When the Developed World Sneezes, West Africa Catches a Cold

By Send Relief Staff

There’s an old saying in the hill tribes of Togo, “When the developed world sneezes, West Africans catch a cold.”

In other words, the events and crises that impact powerful nations like the United States or Canada prove much worse for countries still developing their infrastructure and economies. The pandemic is a prime example of this.

One partnering church in Togo felt the weight of the pandemic’s restrictions. They committed to cover the cost of education for 60 orphans who needed spiritual leadership and age-appropriate teaching.

Mrs. Bedjra lost her husband 13 years ago when her only daughter—Bridgette—turned one. She didn’t have the money to take Bridgette to the hospital when she fell ill and often struggled to buy clothes that fit her.

Similarly, Mr. Kossigan moved his wife and three sons to town when he got a job as a contract farmer. Sadly, soon after their move, Mr. Kossigan’s wife and unborn child died because they couldn’t afford a supervised hospital birth. Mr. Kossigan, now a widower with three children in his care, became homeless overnight, spending their few remaining pennies on meager meals from street peddlers.

Finally, Mrs. Affiwa, an elderly grandmother, solely provides for her two granddaughters, Madelaine and Brooke. After a scary accident, Brooke lost one of her eyes and partial vision in the other, and both sisters forcefully worked the fields to pay for emergency medical care and food.

Your generosity made It possible for our partner church in Togo to wrap its arms around these families during their moment of need. They tangibly shared the love of Jesus amid tragedy.

Bridgette now regularly attends school and Mrs. Bedjra testified, “I thank the Lord that my daughter gets the opportunity to mature and experience good health! God is good.”

Mr. Kossigan and his three boys live in a small home free of charge until he can find steady work. He shared, “I don’t know what would have happened to us without the church.”

Today, Madelaine and Brooke thrive in a classroom setting and arrive at school fully equipped with the school supplies you funded!

Through vital relationships with the local church, these families are just a few of the many struggling in Togo that you helped survive! Thank you for caring for “the least of these.” Continue praying for the many suffering under the economic strain brought on by COVID-19 and for our partnering churches to remain encouraged in continuing the difficult work of supporting at-risk children and families.

Published April 6, 2023

Send Relief Staff