet TOGO tab) and I'm trying to work on other things I (and you!) can make for some of the children. If you have any ideas or want more information how you can help, please send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
I have also started to look into ways we can improve the lives of the Togolese children outside of medicine. This brought me to the subject of literacy, of course! In the United States, 99% of people over the age of 15 can read and write, compared to 53.2% in Togo. Togo ranks 167 of 183 in literacy rates. What better way to start to fight illiteracy then giving children books! Currently I have started discussions with Scholastic® who has agreed to set up an account for me in which people and/or companies can donate money into the account towards the purchase of books. I currently do not have all the details ironed out, so please continue to be in prayer over this project as we try and get it started. If it goes through, we have to decide whether we have the resources to give to books away or if starting a library of sorts would be more beneficial and/or realistic.
I am also quite close to booking my ticket to Togo. I should arrive on either March 31st or April 1st. Please be praying for my upcoming transition as I know these next 2 months will pass very quickly. My time here in Switzerland has been a true gift from the Lord, in many ways, but I am eager to get to Togo and start the work I know I am called to do. I appreciate everyone who has partnered with me with encouragement, finances, and prayer. They are all gifts that can never be repaid and I pray that Lord will use all if exponentially to further His work, as I know He already has.
Grace and Peace,