by Mike Reynen, Africa Area Director
“I promise, I’ll find someone,” the student said. He was a Togolese student who was confident he could find someone to begin the FM Church in Togo. None of us saw where that was leading. The student introduced us to Dosseh Takpale.
The first few year of starting work in Togo, beginning in 2000, were not easy in terms of financial support. Men’s Ministries International, however, was a provision of the Lord, supporting Dosseh as an evangelist for a couple years. This helped get the Togo work up and running with a few churches. In the following years the Africa Area Director visited in addition to U.S. pastor Gil Cloud and Kathy Callahan-Howell and her daughter, providing valuable encouragement and teaching. The relationship with the U.S. church was strengthened, which was a blessing for the visiting pastors and their churches, as well as Dosseh and the Togo churches.
A few years later, when VISA (Volunteers In Service Abroad) organized a GSI (Global Studies Intensive) training in Kenya, Dosseh was invited to attend as a speaker. Dosseh took in the teaching and shared with other participants, but he may not have realized where this experience would eventually lead.
Togo was the third country to adopt the Village Church Planting (VCP) model of church expansion that has begun in countries partnering with FMCUSA. Dosseh launched Pastor Fousseni, one of his pastors in the central region, as a VCP trainer. Pastor Fousseni had his own church to serve, so he was asked to simply find two students and to begin training them to plant one church each. Results have been beyond expectations. Pastor Fousseni currently has eight students, each planting a church.
When Pastor Lebene’s attempt at VCP seemed to fail, Dosseh had him observe the work under Pastor Fousseni’s leadership. The Lord gave Pastor Lebene a fresh vision. He went back to his home and promptly and effectively launched a new church plant in the village beyond his own.
In more recent years when I was working on a problem situation, I needed another perspective. I needed an African to help me see things from an African viewpoint. I brought in Dosseh. The help Dosseh provided made me wonder why I hadn’t thought of asking him earlier. That led to consulting Dosseh again soon when we made an exploratory visit to Guinea-Conakry. Free Methodist work was formally opened in Guinea on our second visit. Ministry has since started in Ivory Coast. And Dosseh has made exploratory visits to Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Mali.
Praise God for introductions, visits, VISA and so much more that have contributed to Rev. Dosseh’s ministry.