¹May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us,
Psalm 67:1 reminds me that God has certainly been gracious to me. He has blessed me with a husband who seeks after him and who loves singing as much as I do, four beautiful children who are growing in their knowledge of God, and a comfortable home full of laughter, joy, and memories. I am surrounded by godly family members and friends who lift me up during trials, speak truth to me when my faith falters, and celebrate with me the goodness of God.
Most importantly, God has graciously and mercifully opened my eyes to reveal my sin and my need for my Savior, Jesus Christ.
²that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
What am I to do with all these things—with all these possessions and skills God has given me? How do I bring glory to God with the gift of the Holy Spirit, who helps me to understand God’s commands and promises?
Psalm 67:2 states that God’s blessings are to be used, “that his way may be known on earth, his saving power among all nations.” Never has this truth been more real to me than after my experience in Togo, West Africa.
Though I am simply a “retired” nurse turned stay-at-home mom, God called me to travel to Togo on a College Park Vision Trip in September 2019. During this short trip, God opened my eyes to see the work he is accomplishing through medical missionaries in the towns of Tsiko and Mango.
These towns are the locations of two hospitals sponsored by ABWE International. The nation of Togo is small is approximately the size of Indiana and is dominated by Islam. Yet, Hôpital Baptiste Biblique in Tsiko and Hospital of Hope in the town of Mango are beacons of hope for the Togolese and residents of surrounding countries.
It is not uncommon for people to travel three, six, or even twelve hours to get to either hospital. They come via motorcycle, bus, or in tightly-cramped taxis. They camp, sometimes for days or weeks, to see a physician, PA, or NP—something that we can do quickly, easily, and often take for granted.
What makes this mission work unique from others is that, because of the knowledge and skills these missionaries offer, the hospitals are highly acclaimed. Desperate, hopeless, and spiritually hungry people arrive by the busloads from towns and countries inaccessible to missionaries. They come to receive quality, honest medical care, but they receive much more than they bargained for because they receive the gospel of Jesus Christ as well!
³Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
The main purpose of Hôpital Baptiste Biblique (HBB) since its founding in 1985 has been to make disciples of Christ. To accomplish that mission, the facility only employs believers. Each patient who comes onto the hospital grounds is presented the gospel in their native tribal language. Hospital chaplains who often function as translators share the gospel directly with patients, are available when someone decides to make a profession of faith, and follow up with new believers by traveling to their remote villages. The chaplains lead Bible studies, connect new believers with nearby Christians, aid in establishing house churches, and provide pastoral care to growing churches.
When I saw a map of Togo, marked with pins signifying church bodies birthed out of the hospital’s ministry to patients, it was absolutely breathtaking!
⁴Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. ⁵Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
Since the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, the gospel is for all: Jew and Gentile, every nation, all tribes and peoples and languages! All believers will one day stand before the throne of God and cry out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:10). Through ABWE’s work in Togo, lost people are able to “be glad and sing for joy!” as they hear about the Savior Jesus for the first time.
⁶The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. ⁷God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
God has blessed you and I immensely. But if you are anything like me, you might struggle with contentment. You might covet those homes down the street or your best friend’s new kitchen. You might be saving for something that is inherently good. You might hold back in giving extra because you struggle with trusting that God is sovereign over every situation, every outcome, every detail.
Can I remind you that God’s sovereignty includes every job loss, job offer, sickness, and surgery. It covers every unsuccessful investment, accident, and even death. I don’t know your exact struggles, but God does. And he loves you. Let me encourage you that God’s plan for you is for your good and for his glory. He is sovereign, omnipotent, and good.
This holiday season, let’s step out in faith, trusting that God’s promises are true. His story and purposes are far greater than we could ever imagine.
I would like to be a part of this grand story. Do you?