Judy Bowen
Feature

Hope for the Future

Beni was born into a Togolese Muslim family that believed they knew God. As a boy, Beni prayed regularly, memorized and recited verses from the Koran, and tried to heed the rules of Islam. But to him, it was all just rituals. He understood nothing.

“We were required to memorize what we did not understand,” Beni said. “I lived a life of fear without hope and I did not know where I was going after I died. I wore an amulet against evil spirits. It was a life in darkness — without forgiveness or love.”

Then, one day, Beni asked his Islamic leader a profound question, “What assurance do we have of life after death?”

“I do not know,” the leader replied.

Concerned by that answer, Beni started asking questions about his faith. Then, one day, a neighbor who worked at ABWE’s nearby hospital told Beni about the assurance of salvation and the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Despite his parent’s disappointment and the risk of persecution, Beni asked the man to teach him more about Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. He did and soon he invited Beni to come to his church.

On Beni’s first Sunday in a church, the pastor preached from John 14, and Beni heard that Jesus was the way, the truth, and the life. He learned that Jesus is the only way that leads to God.

“I couldn’t wait to raise my hand to express my desire to have Jesus in my life,” Beni said. “From that moment on, my life was changed and is now filled with so much hope. I no longer live in doubt. I live with the expectation of my Savior from heaven.”

Although Beni had hope in his future with Jesus, he had very little hope for a future career. Opportunities in Togo are very limited, and after high school, Beni began selling phone cards in the market to earn about $10 a month — with no real hope for building a good life for himself.

However, after meeting an ABWE missionary at church, Beni was connected with a job at ABWE’s hospital. It was through this work that he learned about the ABWE’s Nursing Education Program which provides classroom education, hands-on training, spiritual discipleship, and a good job upon graduation.

"Opportunity for advancement is rare in Togo, but the program guarantees that if students work hard and study hard, they will have a good job and an opportunity to serve God,” said ABWE missionary Annette Williams, who serves as a nurse educator and the director of ABWE’s hospital in southern Togo.

Beni was accepted into the program, and he was able to provide for his family during the three-years of intense training because he was sponsored through ABWE’s Adopt-A-Student-Nurse Program. The adoption program covered all of Beni’s school supplies, gave him a stipend that allowed him to study and train full-time, and provided him with regular prayer from his sponsors — a husband and wife from California.

Today, Beni is working alongside other program graduates who are all using their nursing education to meet the physical and spiritual needs of thousands of patients who come each year to ABWE’s two hospitals in Togo.

“Our hospitals allow us to share the gospel with every patient and person who walks through our doors. And we could not do what we do without the nurses from this program,” said Annette Williams, ABWE missionary nurse and educator.

Learn how you can sponsor Togolese student nurses, like Beni.
 

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