Greetings from Tamale! Here is the latest news from the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies.
Students will be returning on Monday, September 10th, to begin their seventh term (out of ten) classes. The schedule at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies (TIBS) is designed to allow the students time to return home after each of the six week terms in order to plant, harvest, and take care of their families. In order to take the extra time off the students spend seven and a half hours per day in classes during the term.
This term the students will be receiving instruction from the entire staff of TIBS as well as from guest instructor Daniel Ampadu Asiamah from the West Coast School of preaching. The schedule for this term includes World Religions, focusing on Islam and Animism, Old Testament 5, Denominational Doctrines, Gospel of John, and Marriage and the Home. There will also be a short course on the great commission and an evangelistic campaign at the end of the quarter.
We are praying that all students will be able to return for this term. During the previous term two students were unable to attend because of serious illnesses. Please join us in praying for the students and the success of this term.
During the period of August 22nd through September 2nd, an evangelistic campaign was held in Cinkasse, Togo. This campaign was a combined effort of TIBS, the church in Bawku, Ghana, and preachers from Dapaong, Togo. The purpose of the campaign was to plant a congregation of the church in Cinkasse, assure that the necessary support for the church to grow during the next year was in place, and encourage the Ghanaian and Togolese Christians in working together to grow the kingdom in the northern regions of both countries.
Cinkasse, which has an estimated population of around 30,000 people, is located in the northwest corner of the country, where Togo, Ghana, and Burkina Faso all meet. Because of its location it is a major trade area, with people from all three countries coming for the Thursday and Sunday market days. The city is primarily Muslim, as is the case with most of the northern regions of both Ghana and Togo, but is also heavily influenced by traditional African religions.
The campaign began with a week of preparation by current TIBS students Joseph Molsak and Nichema Jacob, along with Fidel, one of the Togolese preachers. Joseph and Nichema brought a number of members from their home congregations in Bawku to assist them as they went out visiting in the residential and business areas of Cinkasse to invite the community to attend the showing of Bible films during the last three days of the campaign. Joining the group later in the first week were two TIBS graduates, Stephen Abugbilla and Avoka John Mbilla, who are currently working as preachers in northern Ghana. Finally, Steven Ashcraft and I showed up on the 29th with the equipment to show the Bible films to complete the campaign team.
For the final three days of the campaign we spent the mornings going out in teams of two to visit the community and do street preaching and teaching. After resting in the afternoon, we would begin setting up the video equipment at the local park to show a different movie each night. The first night we showed The Jesus Story, an account of Jesus’ life based on the gospel of Luke, with an estimated 300 in attendance. The second night the movie was The Passion of Christ, and the final night’s movie was the story of Abraham. While it was impossible to get an accurate count of how many attended, I would give a conservative estimate of over 400 for each of the final two nights, with many, many more coming and going throughout the evening. Each movie was paused about halfway through in order for one of the preachers to offer a message, and then again just before the end for another message. The end result of the campaign was three precious souls baptized. There were four additional prospects who expressed a strong interest in being baptized who are being followed up with by the team who is providing support for the church as it grows.
One of the more interesting challenges during the movies was explaining The Passion of the Christ for the audience. Those familiar with the movie know that the dialogue it is in Aramaic with English subtitles. Since the audience did not speak/read English it was necessary for me to explain what was going on to one of our students, who then explained it to the audience in one of the local dialects. The challenge was in keeping up with the film as we went through the multiple translations!
In closing we continue to thank all of those who are supporting the Institute through your prayers and with your financial support. You are a blessing to us and to the church in Northern Ghana and the surrounding countries. There are still many needs, both here in Ghana and in the surrounding countries. If you are interested in knowing more about the work being done, or are interested in helping support a student ($100 per month takes care of one student during their time in school) or an evangelistic campaign (each campaign costs between $750 and $1000) please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is much work that can be done with your help!
In His service,
To see Tony’s report with pictures, please click here.