Pfenniger Family Interview by MAG youth -the Why, What and Where on Being a Medical Missionary.

It’s hard to believe that this time last year we were getting ready to finish up our last semester in France and Noémi was yet to arrive!  And now we’ve been in Togo for a little over 3 months -wow, a lot has happened over this year and we feel very blessed for what God has done in our lives and how He has been working in us.  Part of that is taking the time to look back and remember what God has done and how He has worked in our lives.  It helps to remind us of the challenges that He’s brought us through and remind us that He will continue to be with us as He was in the past even though we may not always see it in the moment.

I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.      Psalm 77:11

As you enter this new year, we pray that you have the chance to reflect on what God has done for you, how He’s been there for you over the past year and/or years.

This is a video clip of an interview that MAG church youth asked us to do for them a few days before we left for Togo, it was a blessing to us to be able to recount how God has worked in our lives. Hope you enjoy it as well.

Please see our prayer page for continued updates as for us and the hospital there remain some critical decisions to be made.

See our picture page for recent photos.

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The Awe of Christmas and a Gift of Mobility

My reflection over the last couple weeks has been focusing on the greatness of God and how I pale in comparison.  This is not an easy line of thought for me as focusing on the greatness of someone (even God) seems to be prideful and selfish.  But just as I am awed by a sunrise that splashes its color beautifully over the mountains or just as I am enthralled by the beauty and intricacy of a tiny snowflake or . . . so too I should be awed and humbled even more so by an amazing awesome and holy creator God who was willing to step down into his creation to become part creation himself, in order to suffer and die so as to save that creation.  This is a pure love with no strings attached.  Do we truly recognize how great and awesome is our God and his love for us?  I’m not sure I do.  I pray that I can.   

As we take time this Christmas season to reflect on God and the gift that He has given us in the form of a little baby born in the stable, we have felt very blessed to be here in Togo and to be able to give a “small” gift of a mobility cart to those here who have need.  Below is a brief summary of seven people that have each been given a mobility cart.  I pray that their stories are a blessing to you but also that we will pray for them and their families that in this season of their lives that Christ and his gift of salvation will become very real to them.  Thank you for all you do to help us in being here and in praying for us and the Togolese.  

1.      Esther -4-year-old girl

-The repercussions of an infection in the brain (meningitis or cerebral malaria) left her with a cerebral palsy type picture with minimal to no use of both her arms and legs.

-The pull cart will allow for greater mobility.

-Religion: animism.

Prayer -that the family will come to know and follow Jesus Christ.


2.      Kossiwa -63-year-old woman

-As a result of a childhood illness, she was left with a debilitating weakness in her legs that greatly restricts her mobility requiring the assistance of her husband and 4 children in being able to get around.

-The mobility cart will give her an independence in moving.

-Religion: Catholic

Prayer: That she will become involved in a Bible study and deepen her faith.


3.      Blessing -4-year-old girl

-She was born with severe club feet that failed treatment.

-The mobility cart will allow her to be able to go to school and other places.

-Religion: none

Prayer: that her and her family will experience and know God’s love and gift of salvation


4.      Chantal -17-year-old girl

-As a result of malaria at 2 years of age she was left with a debilitating weakness in her legs.

-The mobility cart will give her an independence in being able to go to school and church.

-Religion: Christian

Prayer: that the leaders of her community who heard the gospel message in this process would come to know Christ and that her and her family’s faith would deepen. 


Sorry, no picture available.

5.       Pastor Pito – 52-year-old man

-Paralyzed from the waist down as a result from a fall from a tree in 2015. 

-The mobility cart gives him independence in movement.

-Religion: Christian

Prayer: He is currently struggling with a lot of pain and as such is not getting out much.  Prayer for an opportunity of ministry and wisdom on how he can cope with the pain.


6.        Komi- 35-year-old

-Paralyzed since birth.  (one brother with also the same problem)

-He was very honored to get a cart and will use it to go to church and to help with his work (shoe repair) –as he also has one child.

