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Monday, August 30, 2010

Togo Honours

When it came to the time to leave Togo, our hearts weren't ready. It's been amazing how our lives have been wovened into this country in such a short time. How they have embraced us into their country and called us friends. This friendship was portrayed to us on the last Friday/Saturday we were there. We say two days because we started out on Friday only to find that it might not happen and then we started out again on the Saturday! The ways of Africa just don't surprise us any more and we just accept it, whereas if this way of life was the norm back home we would lead a very frustrated life.
During our last week the health minister visited the ship to say "thank you" and presented the crew with a beautiful wood carving.
During this visit it was hinted that somebody higher up wanted to honour them. Immediately panic set in as visions of the president wanting to visit the ship as we were trying to pack everything up, could delay our departure time. It soon became clear, we would go to him and we did not expect what was going to happen next.
A local hotel was the venue and as the time went on and we were briefed on standing positions and protocol. We lined up to meet the Health Minister and we proceeded into a big room, half occupied by a full military band! Members of our senior management team lined up, and the wives stood on the side lines, looking pretty! 9 medals sat on cushions - it soon became clear that this was more than just a thank you dinner. 1 Officer Mono, 4 Chevalier Mono and 4 Chevalier Merit were awarded.
(Tim receiving the Chevalier Mono Medal)
(Saluting for the USA National Anthem)
(Even a full Military band)
The event was followed by a dinner with various Government Ministers.
(Tim and Sharon with Madame Adjei - a remarkable lady)
We feel humbled that when we felt honoured to be serving in Togo, that they would want to honour us, but it's not just about the Senior Managment Team, these medals represent the work and dedication of the entire crew of Mercy Ships, both on the ship and those on shore in our land based offices, because it's not just one person that does all the work, it is a joint effort and without each other and the Lord working through us, nothing would be accomplished and complete. So we say well done good and faithful servants, the Lord honours your work and servant hearts, and so does Togo!
(Medal recipients)
(the wives)

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