Dear Friends and Supporters,
As we write this newsletter, we hope that our loving Father who cares for all has remained faithful to you in all your undertakings. We want you to join us in thanking God for what has been accomplished through our ministry in Togo since the last time we updated you.
The period May, June July and August has been full of many ministry activities. We face huge and unprecedented challenges on the spiritual frontlines!
Ministry in the States
Since our last newsletter I have visited various churches and attended missions’ conferences to share our ministry’s challenges and needs. I have continued to recruit various ministry teams for construction, mobile medical clinics, Christian entrepreneurship, church leadership development, etc. I have also been trying to raise funds for various projects we have been working on the ground, leading NHMI board meetings, and holding conference calls to follow up on day-to-day ministry activities both in U.S and West Africa. Immediately after my trips in the U.S, I traveled to West Africa with U.S church leaders and partners from Texas and Maryland for almost three weeks. It was a time of refreshment and God’s presence.
West Africa: Children Sponsorship in Action.
In early June a workshop was held at the NHMI head offi ce in Lome, Togo. Six fieldworkers were in attendance. The workshop highlighted the need to work ogether effectively with churches and communities leaders as well as public school teachers. Also we discussed the tools and skills needed to be in readiness to mobilize Christian communities in taking better care of vulnerable children.
A few months ago, we sent you our children sponsorship booklet and have asked you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child of Bridge of Hope. So far we have only 10 children who have found sponsors. We are still praying for sponsors for the remaining 130 children. Please be a catalyst for change in the life of a Togolese child by offering him or her the gift of sponsorship. Your gift of $30 per month provides the child with spiritual, educational, health care, and leadership opportunities that they would otherwise not benefi t from. We believe that sponsorship not only transforms the life of a child but also the families and communities and families they are a part of. Again, please prayerfully consider helping NHMI-Togo fulfi ll its vision of transforming lives, families and communities in Togo, West Africa.
Commissioning of new church planters in Togo
Late June: In partnership with our sister church, the Global Evangelical Church in Ghana, a commissioning service was held on Sunday, June 22 in Accra. Six of our church planters were commissioned by the moderator of our sister denomination. We continue to pray for the Lord to bless their ministries in the next two years before their ordination.
Bringing Hope through Small Businesses Initiatives
July-early August: One key area the NHMI ministry focuses on is helping church planters and church members establish self-sustaining Kingdom-focused businesses to create platforms for the sharing of the good news of the gospel. In partnership with the Chalmers Center in Togo, NHMI has seen a tremendous positive impact upon various impoverished communities and villages where NHMI churches have been established. This was not the case three years ago. This growth shows that the wonderful work being done by the partnership of Chalmers Center, local churches and NHMI-Togo is showing its fruits as small businesses are being initiated. We are happy to report that in Togo alone, through the work of our Project Director Pastor Ayivi, we now have over 70 Christian ‘savings groups’ in our churches. Most of the group members are men and women, predominately young people, who are church members. These are people who before joining the saving groups had no independent financial means. Today, they are testifying about how this ministry is addressing their physical needs. Lives are being changed, communities are being transformed, more people are joining churches, and offerings and tithes are increasing in these local churches.
Leadership Conferences in Togo
August 4-16: In Early August, NHMI had a wonderful leadership development conference opportunity. It was held in Kpalime for over 90 key national church leaders of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Togo. The conference highlighted the need to encourage faithful biblical shepherding by ministers in the church through spiritual formation and renewal. Dr. Steve Simmons from Tyler, Texas, and Rev. Willard Larose of Centerville, Maryland, were the keynote speakers. This was one of the few conferences in its kind in the history of a 175 year-old denomination. The participants were so grateful for the opportunity to deepen their personal relationship with the Lord and gain more knowledge with ministry skills anchored in the Scriptures.
The conference held in Kpalime was followed by another leadership seminar in Lome from August 11-16 for NHMI leaders. Dr. Steve Simmons ministered to about 60 NHMI ministry leaders in attendance. He taught the Book of Hebrews, deepening our leaders’ understanding relating to ministry issues.