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  • Liz Ortiz

Stepping into the Plane

Four years, two months, and one week ago, I was returning to the United States after spending over a year in Togo. As I stepped into the plane that day, I remember thinking, “I will be back: I don’t know how long it will be, but Lord willing, I will be back.” A lot happened in those four years. I went through the ABWE application process, missionary orientation, support raising, varies trainings, language school, applying for visas, packings, and ect. There were many highs and lows during the last four years; but through it all, God was good. He stretched me and grew me in my faith. On January 28th , 2024, it was finally that day: I was returning to Togo.

My mom and little brother Philip came with me to the airport. As I got out of the car, I hugged my mom goodbye. Philip helped me carry my bags to the counter. After I was checked in, Philip prayed over me and we hugged one last time before we parted ways. It was a long travel day that lasted about 26 hours, but thankfully it was uneventful. On my overnight flight I had a whole row to myself! I was able to get a little sleep before we landed. All my luggage arrived and I was greeted by friends. I was home.

The weeks leading up to my departure were filled with appointments, packing, bringing stuff to a shipping container, and spending time with family and friends. I was thankful that I was able to spend quality time with each of my brothers and their families. Although I didn’t get pictures with everyone, I will always remember the time we spent together. I’m thankful for such a wonderful family and friends.

The adjustment to the temperature has been tough. I went from around 30 degrees Fahrenheit to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. But each day I’m getting more adjusted. Please continue to pray for me as I adjust to life and ministry here. Also pray for my adaption to the language here. The accent is different, so I am working on getting used to it. Although I am done with my formal French training, I will continue working to improve my French. I have some different resources to help strengthen it.

My teammate, Hannah, leads a Bible study with the blind school girls each Thursday evening. She has asked me to help lead it with her. Please pray for us as we teach in French. There are 14 students who attend the Bible study. Please pray that God would work in their hearts during this Bible study. Pictured above is Hannah teaching about creation. She brought different objects for the girls to feel to represent the different days of creation. The girls enjoyed the lesson.

It feels so good to have finally made it to Togo! Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and support over the last four years. I am grateful for each of you and how you have helped me on this journey. I look forward to what God has in store next!

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 other 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 for the quality time I spent with family and friends!

  •  Praise God that I was reunited with Jonas! (I will share that story in my next newsletter)

  •  Praise God that Jonas is doing 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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