Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Harmittan & Holiday

As I awakened to the swish,swish,swish of the broom sweeping my “yard”- actually no grass just dirt,

to the “chilliness of the morning” all relative I know,

 & to my alarm- to really get me out of bed & “up & at ‘em”.. I was working today at the hospital.

I thank Jesus for a day of remembrance of His birth & His willingness to:

Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing ,taking on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men, And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.    Phil 2:6-8

So out the door I went to make my 15 min walk to work…

The red dirt roads were still quiet, no school children hustling to school- it’s “holiday”!

But there was something different this morning…
      the sky was “foggy” looking & if I didn’t know any better, I would say
 it just looked like it might SNOW!!!!
                             I hadn’t seen it like this before.

                                   It’s harmittan!!! 


The few months when the winds from the Sahara desert blow down across north Togo blowing DUST! It’s been this way for most of Dec but just a “hazy” looking dust- this morning it was foggy “white”- When I questioned the “regulars” here they told me “this is THE REAL Harmittan” – I think it was a reminder of “winter back home”- 

But along with the winds comes the DUST                                                          EVERYWHERE!!!!

On the floor, on my bed, inside my cupboards, in your teeth, in my hair, just a layer covering everything!

Some decide it’s best to shut the windows-but I think it makes it too stuffy SO you just learn to live with it & deal with it. I sweep, wipe, wash, again & again & then just decide... I may as well give up! It sure won’t kill me!!!

Now my friends tell me that “you’ll learn to be thankful for this because it’s cool weather” – the sun is blocked by the dust. It’s really strange to see it. By what they say what’s coming next is the

                               H E AT ~ HOT HOT  

weather & you’ll wish for the dust back!! So I believe them & as Paul commanded in
 1Thes 5 :16 -18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing & give thanks in ALL circumstances.              

 I’m learning to do this in the dust! 

As I walked on- I passed the “fou”- the crazy man that I pass every morning sitting in the dirt unable to walk- no place to lay his head... He has his winter coat & hat on, the smoldering of a fire that helped keep him warm in the night, his little piece of cardboard covering his very few possessions- I mean few – probably 4-5 things.

From the first day I saw him I am ALWAYS reminded of the lame beggar that Peter & John (Acts 3:1-10) saw & told him

     ‘silver & gold I do not have But what I have I will give to you.. Jesus.’ 

 He always looks up at me, smiles & clasps his hands together in the air as I say

 “Bonjour – Joyeux Noel -  Je’sus t’aime”  

  Hello- Merry Christmas.- Jesus loves you!

This morning I sensed the Spirit nudging me to give him some food- (which I’ve been encouraged not to do ) The only thing I had was a muffin so I dug it out & handed it over to him. He eagerly accepted it & thanked me profusely!

On I went … Jesus was born for this beggar just as He was for you & me…

When I got to work there was just a joyful, exciting Spirit in the air!!!
 The many Joyeux Noels were exchanged along with the usual greetings-

Bonjour! - Hello!

Bon Arrive’! – welcome!

Comment ce' va? How are you?     Tre’ bein! Very good.

How was your sleep?

How is your house?

How was your food?

How is your family?

Well, I get confused with all these “hows” & after a few, I just laugh & say everything is good!!!! This is the dialog every time you see someone!!

Some food was brought in by the “whites” & all enjoyed it. One of the Togolese nurses gave each of us an apple- which are imported from France & much appreciated !!
The great team I work with !!

Throughout my day I was so often reminded …

                    Jesus was born for each of us…

My patient who had a raging infection in her leg & had to have it amputated & then even more surgery, it had to be opened up & left open. Daily, (after giving her conscious sedation)  the Dr. cut away the dead, foul smelling tissue as we  prayed for healing. As Dr. Todd said, we are just trying to save her life at this point.. .

Fati using all her strength to learn to walk after her leg amputated.

Jesus was born for her just as He was for you & me…

As the 16 yr old boy who has Kidney problems & swelled up like a balloon- such a sweet, quiet spirited boy..

Jesus was born for him as He was for you & me…

The little 28 wk preemie weighing only 830 gm (about 1.8 lb)- stable at this point but wondering if she will grow ?

Jesus was born for her as He was for you & me…

Then there was the miracle of a baby girl born in the afternoon- Will she grow up & learn about Jesus as her Savior?

Jesus was born for her as He was for you & me…

It was a good day – a wonderful day to reflect on Jesus & talk with the nurses who are Believers - They will go home & have food & family time & celebration.

When I got home, my guard was here & we talked for a bit..
 He is a Muslim & when I asked about his family – he said his father has 4 wives & he has 30 siblings. He had a celebration of much food, & family time together. 

It made me so wonder what is he celebrating? Will he ever believe Jesus is more than a prophet ...

He is the Priest & King – I pray his heart will be open & he will seek the truth!!

Yes Harmittan is here & so is Our Savior Born to save the world ….
 This man child called Yeshua – Jesus- The Messiah!

 He shall reign forevermore – He shall reign forevermore!!  (Chris Tomlin – Adore)

Well this didn’t get posted yet because of bad internet so I’ll give a little update..

