Togo (MNN) — Girls are being rejected by their families in Togo, West Africa.
That's the word from The Mission Society missionary, Esaho Kipuke. Speaking to us from Togo, Kipuke explains the rejection. "Many of these girls will be rejected by their parents due to the voodoo practice. The parents want them to remain under voodoo, but the girls want to be different from their parents. So, all of these girls will be rejected by their families."
According to Kipuke, this is a widespread problem in Togo, and Kipuke is taking these girls in. "When we see them, we bring them to our training center. We teach them a trade. We teach them sewing, cooking, and hygiene."
The goal is self sufficiency. Currently, there are 48 girls in the program.
Kipuke says many of these girls are coming to Christ. "We have a Bible study in our program. And everything we teach them includes a Bible verse. Many, many of them have come to know Christ just because they are part of their program."
Some girls have joined their program simply to get the training when they run into trouble. Kipuke says when one of the girls went home, "she had been singing, 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus.' The parents were so angry, that the girls were beaten up and rejected from the family. So we had to find a place for these girls to live so they could continue their education."
All but two or three of these girls have children, so the work is difficult.
This isn't the only unique work Kipuke and his wife are involved in. They're also reaching out to the elderly, who are not well cared for. "When a person becomes old, the person is considered a sorcerer. So the family will abandon that person."
Why are the elderly considered sorcerers? Kipuke says, "For many older people, their eyes become red. For some people here, they believe that anyone with red eyes is a sorcerer. So if any young person dies in the family, they point their fingers to the elderly person."
Kipuke is helping them with food, clothing, cleaning and other every day needs. Many of the elderly are giving their hearts to Christ simply because of the love they're seeing.
Pray that Kipuke's ministry will be able to reach more girls and elderly for Christ with vocational training and the Gospel.