The first Salvation Army officers appointed to the west African country of Togo have arrived, bringing with them their three children and the new Togolese Salvation Army flag. Captains Hervé Michel and Naty Dorcas Ahouyanganga, originally from the Congo (Brazzaville) Territory, travelled by road to their new appointment from Accra in Ghana, where they had been preparing for their pioneering ministry. The work in Togo – officially known as the Togolese Republic – is overseen by the Ghana Territory.
The Salvation Army began work in Togo in April, initially under the oversight of Major Rockson Oduro, Divisional Commander of Ghana's Volta Division. While in Accra, Captains Ahouanganga had opportunity to spend time with Major Oduro as well as staff from Ghana Territorial Headquarters.
A quarters in the town of Atakpamé has been renovated and prepared for the incoming officers. Their main task will be to coordinate and assimilate several current expressions of Salvation Army worship. These comprise some existing independent congregations with no previous denominational affiliation, and some which have been established by Salvationists who became soldiers while living in Ghana before returning to their home in Togo. There are also outposts established through initiatives from the neighbouring Volta Division in Ghana. Other opportunities to expand the Army's mission are emerging in Lomé, the capital city of Togo.
Currently these various expressions are widely spread across the country – north, south, east and west, with Atakpamé in the centre. One of the initial challenges facing the captains is to bring cohesion and unity within these diverse groups.
Report by Colonel Charles Swansbury