Compassion Togo registered its first child on Sept. 17, 2008. Five months later, the Acting Country Director has provided an update on how Compassion has already had on impact on Togolese children and the community.
Compassion Togo, Yes we can!
Bordering the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, Togo has a population today around 5.8 million people, of whom 70 percent are younger than 20 years old, and with a uniquely high proportion of females.
Togo is an undeveloped country where the poverty is very high (61.7 percent). The onslaught of HIV/AIDS has left many children with no family members to care for them, and there remains low life expectancy and high infant mortality rates. The number of orphans and street children is still increasing and is a big problem for the country's rudimentary social welfare services.
As a result of the last 20 years socio-economic difficulties in the country, many children lack access to basic education and health care services. Most of the parents have also lost their jobs.
According to UNICEF, the rate of acute malnutrition among children under 5 is unacceptably high in the Savannah, Kara and Central regions of the country where children suffer from severe acute malnutrition. These children are in need of immediate lifesaving treatment and care.
Many of Togo's children are struggling to survive; this is one of the reasons why Compassion's Ministry is so important for the country. We look back at the just-concluded three months (October through December 2008) with amazement at how much the Lord has been gracious to Compassion's child ministry in Togo.
He blessed and saved the lives of two registered children who had been seriously sick and in a coma on admission in a hospital. Their parents are very poor, and without the support and help of the child development centers, these children could have died!
A church pastor gave a testimony about how Compassion International Togo has had an impact on their church. Initially, the church was quite distant from its community, but the introduction of the Compassion program into the church and community has bridged the gap between the church and the community. People in the community now relate very well with the church members.
Another pastor also gave a testimony of how membership in their church has increased, especially their Sunday school sessions, since the Compassion program started in their church only three months ago.
Our calling, therefore, is to challenge the evangelical churches in Togo to rise up to the biblical mandate for child ministry. The words of Paul to Ephesians are very appropriate:
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that it is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever!" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Yes, we can make the difference!
Acting Country Director
Read more about Compassion opening in Togo.
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