Ghana Mission Trip
November 1st-29th, 2006
In November 2006 the Temple Restored team --with six Americans and one Ghanaian (Gabriel Brew)-- set out to conduct a public Evangelistic series, perform community AIDS education and build a small cement block Church in the West African country of Ghana. Though we passed through "much tribulation" the Lord crowned each endeavor with great success! The Republic of Ghana is a small English speaking country approximately the size of Oregon. The name Ghana means "warrior king". It was the first sub-Saharan country to obtain
independence from colonial rule (March 6th, 1957). The country has a population of 22 million and although it has a reported annual per capita income of $2600.00, the most Ghanaians struggle to subsist on one or two dollars a day. The country is 63% Christian, 21% indigenous religions and 16% Muslim.
Ghana is located on the gulf of Guinea only a few degrees north of the equator. It is bordered by Cote D'ivoire on the West, Burkina Faso on the North and Togo on the East.
Vondell Stephenson was unable to go on this trip. John and Windy are not pictured above. Gabriel is a local Evangelist who lives in Accra.
Foreign missionary work is always fraught with many unusual trials. Here the truck which was to bring the sand to make bricks is stuck in the mud. The driver refused to return until we fixed this road.
The children's Bible class was too small so here the young men are digging foundation trenches to add another 100 sq. feet to their meeting place.
None of the locals initially believed that a Church could be built in 3 weeks. But we hired 4 masons and 8 carpenters and worked by their side in order to make rapid progress.
Perhaps the most valuable natural resource in Africa is their amazing women. These beautiful Church sisters carried countless buckets and pans of water and sand in the hot sun all day long in order to make bricks and mortar for construction.
Although it had no glass or screen in the windows, the miracle Church had a concrete floor, all of its walls erected and a metal roof completed within the three week deadline. Part of the interior and exterior walls were plastered. Here you can see that the cement plastering around the front windows was not completely dry when we had our first Sabbath service Nov. 25th, 2006.
The children were VERY HAPPY to have escaped out of the dirt floor elementary school classroom where they had been meeting for the last three years. We hope to soon have a small library of Christian books, a locking storage cabinet and a wide assortment of Bible teaching materials for the dedicated teachers who are working with them.
Church members came from many other congregations to see the "Miracle Church". Here they are raising the new Church sign and dropping it in the ground during the dedicatory service.
These are all the Church members who participated in the construction. The picture also includes four local ladies who were hired to help, and decided to join us for Church that Sabbath morning.
The Evangelistic campaign in the small town of Sefwi Bekwai resulted in a small number of people making decisions to become part of the commandment-keeping people of God. Although we only had seven adults and four children for our first Sabbath service this congregation now averages about 18 people every Sabbath.
John (a Bible Worker) Samuel Ofei (a former Sunday Pastor) and Pastor Nyanor (the District Pastor over the new Church) are continuing to study together and hunt up new possible members in Sefwi Bekwai. Since the end of 2006 Pastor Nyanor has done another Evangelistic series in this town and has planted (by God's grace) two other new Churches in his district in Western Ghana.
We had over 600 adults attend the two nights of public AIDS education in the market square. Here are some of the over 300 elementary and middle school children who packed into the Methodist School Chapel to watch a power point program on AIDS which used children from this school as models. The program tactfully discussed methods of transmission and showed real Africans who are dying of the disease. We had the children make pledges to stay out of boyfriend- girlfriend relationships and keep themselves pure for Christ, while in this educational session.
Meeting the Needs of Body, Mind and Spirit