Fati- who had her leg amputated – had to have it removed up to her hip & now the infection has spread there also.. Pray for strength & healing & for her & her family to learn more & more about Jesus,that their hearts would be open to truth.

The boy with the kidney problems has had improvement for the present & went home.

The preemie is still holding his own.

HOPE is being heard every day in the hospital!!

 1 young man 23 has accepted that hope into his life as he goes home to die of cancer!!!! This is a tremendous praise & working of the Spirit as he is from a very “closed to hear the Gospel” Mossi Tribe.

 God brings people to Hospital of Hope.. so they can not only get healthcare BUT hear TRUTH – many for the first time !

 Pray for seeds & much growth.

Thank you  friends for caring for the needs here in Togo …

 We are only 1 small little needy place in the world..

 Laboring together for the Kingdom,

Love cheryl

                     HE SHALL REIGN FOREVERMORE

we enjoyed a Christmas eve get together - Togolese & American food! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I will go before you …But you must take a step

Well I’m getting more settled in Togo everyday.

I’ve been so blessed by the team that lives & works here- they are totally wonderful !!
To think that just a week & a half ago I left…

Some of the BEST friends..& of course Sis

I’ll first share a tremendous "God story" that happened  as I started out …

My bags were packed & OVERFLOWING.. I mean OVERFLOWING..I had 2 checked bags - over weight by 2# ea, I carry on STUFFED, & a back pack with shoes & bottles hanging off & all the ties extended as far as they go.

 I was worried about all this. Trying to think what else I could leave to lighten the load. But bringing clothes, personal items , things to set up a house & 2 weeks before I left a note, that said I needed a water filter that was 18x13x13. I couldn’t get any lighter!!

Brian & Sandy came to say the last "so long- see ya later"..& when Brian saw my things he said you have to take another bag.. I had already called the day before & found out for a 3rd bag it would be whooping $200 !!!– That was way too expensive!!!

I’d make it somehow...

Brian said well I think you have the money for it.. but you do what you think you should do.
 They left – I asked Cid & Beth & they said “Yes take the 3rd bag so you won’t feel so stressed”..
 I said a prayer & felt like God said “It’s ok take the 3rd bag”

 So with no more than 30 min before we had to  leave the house we took things out.. & threw things in that 3rd bag -- lickity – split !!

When we got to the airport & I was checking in.. 

I said I had 3 bags.. & after the agent checked my bags in -ALL under #50 – she said ok - …

 ‘It says here you can have 3 FREE bags!!!” ..

 I asked how that was ?   That I was expecting to pay $200 & she said I can’t understand it..They only give 3 free if you were flying Business class. ( which I wasn’t ) .. I said I know- 

                         “Its was GOD” !!!

And she said “yes it must have been”.!!!!
Also the man before me that checked in was from Togo & she said she’s worked here 7 yrs & NEVER had anyone fly to Togo & now 2 ppl in an hour!!


 If I hadn’t decided to “take that step” I would have NOT seen what God had prepared ahead for me..

Deut 31:8 It is the Lord who goes before. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

So what a way to start out with the many “unknowns” …. Visibly, tangibly seeing God work like this.                  It’s not that I’m special .. 

                                                  He does this for us all .

How often do we miss the miracles because we don’t S T E P!!!?

Now in putting everything in subjection to Him He left NOTHING outside of His control..Heb 2:8

So I arrived, with the Togolese man “watching” over me in the Paris airport & in Togo.

Spent a couple nites in the capital Lome’ on the ocean, right next to the largest port in West Africa.
Lome' Port at nite
Dinner at the hotel with some of the team.

Making Pita bread & buns in the brick oven.

Then up to Mango …

A street in Mango

Some of Kelly's friendly neighbors

 I stayed with a wonderful lady – Kelly who is a teacher for the Missionary kids & has been in Togo since ’95, until my house was ready.

I started working at the hospital this past week end & now have a few days off. 

Doing some IV work

The hospital is really nice. But I have a learning curve here.. I’ve been out of the hospital setting for 3 years &  I’m used to “machines”, protocols, & pre-mixed meds.

Pediatric ward. Everyone is enjoying the "Jesus Film"

 NOT pediatrics ,mixing your own meds, titrating IV’s (with no pumps)- esp on those little babies, not being able to really communicate, having “anything & everything” to be taking care of. 
Preemie- 29 wks

Feeding a "little" one.
2 little 5 month old twins- the little girl has Malaria- which we are seeing so much of.

But again as I’ve been praying & talking to God about ALL this & my lack of confidence..

 Guess what he revealed to me the other day in His Word..

Do you not believe I’m able to do this? And (I) they said to Him Yes, Lord. 
                                                                                                     Matt 9:28

So With His strength – because I’m SO weak- .
 With  Confidence In Jesus that He will EQUIP if He calls.....

                                 I GO & I say
                                               YES LORD.

And I proclaim Peter (1 Pet 4:11) wrote:

one who serves by the strength that God supplies- in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

ALL Glory to Him ,


Rejoicing.Thankful.Praying.  Embracing life....For & because of Jesus

Yes - I'm even eating yummy Mango! ( but I bought it in Lome')