As I walked across the beautiful WAAST (West Africa Advanced School of Theology) campus, my tranquil thoughts were interrupted by the shrieking sounds of whistles, horns blaring, and people shouting in an overwhelming cacophony of sounds. The guards had the front security gate closed to only allow one person at a time to pass. I went to the balcony of the church on campus and looked over the wall from an upstairs “African Window”. I realized that there was another protest happening right in front of the Bible School. Trucks were full of shouting protesters, streets were closed, marchers were chanting, and other chaotic activities seemed to be happening everywhere. I soon learned that protests were happening all over the country. University students were unhappy because they were not receiving a free education. Taxi and truck drivers were complaining about the increase in fuel costs. Political parties were unhappy about the election results from several years ago, and those were just a few of the grievances. In Togo, which is often considered part of the “third world”, protests are not uncommon. There seems to be so much bitterness and strife.
How should we handle the chaos that is going on around us? The Word of God says in Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. It is amazing how often questionable reports are believed and action is taken. Proverbs 14:15 The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps. Perhaps it would be wise to consider some Biblical advice for our social media posts as well. Proverbs 13:3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. So whether it is ongoing protests and chaos outside our African Window or on our televisions, God has given us a promise and a hope. He will never forsake us. John 14: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Until next time… Mark & Vickie