-Religion: Christian (he attends a Pentecostal church but did not understand well the plan of salvation, after it was explained to him, he prayed with the pastor for the forgiveness of his sins)

-Prayer:  That his faith (and that of his family and community) would grow and deepen.  He desires to be married.

7.       Koffi – 30-year-old man

-Paralyzed since birth (brother to Komi)

-He was very happy to get a cart as it will greatly help him in independence and moving (not having to crawl now).

-Religion: Christian (He understands the plan of salvation and was reassured of his salvation).

-Prayer: That his faith would grow and deepen and that he would be able to find a job/work.


Thank you again for all that you do in supporting us and blessing the people here in Togo! Thank you for your prayers!

For more pictures visit our picture page.

For our most recent prayer needs visit our prayer page.

For information regarding our projects, financial support click on the support tab on the top of the page.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Fred, Lydia, Noah, Nathanael and Noemi

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Seasons -Fall 2017 Newsletter

The seasons are changing as we get ready to return to Togo.  We pray that you had a blessed summer!

We wanted to share how things finished for us in France, our trip home to the US, and what we are praying for as we look to starting our work and ministry again in the hospital, HBB, in Togo.

Go to our website under “Newsletter” tab and click on “2017-Fall” or click here.

Please also see our updated prayer requests, pictures and financial pages.

God bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah, Nathanael and Noémi

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She’s Here!!

Making her own schedule, she has finally arrived . . . 6 days past her due date. We are very happy to introduce to you Noémi Ann Pfenniger, otherwise known as NAP. She joins her brothers Noah, known as NRP and Nathanael, known as NYP. Her brothers were very excited to meet her. The first few days were rough as we adjusted to her new sleeping and feeding patterns.

Noémi, weighing 7.8 pounds and measuring 21 inches, was born at 7:42 pm on July 9th, 2017 in Albertville France after 1 hour and 15 minutes of labor. Mom and baby stayed in the hospital for 1 and a half days and are presently at home. She is a sweet little girl with what we believe to be a calm temperament. Yes, she takes after her mother and for that we are grateful. However when she gets hungry, she has a strong cry, a trait she takes from her father!

Thank you for your prayers and support. Also thank you to the families who have supported us with meals, daycare and kind words during this last week. A special thanks to Nate and Darlene for taking care of NRP and NYP while we were in the hospital.

We have now 5 weeks to get her a passport and pack for our flights to the US on August 17th.

God Bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah, Nathanael and Noémi.


Please also see our updated prayer requests, pictures and financial pages


Please note our schedule while in the USA:

August 17th –> return to the USA

August 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st –> Childress family reunion (Madison, IN)

August 23rd, 24th –> Immunizations and appointments (Indianapolis, IN)

August 29th to Sept 5th –> Visit sending church and family on the west coast (British Columbia and Washington)

Sept 6th to Oct 2nd –> packing and preparing for our time in Togo (Madison, IN)

Sept ?? –>  IWU presentation ?? (Marion, IN)

Oct 3rd –> leave for Togo


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Happy Mother’s Day! -2017 Spring Newsletter

We pray that you have had a blessed start to your year.  We wanted to share what we have been up to and how God is working in our lives.  Go to our website under “Newsletter” tab and click on “2017-Spring” or click here.

Please also see our updated prayer requests, pictures and financial pages.

God bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah, Nathanael and 🙂

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We are well!


Nathanael continues to be a blessing!  We love his laugh and his desire to play all the time.  He is small (in height) for his age, and is still working on words, but is otherwise all boy!  He understand when we speak to him and does not like the word “No” (imagine that!)  We are getting ready to celebrate his 2nd birthday on March 19th.


Recently during a school vacation Fred got to take Noah skiing.  The above video is of Noah skiing on only his second day! Unlike Nathanael, Noah is tall for his age but is also all boy!  He enjoys his bike and scooter and time in handball and skiing.  We are getting ready to celebrate his 5th birthday on March 26th.

