In August 2014, I had no idea the power of a simple Google search. All I knew was that I didn’t want to spend another summer working a desk job, so I began hunting for other options. I typed “Christian camp photographer” into the search bar, and the rest is history…
In 2014, a Google search introduced me to Pine Cove, and I accepted a job as a camp photographer a few months later.
However, there are a few things that Google did not tell me about Pine Cove, and when I walked onto Pine Cove soil for the first time, I was a little surprised.
My assignment in Togo was to make a short video about a girl named Djamila.
Djamila is a tenth-grade student at a Togolese Baptist school. She was born and raised in a Muslim home in Lome, but she eventually moved to live with her Christian mom in Tsiko.
When Djamila moved to Tsiko, she found herself in a struggle between her aunt and mother. The aunt claimed that Allah is god, and she could get to heaven by obeying him. Djamila’s mother said that Jesus was the only way to have eternal life. Djamila could not decide who to believe.
Two of Djamila’s teachers came to her house to read the Bible to her. They told her that there is someone who loves her. She was amazed and asked, “Who loves me here on earth?”
That is when the teachers explained the love of Jesus. Djamila came to understand that Jesus loves her. He died on the cross for her sins. He forgave her. With the help of these two teachers, Djamila turned to Christ.
Before Djamila was a Christian, her life was filled with anger. She said, “If my aunt was not kind with me, I was led to steal…I didn’t care a bit. And back then, lying also was my life…No one told me that I was wrong. That was my life.”
With Jesus, Djamila’s life changed a lot. She learned how to forgive, how to love, and how to accept someone’s mistakes. She exclaimed, “I have joy deep in my heart.”
Before I left my interview with Djamila, she stated,
My dream is that God will help me to live for him, to work for him, and to do what he wants me to do….I feel it deep in my heart that God calls me to go back and to… share gospel to Muslims.
Remember a few weeks ago when I felt completely terrified of my next step? Despite my trepidation, I took the step. On July 29, I joined a group of a dozen strangers and hopped a plane for Ghana.
The next few posts will chronicle my time in Africa.
Because we drove through Ghana, it took about 29 hours to get from Harrisburg, PA to Tsiko, Togo. The roads in Ghana were decent, but once we crossed the border into Togo, the dirt roads were filled with deep potholes. We also had to stop at numerous police checkpoints. Needless to say, this made for a very long day. At least the bus had air conditioning!