Population: 6,3 millions (2012)
Official language: French
Major religions: Indigenous beliefs, Islam, Christianity
IFES movement: Groupes Bibliques Universitaires Scolaires du Togo (GBUST)
Togo is a small tropical, sub-Saharan country. There is currently a fragile economic and political stability. Around 50% of the population hold indigenous beliefs. Christians are often lacking in knowledge of God’s word and in need of discipleship.
- 2 state universities and around 50 colleges; GBU groups in the former only
- 4 full-time staff, around 30 volunteers
- graduate ministry: around 60 active members out of 250 contacts
- around 60 school groups
- largest group at the University of Lomé (about 200 students)
- small group in the region of Savannah, in the far north of the country
GBUST is celebrating their 40 years of student ministry. They are thankful to God for the many young people who have seen their life transformed through this ministry. The movement is currently evaluating their real impact on the Togolese society, in order to work more effectively in the coming decade.
The greatest strength of GBUST is its members, principally the students who are very proud to be involved and appreciate the vision of the movement.
View from the inside
Armand DZADU succeeded Jacques Toko as GBUST General Secretary in April 2014, after 12 years of ministry. He says: ‘For years, I was volunteer staff for students. Seeing each year dozens of student’s perspective change about their everyday life, their relationships with their friends and their family, the meaning of their studies, and most of all realise the difference that it makes in their environment is an endless encouragement.’
Some of the verses are Armand’s guiding compass as he takes on this new ministry: Judges 7:1-7, where the Lord gives a promise in a context of great challenges: a small number of people chosen among the most committed to the mission hat has been entrusted to them will make a difference and produce a lasting change. Verse 7 says: ‘And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men […] will I save you…’
- for students to be creative in making the most out of their difficult life conditions and studies;
- for students to grow in their understanding of God’s word and their ability to live out what it means to be a Christian in the university and society;
- for new graduates to have an impact in the spheres of society in which they are involved.