To be read on Sabbath, June 25, 2011
The Special Sabbath School Offering will be gathered on Sabbath, July 2, 2011
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.” Matthew 24:45-47.
The message of Reformation officially reached Togo in 2006. This is a relatively small country on the west coast of Africa, bordering the Republic of Benin on the east, Ghana on the west, Burkina Faso on the north, and the Atlantic Ocean on the south. The country has an area of 56,785 square kilometers (21,925 square miles) and a population of about 6,000,000 people. Togo was once a French colony, and French is still an official language; other local African languages are also very popular even in schools and business centers. Economically, the country is very poor, and the cost of living is very high.
Paganism or traditional religions are still very popular in this country, being practiced by about 40% of the population. Christians constitute about 35%, while Moslems claim about 20%. Roman Catholicism is the dominant Christian religion. In 2005 a brother from Ghana, Christian Doxodor, visited Togo on private business and met some interested souls. In 2006 he took us with him to visit the first group in Lome, the capital city. On this trip, we were privileged to have the company of missionary sisters from Canada, Sisters Leila McTavish and Edda Tedford. A small group was established under the leadership of Brother James Etse. Later our brethren from the Ghana Field visited Togo to provide additional spiritual help and conduct baptisms. In 2008 I made my third visit to the country with Brother Emanuel Chileshe, from Zambia, and more souls were baptized.
The work in Togo is advancing very slowly, because it lacks a permanent missionary worker, registration of the church, and a central office from which the work can be coordinated. The laws of the country require every religious organization to have a central office and places of worship. There is a wonderful potential for reaching many souls in this country, so there is great need of a missionary worker and French study materials.
The special Sabbath school offering for next week will be sent to Togo to help meet the above-mentioned needs. May the Holy Spirit impress the heart of every giver to offer a genuine sacrifice which will find recompense in heaven. Let the following inspired statement touch your heart: “The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 117.
“The words ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15) are spoken to each one of Christ’s followers. All who are ordained unto the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men. The same longing of soul that He felt for the saving of the lost is to be manifest in them. Not all can fill the same place, but for all there is a place and a work. All upon whom God’s blessings have been bestowed are to respond by actual service; every gift is to be employed for the advancement of His kingdom.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 16.
–Parmenas N. Shirima,
General Conference Second Vice President