April 5, 2004

I Cor. 16:9  For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

In West Africa setting next to each other are the countries of Ghana and Togo. Our contact here was through a CLC-USA member teaching in a school in the area for a year.  She found a Lutheran man in Lome, the capital of Togo, who might be interested in the CLC.  As it turned out, he did not join the CLC.  He did though give us contact with the two men we are working with:  Gideon Abussah in Denu, Ghana and Kossi Joffre Blewu in Lome, Togo.

In April 2000 the Koenig’s met Gideon Abussah at the contact’s house in Lome. After some discussions Gideon agreed to study with us to see if he was in agreement with us and could work with us.  He had had several years of training in a Bible school. He began a small congregation at Denu, Ghana on the border with Togo.  There has been competition with the pentecostal/charismatic and subsequently the congregation is no more. Also, Gideon’s wife has been deathly sick, so that the work has not gone forward.  Let us pray that he may begin again to reach out with the precious Word of life.

In September 2001 we met Kossi Joffre Blewu after having had problems making connections.  In April 2001 he was  waiting at  the Lome airport for us, while we flew in the Accra, Ghana airport and drove down.  Arriving at the hotel in Lome and waiting, we made no connections.  He was still interested, so that we met five months later.  He began what we call theological education by extension, TEE.  This is carried out by us with the sending of lessons to him by the mail and classes held when the missionary is present. We are doing this with several other men also.  After a study of the catechism Kossi left the Baptist church and joined us, seeing that we teach correctly on baptism and communion.

At the present time he is conducting services in Lome with a small congregation and teaching school to support himself.  With him as with many of the pastors in our sister churches we are assisting with a self-help loan.  This is in line with Paul working with his hands to support himself.  So we encourage the pastors of our sister churches whose congregations are not large enough to support them to follow Paul’s example as we read of it in: Acts 18:3, 20:34-35, II Thess. 3:7-8.

In Lome as in many cities where our sister churches are working, the land is too  expensive for us at this time.  Pray that land can be found and the people can build a modest church building in which to hallow God’s name.

Pastor Matthew Gurath is in Nigeria serving the Lord and will, God-willing, be working also in India, Kenya, Congo and Tanzania.  Pastor Todd Ohlmann is praying and working to come to India this summer to be with the brethren and work.  Karl Koenig is praying to come to India this summer and carry on with VBS and other work.  I am recommending to the Mission Board that Pastor Gurath and I be in India from around Aug. 15 to Oct. 15.  Then we would proceed to Congo, Tanzania and Kenya until around Nov. 15th.  He would than return to Nigeria and I would go  back to India for another month.  Pray that the Mission Board approves this itinerary.

In Him,
Pastor Koenig