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  • Liz Ortiz

Flexibility

On one of my first missions trips with ABWE back in 2015, a missionary told me, “One of the first rules about missions is be flexible.” I remember during that trip that unexpected things kept happening and we had to change our plans. We learned to be flexible, and in the end it all worked out. The memory of that trip flashed in my mind as we realized that we needed to be flexible yet again. We had planned to visit Jonas’ school on Thursday, but we learned that school was closed for a holiday. “I’ll call Christy and see if we can go on Friday instead,” I told Ariana. We changed our plans and went to the school on Friday.


Jonas and the other students were happy to see us. I was happy to have Ariana meet Jonas. We talked with his teacher and she said that he is doing well in school. He showed us his grade book. He is a good student. I encouraged him to keep up the good work. We were able to observe and help with a math lesson. Ariana has a math technique that she uses with her students in the States. The teacher was excited to learn the technique and use it with her students.


After visiting the deaf school, we visited the nearby Christian school where Jonas’ host dad, Mensah, teaches. He shared with us that Jonas often brings home friends from school with him. He would like to start a Bible club with them, but doesn’t know how to do it in their language, ASL. We are looking into some different resources that could help Mensah. We are excited about Mensah’s burden and desire to reach the deaf with the Gospel. Pray for wisdom. I wish I could visit more often, but Jonas’ school is over 2 hours away from where I live. I am thankful for the times that I can visit.


We had the opportunity to visit another school for the deaf that is near ABWE’s hospital. It is a newer school that was started 3 years ago by the director of a school for the deaf in Kpalime. (near where I live). This school has over 20 students who are deaf. We had a fun time interacting with the students and staff. We discovered a book while we were there. It is a Francophone sign language dictionary. This book is passed around to different educators to learn sign language, not only in Togo, but in neighboring countries as well. We had a couple copies of the book made. We are studying the book, making notes, and seeing how we can possibly digitalize it so all the teachers can access it. This project will take some time, but we are excited about the possibilities with it.


Thank you for praying about my confidence in driving stick shift. I have been practicing and feeling more comfortable with it. I have driven to our hospital compound, which is a 45 minute drive, twice! I am thankful to the Lord for the provision of the truck and confidence in driving it. I didn’t think I would need to learn to drive a manual during my first term, but God knew! Ariana has been giving me ASL exercises to do each week. She is working on helping me improve my signing. These exercises have been good for me. I can feel some progress being made. We also trying to communicate more and more in ASL. Two days a week we turn our voices off and only communicate in ASL. It can be a challenge sometimes for me, but it is good and helping in improving my communication in ASL. Please pray that I grow in my confidence in signing. It can feel overwhelming at times with trying to keep straight French and ASL in my head.


I finally got the last document that I need for my resident card! Praise the Lord! I will be heading to the capital, Lome, soon to submit the application in person. Please pray that there won’t be any issues and that my application would be approved soon!


Thank you for all your prayers, encouragement, and support. It means the world to me. I have good and bad days. The Lord is my strength through it all. I appreciate each of you and am thankful for you.


God bless,

Liz Ortiz


Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for my ability to communicate. I desire to grow in my confidence in speaking French and signing. The difference in accent and vocabulary can be a bit overwhelming at times.

  • Please pray that I would not be overwhelmed in French or sign language and that I would be able to understand and be understood in the language.

  • Pray that I would be able to find a French language partner/tutor.

  • Please pray for wisdom as I develop the ministry. I will be traveling and visiting the different public deaf schools. Pray for protection as I travel and that good connections are made.

  • Please pray that my application for my resident card would go smoothly and be processed quickly.

 

 Praises:

  • Praise God that the visits the schools for the deaf went well!

  • Praise God that I’m feeling more comfortable driving!

  • Praise God that I received my final document for my resident card application!

  • Praise God that Bible study with the blind students has gone well!

  • Praise God for the provision of a vehicle!

  • Praise God that I am settling well into my new home.

  • Praise God for my progress in the language

  • Praise God for all my wonderful partners!

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