Fred and Lydia

French studies are tough, but going well.  We have our second set of exams from March 27th – 31st (would much appreciate your prayers!).  Currently we are on a 2 week break and have enjoyed the down time, catching up on tasks, and making a few day trips.  Presently we are 5 months pregnant (expecting a girl!) and have decided to extend our stay in France until after the baby is born on July 3rd.  During this time, we will continue our French language studies.

Hospital Baptist Biblique

Please continue to pray for the hospital.  A lot is  happening.  The hospital is not only continuing to work on a vision plan for the next 30 years (which has been approved by the ABWE board), but is also having some frank and very important conversations about work load and purpose.  From the summary emails we have received we have been encouraged at the depth of conversation and the indirect recognition given to all the missionaries in the Togo field for the amount of work being done.  The goal of the conversation is how to establish a sustainable work life ministry for the missionaries and their families.

Project Summary:

Project #1:  Pet CARTS –> 21 carts have been received at the hospital and a few have already been distributed.  We recently saw a photo of a patient accepting a cart as a gift.

Project #2:  HBB Midwife Training Program –> a proposal has been submitted and the reviews have been positive.  We are waiting a final decision from the hospital.

Project #3:  Cervical Cancer Screening –> communication is in progress with the supplier.  We are awaiting equipment and supply costs.

Project #4: Exercise Equipment –> research is in progress.

Project #5:  Books for Togo –> this is a new project.  Recently we were asked by some missionaries in Togo to approach a local school to see if they would have French school books to donate to Togo for the Christian school system.  We have a meeting set up for the month of March.  Please pray for fruitful discussions.

God Bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah, Nathanael and girl 🙂

PS  Please also see our updated prayer requests, pictures and financial pages.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Our “2016 – Christmas” Newsletter is here!

babycropPray that you have had a blessed time with family and friends.  We wanted to share what we have been up to and some other exciting news.  Go to our website under “newsletter” tab or click here.

Please also see our updated prayer requests, pictures and financial pages.

God bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah, Nathanael and 🙂

PS If you are having any troubles with this email, please let us know as we have been having some technical issues with our website.

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Family News and Project #1 and #2 Updates

Our Family

Noah and Nathanael continue to amaze us as they still want to go to day care and school without much problems.  Noah was very excited after being able to ride a bike without any help and without training wheels after only two-tries and no falls!  I think riding his scooter every day to school has given him the balance needed.  Nathanael continues to babble and laugh.  The two boys are really starting to play together which is such a blessing to watch. (see video)

We are progressing with our language studies.  It is not easy, but it is coming (would appreciate continued prayers!).  We have some good classmates and teachers that are truly interested in our learning.  At the end of November (Nov 28-Dec 2), we have a whole week of testing to evaluate our learning and to see if we know enough to advance to the next level.  In December, we will be each presenting a devotion in French in front of the school for 15 minutes (would appreciate your prayers -hopefully no tomatoes thrown 😉 ).

img_0431The schedule here has been good for us (though balance is still a continual struggle) as we are not only spending time together as family, but are also getting some recreational time, such as handball for Noah, hiking for Fred, and running for Lydia.

Recently we made two day trips. The first was to Lyon, where we saw an amazing old church and an old Roman amphitheater. Next in Beaufort we visited a cheese factory (no free samples L), a beautiful dam, and a lot of Alp farmers and huts.  It reminded Fred of Switzerland. (See our picture page!)

img_0488On a sad note, Lydia’s 95-year-old grandma passed away on the 23rd of October.  It was not unexpected, but it is hard to loose someone you love.  We are very grateful for the 8 months we were in Madison and for the time Lydia and the boys got to spend with her.  Thank you God.

Project #1 – 20 PET CARTS TO TOGO

DSC07484StatusAlmost complete5 PET Carts are in Togo and 16 more are being shipped.  A list of potential recipients is being complied by Pastor J.

