Monday, February 6, 2012

Home and Processing

We are home; life goes on.  Our prayer is that we do not bury what we have learned, but allow God to use it here in the States; that amidst the hustle and bustle, we are able to hear what He wants us to hear/learn.  We pray we don't forget the people and missionaries of Togo.  They have become an integral part of who we are and we pray that we don't lose that! 

To leave off where my last blog ended, we got home safely from Mango, Togo.  While in Mango, we were blessed to meet the ABWE (Association of Baptist Evangelism) team there.  All I can say is WOW! what a committed, amazing group of people, on fire to reach the Muslim people of this area. This is where the DeKryger family (see picture near bottom of this blog) will be moving at the end of this year.  Their prayer is that the Hospital will be up and running in 2013, please pray for this.  Also, pray that they will strike water on the site there!!!

We taught 2 youth groups the mime.  They were incredibly speedy learners, we had a day blocked out, and it only took until 1pm that day (and that included lunch-sauce and rice).  They are going to take it and put it on at a National Youth Conference.  

What was learned in Togo:

Grace- We don't need all our "stuff"

Luke-We are blessed with so much, and we take it for granted.

Isaac-That God works in mysterious ways.

Gabrielle-If you rely on God He will come through for you!

Lydia-I've learned the true definition of the word "need" and the distinction between "necessity" and "commodity" as I so often used to use them interchangeably without being fully aware of what I was doing.  We are so blessed with excess in this country and don't even know that's what it is. excess.

Below is a smattering of pictures from our trip.  It was a life-changing time!  Words cannot express enough, the gratitude we have to all of you who supported us with your prayers, your words,  your finances, your donations!  I pray, that what we cannot say with words, might be said, a bit, with pictures.  Know, that the gospel was spoken (often multiple times) at each of the places you see here and we saw people come to Christ.  We know that God's Word is alive and we saw Him work and change lives.  We were/are humbled to be a part of this.  Thank you for being a part of it!  
Adam was kept busy in the OR! Here, Todd Dekryger assists him as he removes a 15# fibroid!
1 of our first pictures.  A young girl selling water (in bags) at our van window
A C-section of twins that the girls and I were blessed to witness Adam do!

I was introducing our Grace to a Gracee that I had met in a village. 
Grace and Luke teaching the Hokey Pokey!
One of my FAVORITE pictures. Pure JOY! Grace was so wonderful about interacting with the children.  She learned early on that not knowing the language did not stop her from communicating with kids.  She just had to be a bit more creative!  

A common sight, on roads that we would call impassable, with 10 (and that was a comfortable number) people crammed inside.  This was picture was taken at the Ghana border as we were heading to the airport to leave.

The Chief of  Danyi-Dzogbegan, a village we did a VBS in.  He invited us all into his home, sat us all down and told us he was very excited about what we were going to do in his village and that his "men" were going to help us with crowd control.  He spoke excellent English.  This was a God send, because there were so few of us (especially those that knew the Ewe language).  What a great few days in this village.
This precious little 1 slept on Gabrielle's lap for 3 hours.  This was a LONG day for these little ones.  It was 8 at night, and we had begun at 1pm. Oh, you can see it in their eyes can't you?  This evening ended with a film,  a skit-put on by the village's church and an altar call by the pastor;  many came forward.

The water Hydraid filters finally complete after a full day of learning how to clean, put together and fill them.  Josephus Haille from GhanaSafeWater came over to instruct the Community Health Evangelism team how to do all this and we just got to tag along.  If you want to hear the entire God story behind these, call me.

Christmas Eve.  In the L'Eglise de Baptiste Biblique in Tsiko (where we were).  We got there at about 8:15 and left at 10:30.  It went another 3 hours! We could probably learn a thing or two about what praising our Lord really looks like!  Notice the winter hats on these babies?  It was about 80 degrees in that church, although there was a bit of a breeze blowing through! 

Grace's Birthday meal-Agouti, a large rodent.  Ok, well we did have an alternate choice for her!

