Update

Friends,

As many of you know, our family has transitioned back to the States after a year in Togo. We are thankful for the amazing experience that we had there. Please pray for us, our teammates, and the Kabiye Christians as we make this transition. We appreciate all of the prayers and financial support that you have given to us. We’ll be closing this blog soon, so please feel free to contact us on Facebook, email, or phone as we begin to make our future plans.

Blessings,

Ryan, Beth, Katie, Jonah, and Aaron

Change of Plans and Potential Adventure

Change of Plans

 I was unable teach my Kabiye lesson last Saturday because the family in Broukou was unable to meet. I decided to take my French teacher on a field trip instead. I had wanted to visit a solar internet café that some Duke students had helped build last summer. Most small villages in Togo do not have electricity, so of course they will not have internet as well. We found a Duke student there who was working on a small business, microfinance project in the local market. She told us that the internet café did not have a lot of people using the internet, but had found another use as a cell phone charging station.  Cell phone use has taken off in Togo, but people in villages do not have places to charge their phones. 

 

This experiment reminds me a lot of our work here. Your first thought about what needs to happen here is probably not the right one, but may lead you to the right place. Please be in prayer for us about our leadership development efforts.  It is going to require a lot of learning, prayer, and experimentation to find what will help our churches mature. Our first ideas will probably not be the best ones. Pray that we will have listening ears and the persistence to get to the right plans.

 

Adventure of a Lifetime

 

Last year our family was blessed to have a teacher come and help with our homeschooling. Mariah was a blessing to our family and we have certainly missed her since she left in May.

 

Now Beth is homeschooling our three children of ages 11, 8, and 5. This is a lot on her plate in addition to language learning, keeping up house, and ministry. Nicole Kennell has graciously volunteered to teach math until she goes on furlough in February, but more help could still be used. We are prayerfully searching for one or two people to come and assist her for 3-9 months. We could have someone come this January or January 2015 when we return from furlough. If you would like more information, please email me, Ryan (rdrmemphis@gmail.com) or Beth (bethannrichardson@yahoo.com).

Broukou

Saturday I will be going out to Broukou where we hope to plant a church. Mark Kennell and Ryan Head have been teaching in this village for several months. Since they are both out of town, I will be using my limited Kabiye abilities to teach a literacy lesson.

 Probably more importantly, I will continue to build relationships in this village about an hour from Kara. After spending some social time in the market, I will travel with Kossi to his house to meet with some of his friends and family. Although Kabiye is spoken throughout our area, most people cannot read it. French is taught in schools here but Kabiye is not.

 The people here place a high priority on relationships, and so our time spent blessing their lives with literacy training is not lost, but builds trust in us and the message we are bringing. Please be in prayer for a fruitful Saturday.

Broukou

Saturday I will be going out to Broukou where we hope to plant a church. Mark Kennell and Ryan Head have been teaching in this village for several months. Since they are both out of town, I will be using my limited Kabiye abilities to teach a literacy lesson.

 Probably more importantly, I will continue to build relationships in this village about an hour from Kara. After spending some social time in the market, I will travel with Kossi to his house to meet with some of his friends and family. Although Kabiye is spoken throughout our area, most people cannot read it. French is taught in schools here but Kabiye is not.

 The people here place a high priority on relationships, and so our time spent blessing their lives with literacy training is not lost, but builds trust in us and the message we are bringing. Please be in prayer for a fruitful Saturday.

Newsletter

Friends and Family,

Our latest newsletter is attached. Thanks for all your support and prayers!

The Richardsons

Spring Newsletter 2013

Link

Beth’s blog

Beth’s blog

Beth has written a very powerful post about our life here. I hope you are as touched by it as I was.

May Update

In about a week, we will be travelling down to Lome to take our children’s teacher Mariah to the airport.  She has been a blessing to our family in this first year of adjustment by teaching Jonah and Katie. We will certainly miss her. (Check out the attached picture of our kids dressed up for “crazy day” at school.)

When we return our team will be hosting some university interns for about a month.  These four women will be able to experience many areas of missionary life.  We have planned village visits, time at the HIV clinic in town, language learning, and other related activities. I really appreciate the time our team has put in to make this experience a blessing.

Please continue to be in prayer for our team as we work on a strategy for strengthening churches. We want to make sure that we are following God’s lead, and also basing our strategy in culturally appropriate ways. One idea that we are currently exploring is developing coaching relationships with our church leaders. Since they are the cultural insiders, we feel that by asking good questions we can help them lead their churches.

Prayer requests:

continued family adjustment 

team strategy

mature churches

thanks for Mariah

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Ryan, Beth, Katie, Jonah, and AaronImage