Unity of Mind

Josh and Beth Paulick on February 16, 2021

    “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8. This has been something that I have been praying over our team and has been on my mind a lot lately.  The Lord has really been showing me a lot through this study of 1 Peter (by Jen Wilkin) that I have been in with the other ladies on the field.  It can feel hard sometimes to have unity when we haven’t been able to meet as much as a team in the past year and when we do meet it looks a lot different than before.  We are trying to be compliant to the regulations by the government, but that also has it challenges like it is in so much of the world right now!
    I still can not believe we have now been in Togo for a year now!  In some ways, this year has flown by, in others, it feels like it’s been a long year.  It has been a tough year.  Although up until recently when several hospital employees and a few team members tested positive, Covid hadn’t directly affected us as a team, indirectly, it affected a lot.  We no longer had short-term people coming to provide some much needed relief for a big part of the past year, and still haven’t had any short term surgeons in almost a year.  It isn’t just the surgical team, though, much of the medical team is feeling the discouragement and exhaustion (if not, the team as a whole).  Right now, Josh and the other surgeon have 3 days off in a two week period.  They have two other half days off as well, but of those, Josh has had administrative stuff to deal with, as well as surgeries that have lasted into the afternoons (so in all honesty, they don’t feel like “days off.”)  Someone recently said to me, “If it weren’t for you [not just us, but all the doctors and medical staff] being here, we wouldn’t be able to share the gospel with so many people.”  That does bring peace to these stressful times.  We are so very thankful for the hospital ministry and are so thankful God has allowed us to be here, no matter how exhausting and stressful it can be at times.  Recently Josh did a surgery for a man that had broken his leg even though we knew there was no way he could pay for any of his care. This reminds us of a debt we couldn’t pay and Jesus came and paid the debt. After being discharged this man is going through a Bible study with one of the chaplains at the hospital.

doublerainbow Remembering God's faithfulness during "rainy season"

     We are in the midst of dry season.  It hasn’t rained since October, so water is sometimes hard to get.  It is hot, and someone mentioned recently the humidity is 10%. Normally we get a little break from the heat with Harmattan (dust from the Sahara desert), but this year it wasn’t as heavy as usual and didn’t last as long as normal.  We had a few days here and there, but overall it didn’t really come.  So I think hot season has started a little earlier.  It is at the moment still getting cooler overnight, but that will soon end as well.  We have been having water shortages on the hospital compound, which is where we live also. Up to this point the Lord has provided enough water and the time being the hospital has been able to function normally and we have had to limit water usage at the house, but it is still a day to day situation. At this point just one or two days of lower water input can affect the hospital and their ability to do procedures and surgeries.  Please pray we can start getting water back to fill our tanks and reservoirs.  Also, this will probably continue to be a problem during “dry season” so please pray that a solution can be found so this will not be an ongoing problem.

    The kids are still enjoying school and I have still been going to French lessons once a week.  Isaiah, Owen and I are figuring out a routine at home.  It’s been so fun watching the relationship between the two of them growing.  I often hear, “Mommy, where Way-ah” (Isaiah) during the day if Isaiah goes to a different room.  Isaiah for the most part likes having his little brother around too.  Avery is really doing well with reading!  This was a struggle for her as she had half of kindergarten learning her letters and learning to read in French while in France and then half in Togo last year.  Now being in 1st grade in Togo, (with American teachers), she is really doing well, and it’s been really fun watching her pick it up and trying to read anything around.  Elijah is doing really well in school as well, and just has such a thirst for learning.  He is also going to French lessons and has been doing well with those.

kidsPE2021 Kids during PE at school. Avery is playing rock paper scissors to see who get to move on and who goes back to their team. One of the many fun game they play!
ireneisaiahwithgoat Visiting the farm on the compound with friends! Isaiah and Irene are petting one of the baby goats :)
bunnies bunnies at the farm

    On another note, we will be coming back to United States this summer for a mini furlough.  We left for France at the same time as one of the other surgeons and his family.  This was a blessing to be able to do life together for the most part of the last two years, but it’s also challenging because we are on the same furlough schedule as they are.  To offset this, our plan is to come back for 3 months this summer, and then come back to Togo for 2 more years, and then have a year furlough in 2024-2025.  We have a few openings up for a couple Sundays throughout the summer, but we will not be able to get around to all the churches this time.  We are so excited to be able to spend time with all of you when we get back in 2024.  We don’t have official dates as of now.  
    Thank you so much for your prayers.  They have meant so much to us.

fabricshopping Fabric Shopping, solid colors are "pantalon" and typically used for men's clothing. We were buying some for use for a solid color for curtains!
friendsclimbing rocks Climbing rocks with friends at a Dam outside the city of Dapaong

Prayer and praise:
Pray for the water situation and that we would be able to get the needed water
Praise  that the kids are continuing to do well in school and that we have been able to maintain a relatively normal in person learning schedule.
Pray for the community here as COVID has finally reached Mango and now there is a curfew and military blockades limiting traffic in and out of the area
Praise that God is continuing to use us in the spread of the Gospel!

sunset Sunset in Mango, just beautiful colors!