Greetings to all of our brethren in the USA and throughout the world who are anxiously awaiting the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The work is continuing in West Africa as leaders are trained, congregations are planted, and the gospel is proclaimed far and wide. Our Lord’s Great Commission is our priority as we move forward with the work on this side of the world. We pray that our Lord is continuing to bless all of you as we faithfully attempt to achieve His will. During this reporting period, two new congregations were established in Togo, a new class began at the Bible schools in Takoradi and Kpalime, and classes continued with the new students at the school in Tamale. Steven returned to the USA during the month of October and has been traveling around the country to report to the various congregations who are helping to make this work possible. We are excited about the opportunities that our Lord is making available to us, and our ability to take advantage of these open doors because of the financial support provided by those involved in this work. May our Lord continue to bless you bountifully as we move towards that heavenly home that He is preparing for those who faithfully follow Him!
The Birth of a New Congregation
It is always a joy to tell you about those new souls who are baptized into Christ. It is even more of a joy, when those conversions take place in a city in the world where the restoration movement has not yet reached. Such was the case in Dapaong during September of 2011. The city which has a population of around 30,000 people is located in extreme northern Togo close to the Burkina Faso border. A large portion of the population is animist, and therefore practices the traditional religion of their ancestors. They worship idols and their ancestors as they believe the souls of humans, plants and animals continue to reside with them after they die. Islam and Catholicism are also strong in the area. A native Togolese preacher named Fidele Bedjelsi was moved to Dapaong with his wife and three children to evangelize, and train any new Christians that obey the gospel. Fidele is a graduate of the French language preaching school located in Cotonou Benin that is directed by a Ghanaian, George Akpabli. It is wonderful how God is working through so many faithful men throughout West Africa to facilitate the expansion of His Kingdom here.
A group of southern Togolese preachers (who are also graduates of the Benin preaching school), three Ghanaian preachers, and myself traveled to the city of Dapoang to help Fidele plant the church there. We held meetings every evening and showed films about Christ and traditional African religion along with public preaching on Biblical topics. During the day, we went house to house and business to business studying the Word of God with all those who would listen. During the week long campaign, we had five new souls who were baptized into Christ and many other studies that were set up. We found a school building for the new congregation to use as a worship site, and the congregation held their first worship service there in September. We pray that Fidele and the congregation will continue to grow in maturity and in numbers as they labor towards evangelizing the neighboring villages. Please keep Fidele, his family, and the congregation in Dapaong in your prayers!!
CBS in Togo
On September 12, 2011 a new class of twenty students began at the Center for Biblical Studies located in Kpalime Togo. A new building has been rented to help accommodate this large class of students. We had our second graduation in Kpalime of eight students in June of this year. CBS helped one of these recent graduates, Yaovi, plant a new congregation in his home village of Kusuntu during the month of October. The campaign included house to house evangelism, film shows, and public preaching. Three souls were baptized into Christ as a result of these efforts. The school in Kpalime is not only training members of the church to be more effective preachers, teachers, and leaders, but it is also being used as an evangelistic tool. Many of the students are denominational leaders who have a desire to learn more about God’s word. During their time at the school it is expected that they will learn the truth about salvation and the church and become obedient to our Lord’s gospel. Our prayers are with all those working to expand the Kingdom in Kpalime.
Takoradi in Ghana
A new class began at the preaching school outside of Takoradi during September with six news students. Two more men are anticipated to begin during the next quarter. This will bring the total number of students at the West Coast School of Preaching to fourteen students. There are many current needs at the school to ensure that the facilities continue to fulfill their purpose. The road to the school has been washed out due to the rains, and the roofs for the administration building and dormitory are in need of repairs. We pray that our Lord provides what is necessary to continue to train preachers here!
Tamale in Ghana
The school in Tamale resumed classes during the month of September with their second term. Fifteen students were present to study the Life of Christ, the Scheme of Redemption, and the books of the Law in the Old Testament. Kojo Acquah Beenyi from Cape Coast in southern Ghana came to Tamale for a week during the term to teach our students Hermeneutics. Since three of the students were late additions to the class, they were kept over after the end of the term for three weeks to help them get caught up with the rest of the class. The work is progressing in northern Ghana!
Bear Valley Bible Institute Website
I would like to remind you that more frequent reports for the schools of preaching where I am working are now being posted to the Bear Valley website. You can see these reports at this web address:
If you go to this web address, you will find links on the right side of the page for the schools in Tamale, Takoradi, and Togo in West Africa. You will also find specific links for each school on the left side of the page along with a link for my previous reports.
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 380 North College Street Mountain Home, AR 72653
Any questions can be directed to the church office at 870-425-4330.
Or you can contact Steven Ashcraft at:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org U.S. Cell Phone: 971-270-8535 U.S. Message Phone: 870-425-4330 Ghana Cell Phone: 233-24-614-6022
Please email Steven if you would like to receive this newsletter with photos by email.
Thanks So Much, With Christian Love
If you would like to see the full report with pictures, click here.