Sunday, 4 November 2018

And Suddenly, It's November!

A group of our missionary family enjoying
a local waterfall.

50th Anniversary Visit

I was able to get home in early September for a surprise visit, rudely interrupting the start of my parents' 50th anniversary party.  No one, save for four adults, knew of my plan.  It worked out great and I was blessed to be able to spend a bit of time with many friends and with family, as well.  My sisters put a lot of work into the planning and execution of the party.  It was a great evening!  And 50 years married... Awesome!

Paul & Gwen and their kids.

Back To School

In early September school began here on the compound for the missionary kids.  This year we are very blessed (and thankful) for a second teacher.  Diana is teaching the older grades which frees up the parents to do more of their work, and in the case of our boys, gives them a better education than we can offer with home schooling!

Logan started high school.  How many 14 year-olds get to drive a moto to their first day of school - and most days following??  He's doing pretty well, but is needing a bit of help with math, and generally giving as much effort to school as he does to play.  But that could be said for many guys his age.

Keenan is in Grade 6.  He's a tireless reader and is doing well despite being the youngest of all the kids in the higher class.  He's learning some Grade 9 material as it's hard to prepare and teach curriculum for four different grades each day.

Hudson is enjoying school.  It's essentially an 'attendance required' party.  All his friends are there, and he's a social creature.  

Mango Nursing School

Christine was again asked to teach a section for the nursing school up at the Hospital of Hope in Mango.  We all made the trip up and got to visit friends up there - although we all missed the presence of the Weston family while we were there!

We arrived at the Hospital of Hope compound just in time for Sunday afternoon game time.  Soccer teams were being chosen so we joined in.  Everyone had fun - and played through the rain storm that blew in.

When we saw this bank of clouds blow in we knew
we were going to get wet!

Christine taught on critical care concerning the respiratory system, and I tried to keep the boys focused on their school work before losing them to play with their friends up there.  She was successful.  I can't claim the same for myself and the boys.

Students practicing fitting each other for masks.

Lacking true commitment, none of them volunteered for
the tracheotomy...

The last bit of the drive north to Mango.  I love the
wide open Savanna

Maybe I don't love the rutted roads that the rainy season brings

Followed this car through the toll booth.  Extra points
for the goat (they travel for free).

Hope Radio

Our time in Mango coincided with the dedication / grand opening of Hope Radio, the radio station the mission is using to reach the widespread community.  It was nice to be able to attend that event and support our friends working on programming, translation and technical aspects of the station.

Many community representatives were in
attendance - in the shade.

Many others finding shade wherever possible!

Stoney Creek Baptist Church supports the Drakes.  Here Adam
is giving a brief speech during the ceremony.

Leaving the dedication, we had extra passengers join us
on the way back to the hospital compound.  We ran out
of seats inside so we had some up on the roof rack

On the way back south to our home, we spent some time with the Drake and Farver families at a secluded spot way back in the hills.  The Kpossoli River winds through the hills and drops about 60' to continue it's way.  There are several pools and small cascades that we were able to enjoy playing around in.  What great scenery, hidden from so many people.  We were glad to be shown the way to this gem of a spot!

The main falls

Faith and Christine taking in the view from near the edge.

A couple of the smaller cascades we could wade through.

A few other photos of the sights and scenery in the northern part of Togo...

See, crazy overloaded vehicles are not just where we are
in the south!

A couple of canoes tucked in along the edge of the flooded
Oti River 

Cattle Egrets heading for a safe spot to wait out the storm
that was closing in. 

Logan and I were on a moto ride with Dr. John and we
just barely got home before the worst of the storm
hit the area.  We got wet, not soaked.

Cows.  Just standing in the middle of the road, not a care in
the world, and definitely not in a rush to move out of the way!

After Dinner Surgery

(Note:  For my sister - no gory stuff shown.  You can keep reading and looking at the pictures.)

Normally Christine gets called to go to the hospital.  That's where she can be used much better than I can.  However, one night we had a couple of the visiting medical people over for dinner.  As we were finishing up dinner, the OB doctor got called about a patient that might need a C-section.  I asked if I could come along since there wasn't anything else happening.  She was kind and said that was no problem.  

How cool to see the team doing what they're supposed to, providing excellent care to the local people.  I'd never get to attend anything like this back home, so I enjoy the opportunity whenever it arises!

Before everything started, a photo
with Ephrem.

Baby is out, now time to close things up.

The baby.  Happy to hear that first cry!

A cute, healthy baby girl!

The Leftovers...

Here are some photos that we don't have big stories for.  We just want to share them with you, as they represent some of what living here is like.

A valley Logan and I found on a moto ride.  What a view!

This waterfall is also providing some
hydro-electricity to the local community.

A green mamba that we killed in our yard. 
This one was 5'11" long.  

