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Not Your Typical Mission Trip

By December 2, 2010July 16th, 2014No Comments
AMES, Iowa—A group of missionaries and business leaders recently visited the Mango region of Togo, Africa, studying how to help the Togolese develop self-sustaining cottage industries. The Association of Baptists for World Evangelism is building the Wendell Kempton Memorial Hospital in Mango, a region where people spend half of their income for health care. ABWE’s Don Trott led the exploratory trip, along with his brother-in-law Ivan Moore, owner of Custom Products Manufacturing in Story City, Iowa, and a member of Campus Baptist Church, Ames. Randy and Julie Redmer, graduates of FBBC, also participated. The group was met in Togo by ABWE missionary Randy Young. The group met with a believer in Mango who has started an orphanage for girls, teaching them to read and write, but also teaching them how to measure and and sew on treadle-type sewing machines. Part of their course involves Bible classes; the graduates are given their own sewing machine to take back to their village, where the graduates start their own business. This is the sort of ministry the American group hopes to encourage in Togo. The mission team also met with the Political and Economical Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Lome, discussing their plans and receiving assurance that the government would do they could to assist. The embassy official is studying what type of help is available along with potential legal difficulties. From there they visited Togo’s Minister of Urbanism, who owns a home in Mango and has a special interest in its economic development. The government official gave practical suggestions that considered cultural climate of the people. “He is also in a position to be able to help us a great deal with his influence in the political arena of Togo,” Ivan says. While in Mango, the group spent two days talking to business owners and local missionaries. “We learned there are a number of areas that we can investigate,” Ivan says. “We could increase the sewing capability of the school by designing and building stitching and surger sewing machines that would work with the treadle type machine base. We are looking at setting up a biodiesel production plant. There is a possibility of increasing some cattle raising operations and introducing some new ideas as to how to raise the cattle for better production.” Each of the people on the missions team, the government participants, and the Togo missionaries are all looking for further ideas to help the people of Togo. The mission team returned to the U.S. hoping to recruit other entrepreneurs with further ideas to help the people of Togo. The group is collecting treadle-type sewing machines. If you have one to donate, please contact Don Trott ( “Working with the people one-on-one is also the only consistent way to win them to the Lord,” Ivan Moore says.