Story by Delanyo Tenge, Compassion Togo program communications manager, and Barb Liggett, Global Strategy Office intern
September 17, 2008 was the day the staff of Compassion Togo (CIT) had prepared fervently for, and the excitement had reached its peak. As Compassion’s newest country, the staff began registering children in Compassion Togo’s first child development center.
At MESA (Ministères Evangeliques pour le Salut des Armes), the partner church for Togo’s first Compassion children, Pastor Happy and his entire congregation are enthusiastically helping CIT become deeply rooted in Togo.
“We want to equip the local churches so they can minister to their community holistically and win them to Christ. We want to help the church turn their community into a place of hope for the future,” says CIT Country Director Mawuna Lawson.
The first child registered in Togo was David. The second was his sister, Gracia. When asked what he hopes to be when he grows up, the quiet David whispers “a carpenter.”
Even though it was the first registration, errors and omissions were few. CIT has set a goal to register more than 2,000 children the first year. There are currently 10 partner churches and six staff members in the county. Compassion Togo faces a steep road, but the hard work already done and the passion displayed in the ministry make it clear that much should be expected from the new Compassion country.
Another pastor shares his joy,
“We have been asking God how better we can help our children grow up and become good Christians and responsible adults, occupying good positions in our country; it has always been a burden on our heart. So when CIT came, we knew they were God sent, we didn’t need to ask how, when or why they came, all we needed to do was to thank God and to embrace the task he had laid ahead for us to do together with CIT.”