We are three weeks into our new school year and there are thirteen students who have reported for classes. One student, John Lipaah, opted to attend classes at the Tamale Bible School. And another, Edwin Kargbo, a Sierra Leonean national who was resident in Liberia but came to Ghana as a refugee (because of the war that displaced him and thousands of others), is due to be repatriated to Liberia this month. He intends to continue his training at the Bible College in Liberia.
For the past couple of weeks I have been infirm. Two visits to the clinic have made me feel better now. On the first visit I was put on medication, a diet and bed rest and last week I was allowed some movement and light work. I am now able to do some prescribed exercises and can sit down for longer. My next visit to the doctor will be on Thursday.
We had a good seminar last month with brothers Toby Soechting, Scott Ellis, Andy Kizer and Todd Clippard. The lessons were good, the fellowship was good, and the attendance was better than last year. Brother Toby was able to get William Dampah on board and he attended the last two days of the seminar.
Brother Todd let us in on a farming project to produce food crops, poultry and possibly fish to feed the school. He has left us instructions to build a compost dump, and places to prepare for each project. We are excited about it. It has been our desire to get someone to teach our students simple trades or skills to help them do something to feed themselves and their families after school. We see a possibility in Todd’s proposal.
Things continue to be tougher here. Tariffs for water have been increased by 52% and electricity by 79% (but some claim the actual is 100%). For instance, I bought 50 cedis ($25) of credit for my house and got 9 days. Before the new tariff I was getting 22 days. We have appealed to some churches to help the school financially. They have agreed in principle, and we shall be doing some follow-up to see how it goes. Brother Matthew Ackah (our Academic Dean) is the hardest hit by the present living conditions. His wife has been very supportive but in a meeting with him last week, he indicated his desire to look for a job and quit teaching as the school. His children are going to tertiary schools and that places a heavy financial obligation on him. His departure will be a big blow to the school; he is a pillar of the school and finding a replacement for him will not be easy.
We received a consignment of tracts and books in about 400 boxes of various sizes from Mission Printing of Arlington, Texas in the second week of September. Word has gone round in the Western and Central Regions and preachers have started picking boxes for themselves and their local work. We do not intend to stock the literature received; we want them to be taken and used by local congregations and individuals in evangelism and edification. They must be in the hands of those who need and will read them asap.
Our school library is inadequate – a little over a thousand books. We have made previous appeals for books for the library – and have received some religious, English and general interest books from brother Ashcraft. Thankfully, some of the boxes from Mission Printing contain books that can be added to our school library. We will have to list and put them on the shelves to see what else we may need to upgrade the library. We are in the process of resetting the library and coaching our students to use the books in research and writing. We have had to add to the furniture at the library. Our computers have now been set up in the library to enhance study and research by staff and students. What we lack is an internet access. Since there are no telephone lines serving our location, we cannot get broadband service. We shall have to use individual USB modems for now.
Our campaign #2 which takes us to work with an established church is scheduled for October 28 – November 3, 2013. This is to give our students some experience in local work as they shall be engaged in personal evangelism, visitation, admonishing the wayward, restoring the fallen, teaching adult and youth classes. Like our campaign #1, we shall move camp but our roles will differ. We want to study the weather forecasts to see if the weather will be conducive for the set date – if not we shall set another date and continue classes till then.
We acknowledge the many prayers that are said on our behalf and the sacrificial offerings of many brethren which go into the work at West Coast. May the Lord give you all the increase to enable you continue to hold up our hands in this work, and may our efforts to find local churches who will support this work be successful. And in all things may the glory, the honor and the praise be the Lord’s.
Yours in sincere appreciation,
Daniel K Ampadu-Asiamah
West Coast School of Preaching
To see brother Asiamah's report with pictures, please click here.