We washed a few feet in the hospital and polished their toenails.  These women were relishing it!  As we washed, Agate, one of the hospital's female evangelists, shared the gospel in their tribal language!! 
Tough feet!!  We are talking women who, walk miles and miles to get water, pick crops, slash brush, all while carrying their babies on their backs!  Oh right, and all in bare feet!!  OH IF THESE FEET COULD TELL STORIES!
An installed filter and a couple of the families that will be using it.  To make a long story short, the reason these filters were installed is because this village had been crying out to God to provide them with clean water.

Teaching 2 other youth groups the Salvation Mime

Todd & Jennifer DeKryger and their boys, William, Grant, Luke and Andrew.  Wow, what a family and what a ministry they have.  They were/are truly an inspiration to us. 
Christmas Day in Tsiko, Togo, Performing the Mime in the Infectious Disease Ward

Another one of my favorites!  Indicative of the beauty we saw in the literal fabric and the people of Togo

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Separate for New Years Eve

Happy New Year!!  Adam is in Tsiko w/ Isaac and Grace and I am in Mango (10 hour drive) w/ Lydia, Gabrielle and Luke.  Lydia, Gabrielle and I are here basically to view the Hospital being built by ABWE, and Luke came with us in hopes of viewing a Hippo (which he DID yesterday).  Unfortunately Adam could not come, b/c he is being kept very busy at the hospital.  He did take Saturday, Grace's bday, off and did a hike to a  local waterfall.  It was hard to be apart.  We were able to talk via phone which was better than nothing.  It is the first time in 27 years that we haven't been together on New Years.

New Years Eve here was spent in a typical American way.  We played games with a group that is here on a 2 week mission trip from Canada, however, b/c of being hot and exhausted, we said Happy New Year at 11 and parted.

Last week, I was blessed to the point of tears.  Blessed because I have NEVER been able to watch Adam operate or been in on a delivery and I got to see both in one shot!  Lydia, Gabrielle and I were able to watch him do a C-section for twins.  OH MY, how AMAZING!  I even got to help rub the babies down, give them a bit of oxygen (they came out a bit floppy) and get them screaming!  If you look at Lydia's blog you can see a picture of the twins.  Adam was amazing to watch!  I was so proud and awed by what he did. Despite the fact that it was probably 90 degrees (that would be dry heat-haha) b/c the air was broken, Adam was maybe not cool, but calm and collected.  Yup, there is a reason he fixes things that need mending in our home, he is an incredibly good stitcher- precise, meticulous and swift!

Also ,Isaac and I, along with Jennifer and William (their oldest) DeKryger, were blessed to be a part of the water filter installation done by the Togolese people of the CHE (the Community Health Evangelism) team.  Pray for a continued relationship between the Hospital Baptiste and Hydraid/Safe water of Ghana!

The Lifehouse Everything skit that the kids have been putting on everywhere we go, has been amazingly effective.  I still cannot watch that mime without tears!  It crosses all language barriers!  We have been asked to teach it to a nearby village's church/youth group.  The pastor saw it performed at the first village we did it in.  If we make it back from Mango tomorrow as planned, we will be teaching this group on Tuesday.  Pray for that time!

Thank you! from the missionaries down here for all of the gifts that so many of you sent, from cheese to balls, they wanted you to know how much they were blessed by everything you sent!!

Prayers today: - Lydia is sick, flu like, pray it is nothing more than that! oh and while I have been typing this Gabrielle has now thrown up, yikes! And Todd Dekryger has it too!  Must be something we ate!
- I have a terrible cold.  Thankfully today we truly have a day of rest, so pray for renewal.
-Adam did a Vaginal Fistula last week (among other surgeries) on a woman whose had this surgery 3x before, pray that it takes this time.
-open hearts.
-the car we took up here has broken down (if you saw the roads these cars drove on, you would be amazed that ANY are running.  Pray they can figure out what is wrong!  And then, for the 10 hour, WILD ride back to Tsiko.  prayer answered!  Car up and running, now just pray the people riding and driving will feel better! The roads are ROUGH and having a sick stomach to begin with is not good.  THANK YOU for praying!  

 The sights, sounds and people have been amazing, overwhelming, stunning, challenging, beautiful, gracious, awe-inspiring, hot,  and many other descriptive words. We are all still processing.

