Greetings to all of our brethren throughout the world who are anxiously awaiting the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While I spent the end of the year 2010 reporting throughout the U.S., the work was continuing in West Africa. My travels took me to congregations in Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oregon. I truly enjoyed the fellowship with our American brethren as I expounded upon all of the wonderful progress that has been made during 2010, and the plans we have for the future. In this report, we would like to highlight these accomplishments and then look forward to the hopes we have for the upcoming year. With your help we are moving forward!
Looking Back at the Year 2010
The year 2010 was filled with challenges and accomplishments as the Lord’s Kingdom is continuing to be edified and expanded throughout West Africa. Leaders were trained, Bibles were distributed, and the gospel was preached. With your help, the church is becoming stronger and stronger in northern Ghana and throughout West Africa.
The Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies (TIBS) completed their second year of operations during 2010. At the end of the year there were 15 students who had finished seven quarters of instruction. The school went through many growing pains during 2010 and has become a stronger institution as a result of these challenges. TIBS solidified their relationship with the Bear Valley Bible Institute through a visit from Bob Turner of Denver Colorado during the year, and the curriculum is being adapted to meet the needs of the congregations in northern Ghana.
In addition to the teachers that reside in Tamale, the school has engaged numerous instructors from southern Ghana to teach various courses. This has allowed the school to draw upon the significant amount of Biblical knowledge and maturity of the church in southern Ghana.
The Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies continued their significant building plans with the raising of the foundation and walls for around 8,000 square feet of covered space for student lodging, classrooms, guest rooms, a library and computer room, and offices. This structure was ready to be roofed at the end of 2010.
The congregations in Tamale continued to grow in maturity as some of the leaders in the church participated in the school of preaching as board members and instructors. The Tamale East congregation was able to complete the roof on their building and is now worshiping in the new structure. Members of the congregations in Tamale, and the students at the school of preaching continued to work with the village congregations in this predominantly Islamic area. They also participated in evangelistic campaigns to build up the church in Tamale, and other areas in northern Ghana during 2010.
The church in northern Ghana has continued to strengthen the church in neighboring Togo and Burkina Faso through support of preachers, planning, and evangelistic campaigns and other assistance. They have also played a role in edifying the school of preaching in Kpalime, Togo through coordinating a relationship between that school and the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver.
There has been much assistance with physical needs in the area of distribution of Bibles, Bible literature and tracts, construction of church buildings, and assistance with other resources during 2010 that has strengthened the church throughout West Africa. With your help, the church in northern Ghana and throughout West Africa was edified and expanded during 2010!
Looking Forward to 2011
2010 was an exciting year for the growth of the work in northern Ghana and throughout West Africa! 2011 promises to be even more fruitful than before. Many plans are being made to continue and expand the work that has begun and we would like to look at some of those plans in this section.
The first class of fifteen students at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies is scheduled to graduate on June 25 of 2011. In May of 2011, twenty four new students are scheduled to begin the two year course. The applications have already been received and the students interviewed and accepted. The training of these Christian leaders will greatly benefit the leadership of the church in northern Ghana.
With your help, the building project at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies is scheduled to continue in 2011 with plans for roofing, plastering, painting and bringing in electricity and water to the structure. It is our prayer that by the end of 2011 the structure will be providing the necessary accommodations and classrooms to train preachers and leaders for the church in this part of the country.
Additional programs are being planned at the school of preaching in Tamale not only for the training of preachers but also for the training of leaders in their indigenous languages. We hope to have these programs in place by the end of 2011.
The Bear Valley Bible Institute is hoping to continue to expand their efforts throughout West Africa. Effort will be made so that the schools in Tamale and Takoradi in Ghana will be streamlined and become more effective and efficient. The schools in other areas of West Africa will also progress with a new coordinator and the implementation of planning in those areas. We plan to keep on expanding our vision throughout West Africa so we can continue to train leaders and preachers in this part of the world.
Campaigns are being planned for 2011 to evangelize Tamale, other areas of northern Ghana, and northern Togo. At least three cities have been targeted for new church plantings where no church exists at the present time. Additional campaigns are being planned to edify and evangelize existing congregations in northern Ghana. Significant time will be spent over the next few months to strategize and implement these plans for the growth of the church in this part of the world.
Other church leaders throughout the country of Ghana are also looking at ways that we can edify the church in this part of the world. The church is facing many challenges just as they did in the first century with many members failing to understand the truth about the Lord’s church as taught in the word of God. This lack of knowledge is causing some congregations to stray away from the truth. We are attempting to develop a plan of teaching through seminars, classes, distance education, radio work, publications and other means that will help to stop this movement away from the doctrine of the Bible. If members come to understand the unique and distinct characteristics of the church, and the need for Biblical authority in worship, church leadership, and other areas, then they should be able to stand firm against any teachings that are contrary to God’s inspired word.
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
(Please note this is a new mailing address)
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