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  • Liz Ortiz

Remembering and Celebrating

“Hey, do you need to go to market?” my neighbor, Hannah, asked me. “Yes, I do.” Hannah smirked and handed me the car keys. “Good, because you are driving.” My jaw dropped. I hadn’t driven in Togo yet. I was nervous to. The flow of traffic is different here. You have to pay even more attention when driving in order to not hit a goat, chicken, or person in the road. The idea of driving made me uneasy, but I knew that it was vital thing for my life and ministry here. “Okay, I guess I am driving.” Hannah, Ariana, and I all got in the car. “Ariana, do you want to pray?” “Sure.” As Ariana began her prayer, the Bluetooth in the car connected to Hannah’s phone. A song came on titled, “I died”. We all burst out laughing. “This is not a good sign! Should I really drive?” We finished praying and I drove to market. Thankfully, no one died and no chickens or goats were harmed. I have driven several more times since that day. I am feeling more comfortable with it. Thank you for praying.

I am still working on my sense of direction of where things are. In the states I always relied on a GPS to get me where I needed to go. A GPS here doesn’t work as well. I don’t feel comfortable driving without someone in the car with me to give me directions. This reminded me of a verse in the Bible, Proverbs 16:19, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” As I pray and develop this new ministry that the Lord has given me, I remember that he is the one that knows the way. When I am unsure of the way, I know I can trust in Him. He is directing me steps. Please continue to pray for Ariana and me as we develop the ministry and that we would follow God directing.

Ariana has been in Togo for 1 month! She came during the hottest time of the year. It is an adjustment from the Michigan weather. But she and I are doing well. She has begun to work with me on improving my signing, and I am working with her on her French. Please pray that we can encourage each other in these two languages. We also are working on another project together. A couple years ago, I took this class called Bible storying at ABWE. The class teaches you how to share a Bible story in a way encourages others to go and share the story with someone else. From this class, I received 40 Bible stories. Ariana is working on translating the stories into ASL by a method called glossing. I am working on translating the stories into French. Please pray for us as we translate and how we might use these.

On March 23rd , ABWE celebrated being in Togo for 50 years. We had a big celebration in the capital city of Togo. Over 3,000 people came to the event. There was lots of singing, dancing, and celebrating what the Lord has done in Togo. Paul and Martha Davis were here for the celebration. Paul shared an encouraging word to the group. It was a good day that was glorifying to God. Thank you all who prayed for that day. I shared in my last newsletter that it was also the anniversary of my grandpa Strand’s passing. My heart was heavy that day, but also filled with joy. During one of the services, we sang “How Great Thou Art”. I was immediately taken back to being a little girl. I was standing next to my grandfather at the church he helped built. We were singing “How Great Thou Art”. I could hear my grandpa’s deep voice bellow out the hymn. I squeeze my grandpa’s hand and sing along. I open my eyes and I am back in Togo. My eyes are flooded with tears. I miss my grandpa so much. But I can also imagine him singing from heaven with the crowd. It was a beautiful sound. And I can’t imagine what a beautiful sound it will be in heaven with all the nations singing to the King most high! Oh, what a glorious day that will be!

Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement. Its hard for me to believe that I have been in Togo for 2 months now! Wow! Time is flying! I hope you had a wonderful Easter and celebrating what the Lord has done. He is good, all the time 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 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.

  • Pray for Ariana Currier, who is an ASL Interpreter, as she adjusts to life and ministry in Togo.

  • 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 Ariana has made it to Togo!

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

  • Praise God that He has risen!

  • Praise God that the Bible study with Blind students is going 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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