Sabbath in Lomé
Trip Start Feb 13, 2011
30Trip End Mar 14, 2011
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Friday, I had asked Mr. Fiaboé how he envisioned the organization of the day. He said they expected me to give the sermon and then, there would be a Q&A session for the members. He laughed when I said I was happy to give the sermon, but hadn't wanted to t presume. "We have a proverb in Togo" he said “when the head is there, one doesn’t put one’s hat on his knee.” That seemed to explain it….
He had also said, I was happy to hear, that in the present situation they were trying to apply what I had taught them based on 1 Thes. 5:21 which states “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.” They wanted to do their best to get all the information, which was somewhat difficult due to language barriers, and asking God’s guidance, make the right decision about where they should be.
As we arrived at the church compound, I could see some work was being done on the wall and inside the compound.
After the opening hymns and prayer, Mr. Fiaboé made some announcements. He thanked me in the name of the congregation for coming to answer their questions. Then I was invited to give my announcements. I transmitted greetings from various people who had asked me to do so, explained my trip and its purpose and gave news of people they knew back in the States or in Europe. After another hymn I gave the sermon, encouraging them all not to become discouraged by the turmoil through which we were passing and not to forget what the Bible says about who is the Head of the Church. I then reviewed a number of blessings that come to us from God, through our participation in the Church. They listened carefully and seemed encouraged as I had hoped.
We finished a little after 11:00, and after a short break, reorganized the room slightly for a Q&A session. I took questions for about an hour explaining my perspective on what the issues were that lead to our recent parting of the ways from our former association. Koffi, a young man I had baptized several years ago, translated for me from French to Ewe, since there are a few members here who either don’t speak French or prefer to hear things repeated in their first language.
We continued to 12:30 when it was time to break for lunch.
After lunch, around 14:00, the hall was rearranged once again and we began taking questions. We continued until after 16:00, at which time there were no more questions being asked. They again thanked me for coming and Mr. Fiaboé stated that no matter what decision they ended up making, we would remain friends and I would always be welcome. I asked permission to use the photos I had taken of the in my travel blog, and they smiled enthusiastically. Several asked where they could find my travel blog, they wanted to see the photos!
I was a bit tired by this time, having spoken for around 5 hours during the day. The church leaders asked to meet with me one more time before I left, so we could round things up. I suggested 9:00 in the morning at my hotel, and they agreed that would be good. I said goodbye to Paul Tia who I might not see tomorrow as he’ll be heading back to Abidjan.
Mr. Fiaboé drove me back to my hotel for the night.