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The Land of the Big God: by Emily Grace Mewborne

“Togo is the land of the big God.”

 

I heard this sentence used to describe Togo throughout the year leading up to our visit. “Get ready,” our team leads told us. “You’re going to experience God in a whole new way.”

 

What could that mean? I wasn’t sure, but I was ready to find out. I was ready for a wave of renewal and waited with faith-filled expectation that the Lord would show up. The night before we left for Togo, I laid down feeling excited in a way I hadn’t known in a very long time. I explained the feeling to our group as reminiscent of Christmas Eve as a kid, where you can’t wait to wake up and see what’s waiting for you tomorrow. I knew that this now-rare feeling was a gift and sign that the Big God was surely about to move.

 

And He did in many ways. My most impactful morning was sitting with our sewists in the shop and watching them work on our upcoming collection. What looked like a routine moment to the sewists felt like Christmas to me. Under the average fluorescent lights and the buzzing of a few fans to cool the room, I felt a joy that took me by surprise in this simple moment. It was a quiet awe and wonder that will stick with me forever.

 

It reminded me that the work Francis and Benedict does impacts real people. The skirts we sell are hand made by image-bearing women with families and dreams that without this opportunity would have a very different life. Of course, I knew this, but seeing these creatives work in person and not behind a few photographs permanently settled it deep within my heart. Watching their faces scrunch up in concentration as they threaded a needle and hearing the passion in their voice as they collaborated behind their sewing machines was a beautiful connection I am honored to have shared with them that day. I knew that the Lord intentionally put me in that shop that morning for a purpose. He wanted me to see and experience the mission in a fresh way and to remind me of the heart of the people we serve.

 

Visiting Togo for the first time was a life marker for me and many of the women in our group. It was an Ebenezer stone in our journey as both faithful advocates and women of God. Smiling in the sewing room in Lome, Togo I couldn’t help but think, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” He has helped us build a beautiful Sisterhood both in Togo but also within the team in the U.S. Partnering with Francis and Benedict as an Advocate has changed my life, given me a purposeful lane in missions, and connected me to a world beyond what I could hope to know otherwise. 

 

Could the Lord be drawing you to a fresh, new place? Could He be calling you to link arms with other women on mission for His Gospel and for His people around the world? If you’ve ever been on the fence about joining Francis and Benedict, I just want to ask you, “why not?” Our Big God has intentional big plans for women, Togo, and for you. Join the Sisterhood like no other and perhaps you will be with me next time in Togo! 


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