Greetings, once again, to all of our brothers and sisters throughout the world. We thank God for your faithfulness and your desire to see the gospel spread in West Africa. We pray that God is continuing to bless you and those close to you as we labor towards that day when Jesus will return. With your help, the work in West Africa is moving forward, and a lot has happened since our last report. We are continuing to train leaders and preachers who are going out to build up and expand our Lord’s church. Graduation ceremonies were held at the schools of preaching in Tamale in northern Ghana, and Kpalime in southern Togo. Time was spent meeting with the board, staff and students of the various Bible schools discussing problems, needs, improvements, and the way forward. Plans were made for evangelistic efforts over the next few months in both Ghana and Togo. A new class of students began in Tamale, and significant progress was made towards the completion of the building for the school in that city. This newsletter will attempt to briefly outline and describe some of these efforts and events. For those of you who receive this report by email, you will be able to see a photo journal of many of these happenings.
Thank You for your Prayers
We have told you often about our strong belief in the power of prayer. Some of you may have heard that I recently had another battle with malaria. We thank God that I have completely recovered! Unfortunately, malaria is a problem that many Ghanaians and some Americans in West Africa must deal with on a regular basis. We continue to need and appreciate your prayers!
During the month of June, we were blessed to see many future leaders and preachers graduate from two of our Bible colleges in West Africa. On June 18th, eight students graduated from the two year program located in the city of Kpalime in southern Togo. The graduation was attended by many in the community, and was very edifying to the local congregations. Please keep these men in your prayers as they move out into the field spreading the gospel of Christ in the country of Togo.
On June 25th, we had fifteen men graduate from the school of preaching located in Tamale in northern Ghana. This was our first graduating class! The graduation was part of a three day program that included a seminar based upon the subject, “What the Church Needs.” There were visitors from all over Ghana, and the USA who attended this event. We thank God for your support, and for giving us the strength to make it to this point.
In May 2011, a new class of ten students began at the school in Tamale. We are expecting more students to be added to this number over the next few months. During their first five weeks of classes, the subjects related to the Life of Christ, the basics of Christianity, surveys of the Old and New Testaments, and English writing skills were taught. Tony Johnson, a missionary from the U.S., was able to spend one month in Tamale teaching this new class a survey of the Bible. It is our prayer that brother Johnson will be able to return to Tamale next year to work full time with this school. With your help, we continue to train men to become more effective church leaders in northern Ghana.
The work is continuing to progress in northern Togo. During May and June, we held numerous meetings to discuss our plans for the future. A new congregation was planted earlier this year in the town of Kande by the congregation in Kara. This city is about fifty miles north of Kara. We are also in the process of planting another congregation of the Lord’s church even farther north in Togo this year. During the month of June, we moved a preacher and his family to the town of Dapoang with the intent of establishing a new congregation there. With your help, we are bringing the gospel to the people of northern Togo!
Used Laptops – We are currently attempting to locate and refurbish older laptops to be given to our preacher students. Do you have an old laptop that we may be able to use in Ghana?
Library Books – We are attempting to build up libraries in all of our schools of preaching. We are in the process of putting together a list of needed books. Can you help buy a book or two or more?
Buildings - We continue to have facility needs in our schools of preaching in West Africa. We are attempting to put the finishing touches on the building in Tamale, and the school in Takoradi is in need of repairs and expansion.
Personal Support – With the change in my personal situation, I am attempting to raise additional funds for the support of myself and my family. If you or someone you know can help with this, please let me know.
Reporting in the USA
Over the next month, I will be calling you to set up times that I can visit your congregation to show you all of the wonderful works that are taking place in West Africa. I will be returning from Ghana in October, and will be setting up times to report through the end of the year. If you know of a sister congregation, or anyone else that may be able to help us spread the gospel in Africa, please let me know. I will be happy to speak with them!
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: /extension-schools/
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