The Mayburys, Togo, West Africa

The July Maybury Monthly 

«Maudit soit l’homme qui n’écoute point les paroles de cette alliance, » Jérémie 11 : 3 (LS)

“Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant” Jeremiah 11: 3 (NKJV) 

Some have called Jeremiah the “weeping prophet”.  His message for the people of Israel is definitely a difficult one for him to give.  God sent Jeremiah to tell his people that God’s wrath was coming upon them for their disobedience.

Some people might not like to consider the wrath of God, but it is wise for us to do so.  God makes it clear in the passage above, as in many other places in Scripture that He does judge sin.  It is a fearful thing to come under the judgement of God.  God warned the people of Israel, and He warns us likewise today, so that those who truly love God would repent and change their actions from sin to obedience.

As we look at our lives, do we see evidence of God’s blessing on us for loving and obeying His word, or do we see God’s curses on us for our ignoring and disobeying His word?  Let’s open our eyes to see where God wants us to change.  As we do so, we will give more pleasure to our Father in heaven.

Our home has been enjoying some of the relaxed schedule that comes with vacation.  Janice has more time for other tasks and to rest more, since the burden of school preparation and teaching five days a week is currently off her shoulders.  Ben and Victoria are finding things to keep themselves occupied.  They quickly found that mom and dad can always find less enjoyable things for them is they complain about being bored.  Ben has been doing more outdoors, both helping keep the yard in good shape, and spending time with other boys playing.  Victoria has been more focused on the inside, doing crafts and helping a lot in the kitchen.

In the first part of the month, we may a trip down to Lomé and Kpalimé for a family time.  It was supposed to be a vacation, but the Lomé time ended up being less restful than we had hoped for.  One reason is that the guesthouse that we used to use has closed.  Finding the kind of accommodations that we want has become more difficult in Lomé.  On the other hand, Kpalimé was a very nice visit for us.  We lived there for two years our first term, and it always feels a little like coming home.  We enjoyed spending some time with the Moores, who are at the Village of light fight now.  Please pray for them.  They are still raising the last of their support to get out to Togo full-time.  It sure would be great to see God bring in their needed support in the next five months that they are serving in Togo.

With the month of July here, many people started to work more seriously in their fields.  If it was not yet done, the land was ploughed.  Corn and other crops are now in the ground, and for much of the month people have been busy in the fields, especially with the hoeing needed around the young sprouts.  All of this field work takes many hands, including younger and weaker hands.  Most of our neighbourhood children have spent a lot of time in the fields, helping with the field work.

That has had a great impact on our Kid’s Club.  Basically, we missed three Sunday meetings because of our travel, rainy weather, and the requirements of working in the fields.  For a whole, we were unsure what was really going on.  Praise the Lord that we had a good number out last Sunday who were able to explain where they had been and why.

In the later part of July, the Muslim month of Ramadan started to be celebrated.  In case you do not know, Ramadan is a time of fasting during the daylight hours.  The hope is that by doing so, one can reduce the time one must suffer before being allowed into the paradise of God.  It is sad to see people hoping to impress God by denying their bodies, while continuing to ignore His specific commands.  No sacrifice is more pleasing to God than our obedience.  Please ask God to make this truth clearer to those here in Mango and northern Togo.  God has already told us what is good and what He requires of people.  An all-day fast is not part of His plan.  Sometimes, people are both sincere but also sincerely wrong.

The various Bible studies that we have each week have not been slowed down by the work in the fields or by Ramadan starting.  Out in Tchanaga, we have been working through the story of Jesus’ death on the cross.  The family that we teach is aware of some biblical ideas, already having had some influence in their lives by some Catholic teaching.  So, Balinko and his family have been very quick to accept that Jesus is God and that He died on the cross.  What has been a new idea for them is how one’s sins are actually forgiven.  Early on in our studies, they would answer that we had to do good to have our sins forgiven.  After going over the stories about Jesus’ death on the cross, and explaining that only Jesus can forgive our sins, five different people prayed and asked Jesus to forgive their sins!  We do not know the hearts of any of these individuals, but we will continue to work in hope that they were sincere and we will look for fruit to indicate that God has indeed adopted them into is family.

At the sewing school, we have almost finished our review of the 40 lesson Story of Hope that we have been studying for the last year.  There are still one or two who have not asked Jesus to forgive their sins, but it seems that everyone now clearly understands the good news.  Please ask God to touch the hearts of those who still have not asked Jesus to forgive their sins.  Also, please pray for the preparation for the next study that we will undertake.

We have also started a study with a couple, Koami and Adjo.  Koami is one of the construction workers, but he is not from around here and he is not a Muslim.  So, along with our chronological study of the Bible, Peter is also talking with Koami on strategies for effective witnessing with Muslims.

We have asked for prayer for our water system for a long time, and it is a joy to tell you that we now have running water on the hospital site.  Unfortunately, some of that water seems to be running out of the pipes as leaks.  Please ask God to help the team find these leaks quickly.  Such problems quickly become expensive if not fixed.

We had some difficult times in July, as our team had to deal with a number of relational problems.  We are glad for the direction that God gave and that everyone seems ok with the resolution that has been made.  Such situations can lead to personality problems and even people becoming discouraged in serving with one another.

July also saw Ted and Diane Weinberg take a needed break from the project for the next year.  Ted is the main person directing the construction of the hospital.  His skills will be missed.  Yet, God’s timing in this decision was evident.  Please pray for the Weinbergs.  Soon after arriving home, they have had two deaths in the family to deal with.  God brought them home just in time to be there for their family and to be comforted in their sorrow as well.  Please ask God to help them through this time of sorrow.

We have a team here right now who is from France.  This may be a first for the Togo field.  Please ask God to challenge this team to consider what God might have them to do in the future around the world.  The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.  So, let’s pray out workers for the harvest.

Please ask God to:

  • Remind us of His word, so that we will obey Him.
  • Help the Moores get the rest of their support before leaving Togo in January, 2013.
  • Give a good harvest this year to those in the Mango area.
  • Help the children return to the Kid’s Club after their field work.
  • Help those who are fasting for Ramadan to understand that such activity does not give them any merit with God.
  • Cause all of the sewing school students to trust in Jesus.
  • Help Koami and Adjo to understand the studies and to apply them in their lives.
  • Help us to fix the remaining leaks in the water system on the hospital property.
  • Comfort Ted and Diane during their sorrow.
  • Challenge the team from France for serving God with their lives.
  • Show Janice how to plan for school next year.
  • Touch hearts to pray for and give to the sewing school relocation need.
  • Show us when we can start visiting with the Kid’s club families.
  • Show us which families to meet with weekly from the Kid’s Club.
  • Direct the team to other towns in northern Togo where we need to get some church planters established.                                                                                         

Please thank God for:

  • The rest time our family is enjoying.
  • Giving us the reason for the children missing the Kid’s Club in July.
  • Five individuals who indicated that they had asked Jesus to forgive their sins.
  • Giving us water on the hospital property.
  • Helping our team to overcome a time of stress in a good manner.
  • Giving an apparent solution to the electricity problems in Mango.
  • Giving Kevin Hall a good recovery from his surgery.

  Serving Him together,

                Peter & Janice Maybury (Ben & Victoria)