When the Church Fails You: Togo, Africa

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Farewell, goodbye, to you my friend.

So long, for now, until we meet again.

I enjoyed my time in Togo. Yes, it was hot. We were minimally cooled with two fans and the outside air. Although there was an A/C in our hotel, we were unable to use it because someone broke into our unit while we were gone and used it, racking up a high bill (I guess when you see Americans, you see money).

While in Africa, I daily went to the high school (and sometimes elementary) and taught English. I loved my students and the teachers I got to work with. It was amazing to see so many black, male teachers. We really lack this in America and my heart was happy. Before I left for the World Race, I didn’t know if I wanted to return to teaching. I was ready to quit altogether and hoped the Lord would open something different when I returned. Yet, each day I went to the school, I was reminded of why I love teaching. I was reminded of its importance. Funny how this revelation came right before I returned to America and began teaching again.

However, Togo was taxing on me. The issues we had in Argentina were still with us in Africa. More gossip pervaded throughout our team and we had even more meetings. I was continually meeting with the same guy mentioned in my previous posts over issues that had already been addressed. I no longer felt safe on this team. I was required to sign a “growth plan”–it was stated that everyone was–but ultimately their plan was not for me to succeed and to send me home.

It hurt so bad! They told me they were sending me home, booked a flight the same night and sent me home alone the next morning. No goodbyes to my students. No goodbye to the teachers I worked alongside. I cried all night. Thankfully, I had my host’s number and he was able to see me before I left. If they could have, they probably would have prevented me from seeing him as well. When he came he brought with him the one thing, other than the memories I have, that I got to remember Togo by. It was a handmade dress that arrived just in time. I wore it the entire trip home. It was my comfort.

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Although being sent home devastated me, I see God’s plan in it. The timing was perfect for where I am now. The issues I experienced on the Race are the topics our world is now speaking up about. I have a story to tell about the church’s failure in this area and I will. Ultimately, what needs to be known is that we cannot love the people of Africa and treat them with the utmost respect, but fail to do the same with the people who look just like them in America.

We cannot love the people of Africa and treat them with the utmost respect, but fail to do the same with the people who look just like them in America.

While my goal was to minister to them, they ministered to me. They knew the hardship I was experiencing and prayed for me consistently. They reminded me of God’s truth. They made me feel at home. The Word was alive for me! The parables and teachings of Jesus were so vivid here.

To Togo: I am very grateful for you, your teachings, your kindness, and your love.

Until Heaven or Sooner,

Adri

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On a journey to teach others....in style....as I live out....my faith. :)

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