Along the path, Muslim farmers herd cattle as women and children fetch water in jugs or bowls perched upon their heads. Down the road, trees and brush give way to a cluster of crude grass and mud huts.
In the village, chickens dart across the dense clay while dogs laze in the sun. A group of women emerge from the fields carrying wooden benches atop their heads. They set the benches in a semicircle under a large tree in the clearing and take their seats. Over the next several minutes, a handful of men arrive with other women and children. Once the congregation has assembled, they sing a few songs from memory, and the preacher shares a message from the Bible while someone translates it into Kabiye, the local language.
This church in Gbakakpakope, Togo has nearly tripled in size from its original 20 to 25 attendees in 2015. Now, a deacon comes each week from the mother church in Agou to share the Word, but the congregants are praying for God to raise up a permanent pastor for this church.