Overview:  The PET Carts are personalized energized transportation carts provided to persons in need (  The carts are made in the US and donated freely.  During our first 2 years in Togo we shipped and delivered 5 carts to people in need.  You can read their stories by clicking here (stories are at the end of the Newsletter).

Update:  In August with the help of Dr. G and Dr. E, 5 carts were shipped to Togo.  They have arrived and 1 has already been delivered to a patient in need.  (We hope to do a follow up story on him when we arrive in Togo.)  Presently, through a container being managed by Family A, 12 additional adult carts and 4 kid carts are being packed and will be shipped by the end of November.

Cost:  As the carts, themselves, are free, the costs associated with this project are related to shipping and customs.  To date our costs are as such:

Starting Project Account Balance $2,201
(Number of contributors: 1)
ABWE administration fee -198.09
Carts Container Costs
5 Adult CARTS Dr. G / Dr. E Shipping within USA 0
Shipping / custom to TOGO -289.91
12 Adult Carts and 4 Kid Carts Family A Shipping within USA -348.67
Shipping / custom to TOGO ??
Ending Project Account Balance $1,364.33

*Our cost is lower than originally anticipated.  Any unused funds will be rolled over to the next project

Future Project Modification:  The Togo landscape is one of rolling hills and poor roads.  The PET Carts are well suited for this environment as they are durable.  However, in certain areas, the PET Cart drivers end up requiring assistance either from strangers and/or family.  It would be really helpful if there was some kind of “automated assist device” on the carts that would assist the drivers and thus give them greater freedom.

bicycle-assistOne possible solution is to “mechanically dope” the PET Carts.  Mechanically doping devices exist for bicycles and aid the riders in allowing them to cover greater distance with less effort (

We would love to investigate if these devices or something like it would be appropriate for the PET Carts.  As such, if you and/or anyone you know is interested in helping and/or heading up this project please let us know.  The task would include investigating what kind of assist device could be adapted to the PET CARTS at a practical cost.

Project #2 – Skilled Birthing Attendant (SBA) Training Program (Midwives)

DSC07971Status:  A proposal for a SBA training program has been submitted.  We are waiting HBB’s decision and direction.  Thus (contingent on HBB’s approval) we are looking for 112 people who would feel lead to give a one-time gift of $100 (or in whatever amount you feel lead) (for total costs see below).  If you are interested, please contact us (email:

Overview:  HBB suffers from a shortage of qualified OB providers.  The idea behind the project is to put together a training program for in-house skilled birthing attendants.  The program would train in house staff to handle the majority of the cases that come to the hospital.  This would not only deepen the skill set at HBB, but allow HBB to maintain a minimum of OB care that is independent of doctors.

midwives-for-haitiUpdate:  In the summer we were introduced to Nancy Brunk, a nurse midwife and CEO of Midwives for Haiti.  She has developed a program in Haiti that includes a French and English curriculum. It trains national nurses to become midwives.  She has offered it to us for free.

The program is described as “a rigorous 12-month training program for Haitian nurses to become Skilled Birth Attendants.” The teachers are supported by visiting volunteers (midwives and other medical professionals). The students are in the classroom, clinic and hospital. Upon completion, these graduates receive a certificate from the Haitian Ministry of Health and go on to work throughout Haiti. Since 2006, they’ve trained 95 SBA’s and these graduates make up nearly 1/3 of the total skilled providers working in Haiti.  In 2014, they provided skilled care at over 10,000 births.

Key Points of a modified Midwife for Haiti training program for HBB include the following:

  • 15 month program – 12 months of Midwives for Haiti curriculum and 3 months of HBB specific OB protocol training
  • 2 days a week of lectures (will include bible studies)
  • 4 students maximum per class
  • Based on the book “A book for Midwives: Care for Pregnancy, Birth and Women’s Health
  • Program is built on the 32 core abilities of a midwife as identified by the WHO and the International Organization of Midwives

Costs:  Estimated cost of the program, if approved, are as follows:

Starting Project Account Balance $ 0
(Number of contributors: 0)
ABWE Administration Fee 0
Startup costs (one-time costs to start the program)
Computer with projector -3,000
Support material for teaching -3,000
Recurring costs (Costs associated with each class of students)
Nurses Salaries while they attend lectures -5,000
Books -180
Ending Project Account Balance $ -11,180


Projects #3 – Exercise Equipment and Project #4 – Cervical cancer screening updates will be coming in the near future

Thank you so much for all your love, care and support.

