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  • Liz Ortiz

Don't Spill the Popcorn!

“Pop, pop, pop!” I took the popcorn off the stove. Every week I bring a snack for my sign language class, and popcorn is the kids' favorite. I grab the bowl and my keys and set out for the MK school. Not far from my house, I see in the distance someone start to run toward me. It was Jonas. As soon as he spotted me, he ran as fast as he could and gave me the biggest hug, nearly upsetting the big bowl of popcorn. We walked to school together where we found his mom and teacher waiting. They were happy to see me as wel

Jonas is making great progress in the class. One day, I asked if anyone wanted to try signing the alphabet by themselves. Jonas’s mom was eager to volunteer. I was encouraged by her effort to learn. I can tell that she is using the sign language at home.

It feels strange to me that almost a year has passed since I first arrived in Togo. Time has just flown by. I have been thinking about the future. What will the school year look like for Jonas? A fellow missionary who co-taught sign language with me at the school is on furlough. She will not return until November. My original intent was to leave in September. That would mean Jonas would have no one to work on developing his language skills during that gap. I would like to extend my year by 6 weeks to be there for Jonas. However, I don’t have the finances do so. Would you pray with me about this?

God is opening doors for deaf ministry here in Togo. One of the exciting developments is that we learned of a deaf ministry in the neighboring country of Benin. There is a Christian school for the deaf with over 100 students! They use American Sign Language, and they have invited us to visit the school. Another reason that I wish to extend my stay is that the school year in Togo and Benin does not start until late September. We would not be able to visit the school until October.

I started off this year asking myself, “Is full-time, long-term missions for me?” It's something that I have been praying about ever since. Actually, I’ve been praying about missions ever since I was 9 years old and told my parents that I thought God was calling me to be a missionary. Did I think Togo would be the place God would call me to? Probably not. But God has taught me a lot this year. I’ve seen some of the ups and downs of missionary life. I been encouraged by it because it has helped me grow closer to God. Whether I am able to stay an additional 6 weeks or not. I can say that God is good. And that I’m thankful for this year in Togo.


  • Praise God for the developing deaf ministry!

  • Praise God for the summer school sign language class is going great!

  • Praise God for the progress Jonas and his family are making in learning sign language!

  • Praise God for learning about the deaf ministry in Benin!

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray wisdom in teaching the Sign Language class

  • Pray for teammates going on furlough and teammates remaining in Togo

  • Pray for an ASL interpreter – big opportunity for one!

  • Pray for God’s direction as I consider full time missions

  • Pray for wisdom about the next school year for Jonas

  • Pray for wisdom about extending my stay by 6 weeks

  • Pray for financial provision for another 6 weeks

Praising Him,


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