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By Irene King
TOGO AND BENIN
How many contestants on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" would know where the countries of Togo and Benin are without calling a friend? Well, these are two tiny African countries nestled between Ghana and Nigeria on Africa's west coast and are home to over 13 million people. French is the official language but about 180 languages and dialects are also spoken there. GRN recordings are available in about two-thirds of those languages.
Sodalo Clement, National Director of GRN Togo, is passionate about making Jesus known in these countries. In 1900 only about 3% of the Togo population was Muslim. In recent years that number has increased dramatically to nearly 30%. The main reason for this is the influence of Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan president. Besides building mosques and Muslim schools, Qaddafi offers scholarships and free food to those willing to convert to Islam.
Sodalo writes, "When I was watching the Libyan president live from our capitol on Togo TV recently, I was seriously shocked and cried because of this man's influence and ability to sway the Togolese people. Our country is going to become a Muslim country if nothing is done to stop it from spreading during the upcoming years. I believe that it is our responsibility to save our generation from such an invasion. I am reminded from the book of Esther when Mordecai communicated to Esther: "For if you are completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise to the Jews from another place .....And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for a time like this?' I want to tell each of our partners that I believe God has called us and equipped us for such a time like this."
Sodalo has developed a five-year plan to make an impact in both Togo and Benin with the gospel. To lay a strong foundation, he and his team are praying, researching and building partnerships with other missions for a countrywide recording and distribution blitz. For three days before Christmas, the GRN team will isolate themselves and devote time to intercede for these countries and for preparing themselves for the task ahead.
"We in Togo have the call," says Sodalo, "And the vision and the motivation to realize this project for God's kingdom's sake. If God puts on your heart to help us by supporting this project, please contact us and let us know of your interest. Thank you so much."
Irene King is executive assistant to the director in the Temecula office.