“Long time no see.” I am sorry that we have not updated this blog for a while. You know how time flies when you are busy. Well, then our time has been at warp speed. We have hosted three teams since we last communicated. We have put in many village wells and made numerous assessment trips to several countries preparing for future well projects. Not to mention all the activities of daily life in Togo.
WELLS, WELLS, WELLS! So far this year we have had the opportunity to put in ten much needed wells in at least five countries.
We had the joy of putting wells in Bonagana-Sada, Kadjale and Mazada, Togo. These three remote villages all had no water source in the village. The people in each village were walking great distances to find water that was unclean and very unhealthy. In Bonagana-Sada the local pastor told us “We walk a long way to drink with the cows.” How tragic. But now, all three villages have a new well near the local church and the people of the entire village have easy access to an unlimited supply of clean, fresh and healthy water. “THANK YOU” to each of you who have given to make these wells a reality. Wells have also become a reality in Camaroon, Senegal, Ghana and even Timbuktu, Mali.
Earlier this year the Africa Oasis Project was approached with the needs of two villages in mid Togo that have Assembly of God primary schools and they desperately needed a well for each school and the surrounding villages. As of this writing we have installed one well in Abodjegan and we are currently working on the second well in Dekandje, Togo.
ALSO, by the grace of God and many wonderful donors and friends we were able to minister in the villages in other ways as well. Missionary friends Berry and Tracey Brown collaborated with us and provided a tremendous amount of labor and also corn, rice and beans from the Convoy of Hope which they helped distribute in both villages. Laté and Minen Lawson, our local colleagues and friends, were such a blessing as we worked together to coordinate and carry out the feeding schemes and so much more. Thanks to a ministry team from Kansas we were able to distribute the grain, notebooks, pens, chalk, cups, BGMC buckets, literature, soap, wash cloths, towels and more to the schools, the students, and their families. It was such a joy to see the smiling faces as they received such blessings as gifts from the Lord.
TEAMS, TEAMS TEAMS! We have the joy of hosting three teams just since our last posting.
In July we started with an AIM (Ambassadors in Missions) team from Kansas. This team was made up of six high school and college age ladies and their leaders Pastor Darin and Marleen Stoud. This team worked with us in many locations holding very successful children’s programs. Hundreds of children and adults would gather in each location to receive the gospel message.
In August the second team was an exciting group of 12 young adults from Scotch Plains, New Jersey. The group from Evangel Church is called THE WELL. We took them further north in Togo and they had the opportunity to minister in villages where their group has provided the funds for much needed wells. This group performed impactful presentations that will never be forgotten in each location.
In October the third group was a mixed ministry team from Kansas that consisted of eight ladies and two men. What wonderful ministry and fellowship they provided. At a local deaf school one of the ladies ministered in sign language and the students and teachers were so excited. The team also worked joyfully under the hot sun as we did distributions in several locations. Children’s and ladies programs and ladies teas were just some of the ministries they shared with us.
KIDS, KIDS, KIDS! Okay, so they are not “kids” anymore, but our son Ryan and our daughter Cristi will always be our “kids”.
We were thrilled to host our son Ryan as he came to visit us and see our world and our work. Ryan jumped right in and traveled with us as we went to drilling sights and other places of ministry. He enjoyed being back in Africa. It has been over ten years since Ryan was in Africa and it was great to have him come home.
Also we had the joy of hosting our daughter Cristi. She will soon be in Wales as an AGWM missionary, but as she waited for her visa for the United Kingdom she came to spend some time with us here in Africa. Cristi also jumped into ministry as she helped us host two of the teams. We know that God is sending Cristi to Wales, but Mom and Dad could sure offer God a plan B in Africa.☺
Well, this blog entry should catch you up on some of our comings and goings here in West Africa.
We are honored to serve as “Water Warriors” and missionaries here in this fascinating and challenging part of the world. Please continue to pray for us as we serve God as representatives of the Africa Oasis Project here in West and Central Africa.
Your missionary servants,
Mark and Vickie