CFC Commended Missionaries
Medical Evangelism, Children and Youth Ministry in Togo, West Africa.
CALL TO CHRIST
Melody: At age six, in South Dakota, the gospel was presented in Sunday School class, but I was not listening. After class, my best friend asked if I was a Christian, but I didn’t know because I wasn’t listening! Soon after, I asked my parents if I was a Christian, and they explained what it meant to be a Christian. I felt left out of God's family, and prayed to accept the Lord with my parents.
Russ: At age five while home in the states with my family on furlough from the Philippines, I was coloring the story of the prodigal son. I asked my mother to tell me the story, and she wove the explanation of salvation into the story. I prayed with her to receive Christ as my personal Savior.Russ: At age five while home in the states with my family on furlough from the Philippines, I was coloring the story of the prodigal son. I asked my mother to tell me the story, and she wove the explanation of salvation into the story. I prayed with her to receive Christ as my personal Savior.
CALL TO MISSIONS
Melody: I became interested in missions after seeing the presentation of a single missionary lady from Africa at her small country church in South Dakota when I was five years old. At this point in time, I felt that that was what I wanted to do when I grew up, and that interest continued.
Russ: I grew up as an MK in the Philippines, and became interested in missionary medicine while in boarding school. I dedicated my life for missions as a teenager, and continued to point toward a career in medical missions. It has been a long journey toward the mission field. We spent many years training for medicine, 14 years in the US Navy and several years in private pediatric practice. But we kept our goal of missions in mind over these years, and God opened the door for us to go to Togo, West Africa, arriving there in 2002.
FRUITS OF OUR LABOR
We are in our third term of service. The medical ministry is very busy and very fruitful, with over 2500 decisions for Christ yearly. (Through the hospital, clinic, and outreach ministries). The number of Muslim patients continues to rise (as Islam is growing in Togo), with close to 40% of our patients now Muslim. Some have responded to the Gospel, especially after prolonged stays where the love of Christ is shown repeatedly to the patients and their families.
In addition to his work as a pediatrician, Russ serves as medical chief of staff and does administration, which results in very long hours. This past year he had the opportunity to work with children and teens with cancer, providing prolonged contact and care with their chemotherapy. A good number of these patients and their families came to know the Lord.
Melody currently has a Bible study for older boys and young men taught by a couple of fine Togolese men. She has increased her involvement with the patients and families in the hospital by visiting, teaching and discipling those who have made decisions, and teaching literacy. She also works with the families in the "cuisine", (the place where families can stay for free during a hospitalization); many of them go to church with us each Sunday as well.
We have seen the blessings of personal relationships with many Togolese here and are so thankful to be in Africa.