Friday, July 29, 2016

Bountiful & Beautiful Blessings! July 2016 Report

Spiritual Births

Miheaye's Immersion

Mikeaye (Stephane) is a principal of one of Vogan’s government secondary (6th-9th) schools.  Back in January, 3 weeks after his wife died giving birth to their third child, he came to me and said “I need help” and I am like “what do you mean ‘I need help’ ?”  In my mind I am thinking he wants money for his wife’s funeral or something to that degree.  He said, “I want to know the way of life.  I know you love to teach people the Bible.  Can you teach me?  I want to know about Christ.”
  It is always amazing to me how people sometimes have to literally hit bottom before they start thinking about Christ and the way of salvation.
  Before his wife died, Mikeaye was known to be someone who loves idols and juju power.  He had some amulets and charms and other things he worshipped and he relied heavily upon them for protection.  Mikeaye even forbade his wife to come to assembly.  But now, after several meetings with him, studying the power of God and the plan of salvation, he burned his idols, gave his life to Christ and was baptized for the forgiveness of sins and is now growing in faith!!!  Praise be to our most Glorious God and Savior!! 


Theodore's Immersion

  Earlier last year I baptized Sewavi, also known as Gerome, and his wife.  I have continued to hold Bible studies with him and his wife in their house.  Gerome befriended Theodore and invited him to come to these weekly Bible studies.  Theodore then started to come and brought his 16 year old son Gnogno, who is now a student in our school.  Through these studies, Theodore was convicted, repented, and was also immersed.  He is married and is a father of 10 children!  He is now working on his wife and Theodore is also very interested in moving his entire family from 15 km away, so they can all be part of the assembly here in Vogan.

Damelin, Edmond and his wife

  Koko, our guy in charge of the chicken farm and a part-time teacher in our school, also does Bible studies with my cousin Damelin and a couple, Edmond and his wife.  These 3 were also baptized and are added to the Body of Christ here. 

 

Physical Births

Jonathan Gabriel Godson Koumedjra, Born October 29th 2015

  Last time we posted our report my wife was expecting and we asked you all to be in prayer for us.  Well, as many of you know, our new addition is here, he will turn 9 months on the 29th of July and is growing fast!  Gabriel, also sometimes referred to as Gabe or Jonathan, is all smiles and full of joy as long as he is not hungry or sleepy.  He is already walking around and keeping us on our toes!!  Everything he touches has to be tasted and he already insists on trying whatever is on our plates!  Gabriel is such a blessing not only to us personally, but also to the entire ministry here.  Several people from our church and even from town are still talking about it and are fully convinced that God answers prayers!


Gabriel's great grandmother seeing him for the first time!  

Little Stephen
  June 29th last year, I had the privilege, for the first time, officiate a wedding.  We mentioned it in our last report and it was the wedding of Donney and Egnonam.   On June 2nd of this year the couple welcomed their first born child, Stephen.  He was in the hospital recently because of thrush or something similar in his mouth which caused him not to eat well.  He also was having respiratory problems when he was born.  However, Stephen is doing better now and looks like he will be a tall young man.  What a great God we serve!!!
Gabriel giving little Stephen a kiss


 Vogan Christian Academy

Physical Growth of our school

                    2009-2010            :               15 students
                2010-2011            :               21
                2011-2012            :               42
                2012-2013            :               80
                2013-2014            :               120
                2014-2015            :               185
                2015-2016            :               270

   This coming 2016-2017 we are planning on adding 9th grade and we are expecting about 350 students total.
  We also went from just me and my wife as full time staff in 2009 to a total of 15 staff next year.
  We used to only have 3 shelters as classrooms. Now we have added 3 fully built classrooms with cement roofing and have already started adding classrooms on the next floor.


