Jun 23, 2022 | Gilbert's Journal

Six Amazing Days in Lome, Togo

I am on board a flight from Lome, Togo and we are headed to Libreville Gabon in French speaking Central Africa. Whereas this was my third teaching and encouragement trip to Lome, Togo, it is going to be my very first time to visit and encourage the Church in Libreville, Gabon. My last teaching trip to Lome was in January 2019 with my good friend and mentor, Dr John Oakes.

The Church in Lome is growing in leaps and bounds. The church has grown in numbers in the past 3 years under the leadership of great friends of mine – Raymond and Emilienne Samnick. They also oversee the work in neighboring Benin and just to start a partnership and mentoring relationship with the Church in Burkina Faso.

One of the greatest highlights of my stay in Lome this time was on Saturday – two workshops took place – for students in the morning and for Professionals/Entrepreneurs in the afternoon. Two top professionals and Entrepreneurs joined online via zoom to share decades of experience and knowledge to help guide those who aspire to either start making their first steps or those who are already entrepreneurs and need guidance.

God gave me the strength to first teach a class on excellence to the emerging campus ministry and then, to translate for the two speakers online. It was amazing to see the disciples’ hunger through their rapt attentiveness for four to five hours spent together.

There is no doubt that the two guest speakers (Dr Deanne DeVries from Amsterdam in Holland and Colin Christensen from Alberta, Canada.) were an amazing blessing to the church in Lome.

The next day, the whole Church gathered for special Sunday service. The singing was explosive, full of joy and heartfelt expressions of gratitude. Somebody said worshipping in one of the west African churches looks like a workout session. I had run 8km earlier that morning – a double work out for the Lord.

The lesson focused on growing like Jesus did and the service ended with 3 baptisms, great agape fellowship around meals and an informal hangout time spent with a large group of single brothers and sisters.

On Monday, I spoke to Bible Talk leaders and disciplers to define and provide tools for one another or discipling relationships. It was also a blessing to visit some married couples in their homes, to enjoy some of the best Togolese cuisine and to also use my stay to work on my fitness.

I see the Lome Church emerging as a great example for churches in the French West African Region. Their desire to learn and their willing hearts is simply a great source of encouragement and has refreshed my heart in a special way.

Thanks for your prayers as I spend the next Six days with the brothers and sisters in Libreville, Gabon before returning to base in Lagos, next Tuesday.


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