Oh, to go to togo. Isn't that fun to say? Well, it was fun to do also. This is what happened.
It started back in last April. We applied for a resident visa here in Ghana, so that we can stay long term. A process that usually takes about 6 weeks to 3 months, has now been ongoing for a year and 1 month. Basically, Ghana's government is not really working. The Director of Immigration did not even show up at the office for six months. Yeah. So, May 12th, our last extension of an extension on our visa ran out, and we had to leave Ghana and get a new visa to re-enter. Where did we go? Togo!
We decided to kill two birds with one stone; to get our immigration stuff done, and also to encourage the saints in Togo. We left on a bus Monday night around 9 p.m., with Beth Ann Modlin, a volunteer here in Ghana, and Laura Judd, another volunteer, and travelled through the night and arrived at the border, the town of Aflao. Passing through the border, we got our visas for Togo, and met up with our brethren from Togo, Bruno and Amy Koumedjra. It was encouraging to see them again. Amy (originally Morris) is an American lady who came to Ghana to serve in the mission in Ghana. Here, she met Bruno, and brother from Togo, and the rest, as they say is history. They are now serving God in Togo. Well, having travelled through the night, we had a roaring appetite, and treated Bruno and Amy to some breakfast at a restaurant in Togo's capital, which is right at the Ghana/Togo border, Lome.
After breakfast, it was over to the Ghanaian Embassy in Lome, where we dropped off our passports for a new visa (after a wait of about two hours, during which I apparently fell fast asleep). Our paperwork taken care of, we were then free to spend the rest of the time visiting and encouraging the Togolese brethren. We drove up to Vogan, about an hour away from Lome, where Bruno and Amy live. There we met with Kwame "Hammer" Afakule and his family, who are old friends. (The "Hammer" comes from his childhood, when he would crack coconuts with his bare fists... hence Hammer). Hammer was led to Christ as a teen by my dad, when he was here as a missionary kid. Hammer and his wife, Dela, are serving the Lord in Togo now.
Wednesday morning, we were able to visit the school and clinic that the church in Vogan runs. I (Jeremiah) was able to talk to the students, encouraging them that the opportunity they have, not to just get a secular education, but to actually learn the Bible as well, is trully a special one. I also spoke to those who had come for the clinic, encouraging them that, even if they should have perfect health, if they don't assure their spiritual welfare, it profits them nothing.
That evening, after spending time visiting with and encouraging the saints during the day, we met together for the Wednesday night assembly. I again spoke, this time on the subject of righteousness, which is of faith, not through our efforts, but because of who God has made us to be. Afterwards, Bruno, who did a great job translating into Ewe, a local language, was really encouraged, as were many of the brethren. Following the assembly, we returned to Bruno and Amy's home, where we were staying. Amy and the ladies put together a delicious meal, and we had a wonderful time fellowshipping with Bruno and Amy, the Afakules and a few other Togolese brethren.
Thursday, after breakfast with the Afakules, it was time to go back to Lome and pick up our passports, in order to return to Ghana. Goodbyes were said, and we pilled in Bruno's car and were off. 21 (roughly) hours later, we were back in Kumasi and I was helping Alima with math. It was a great time in Togo and we really thank God for the opportunity, and Bruno and Amy, Hammer and Dela for their hospitality. It was all-in-all a very encouraging time.