Friday, November 14, 2008


Being a mom of two very young boys, I have found my involvement in our ministry here in Kara to be quite different than what I thought almost two years ago before we arrived. I am more involved with the people that come to our home rather than who I meet out in the villages. I am perfectly content to be experiencing ministry this way as it allows me to be involved 100% in the ministry I am first called family. There are a few Togolese women that I have developed relationships with. Most of them only stop by asking for help occasionally, making it difficult to build a strong relationship. Then there is Immaculee (ee-mah-que-lay).
Her story is an interesting one. More than 10 years ago, she was Immaculee Ward, living in Boston with her husband and baby girl. Now, she lives alone in Kara. She speaks English well but desires to improve it so she can have good conversations with her daughter, who is still in the States. She is eager to help me with my French while I help her with her English. While in America, she was trained as a hair dresser and desires to use this talent here in Togo too. Unfortunately for her, Brett likes my hair long. ;) She does what she can to have money to eat and buy soap. As a mother myself, I understand her longing to see her daughter again. It is that emotional connection that keeps me doing what I can to help her make contact with her friends and family in America. I explained to her last week that I do want to help her...but I want to help her in a way that insures that she can take care of herself in the future. Please pray for Immaculee as she struggles through daily life in Togo while desiring to be somewhere else. I also ask that you pray for me to have wisdom in knowing the best way to handle her help her, not to hinder her or her relationships.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

An Erasable Message Board of Truth

On a recent trip to Accra, Ghana, I snapped this pic by the side of the road. While this is a truly powerful message that rightly deserves it's place, the message itself is not what profoundly struck me. Here's what did...

First of all, this is NOT a church sign as you might suspect. This is a sign out in front of a lumberyard! In my home culture, this sign would only find it's place outside of a place of worship, put there for passersby to read and soak up in conjunction with the insanity of everyday life. I am a huge fan of truth in the midst of chaos, but what do these church signs that read, "No Jesus, No Peace, Know Jesus, Know Peace" really accomplish for the kingdom? Not much, at least not in my humble opinion. They are more for the church goer than the pagan neighbor type. The fact that a regular business venture would put this out in front of it's cedar and mahogany planks is foreign to my cultural norms...

The 2nd and most profound thing that I noticed did not come to me immediately, but only after driving past the exact same sign 3 days later. You see, this message is written on an erasable chalkboard, and when I passed by again after my time in Accra, it displayed an entirely different message of truth about God. This next time it said, "God is Eternal".

I hope that my life is like an erasable message board of truth. I hope that everyday, the people I encounter in my life and ministry in Africa can see a new truth about God just by observing the way I live my life. May it be so for all of us; may our lives simply and distinctly reflect truths about our God, our Savior and His Spirit that dwells in us...