This week includes:  A Togolese Pastor Wives conference where we will be doing crafts, handing out gifts (to which so many of you donated!) and performing the mime.  Surgeries and more surgeries, with hopes of family members helping/watching-Lydia did retract for him on the vaginal fistula.  And, maybe, although still uncertain, a trip to the capitol city of Lome, which apparently is an experience in itself.

Love you all,  Ani et all,  don't forget you can check out Lydia's blog too (her's is much more reflective and beautiful to read) she put a link on out previous post.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Togo!

Hello all!

We are busy here in Tsiko, Togo.  God is working!
We have little time to update this blog and the internet is VERY slow here, because, well it's dial-up.
Lydia has her own blog, and has posted a couple of times and will continue to do so.
Check out her blog for some posts and pictures!
Keep praying!
Here's a link:

Friday, December 23, 2011

We DID make it! Hit the ground running.

I don't have time to write much, we are off in 15 minutes to a remote village to help with a Bible School.  The kids plus a couple of the Dekryger kids are going to be doing a mime, and we will be helping with crowd control.
 Lydia, Gabrielle and myself will sleep in that village along with the local missionary in this village-no elec. , no running water.  The other 3 will be going back to a bigger town to sleep in a missionary's home.

Adam is working VERY hard, they had the patients lined up, his first case was the night we arrived.  We came and he went to do his first surgical case. (this was after traveling for 2 days and 2 nights).  He was exhausted!  Yet, he was up and gone before the rest of us woke.

More later, wanted to let you know we are here, our accomadations are great.

We ask for continued health and strength.  It is extremely hot here, and it has taken a bit for our bodies to adjust.

Blessings, The Blickleys

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Off we go!

Well, we are ready to go, today is the day!  All of you have richly blessed us with items, finances, words of encouragement and last but most certainly not least PRAYERS.  Please continue to cover us, we cannot do it without you!  In my devotions this morning, one of the quotes that stuck out to me was "God listens to prayers, and he chooses to use them to change the world around us."  As seen in Ezekiel 16 and Exodus 3. So, in saying that, please, PRAY for Adam and the surgical patents he will see, PRAY for the water filter project, and please PRAY that we will be able to see what the Lord wants us to see and serve how He wants us to serve, unhindered by health or strength issues!!

 Here is an excerpt from Jennifer DeKryger(our friend and missionary we will be working with) and her visit to the village where the water filters are going:

Yesterday I had an adventure of heading out to Kpegadze, that's the
village we are going to give out the filters and do
the training. Andrew  and I went with the community health evangelism
team that we will be working with from our hospital. We met with the
pastor there and the other representatives that they usually work
with. We walked around the village and saw the two water sources they
use, both small "creeks" that looked pretty bad. One was pretty much a
big puddle and was infested with insects. This village has the
problem that the local herdsman bring their cows to drink from their
small water supply. So you can imagine what the cows do to their
water small supply. I took some photos and I'll try to attach some of
them to another email. We explained our goals to help them with water
filtration and then prayed together. It was quite humbling to hear
these people cry out to God and ask Him to make this project work for
them. They kept telling God about their children who suffer from
disease because of their lack of clean water. I could barely pray to
wrap things up. All this to say, let's continue to pray that all the
details come together for this to work. They are all very excited.

I've also been in touch with a driver from Ghana who is planning on
picking up the filters on Monday. It's the same guy that will be
picking you up from the airport. Please pray that he can cross the
border without any difficulties and without anyone asking for bribes. 

God is answering the prayers of His people, the people of this village! 

Well, here is the "26-pieces-of-luggage-mound and us  :  ) Ready to go! (well, almost anyway, Gabrielle will not be wearing shorts : )  ) 

This is Sandy the clinical administrator from GRWH.
She spent numerous hours ordering meds and arranging
for donations. A big shout out of thanks!  She even made a last minute house delivery of some medications needed for Togo!!!

Our theme verse for the trip comes from Luke chapter 9.  Verse 2: ..."He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick."  The following verses 3-5 outline our goal for our attitude in that we want to become one with the Togolese people sharing in the culture and shedding the to common sense of American superiority. This was the theme for my first mission trip 20 years ago to Panama and has made a lasting impression for all the trips I have made since. 

 BLESSINGS!  The Blickleys

Sunday, November 27, 2011