FOT Day 1

Trip Start Sep 08, 2013
Trip End Oct 04, 2013

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Where I stayed
Ivans Plaza Hotel

Flag of Togo  ,
Thursday, September 19, 2013

Today was a full day. We had breakfast at 7:30: bread and honey, coffee or tea with powdered milk and sugar. The morning was foggy and overcast which is normal this time of year at the beginning of the rainy season.

We had our morning service at 9:30. We sang hymns, gave an offering and had special music and then I gave the morning sermon about how the millennium will bring a great reconciliation. After the service we took a group photo out front by the road.

The sky had somewhat cleared by lunch time which meant we had interesting views from the rooftop terrace where we're taking our meals. Lunch was fufu, a great favorite this part of Africa among others. It’s a sort of giant dumpling made variously of corn meal, cassava, plantain or some combination of them, over which is poured a broth or when possible a stew containing meat and vegetables. This was a very good fufu with meat and vegetables. I’m not a fufu fan however, you have to like it, and not even all Africans do. I really enjoy some African dishes, but this just isn’t one of them. Since this was known information, I was served a piece of beef and fries instead, which was more to my liking.

A bottle of wine had been placed on the table but since I was to speak again in the afternoon, I said I’d prefer to have my glass with dinner. Pierre brought out some palm wine, the sap of a palm tree filtered to one degree or another. This "wine" hadn’t been allowed to ferment, so it contained no alcohol which palm wine normally does. I’m not sure why, but palm wine is almost always served out of a motor oil container (carefully washed one hopes). It’s always amusing to me to see people serve a beverage out of a 10W40 container.

At 3:00 we reconvened for our afternoon service. Again we sang hymns and had an opening prayer, then I gave the second sermon of the day on the importance of building right character.

We had lots of time for fellowship in the afternoon, that’s a wonderful advantage of all staying in the same place and taking meals together, there is little wasted time.

Dinner consisted of a raw vegetable salad, always a little risky in Africa not because of the vegetables but because of the water used to wash them. I decided to trust the kitchen staff and enjoyed it and the next course of sort of pea and meat casserole with potatoes on the side, and I enjoyed my glass of wine.

After dinner we cleared the decks for a fun show. The children sang several songs, and three of four of them recited Bible passages to the applause of the adults. The adults told funny stories with a moral at the end, and then the big event was a half-hour long morality play including children and adults. The story was a Cinderella-like about a wicked step mother who spoiled her own daughter while mistreating her smarter, harder-working and obedient step-daughter. When the step daughter finally receives a scholarship to study abroad, the mother buys a poison to kill her. The step-daughter has to leave for the airport before she can eat the poisoned food, which is eaten instead by the lazy, spoiled and cruel daughter who dies causing anguish and grief to her mother. The moral at the end, was that parents should care for all their children no matter what their exact origin.

This was interesting in many ways. It was a window into human nature as viewed from the African perspective and it illustrated the kind of things people here believe actually happen, which they probably do. Family situations are fluid and children do often pay the price of parents and other adults misdeeds.

At was past 10:00 pm by the time the play ended, and the younger children were dropping off to sleep in spite of themselves. We applauded everyone and thanked them all for their participation and said good night.

Tomorrow will be my last day here in Togo and the start of my trip to French for the last day of this encouraging and enjoyable festival.
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Beverly Lofty on

Thank you so much for your enjoyable posts :-) I read them everyday :-) Please tell your sweet and beautiful wife we said HELLO from Pigeon Forge :-) Hope to see you both sometime this winter :-) With love and prayers, Bruce and Beverly Lofty

Tess Washington on

What a wonderful gathering of you and our brethrens in Kpalime, Togo! It does show that rejoicing during these Feast days can be done anywhere in the world! Please extend our greetings to everyone!

mary hendren on

Hi Joel,

Thanks so much for the very interesting account of the Holy Day, the food you enjoyed at the meals, the special wine container, the fun show and the skit that must have been dramatic and engaging. What a full day. We hope all goes well for the brethren there and your travels.


hervedubois on

Merci beaucoup pour votre présence chaleureuse auprès de nos frères et sœurs du Togo. Nous vous envoyons nos joyeuses salutations depuis Sheboygan, WI où nous passons une excellente Fête des Tabernacles. Vous nous manquez ainsi que nos frères et sœurs francophones. Nous vous souhaitons de passer un excellent Dernier Grand Jour à Saint Jean La Vêtre !

Larry Salyer on

Hi Joel,

Hope you are keeping well and your energy is strong. At least if you get sluggish you can get an oil change with more 10W40!
Really enjoyed your review of the holy day. We are enjoying beautiful Park City without quite as much drama.


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