Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Beginnings

Nurse Afi and I with Charité and David--born at 27 weeks,
now 2 years old!

I'm back in Togo! To catch you up, I arrived in Togo on December 31st and was able to start the new year in Tsiko, visiting friends I hadn't seen in about 8 months. It was a very sweet time of seeing the nurses and new missionaries that had arrived since my departure. It was especially sweet to catch up with Bernadette and Grace. I was thrilled to find out that Berna's family, the Pariko family, will actually be moving up to Mango after this school year finishes, as their father has been employed as our hospital driver. I couldn't have been more excited, and Berna has told her family that she will be living with me.  I think she'll have to settle for living near by. :-)
Royal Blue happens to be the favorite color of most Fulani people.
Say hello to my new curtains as I attempt to decorate using this
bright color!

I was excited to finally make it up to Mango. The journey went well, and besides 2 of my suitcases being held hostage in Lomé customs for about 2 days, everything and everyone arrived safely. I was very much looking forward to finally moving in to my home and packing suitcases. I felt like somewhat of a nomad over the past few months and I was really to get settled. The Lord had other plans though. The wonderful family who I am living with decided that the home wasn't quite good enough and wanted to replace all the windows, and have the veranda tiled. While these are amazing upgrades to a home here, in my own impatience I must admit that I was sad. My dear friend Anna has been letting me stay with her (she only lives about 1-2 blocks away from my house) and I've really enjoyed spending time with her. Over the past 2 weeks I've been moving in little by little. I'm still awaiting the completion of some furniture, which will help me get settled. Please pray for WATER. Our home has wonderful INDOOR PLUMBING (YAY!) but the water company is refusing to turn in on until our family pays the equivalent of $600 "plus some other fees".  My family here strongly feels  that this is due to discrimination based on their tribe (the Fulani people are greatly discriminated against here, and in many countries across W. Africa). The water company says that the people who owned the property before them owed this money, so now it's our responsibility to pay it. It is not so much an issue of money, but of principle, and my family will not be giving in any time soon. Pray for wisdom and for the hearts and attitudes of those involved at the water company. I never realized how much I took clean water for granted until I didn't have easy access to it! For now, we have a well on the property and get city water from a public pump about a block away. 

Interestingly, I have heard several stories about neighboring tribes keeping the nearby Fulani groups from getting water. Wells are "held hostage" and these Fulani groups are forced to go without water, or forced to get water from the Oti River--a very large,contaminated river that runs through Mango. Pray that we will find ways to be a bridge in these factions and find a way to love people through water ministry. 

                                      THE HOSPITAL IS OPENING MARCH 2nd!!!!
Walking into the Hospital of Hope after being gone for 8 months was overwhelming. I stood in the Pediatric ward and just cried tears of joy and relief. I am overwhelmed by all the work and prayer that has gone into this project, and overwhelmed by how much there still is to get done. Please pray as we all work as a team to do what is necessary to get everything accomplished. Pray for some laboratory supplies that have been shipped from Europe to arrive in time for the opening. Also pray for the opening ceremony that is taking place on February 26th, as we believe the President of Togo will be in attendance, as well as the Prime Minister and the US Ambassador to Togo. 

BIRTHDAY LUNCH IN KARA (about 2 hours south of Mango)

YAY for birthday cake!

     I will write more very soon, as there is too much to tell, but I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who wrote e-mails and sent Facebook messages wishing me a Happy Birthday today. It was
                    a wonderful birthday filled with cake, friends, and lots of laughter.
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                                                                     Grace and Peace

Good news! Mango now has a pizza place:
Isa's Pizza!