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Deep Commitments in Atitogon

January 26, 2010

Bertain the county clerk

The Atitogon area has always been a source of great joy for me as I have seen them grow and mature through many challenges over the years.  They have always been a simple community of farmers, making ends meet and finding their hope in Jesus.  When the government approached Bertain about becoming the county clerk two years ago, I was a little anxious.  Bertain’s faith and commitment to Jesus inspired the majority of the members to openly live for God as light and salt.  He had started most of the churches there and had become highly respected in the entire region.  The government wanted a piece of that influence tempting him with a guaranteed monthly income, an office, and a future in public service.  He agreed and took the job.  After a year of service, they took him away to the district capital allowing him to return on weekends.  They began grooming him and making big plans for him as he excelled in every venue because of his great integrity and hard work.  Then came the test.  The national director had seen and heard of Bertain and because men of integrity are so rare in Togo, he called him in to Lome for a meeting.  He offered him a job working in the national office with a tremendous raise and benefits.  Bertain told him, “Thank you, but no.”  This is not the kind of man who hears “no” in Togo.  So, he quickly asked for an explanation.  Bertain told him that he needed to return to his villages in order to work as a clerk so that he could preach the gospel to those who don’t know Jesus.  The director called for a second meeting with Bertain’s supervisor and in that meeting as well, after an hour of strong persuasion, Bertain still refused, even after being threatened with the possibility of losing his position as clerk.  He restated that this is not the focus of his life, but that his role as clerk allows him to serve all in his area and get to know those that don’t know Jesus, so that later he can help them to find life in Christ.  It is this kind of commitment to Jesus that I found in the Atitogon cluster, where men and women arrange their lives in such a way as to be more effective in serving the lost.

Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

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