God is Great

 … and truly He is! This fact lends itself as being the most perfect name for a special place. The “God Is Great” orphanage is located in the village of Amoussoukope, Togo, West Africa. It is a special place, in a personal way, to our family because we were privileged to spend some time there. The photos will tell a story that is all too familiar in our world. But allow us to share a little of this particular story.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

James 1:27

When we arrived in July 2011, this was the orphanage facilities.
When we arrived in July 2011, this was the orphanage facilities.

In America, clean water is often taken for granted.  It is a part of our everyday living. Thousands of people, mostly children, die every week in our world from diseases born from contaminated water. Our former pastor and visionary, Phillip Ellen, who now resides in heaven, had a passion to do something to change this for as many people as he could. His heart for people and burden for the nations led him to begin “Clean Water for the Children” with a vision to provide suitable water for thousands. After a God-ordained meeting with a family from Togo, the door was opened to take this new ministry on a journey to Togo to drill wells.

Brother Phillip Ellen pumping clean water with Mamma Yayra
Brother Phillip Ellen pumping clean water with Mamma Yayra

Women in Amoussoukope who were caring for more than 30 orphans, were walking miles daily with dirty buckets to get dirty water in an effort aimed at survival. When “Clean Water for the Children” drilled a well at the orphanage, it was life-changing and life-saving. But still, it wasn’t enough. Everyone who has been to Amoussoukope leaves with a burden in their heart, knowing that more must be done.

The children ate from communal bowls with their hands
Sleeping accommodations for approximately 35 orphans
Sleeping accommodations for approximately 35 orphans
Bathroom facilities in 2011
Bathroom facilities in 2011
The kitchen used to provide food for the children. ToGo Missions is currently raising funds for a kitchen to be built
The kitchen used to provide food for the children. ToGo Missions is currently raising funds for a kitchen to be built
Feeding children everyday from this kitchen
Feeding children everyday from this kitchen
Seth with some of the children enjoying their clean water!
Seth with some of the children enjoying their clean water!

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Two teams made back-to-back trips to Amoussoukope in 2011. The purpose was to build a house that would provide the children a place to sleep and gather. This was accomplished, but again, it was not enough. There were still no restrooms or kitchen. God touched the hearts of two ladies who were a part of the first team in a way that called them to action. And because of what God has done through Jennifer East and Daphne Littlejohn, the “God Is Great” orphanage has an even better house, bathrooms, and a plan for a kitchen. The children are also provided for monthly through sponsorships of $35 for each child. This provides  three meals a day, school supplies & uniforms, and basic medical care.  There are currently 60 children in the orphanage, a few of those still needing sponsors.

We sponsor Modeste (sitting in my lap) and his older brother, Yao (camera left)
We sponsor Modeste (sitting in my lap) and his older brother, Yao (camera left)
Building future housing quarters
Building future housing quarters
Two teams had worked for approximately 10 days and this is how the building looked when we left in early August of 2011
Two teams had worked for approximately 10 days and this is how the building looked when we left in early August of 2011
Bathrooms were added in 2012
Bathrooms were added in 2012
Work continued after the teams had returned home and this is the orphanage today!
Work continued after the teams had returned home and this is the orphanage today!

I am honored to serve on the Board of Clean Water for the Children. Before the sickness and home going of Brother Phillip, Clean Water had entered into partnership with the Global Aid Network (GAiN). With their long term presence in Togo and other African countries, GAiN has drilled numerous wells with their well drilling equipment. That partnership remains strong and Clean Water continues to drill wells in Togo. We were able to sponsor new wells just last week. Our prayer is to see the vision and work of Clean Water for the Children continue and grow. Be on the lookout for a celebration and fund raising event early in 2015!

On a more immediate note, a fund raising event will be held this Sunday, August 24, at 3:00 PM at the Coosa Christian School gym in Gadsden, Alabama. The “God Is Great” orphanage kitchen project will be the focus of this event called “Hoops of Hope.” All funds raised will go directly to build the kitchen. If you live in our area, please join us there. If you aren’t able to attend but feel led to give, or if you are interested in sponsorship, please fill out the contact form below.

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