“In Togo, we live with a lot of worries that aren’t always in the forefront of our minds but weigh us down none the less...”
“It’s funny,” Faith wrote later, “we got a lot of response about [this], mostly from missionaries who were glad someone else felt the same way.
I’m happy that what we wrote can be an encouragement to others, even if it’s just knowing that someone else is down in the trenches with you and what you feel is normal.”
Right after school finished, our family was able to take a little vacation and visit some supporters in France. We had not traveled outside of the country in three years, and we didn’t realize how much we needed it until we actually got away. I couldn’t figure out why I was so teary eyed after a friend picked us up at the airport and we were driving along the highway. The kids’ reactions to everything from a garbage truck, to an off-ramp were hilarious; but there was a strange feeling that I couldn’t identify till later that night.
It was a feeling of “safety”. In Togo, we live with a lot of worries that aren’t always in the forefront of our minds but weigh us down none the less. Will that give me an amoeba? Did that mosquito carry malaria? Did I bleach that lettuce properly or will I get typhoid from it? Do I have enough meat to last me till the next trip to the capital? Does this skirt show too much ankle? Did I just hand someone something with my left hand?! Will I be able to find a bathroom? (Follow up question: Will it have a toilet seat? Or toilet paper?) Will the power stay on tonight? Do we have enough water in the tank to last us several days when the water in town is off? Is there enough anti-venom at the hospital, since my boys are playing where deadly snakes abound? When will my girls begin to be affected by the inappropriate comments constantly directed towards them? Am I being culturally sensitive enough? The list can literally go on and on.
We aren’t telling you this to make you feel sorry for us, or put ourselves on a pedestal. We’re just trying to be transparent.
All the sudden all those things weighing us down were lifted for almost two weeks. Adam wasn’t constantly answering phone calls. We didn’t have a stream of visitors to greet every day. We went out in public, and no one cared! We walked down the street, and we weren’t chanted at! We were invisible, and it was a wonderful feeling. We went to a store, a real store, with fixed prices and new clothes. And the restaurants…well, don’t even get me started. Every pound we gained was totally worth it.
It was so wonderful visiting our supporting church there as well and reconnecting with people that Adam grew up with. It was a time of refreshment and renewal, and now we feel ready to tackle this next year head on.
Adam and Faith Drake arrived in Mango, Togo in 2011 as church planters and as the developers of Hope Radio. The radio station operates alongside the Hospital of Hope, reaching into four countries and peoples’ homes and lives in a way that few mediums can.
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