Avery, in true MK Style, shows off the snake.

That time of year again here, as the rains give way to
the dry season. Lots of leaves to rake, but most of ours
will be burned.

A young girl who came in seizing due to cerebral malaria.
Christine and Kekeli worked for hours to stabilize her. 
Two days later she was well enough to be discharged home. 

This mama was nearly comatose when Christine got called.
She was dying, hardly breathing and had very low blood pressure.
Over the next few days she improved with the use of  non-invasive
ventilation and later, just CPAP.  She returned home with her
own CPAP machine to use.  A big thank-you to friends
who donated CPAP machines to our hospital!

When your monkey is just so tired...

Helping the guest house ladies clean up
after our Canadian Thanksgiving potluck dinner.

Thanks for taking the time to look through all of this.  If you have any questions or want to just send a friendly note, you can reach us at
You can also follow us on Instagram, just search for 5cent_mission there.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Here Comes The Rain Again

The rainy season is in full swing here in the south of Togo. We've had many days of sunny morning and then the clouds form and we get afternoons, evenings and nights of rain.  It's not as hot, which is nice - however it is more humid.  It's actually really similar to the weather those of you living in SW Ontario are dealing with through the summer.  Temperatures are in the low- to mid-30s with high humidity during the day.  It does cool off in the evening, enough so that we don't always have fans on in the house.  Thankfully it doesn't rain every day.

Roads now have big puddles in them

Farewell To Family

We were blessed to have family in the same country for many months!  Erin and Nate and the kids were serving up in Mango while we were down south in Tsiko.  We had an opportunity to share American Thanksgiving, Christmas, a month together while teaching at the Togolese nursing school in Mango, a couple of long weekends together then finally a few hours together before they were headed to the airport to fly home.

Kylie, with a new friend at the clinic

Horsing around at the pool (I'm sure we broke several
of the pool rules).

Nate - telling stories to a bunch of Moba kids at the
Nok caves, near Daopong.

Two-wheeled Fun

Since we have extended our time here until May 2019, we decided to get some cheap and fun transportation.  We bought a couple of motos to run into town on, and to explore the surrounding countryside.  We went together with two other families and got a bulk-purchase discount on five motos altogether.  We've enjoyed getting out and seeing some more of the villages and scenery here in our area.  So far there have been no injuries in our family, although one of the other doctors has maybe had a couple of 'exciting' things happen to him!

Our motos getting prepped to ride home.

Our rides!  150cc's of furious power from Chinese
brand Apsonic.  

Vacation Bible School

Aside from Derek's maintenance work around the compound, and Christine's medical work inside the hospital, we have had the three boys helping at the local summer day camp at the local school.   Grace Bible Church in from Virginia Beach, Va sent a team to help run the event again this summer.  Vacation Bible school is a week long kid's club full of crafts, Bible stories, games and snacks!  The thing about running VBS in Togo is you just never really have a true grasp on how many kids to prepare for.  The first day there were 362 kids in attendance!  That's crazy.  Just imagine trying to get them all sorted out into their correct age groups, and running the program with them. 

But wait!!!  It gets crazier.  By mid-week there were 460 kids.  By Friday there were close to 600 kids attending.  The staff must have been exhausted.  Our boys were wiped out on Friday night!  How cool is it that so many kids wanted to attend.  Thanks to the Grace team for coming and sharing with the kids in Tsiko and Adeta!

Getting ready to start game time with the first group

Someone sticks out in a crowd...

A Bunch of Other Stuff...

A rather large spider

Let's see, a moth with the face of a sheep??  Really.
Not an advertisement for Leatherman tools, but it sure
beats picking them up by hand!

A Giant Huntsman spider. 
Double-click on this picture.  Do it, then google more information
 on these!  This was in our house.

The Milky Way has been visible this month on clear nights

If anyone has traveled in West Africa, you know vehicles get abused. The roads are bad, vehicle maintenance is an afterthought, and respecting the vehicle load limits is absolutely neglected!

Here are a few pictures I submit as evidence of this.

Not quite overloaded yet

Always room for more paying customers on the taxi

Okay, this isn't safe.

Local butcher shop

Spending some quality time with an old friend,
the boiler - for hospital sterilization.

One last thing... or maybe not.
We are pleased to announce that our house has been rented.  Only in a way God could pull it all together, a missionary family from Thailand is going to live in our house until we are ready to come back in May 2019!  We are once again blown away by how god puts everything together in just the perfect time, to satisfy his plan.  We are pleased to be a part of it.  Praise God for blessing us with these renters, and for providing them with a great spot to spend their time back home in Canada.  A win-win situation!

All of us, at the Nok caves, near Daopong
(Don't step backwards!)
This is why.

Great laughs and smiles!