Greetings from all of your brethren in West Africa. The work is continuing on the other side of the ocean as I have been reporting to many congregations here in the United States of America. A lot has happened since the last report both in my personal life and in West Africa.
Over the last few months the reporting for the school in Tamale has been going through the Bear Valley Bible Institute extension school website. I apologize for not sending those reports to those on my email list, or at least providing the link where they could be found. I will attach the reports for the months of October and November to the email version of this newsletter. Future reports can be found here: /extension-news/.
Later in this report we will discuss the various needs for the school of preaching in Tamale for the upcoming year. If you are able to help with any of these specific needs please let me know.
New Relationship with Bear Valley
During the month of October the following is a portion of an announcement that was made by Bear Valley Bible Institute:
Steven Ashcraft is now serving in the Extension Program as a full-time coordinator. Extension training is not new to Steven. He was instrumental in helping establish the work of the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies in Ghana, West Africa.
Steven will be actively involved in coordinating the work in Tamale. He will also coordinate the work of the West Coast School of Preaching in Takoradi, Ghana. Steven’s ability, along with his experience, provides a skill set that will continue to have a great impact on the direction of the work in Ghana.
In addition, his vision of the extension work in all of West Africa will provide an element to aid in the growth of the program. As additional contacts are made and plans unfold, we look forward to seeing more men throughout all of West Africa have the opportunity to prepare for the greatest work.
A Family Reconciled
As discussed in the last newsletter, a family has been reconciled. On October 23, 2010, after nineteen yearsapart, Steven Ashcraft’s marriage was reconciled to the love of his life, Karen. However this was much more than the reconciliation of a man and his wife, it was the reconciliation of an entire family. Our children, Jess and Nina, were witnesses to the marriage ceremony, and we have all resolved that we will work together so that our family can begin to grow together once again.
As we discussed in the previous newsletter, the work in Ghana will continue. We will be working together with all of the congregations who are supporting this work, and Bear Valley Bible Institute to expand and edify the kingdom throughout West Africa through the training of new and existing leaders, and empowering these Christians to work among their own people. May the Lord continue to bless our marriage, our family, and the work in West Africa.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Special Needs for the Work
As the work progresses in West Africa, we have numerous needs for the work where you may be able to assist:
Preacher in Northern Togo – The brethren in Togo would like to plant a congregation in northern Togo. There is currently no congregation of the Lord’s church in the extreme north of that country. A recent graduate of a preaching school in French speaking Benin is prepared to move there if he can obtain support for his family. If you are interested in helping this man to plant the Lord’s church in this area, please let me know.
Health Insurance – My recent change in marital status and responsibilities means that I need to raise additional support including obtaining health insurance for my family.
Student Support – With a new class beginning in May of 2010 at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies, we are attempting to raise support for some of these new students. We are presently anticipating a class of 24 students with a cost of about $100 per month per student. Can you help to support a preacher student?
Books – We need to raise money for Bible dictionaries which can be purchased in Ghana for our fifteen graduating students at $30 each. We need study Bibles for our twenty-four new students. We would like for all of them to have the same New King James Version. We also need to raise funds to buy books for the library in Tamale.
Bibles – We are continuing to buy and distribute Bibles in the native languages of the Christians in Ghana. You have helped us give away thousands of Bibles over the last few years. A Bible can be purchased for $3 to $10 depending upon the language.
Building Project in Tamale – We continue to need funds to finish the building project in Tamale. We currently have about 8,000 square feet that is ready to be roofed, and another 3,000 square feet where the foundation has been completed. We anticipate that we will need to raise another $25,000 to $30,000 to finish out these buildings. This will include what is necessary for plastering, painting, windows, and doors.
Prayers – We need your prayers for the success of the work and the safety and health of the workers.
Please ask how you can help with any of the above.
Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. (2 Corinthians 8:1-4)
We want to thank all of the supporters for their contributions to this exciting work in West Africa. Without you, this effort would not be possible. All checks need to be made out to:
Mountain Home church of Christ
For: West Africa Mission
And mailed to:
Mountain Home church of Christ
P.O. Box 880
Mountain Home, AR 72654
Any questions can be directed to the church office at 870-425-4330.
Or you can contact Steven at:
P.O. Box TL 925
Tamale, Northern Region
Ghana, West Africa
Please email Steven if you would like to receive this newsletter by email.
Thanks So Much,
With Christian Love
A Family Reconciled