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  • Liz Ortiz

Joy Day: A Joyous Reunion

We pulled up next to the school and got out of the car. Christy asked me, “Ready?” I closed the car door. “I think so.” We were at Jonas’ school. It had been over four years since I last saw Jonas. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about him. Would he remember me? We went up the stairs and turned the corner. “His classroom is right here.” I stepped into the doorway. Jonas immediately made eye contact with me. His eyes lit up and he had the biggest smile. What a joyous moment! He said to me, “Your name is L-I-Z, right?” I told him, “Yes.” We both couldn’t stop smiling. Christy and I talked with Jonas, the other students, and teachers. They were excited to sign with us. We told them that we would be back soon.

After visiting Jonas’ school we stopped by the Christian school nearby. Jonas’ host father, Mensah, works there. As we walked to Mensah’s classroom, he spotted me and said, “I know you! I have seen your picture!” We talked about Jonas ‘progress. I thanked Mensah for taking Jonas in so that he can attend the school. We both praised God for His work in all of our lives. As we left the school, I thanked God that I can communicate in French. The two years of language study have paid off. What joy! I am thankful for the Christian school in Atakpame. The teachers there have a heart for the deaf. Another Christian teacher has decided to host a deaf student so she can attend the school. I am looking forward to seeing how God will continue to use the school for his glory.

I live on the campus of ABWE’s Village of Light, which is a school for the blind. It has been fun getting to know the blind ministry. The students had a few days off from their studies, so some fun activities were planned. I had the girl students over to my house to make cookies. They loved the activity. It was a fun day. I mentioned in my last letter that my neighbor Hannah asked to co-lead a Bible study with the girl blind students. The study happens every Thursday evening. This last week, I led the study for the first time. I was nervous because it’s in French, but God gave me peace. I shared my testimony with the girls and it went well! Please continue to pray for Hannah and me as we lead the study. Please also pray for the 14 students who attend the study.

I can hardly believe that I have been in Togo for a month! Time has flown by. Thank you for praying for me. The adjustment to the Togo temperature has been difficult. But God gives me grace each day. Ariana, a friend from my home church who is an ASL interpreter, is arriving to Togo on March 4 th . She will be spending a year with me to help with the developing deaf ministry. Please pray for her as she says her goodbyes, travels and adjusts to life in Togo.

Thank you for your encouragement, love, support and prayers. I am looking forward to what God has in store in this year ahead. He is good!

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 for my confidence in driving and safety on the road. I am nervous to begin driving because the traffic laws are different. Traffic can be intense with lots of motorcycles and other vehicles and people. It can be dangerous if one is not alert and careful. However, driving is crucial to my ministry.

  • 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.

  • Pray for Ariana Currier, who is an ASL Interpreter, coming to help with the ministry for one year. She will arrive on March 4th . Please pray for her as she makes her final preparations and for a safe trip.

  • As of this year, ABWE has been in Togo for 50 years. On March 23rd , there will be a large celebration in the capital. There are many government officials are coming. Please pray that God would be glorified at this event and that many would come to know Him through it.

  • March 23rd is also the anniversary of my Grandpa Strand’s passing. A lot is going on that day and I know it will be an emotional day. A week later will be the 2nd anniversary of my Grandpa Ortiz’s passing. Please pray for God’s peace for me during that time.

  • I am working on applying for a resident card. Please pray that the process will go smoothly and there wouldn’t be any issues.


  •  Praise God that I made it to Togo!

  •  Praise God that I was reunited with Jonas!

  •  Praise God that Jonas is doing well!

  •  Praise God that the first Bible study I led with the blind students went well!

  •  Praise God that ABWE has been in Togo for 50 years! Praise God for all that HE has accomplished!

  •  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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