The Fishing Village

This morning I got the opportunity to visit one of the local churches, the Egilse Mission Internationale Du Christ, more commonly known by the crew of the Africa Mercy as the Church at the Fishing Village. 

Back in th ’95 field service of the Anastasis (a now retired Mercy Ships vessel) it was founded in a small fishing village just outside of Lome, Togo.  The surrounding village is considered a hotspot for voodoo and ‘pagan’ worship.

It was interesting, to say the least.  While the style of worship was foreign to me, it was refreshing to see and feel the Spirit of God moving.  There was something there that I had not felt in a long time.  The band (if you want to call it that) consisted of about four drums, and a dozen tambourines, gourds with beads attached and various other noise makers.  Children and women danced in front constantly.  It was an adventure. 

Today, we celebrated the children of the church and the future that they hold for the area.  There were about a hundred children running in and out of the service, coming and going from the children’s service put on by some of the Mercy Ships volunteers.  Each of them had a stick with a strip of fabric attached to the end.  They waved them about, a banner of hope floating through the air. 

Throughout the service, there were a couple of things that I noticed.  Most of the people present (about 3/4 of them) were women.  I couldn’t help but ask myself where all the men were.  And then I noticed how the children outnumbered the rest of the congregation almost 2 to 1.  And I began to ask myself where all the parents were.  Then I realized that the future of this church, and the future of the Church, rests on the shoulders of these children. 

The church itself could almost be overlooked in the surrounding village.  It is no more than a couple of supports holding up a tin roof.  On one end, a thatched reed wall blocks the view of a trash pile.  On the left side rests an open cemetary, with several concrete covered graves and wandering goats.  On the opposite side, the skeleton structure of a new building rests, its white stone walls standing upright, like a ribcage ready  to support a roof and a second level. 

The plan is to put a second floor on the foundation that has already been laid with the support of a number of donors from around the world (the U.S., Great Britain, France and a number of other locations).  The second floor will provide free schooling for the local children. 

As I stood there, after the service, I couldn’t help but notice how much this small little beacon of light shines through the surrounding darkness. 

God Bless and PEACE


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