A glimpse of life in Togo

Josh and Beth Paulick on November 24, 2020

    I think we have started a prayer letter 2 or 3 times in the last few weeks and it is just so hard to know where to even begin with how much our hearts are heavy for America; heavy for the political situation, heavy for all of those facing COVID, and heavy for all of those facing lockdowns once again.  We are praying for all of you, and wanted to know that we are thinking of all of you and know this is not an easy time by any means.  Anything we can say in an update feels small compared to everything all of you are facing in America.  I was reading this morning from Philippians 4:11-13 about how Paul learned how to stay content in every situation.  He learned!  I pray that I can learn this contentment as well.  We also do have complications with COVID.  There are frequently soldiers or police officers with road stops checking for masks.  I (Beth) got stopped and questioned why Isaiah didn’t have a mask on.  I replied that he was 5 years old, and he let me go.  I found out after the fact, that he should be wearing one at the age of 5, but I was thankful he let me go.  (In all honesty, it’s quite intimidating when someone is questioning about a mask while holding an automatic weapon.).  We are thankful though that overall, we have been spared from the full affects of COVID.  Churches and schools are opening back up with restrictions.  (Our missionary school has less than 15 students per class, so was not a problem to start back up at the beginning of September.).  In saying all of that though, we have been praying for all of you.  
    I can not believe it is almost December already!  I never realized how much our body is affected by what we grew up with, such as, it’s really hard to remember that it is November when it is close to 100 degrees!  We all keep forgetting Christmas really is coming up.  The last two months have been very busy with welcoming the Chmil family and the three surgeons working here on the schedule and finding a balance with work, family and ministry.  Also, can ministry and work be the same?  We’re struggling through finding those answers and it will soon change again after they once again only have 2 surgeons starting in December until March.  Especially when the need for medical care is so great and constant.  We also were able to take a few days off and enjoy some time at the beach for rest and refreshment.  It was so nice to be able to spend time as a family.  
    The kids and I are finding a rhythm though now that school has started back in September.  They are still really enjoying it and are really looking forward to working on a Christmas Musical.  It has been such a different change in Avery from not wanting to go to school to now being sad when school has been canceled for one thing or another.  Her teacher was sick one day and she came to me sobbing that she couldn’t have science that day now.  It was really hard to be sympathetic when I was silently cheering that she was excited about science!  I am so very grateful for our teachers and that they are willing to be here teaching our children.  
    Speaking of school, November 2nd, the first Togolese Christian school opened in Mango.  There have been schools started in other parts of Togo and we are so excited to see this school open up.  It is run by nationals and taught by Togolese teachers as well.  We are so excited to see what God is going to do through this school.  
    Overall, we are doing well and are so grateful for the blessings the Lord has shown.  October was a very rough month in all honesty.  It was hot and with rainy season starting to die down, it was also very humid.  It is also when the bugs come out and are most active and our kids were constantly covered with bites.  (Especially Avery, we just told her it was because she was so sweet!).  Josh was also very busy at the hospital.  November has brought cooler nights and the hints of harmattan winds which brings dust from the Sahara desert and also brings cooler weather.  It’s a bit like fall here in that the leaves are still falling off the trees because everything is so dry now.  
     As always, thank you so much for your continued prayers!  We feel them so often.  Also, please let us know if you have specific requests for us to be praying for.  

Praise and Prayer Requests
1.) Praise that we were able to take some time off and get away!
2.) Pray that God would help us to find a work life balance that we can thrive with.
3.) Praise that the Christian school seems to have a good start here in Mango.
4.) Please pray that we would be able to have opportunities this Christmas Season to share WHY we celebrate and WHO we celebrate.