OCC Special Report - Feature Article - TGJ - Togo

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Starting and Strengthening Churches

New Church Rises from The Greatest Journey

By late morning in Kopegan, Togo, people arrive at Eglise Baptiste de la Resurrection for Sunday services in an open-air sanctuary. Most have traveled by foot in their best clothes, walking several miles of dirt paths through rows of sorghum and maize crops. A few latecomers show up on the backs of motorcycle taxis as the music begins to blast through large speakers.

A little more than a year ago, the church started in a small, shaded space between two mango trees. It’s all because Operation Christmas Child shoebox recipients invited their friends and family to hear the Gospel at The Greatest Journey discipleship classes.

The evangelistic outreach to this remote village began with area Pastor Ransome Kwami Tomety, a small team of church leaders, a collection of Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts, and a lot of prayer and faith that God would do something miraculous.

A group of 15 children responded to the church’s invitation to a special Operation Christmas Child event. There, they heard the Gospel, received shoebox gifts, and were invited to learn more about Jesus through The Greatest Journey.

Togo

Bernard was among the first students to graduate from The Greatest Journey 12-lesson discipleship class in Kopegan, Togo. A little over a year ago, those classes grew into a new church in that village.

Immediate Impact

Bernard, one of the shoebox recipients, didn’t hesitate in his desire to know more about Jesus. “The following Sunday I went to church,” he said.

That Sunday, between two mango trees, Bernard began participating in The Greatest Journey.

Through the lessons, he learned that Jesus died for his sins. Because of this, Bernard decided to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. “I started worshipping God that day,” said Bernard.

All 15 of the shoebox recipients participated in the 12-lesson discipleship course. With each lesson, the number of children in the class grew as the shoebox recipients invited friends and family to hear about Jesus.

“Soon we were the size of a small church, so we decided we should start a regular congregation,” said Pastor Ransome. The 15 shoebox recipients graduated from The Greatest Journey and are part of the core church group, which currently totals almost 50 children and adults.

“I started worshipping God that day.”
—Bernard

Bernard, now 16, and the other children who are part of the new church are seeing God use their testimonies to change the lives of their parents and other family members. Bernard’s father, mother, and older sister all have started attending church with him.

Pastor Ransome said that by reaching children with the Gospel, it opens doors to reach their communities.

“New things are happening every day in this church,” he said. “God is transforming every aspect of people’s lives.”

Strengthening Churches

Agamakou Kokouri, pastor of Eglise Baptiste Salut in the nearby town of Yogon, said that because of Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey, the Gospel is breaking through the area’s spiritual darkness.

“I heard other pastors in Togo talk about the impact it was having at their churches,” he said about the evangelism and discipleship project. Now, he has seen it with his own eyes. “It has doubled the number of children we are able to reach with the Gospel.”

Anna,* a graduate of The Greatest Journey, said that embracing Jesus as her Savior has opened her eyes to a greater purpose because God has a plan for her life. God’s love has freed her from a spiritual bondage that had stifled her schoolwork and fueled her rebellion at home.

Through The Greatest Journey, she “discovered that there is a great God and a great Savior whose Name is Jesus Christ. He has come and died in my place, and I have decided to follow Him.”

*Name changed

“God is transforming every aspect of people’s lives.”
—Pastor Ransome

Churches in Togo continue to grow stronger as God’s people faithfully teach His Word. Through Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey, local churches are teaching young disciples who are discipling others in the Name of Jesus.

Togo: Pray for the people of Togo, West Africa, where the Gospel is transforming even the remotest of communities through the partnership of local churches and Operation Christmas Child.

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