Spiritual Growth of our school

     Here are the Scripture verses our secondary (6th-9th) students are required to memorize each trimester this past year.
    Genesis 2:17        Isaiah 59:1-2       Ezekiel 18:20        Matt. 7:21-28    
     Matt. 25:40-43     Matt. 25:46          Matt. 28:18-20     Mark 16:16-17
     Luke 13:3            John 3:3-5            John 3:16-17        Acts 2:36-38
     Acts 22:16           Romans 3:23         Romans 6:1-4      Romans 6:23 
     1 Corin. 15:1-5     Galatians 3:22       Galatians 3:26-27     Col. 2:12
     2 Thess. 1:8-10    Titus 3:5                Hebrews 6:4-6      Hebrews 9:11-14
     James 1:12-16     2 Peter 2:20-22      Rev. 2:10              Rev. 20:15
      Rev. 21:1-8

  Since Heaven and earth will pass away but His words will not, we want to make sure these children have His words with them.  Since faith comes by hearing and hearing from the word of God, we pray our students will grow up as men and women of faith.  Our desire is for them to be transformed adults who live for God and love others.  

Visitors!

Regina

  We had the privilege of having one of our former students, from when we were in Atia, Ghana 10 years ago, come and visit us for about 3 weeks.  It was great to see Regina and hear how she is doing.  She has blossomed in the past 10 years!  Regina was a lot of help while here.  She cleaned, cooked, and babysat.  We pray she continues to do well and who knows, maybe one day she could end up in Togo!  Please pray for her to follow God's leading in future plans.  

Teacher's Group

  We are so thankful that we recently had a group of mostly teachers from NC and specifically Pinedale Christian Church (17 total) stay with us from Monday, June 20th until the 27th.  They held a teachers training conference for our teachers.  At first we were unsure about a teachers group thinking there would be too many cultural and language differences to have too much of an impact but this was a huge blessing for our staff!  They learned that there are some of the same issues faced in both cultures.  The teachers have learned helpful tips with regards to lesson planning and helping children from difficult homes and they are eager to put these things into practice this coming fall!  The group also brought lots of resources such as posters, French books, craft supplies, mathematic helps, and much more for both the teachers and our students.
In addition to the conference we had great teachings and preaching from Danny Spainhour, Matt Sink, and Tim Morris!  We also had our nephew Hunter visit us for the first time and he taught the children's Sunday school class!  Showers of blessings!!



  


Nyitaveglo Church

  Those of you who do not remember, this is the church we started at my home village after my own parents gave their lives to King Jesus.  We hereby want to praise God for Toglo who has been working very hard not only at our school teaching the 3rd graders but is very dedicated to the growth and the spiritual well-being of the saints at this village.  Here are his activities, they are simply breathtaking! …..
Toglo teaches in our school Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 3 pm but every Wed. and Fri. from 5pm to 8pm he rides his motorbike 15km (this is a lot on these African tough roads) to this village to help lead during mid-week assemblies and teaches and preaches every Sunday there.  Not to mention that he is a husband to a lovely prayer warrior wife and 5 beautiful and well behaved children.  The school and the church are so blessed to have such a dedicated man!

The Well

 The dry season this time in Togo has been the longest.  For almost a year it has rained only 2 or 3 times, leaving the village people with no water for their crops and to drink.  Nytaveglo especially was hit severly.  Many of the villagers would have to walk miles to get water from a dam.  The color of the water they were getting is green and when we were told that some of them were even drinking it, we knew we had to do something.  I have already been working with the leading men form the village about how they can dig their own well and not have to go through situations like this when there is a drought.  Praise God, we all came together, they contributed the little they had and we received help from the States toward this project.  Today a well is dug and the village people have water.  What an amazing God we serve!!  We have orphans that are in our program in this village.  We are very grateful that these kids can now go right around the corner and get water from the well to drink and to take a bath before they go to school!
Old well with very little water
Villagers showing me the almost empty well
Getting much needed water from the new well
New well!







Tchadome

The government school in Tchadome, where most of our orphans attend, had a very difficult year.  The entire school K-5th had only 2 teachers!!  The children would come to school and have no one to teach them!!  Praise God that we were allowed to intervene and find a volunteer to help teach these children.  It was for only the last 3 months of the school year but we are happy they were able to learn something!  The principal of the school was so touched that he is opened to Bible studies!  God is good!!

