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  • Liz Ortiz

Finding Joy in the Small Things

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love coffee. Especially coffee with fancy flavored creamer. Since I arrived in Togo, flavored coffee creamer was something that I was missing from the states. I experimented with some coffee creamer recipes. They were good; however, I was missing my favorite coffee creamer, hazelnut. My middle name is Hazel, so this sacrifice was a big deal! I figured it would probably be a year before I could taste the sweet nuttiness of hazelnut creamer in my coffee again.

Shopping takes a lot of planning here. If you need a specific ingredient for dinner and don’t have it, chances are that you are not having that for dinner. You can buy a lot of basic items (such as fresh vegetables, rice, flour and sugar) in town. However, more specific items (like cheese, milk and meats) need to be bought in the City of Lome, which is over two hours away.

I signed up for an overnight shopping trip to Lome with a few other missionaries. I walked into a store that I was told had quite a few American brands. What did I find on the shelf? Hazelnut coffee creamer! Not only that, but it was one my favorite brands from back home! I don’t think I have ever been this excited about coffee creamer. It may be a small moment, but I was so grateful for it. Small blessing, great joy!

In college, I studied sign language and deaf culture. The last few years I had been working closely with children with disabilities in a classroom setting. I found so much joy from these experiences, and I began to miss it. Then God brought a special child into my life here in Togo.

Two years ago, Jonas became severely sick when he was 4-5 years old. To help him sleep, he was given medicine. However, he was given too much, and it put him in a coma for 10 days. When he woke up from his coma, he had lost his hearing. He had not learned to read or write yet, so his communication was limited.

Jonas’ family sent Jonas to the Catholic school, but it wasn't a good fit, and he really wanted to go to the Christian school where his friends went. This year Jonas was able to transfer to the Christian school where I can work with him and his classroom teacher. He still doesn't know how to read and write, and he struggles to communicate effectively, but I’m excited to be able to use my background of working with the deaf to help Jonas grow in learning and communicating. It's my joy and privilege to be able to show the Love of Christ to children like Jonas!

Opportunities abound, and I’m excited to be part of what God is doing here in Togo. I'm learning to find joy in everything.

Finding joy,

Liz Ortiz

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for wisdom in how to reach and teach Jonas

  • Pray for balance in my time as I choose what projects to take on and what to say no to.

  • Pray for continued growth in missionary and Togolese friendships

  • Pray for that the Christmas catalog will bring in the much needed funds for the hospital


  • Finding joy in the small things!

  • The friendships that I’m forming with the Togolese and fellow missionaries

  • I been working on a Christmas Catalog for the hospital and its now online!

Give a gift of physical and spiritual healing to those in Togo. Click the photo above to view our Christmas Catalog below and see how you can make a difference!

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