KRB Update #2176 – 1st Projects in Africa
Keith R. Brinkman April 21, 2012
Greetings from Lomé, Togo, West Africa. When the leadership of Mercy Ships felt that we were to come to the continent of Africa, inquiries were made with the nation of Ghana and an invitation was extended in 1990. Though as the Anastasis readied to sail, the invitation was revoked. The crew and staff all gathered to pray and seek God. It was revoked on the basis of false reports about who we are. During this time period of time, I was serving at the home office in Texas. With the closed door in Ghana, God was so faithful and opened the door wide for us in the neighboring nation of Togo. We are now in Togo for our fifth visit of a Mercy Ship.
During that first outreach to the continent of Africa to the nation of Togo in 1990, some of our projects ashore included construction of a school, agriculture and animal husbandry training, water and sanitation projects along with dental and medical clinics in Djegbakodji. During all this time, surgeries were held in the hospital on the Anastasis.
Due to my long friendship with John who led our work in the village of Djegbakodji and his desire to know how they are doing 22 years later, I have been in contact with a Togolese church planter/pastor who knows the people of the village. I visited in 2010 and just recently I was able to visit again.
When Mercy Ships crew came to the village in 1990, there were no known Christians in the entire area. Now there are three vibrant churches. I was very warmly received by the people of the village and able to share in their churches. I brought greetings from John personally and overall from Mercy Ships. As I was driving back to Lomé, my thoughts went to the New Testament (Colossians) related to a letter written for a certain area and how the letter was entrusted to a friend and read in that area (Ephesians 6:21-22). The people of Djegbakodji all expressed their gratefulness to God and with our efforts in their area and it was a great privilege to speak to them.
One of my maxillofacial patients (Florent, 15 years old who had a large tumor removed from his neck) heard I was going and requested to join me along with his father and older brother. That was great as he is a patient who we have cared for this year in our hospital on board.
Prayer Requests: People of Djegbakodji, Togo and for all the people from our former outreaches and field services especially here in West Africa – for their lives – physically and spiritually.
Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace.”
Mail: Keith R. Brinkman, Mercy Ships, P.O. Box 2020, Lindale, TX 75771 USA