Church in Djagbley (Lome)

  The church in Lome has good news and a bad one.  I know you want to hear the bad news first.  It is about one of the leading men in the house church, Pascal, who is a welder.  He went to work and while there, he fell from a roof and injured his back.  We thought it was a minor injury, but it turned out that he needed $4,000 for his surgery and a lot of other expenses.  We thank God that the cost for his surgery was provided and everything went well with the surgery.  Now Pascal is at home but it is a slow recovery and he still needs our prayers.  The physical therapist said it will take 6-9 months for him to go back to his normal routine.  We want to thank all of you who have been praying for him and for those who were able to help financially.
Now back to the good news!  One of the things the Djagbley (Lome) church has been praying for is to find a place for assembly and to start a school.  And since the place is right on the outskirts of the capital city, everything, including renting, is very pricey. The best, long term, course of action is to buy (own) a piece of property.  We were tremendously blessed by a supporting church who sent us $20,000 and we were able to buy land for the future of the ministry.  There near Lome where more than 4 million people of all tribes of Togo live.  We are very excited and are looking forward to seeing what the Lord is going to accomplish!
Pascal home and doing a good job hiding the pain he is in.


Chicken Farm

Our chicken farm has grown from 500 chickens to almost 5,000 chicks now.  And as a result of an anonymous donation we also bought a grinding machine and are mixing our own feed for our chickens!  This truly has potential of creating jobs and better several people’s lives.


Koumedjra Family
  Not only do we have our beautiful son Gabriel but we also welcomed Gloria into our home and she is now with us permanently.  Gloria’s dad was a Muslim who died in a car wreck and her mother went mad and is somewhere roaming the streets of Lome naked.  We do not know where she is or even if she is alive.  Gloria has never seen her biological parents and has been taken care of by her grandmother and great-grandmother.  Her grandmother recently got married and left Gloria with the great-grandmother who is tired and not able to take care of her.  It got to the point where Gloria was skipping and not doing well at school.  The g-grandmother has been asking us to take her for a while and Gloria would come stay with us for the holiday vacations but this time we decided we needed to help her permanently.  Although Gloria is distantly related to us we still want the grandmothers to come and sign paperwork to say we are her guardians.  We are still waiting for them to come, so please pray for that and that Gloria will thrive and grow up to be a beautiful lady who will make a difference in this life for King Jesus. 
  Maceline continues to do well in school and is just thriving!  Keep her in your prayers that she will continue to make wise decisions and be the example she already is to the young ladies in the school.

  Liza is also doing well.  She continues to sew beautiful things and is one of Gabriel’s favorite people.  He just lights up when she comes home!



Ellie & Lindsey

  With our June teacher visitors came Ellie & Lindsey, two college interns who stayed an additional 4 weeks.  They did diagnostic testing for our Primary school's English classes, taught children's Sunday school class, helped with the youth, and went to the villages to do Bible class with the children there.  
Ellie and Lindsey also got to go with us (Bruno, Amy, Maceline, Gloria, and Gabriel) on an exploratory trip to the north of Togo and Benin.  On the way to Kara our tire busted and God had the right people there at the right time!!  We pulled over right in front of a man who was getting wood and he immediately called two guys on a motobike to help.  What could have delayed us for at least an hour turned out to be only a matter of about 15-20 min.  We praise God none of us were hurt!  We also praise God that He took us the rest of the whole trip on that spare tire because we couldn't find a new or even used tire in better condition.  
  It turns out we went to Kara at a popular time and had spent several hours looking for a hotel that had rooms available.  It was a month of wrestling matches that have turned into a popular event that many government officials attend.  We were not as impressed with Kara as many described it.  The surrounding areas were beautiful though.  One of the purposes we had for visiting Kara was to see the home of one of our teachers, N'gai.  This was my (Amy) favorite part of the trip.  The ride from Kara to his home was just so beautiful!  There were no driveways or roads going back to his parents house, so we walked a small path through various crops about 1/4 mile from the road.  Their home is nestled right below a rocky mountain and the view is just breathtaking.  N'gai's family are muslims but also have idols.  Bruno got to talk a little with N'gai's brother about God being our only Savior and encouraging him to seek Christ and follow in his brother's example.  
  After N'gai's home we headed towards Benin.  There we got to go to the Pendjari Park and see some animals.  We then headed back to Togo and stopped in Kpalime to see the waterfall and buy coffee and honey from a farmer there.  After Kpalime we went to Lome to assemble with the Djagbley saints and spend some time at the beach.  It was all a big adventure!!  Here are some pictures to enjoy!