mission life

Miriam’s Moments in Mango

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Miriam runs the Pharmacy at the Hospital of Hope in the town of Mango in Togo, Africa. Life in Mango has been affected by the Covid-19 virus as has most of the world. Borders, airports, roads, schools, mosques, churches and ‘disco techs’ have all been ordered closed by the Togolese government. So far we have been fortunate not to have any confirmed cases at the Hospital of Hope. However the number of cases do continue to climb slowly in Togo and the surrounding countries. Worldometers is now a daily addiction… when the internet works.The closure of the airport has meant that short-term volunteers are no longer able to come and with scheduled furloughs upon us we have drastically reduced missionaries on the field. This has increased the workload on the remaining long-term staff. Please pray for stamina, grace and patience for those who stay behind.Ministries outside of the hospital such as village churches, French club and prison visits have been suspended due to the government regulations. We are very grateful that the radio ministry has been able to continue, including broadcasting sermons from a local church on Sunday mornings. Groups of up to 15 people are still able to meet so we are able to visit our Togolese friends. Please pray that people are able to tune in to the radio and continue bible studies on their own.I felt a little left out from all the hoarding that I heard about going on around the world but as you can see I was able to join in a little bit ‘Mango Styles’.Read more about Miriam’s life and ministry in Mango by clicking the image below.

Miriam Tillman,

Mission Partner in Togo, Africa

You can’t do it alone

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I’m sure you’ll agree God has called us to make a real difference in the world. And if you’re been sitting in that space for a while, you’ll have realised that changing the world often starts with being transformed ourselves. Like the bumper-sticker says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Change agents are those who don’t just do a whole heap of stuff, but who have come to embody values that set them apart and drive them to really make a difference. It’s pretty difficult to be both missional and selfish, or greedy, or lazy, or constantly grumpy, or judgemental, or controlling, or gossipy. …

The thing is, many of us put pressure on ourselves to change. … and beat ourselves up when we don’t! Maybe this is partly because we’ve been taught somewhere along the way that we can make self-change happen. We just need the will to change. There’s truth in that, but real change almost always happens in community. It’s belonging to a group that share common values that will help us develop and keep those values.

Bishop Justin Duckworth spoke at the NZCMS Cultivate conference in 2014. In this video he talks about our need for community.


Kot tyeka bino

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“Kot tyeka bino” (The rain is coming) says Prossy, our language helper. We’ve now been in Uganda for 9 months and the rain is back. Out the window we watch a panoramic 180 degree fork lightning display as our buckets fill with gushing water from the roof. It disturbs me how giddy this makes Tessa, but I suppose it makes sense given how much time and effort this easy water saves. Now that ‘winter’ is here, our trips to the borehole will be few and far between. I never really realised how glorious seasons were before living here. They bring a rhythm and dependability to life and to time, which allows the heart to inhale and exhale. Summer had its advantages. Large bags of peanuts gifted by visitors, good roads, no rain to get in the way of movements and meetings. Although Tessa loved crisp frosts, the cold New Zealand winter mainly annoyed me. This winter is very welcome. Winter brings perfect temperatures, easy water (from the roof) and mangoes.

The rain reflects refreshing changes in our lives. In the last 3 months there’s been some exciting developments in our work and living situation. One of the biggest boosts has been moving out of the hospital and back to the community again. In a stroke of good luck/blessing, our old home was available so we’ve moved out of the hospital and back ‘home’ again. I say home because it feels like it, more than the hospital ever did. Our neighbours are really happy to have us back. Leaving running water and consistent power behind is a bit hard, but we’ve made some wonderful additions to our home, which with remarkable small amounts of money and effort, have made life a lot easier than when we were hear 4 months ago.

A big bucket with a tap for easy flowing water. An “Agulu Pi” for drinking water storage and cooling. This glorious urn cost NZ $2.50, but will keep water cool and fresh all day long. Using roof water for all non-drinking purposes. Today Tessa filled four 20 litre Jerry cans from the roof – enough to last us 2-3 days. Shelves. Why did we not get shelves before?! A paraffin stove to go next to supplement our charcoal wonder. Having two elements is great.

Our involvement in St. Catherine’s church is ever increasing, and is made ever easier by Tessa’s outstanding Acoli. Her language nearly reached the point where people don’t make a big deal about it anymore, which has to be good right? We’ve been really encouraged by the English bible study on Wednesday which we are helping to lead. Our experience from New Zealand has come in handy. Our friend James has started coming to the study, and is really loving it. He’s good friends with our next door neighbour Alice, and his sharp and versatile mind helps the group delve deeper. Last week we struggled with a notoriously difficult passage where Jesus talks about how putting New Wines in Old Wineskins. Alice wasn’t there though, and this week cheeky James gave her a hard time with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

“Alice, you weren’t here last week to help us, it was terrible. We struggled too much and my brain was not big enough!” – That kind of banter has to be a good sign.


For more from Nick and Tessa visit ugandapanda.com