God Bless,

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

P.S. Please see our updated picture, prayer and financial pages.

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Family Stories from France

Some more short stories as we get settled.

August 24th

img_0063Here we are France!

We have arrived in France and have settled into our “new home” for the next 8 months.  Our flight was uneventful, outside of “running” (as much as you can with luggage and kids) for our last connection. As we were boarding the plane, we got to meet and help another family, also coming to the language school.  Overall, the kids did well.  Nathanael slept most of the way, whereas Noah stayed awake playing games and watching TV.  Within a few days of being settled, Nathanael reestablished, to his parents’ dismay, his 5 am wake up routine!

Albertville, Our Apartment and the Language School

img_0151Albertville, which hosted the Olympics in 1992, is an old town with a population of about 18,000.  There are five small forts located within 10 km of each other, two of which we have already visited.  Albertville is located in the cross hairs of 3 valleys and is surrounded by mountains.

The language school has about 50 or so students.  All are missionaries and dedicated to going to serve somewhere in the world.  It is inspiring to see so many people choosing to serve God, and as such, to serve others in this world.

Our apartment, is a part of the language school and is a three-bedroom apartment located on the top floor of a 3 story apartment building.  The nursery for Nathanael is located on the first floor, and the language school is located in an adjacent building.

We have French lessons 4 days a week –Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  School starts each day with 20 minutes of devotions and/or worship.  Classes then start at 9:00 and run until 11:15. Afternoon classes start at 1:45 and go until 4:15.


Noah goes to, what is essentially, pre-k school five days a week, with Wednesday being only a half day.  We walk Noah to school in the mornings, which starts at 8:25; we pick him up for lunch at 11:25; he then returns to school at 1:25 and finishes at 4:30.

We got Noah a new scooter and he loves to ride it to school.  He is in a class of about 25 kids, all of which speak French except for one other “missionary kid”.  We are proud of Noah and thanking God that he wants to go to school in spite of the fact that he does not understand most of what is being said!  We are praying that he will continue to enjoy his school while at the same time learning the language and that he will make some friends.  We do not believe he has an easy task.

img_0099Outside of school, Noah enjoys playing with the other missionary kids here at the language school.  He and Fred have fun hiking up to one of the old forts.  Every Saturday (starting Sept 24th) we’re planning to take him to playimg_0124 some European handball (which will be a 45 min walk one way!).  We’re hoping he’ll enjoy it and that it will allow him to make connections and friendships with other French kids his age.


img_0157Nathanael goes to the nursery for eight hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  This had been going well until a few days ago, when he has started to cry as he goes to the nursery.  However, we hear that he only cries for a few minutes and then he is good for the rest of the day (not easy for mom to walk away from!).  The ladies in the nursery are very caring and enjoy playing with him -for this we are very grateful!  We are praying that God will continue to bless the workers and Nathanael in his time there -as for him we know it is not easy as well.

Overall he continues to do well and is very active!  He loves to do whatever Noah is doing from climbing chairs, to taking baths, to running around outside and yelling.  However, unlike Noah, Nathanael is fast to eat but slow to use words.  We hope he will start speaking more over the next few months.

Fred and Lydia

We are doing well and glad to be settling into a home and in to a routine.

Lydia has healed well.  The miscarriage was treated successfully with medications, and no further treatment was required.  And although we were and still are saddened by the event, we can clearly say that God used this time to his glory!  We have had conversations and discussions with people and have been introduced to people because of this event, and we can say without a doubt, they have benefited us and we them, we hope.  Though we would never wish for this experience we are very grateful for what God has brought about as a result of it.  In humility we are reminded of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Outside of French studies, and the socializing that goes on in a school, we are spending time preparing for our time in Togo.  We are excited, yet cautious, at the opportunity to go back.  Our prayer continues to be for a balanced life and God’s clear direction for us in the future.


