Cheryl Gayle on January 30, 2008

We had a very sad morning this morning. Atsou, the young man who does yardwork for us, lost his 15 year old brother last night. Atsou was home for lunch yesterday, and he said that his brother was doing well and acting normal, but he did have a wound on his left hand that hurt somewhat. When Atsou got home last night from school and work, his brother was sick. They got him to the hospital by 8pm. It looks like his brother probably had tetanus and a cerebral infection (meningitis or because of the infection in his hand is unknown.) We have had good success out here with injecting special drugs into somebody?s spinal column when they have tetanus. But the brother, Ata, was so sick nothing helped. He died at midnight.

This am Atsou is helping with the funeral arrangements, but they have to wait for his mother?s uncles for any decisions to be made. We were talking to Atsou about how sad we were, and Atsou said ?that is man?s lot in life. We are born and then we die. We do not know when we are going to die. Only God knows.? He said that ?his brother had plans for today that he will never get to do. We should only live one day at a time.? Pray for Atsou to continue to have hope and trust in God.

This is the same Atsou who we asked prayer for a couple of months ago because his uncle had gone to the witchdoctor to get a strong fetish to make him a better thief. It wasn?t working, and so the witchdoctor blamed Atsou?s presence in the family compound for making it ?weaker? as Atsou is a Christian. The family had asked him to move out, but they later amended it to not being able to read the Bible or pray in the compound except on Sundays until this school year is out. Then they expect him to build his own hut apart from the family. We have been praying for Atsou?s family to all come to know the Lord before the school year is out. Before we asked you for prayer for Atsou and the situation, it was only his mother and Atsou who were believers. Atsou thinks that his brother, Ata who died, was a believer as he participated in the children?s ministry led by Melody Ebersole when he could. He also informed us that his twin sister is now attending church regularly. He is not positive yet about their salvation, but it is a change from the past. Continue to pray that God can use even these hard times to draw others to Him. Pray for us as we work with the family.

Pray for Atsou also as he is supposed to be at school the next three days because exams start next week. Because of his brother?s death, he will not be there to get all the notes and review for the exams. He needs a miracle to be ready to take the exams or even to be allowed to take them. Pray also for an 18 month old who was brought into the hospital on Monday. Somehow he got shot by a homemade shot gun in the belly. He had at least 11 entry wounds from the ?buck shot.? Dr. Kuehler and Dr. Ebersole did surgery on him and are monitoring his care right now.

We have had a busy month with a small plastic surgery team here. We?ve also had two medical students and two medical residents as well as other visitors. We were blessed with our Team Togo meetings last week. We had our own memorial service out here for the missionaries and nationals to celebrate the life and death of Dr. Wendell Kempton (former president of ABWE who also died this month.)

Items of praise are that Dr. John Briggs made a full recovery in the states and is back working with us again. The pastor of the church plant Tsaviť got married on Jan 27th. Pray for Pastor Gatiglo and his wife as they are trying to live in the village with the church plant. Pray that they will adjust well and be a blessing for the church and the village. We praise God for the part that you have in His ministry here in Togo. Thank-you for your faithfulness!

For His Glory,

Michael & Cheryl Gayle, ABWE
Togo, W. Africa