Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Blessings from America

A couple weekends ago I was invited to speak at one of the village church's Christmas ladies meeting.   It is a special church because we know the Pastor and his wife well.  We met them both when we first came to Togo in 2001.
As soon as Madame Akofa (the pastor's wife) asked me to come speak I thought that it would be the perfect time to give a gift to the ladies.  Some time ago the ladies of Faith Church (our sending church in NC) collected ear rings and gave them to me to bring to Togo and give some Togolese ladies.  I had kept the ear rings waiting for a special time to hand them out and then was just the right time!
The church is about 40 minutes from the hospital in the village of Djove-Pime down a VERY bumpy, pot hole ridden road....if you can even call it a road anymore!  It is more dirt now that asphalt.

This is Madame Akofa.  I can not say enough about what a godly woman she is. She and I have talked together, laughed together, prayed together and even cried together.  She has been with our family for the births of Eliza and Ansley.  And she calls herself the kids "Togolese Mother".
Can you spot the little Yovo (white person)? As soon as I arrived at the church, Ansley was whisked away from my arms.  But she was more than happy to be carried around on Louise's back.

Madame Kafui is another sweet lady.  She is a nurse at HBB and is very active in the ladies ministry at this church.

Ansley definitely made her rounds visiting with all the ladies.  One lady was holding her and Ansley just barely started to fuss and Akofa (even though she was leading the meeting) went right over and took Ansley.  And Ansley settled right down!  All our kids LOVE Akofa.
After I gave a devotion, Madame Akofa explained to the women that the women from my home church had given ear rings for them.  They were all so excited.
Madame Akofa handing out the gifts.

They all wanted to put them on right away!

This lady was so precious.  She just beamed as she wore her new ear rings.
Helping each other out

 All gathered around looking at each others new ear rings.

Some of the ladies after the meeting.  All very so thankful.
One thing that struck me was how excited the women were.  And I honestly don't think it was about the gift itself as much as the act of giving.  I think they were quite surprised that some women way over in America, from a different culture, a different language, a different lifestyle -really a completely different world- had thought about them and wanted to share something with them. The simple ear rings conveyed a great message of love in Christ.
I told the women that even though in this lifetime they will never meet the women from my home church and that even though we are from different worlds, we are sisters in Christ.  One day in Heaven, together we will bow before the King of Kings and worship together.  Skin color, tribe, language, culture will all be irrelevant as we kneel before the One who humbled Himself for us, one Christmas long ago  so that one day He could be our spotless sacrifice.
So from the ladies of Djove-Pime to ladies of Faith Church
Joyeux Noelle (French for Merry Christmas)
Akbe-lo (Ewe for "thank you") for the Christmas blessings.

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