As you know we have four projects on the go: PET carts, a midwife training program, cervical cancer screening program, and exercise equipment.  Over the next eight weeks, we hope to post individual updates on each of the projects!  At that time, we will let you know about each project’s funding and the opportunity to give IF you feel so led.

God Bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

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Blog of Short Stories

So much has been happening that we are not sure how to tell it outside of doing it as a series of short stories.

August 23 French flag

Here we come France!

August 23 is just around the corner.  We are excited!  Our lives have once again been reduced down to 6 suitcases, 3 pack-sacs, and 2 kids.  Yes, there is still a wife/mother and husband/father too, and all of us, with all of our belongings, can all fit into a minivan, go figure.  We are heading to France for 8 months of language study at which time we will be making a short trip home to the US and then on to Togo sometime in May 2017.

crossA Loss

In August we suffered a miscarriage.  This has broken our hearts as we wish to continue to grow our family.  We are grateful and thankful for the support we have received.

“Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.” – John Piper, in A Sweet and Bitter Providence

Medsend MedSend Logo

We have been approved by Project Medsend!

Project MedSend is an organization whose goal is to “enable highly qualified and dedicated healthcare professionals to serve people in need around the world in the name of Christ”.  They do this by “awarding educational loan repayment grants to career healthcare missionaries”.  We have been truly blessed to have received a monthly educational grant that will pay for medical student loans over then next 30 months allowing us to focus our limited resources on succeeding in the field versus paying off loans.

The Medsend grant has been very timely.  While under Samaritans Purse, we were able to use project funds to make loan payments.  With ABWE we are not.  This grant gives us breathing room in an already tight financial situation and is very timely as we are making the final transition from SP to ABWE.  Thank you God, and please bless MedSend for all that they do!

IWU logoAn Award

Indiana Wesleyan University, of which Lydia is an alumna of, has nominated her for a “Distinguished College of Arts and Science Alumni Award”.  We, and very specifically, Lydia, is humbled in this recognition as we realize that this is not of our doing, but of Jesus Christ.  It is his example that has changed our lives and that we are following that is to be credited.

The Award is granted to an alumnus or alumna of the College who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

As we are unable to attend the ceremony, a slide show of pictures and a bio of Lydia will be presented during the home coming ceremonies in October 2016. “Go wildcats!”

HBB Project –> Training OB / Medical NursesOB nurses

Great progress has been made with this project with respect to training OB nurses.

We have, through Sister Kay, met via skype the founding member of “Midwives for Haiti”, an organization in Haiti, focused on training Skilled Birthing Attendants to offset the shortage of OB providers.  The impact of “Midwives for Haiti” cannot be understated as presently their grads make up 1/3 of the OB providers in Haiti.

They have offered there French / English curriculum to us and as such offset a lot of work making it possible to have a proposal to HBB sooner than later.  We are excited and will write more on this in the coming months.

PET cartHBB Project –> PET Carts

Life sometime is all about opportunity and timing.

Recently Dr. Gayle and Dr. Ebersol of HBB not only recognized a need but reached out to us enquiring about the PET Carts.  Interesting enough, this need corresponded to the timing of a financial gift specifically ear marked for the PET Carts.  As such and through them 5 PET Carts were shipped out to Togo.

We are excited and cannot wait to see who all will receive the PET Carts and to do follow up visits with the recipients when we arrive in Togo.  We will write more on this in the coming months.


Recently HBB has been focused on developing a vision and plan for its ministry over the next 10 plus years.  This plan which includes an expansion of the hospital from 50 to 75 beds has been approved.  We are excited at the potential of ABWE’s Hospital ministry in Togo over the coming years.

God Bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

P.S. Do not forget to look at our picture page, prayer page and financial page

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