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"Kay Washer" continued...

In 1963, the Washers were sent to Niamey, Niger’s capital. Dal’s new assignment was field director of the Niamey mission station. He worked to see that Niger’s missionaries had the supplies and facilities that they needed. He also worked with the government on the missionaries’ behalf.

While living in Niger, Kay became burdened for the blind children that she saw in the markets. During a family vacation to Nigeria, she took a course offered by the Sudan Interior Mission that trained her to teach the blind to read Braille. When the Washers returned to Niger from their vacation, Kay began teaching some of the blind children to read and they even learned to use a typewriter. A government official took notice of Kay’s work with the blind and they were invited to meet Niger’s president, Diori Hamani, who was very impressed by the blind students’ newly acquired abilities.

After a long furlough, the Washers returned to Africa in 1974, but not to Niger. This time, they went to Togo. In contrast to the people of Niger, the Togolese were warm and friendly and many were eager to hear the Gospel. Dal and Kay experienced great success in winning the lost to Christ in the village of Yopé. This village was deeply steeped in a mixture of Catholicism and pagan idol worship, but the chief was kind and allowed Dal to begin ministering there. A young girl named Charlotte suffered from an enormous goiter and the Washers took her to a French hospital. After undergoing a successful operation, she returned home and the people were very grateful to Dal and Kay. The chief of Yopé accepted Christ eventually and so did many of his people.

Kay became burdened for the blind children in Togo, as she had been in Niger. These Togolese children, however, were outcasts in their society since they are thought to be cursed. The people believe that only a witch doctor or medicine man can deliver a child from blindness. Kay began teaching some blind children in a little grass hut behind their home in Lomé and they soon had to rent a building for her burgeoning class.

When the Washers moved from the city of Lomé to Kpalime, she started a new blind school. It began to grow and Kay wanted to have their school officially recognized by the government so that her students would have the same opportunities as sighted children. Dal and Kay met with President Eyadema, who offered his support and was also willing to give them land for a school. They accepted a lovely piece of land near the mountains. A beautiful new school was built on the property and named The Village of Light. The school grew, averaging fifty students yearly. They enjoyed a variety of activities in addition to their studies. Yearly field trips, hospital visitation, and choir are only a few things that the children participated in.

The Washers were also very aware of the medical needs all around them. A local chief offered to donate a large parcel of land for a hospital. The only difficulty with the land was that it did not have a good water source. After repeated attempts to find water, they finally found an ample supply near some giant termite mounds. The new Karolyn Kempton Memorial Christian Hospital was opened in 1985. In May of 1995, a nursing education program for Togo’s nursing students was started. The hospital is a thirty five bed facility and is the third busiest in Togo. While ministering to physical needs is very important, the staff makes time to minister to the spiritual needs of their patients, as well. In 2004 alone, 748 people accepted Christ as Savior at the hospital.

Dal went to be with the Lord in 1989 after suffering a heart attack. Kay continued serving in Africa until she had to return to the United States after breaking her leg in a fall. God’s kingdom has grown tremendously through their wonderful work. Dal and Kay’s adventures in Africa are too numerous to list in an article! If you would like to read a more detailed account of their life together in Africa, Kay had written a riveting book entitled “One Candle To Burn.” It can be purchased on amazon.com or you can request a copy directly from Kay by writing to her at 200 Bradley Blvd., Greenville, SC 29609 or by emailing her at kaywasher@gmail.com.

From: Volume 1 - Issue 2

A tribe of Satan worshipers were one of the many obstacles that the Washers and other missionaries faced. (Photo courtesy of Kay Washer)

A blind student reading Braille. (Photo courtesy of Kay Washer)

Kay can still feel the closeness of her late husband when reading Dal’s well used Bible. (Photo courtesy of David Lyda)

Kay Washer in 2012 with a picture of her “Honey,” Dal. (Photo courtesy of David Lyda)

From: Volume 1 - Issue 2


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