On Saturday, July 13, 2013 Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies held its second Graduation ceremony, recognizing thirteen men who had qualified for one of the three certificates offered by the Institute. The graduation ceremony was the highlight of a week long program for students, alumni, and local area congregations.
Receiving a Certificate Of Biblical Studies, the highest certificate presented by the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies, which indicates that the student successfully completed 2 years of intensive classroom training on the Bible and related ministry topics, were: Abraham Dilegm, Godwin Bentikme, Jacob Nichema, Johnson Tilinyi, Joseph Molsak, Kwame Nkumuye Lot, Lot Nlakidi, Matthew Donkor Chakpuju, Philip Bilam, Solomon Lanyan, and Timothy Niligrini. Receiving a Certificate of Leadership was Augustine Assoro, and receiving a Certificate Of Attendance was Bijine Nnurubi Amos. A special award of a laptop computer was given to Timothy Niligrini as the Best Student based upon cumulative grade point average. Additional awards of a Strong’s Concordance were given to Lot Nlakidi for Best Servant, Joseph Molsak for Most Determined Student, and Godwin Bentikme for Most Promising Student.
New Class Begins at TIBS
Sixteen new students have arrived at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies campus and have begun their two year course of studies. This group of men comes from 14 different cities and villages in northern Ghana, representing the Konkomba, Kasasi, Frafra and Dagumba tribes.
The beginning of a new class has a number of challenges, everything from helping the students get moved into the dormitories, going over rules and expectations, teaching them how to use the library, and helping them adapt to their new environment. In many of the northern tribes men do not perform tasks such as carrying water and cooking once they are married, so it is a change for them to take on these tasks while at the school.
Another change for most of the students is seen in their return to the classroom, and the requirements of homework, reading assignments, and tests. During their first of ten terms of classes the students will be studying How to be a Faithful Christian, Life of Christ 1, Writing Skills 1, Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey.
TIBS is thankful to have Joe Wilkie as a guest teacher during the first quarter. Joe, who is a 2012 graduate of the Bear Valley Bible Institute in Denver and a 2013 graduate of Amridge University’s Bible program, will be teaching both Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey. The students are enjoying Joe’s classes thus far and will be greatly benefited by his knowledge and willingness to teach.
We are looking forward to a great year and will be excited to see what these men will do for the kingdom!
Thank You Supporters!
There are so many to thank from my recent trip back to the US. A big thank you to the Greenbrier congregation for once again supplying Bibles for the entire student body. Enough money was given that we will also be able to buy Bibles for some of the students that will be attending the new school scheduled to open in 2014 in the Accra area. Thanks also to Connie Barden, Sue Shumate, Mildred Priest and Linda Ray for providing money that was used to purchase shirts, trousers, and shoes for new students who could not afford to bring them when classes began. Thanks to Travis White, Virginia Hielen, and Lieper’s Fork church of Christ for their gifts that are being used to help the Bawku congregation put a roof on their building. A big thank you to Susan Mullen who provided the funds to build the next classroom at the Kingdom of Hope Orphan’s School, which will be dedicated in honor of Jack Wilson. A special thank you to the Broadway church of Christ in Paducah, Kentucky for providing the necessary funds to purchase all the remaining desks and books for the new P3 (3rd grade) class, and many of the other needs of the school. Broadway also provided Bible lessons and teaching aids for the English classes, and a great number of school supplies. I would also like to thank Edie Singleton whose gift will be used to help the school’s program to grow their own food, and Gary and Elaine Heath for sending funds for additional supplies. Thanks to Rod and Cindy Wilson, Jim and Martha Bell, Jackie and Lynda Horton, David and Beverly Woody, Janet Banks, Baily and Marilyn Watson, Phillip and Dana Short, Ann Furr and Sylvia Curd for their gifts this month.
Most important, thanks to those who provide the monthly support that makes it possible for me to be here. None of this is possible without the Greenbrier church of Christ, Colony church of Christ, Bobby and Jackie Sims, Sue Shumate, Aubrey and Donna Allensworth, Chris and Shirley Brill, Linda Ray, Gene and Sandra Blair, and Mary Mix.
Please send all contributions to my overseeing congregation:
Greenbrier church of Christ
Attn: African Missions
12 Wilson Farm Rd.
Greenbrier, AR 72058
Be sure to send me a note if you want your gift to be used for a specific purpose.
Additional information about the work at Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies is available through the Bear Valley Extension School website at /extension- news/tag/tamale
If you want more information about what is happening in Ghana check out my blog at http://thinkingsouls.wordpress.com/.
Kingdom of Hope Update
A new school year will begin next week at the Kingdom of Hope Orphan’s School and there is a lot of excitement. This year the school will be offering an addition class, P3 (3rd grade), bringing the number of classes to four. We will also be able to begin the year with one of the classes meeting in the new classroom and with many of the students sitting in the new desks. We ended last year with 82 students (40 orphans and 42 from the village) and are planning for as many as 25 new students this year, although the actual total will not be known until classes actually begin.
In addition to classes beginning there is also construction work being done on the next classroom with the foundation being completed last week. I will be travelling to Kuka this weekend to check on the work and make arrangement for purchasing cement to build the blocks and set the support pillars. We will also make arrangements for the construction of the remaining desks, and deliver the textbooks for the P3 classes and supplies for all classes for the coming year.
If time permits we will also meet with the local congregation about the feeding program for the school. We have been looking for a way for the school to be able to do a better job of being self-supporting in providing the daily meals for the children. Land has been given to the school so we can plant a mango orchard with the produce being sold or traded to provide the necessary food staples. I am hoping that we will have the first trees planted this month, with an expected first crop date in two years. Until then we will continue to rely on the congregation to provide daily lunches at the school, and to help with the necessary supplies for other meals for the orphans that live at the school. As the school continues to grow developing the resources to make them self-sufficient will be an important task.
Finally, I am happy to report that since we began construction on the first classroom that the Kuka church of Christ has baptized 17 of their village neighbors. While we knew the school would be a great way to teach the
children about Jesus, it has also opened doors to teach the parents of the village children attending the school, as well as those who have stopped by to see what was being built. Considering that we have not baptized any of the children at the school as they are all quite young, this number is quite encouraging, and we give God all the glory for what He is accomplishing here!
Now that school is back in session and I have settled back in to the flow of life here in Tamale, it is time to get back into the field with our evangelism campaigns. I will be working with the Tamale East campaign in Yapei in August. In September I will be working with Steven Ashcraft on a campaign in Togo, and then a campaign to help strengthen the church in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, before returning to teach in Tamale. Our first Student campaign will be in November as we take the students to Zabzugu and surrounding villages to help recent graduate Philip Bilam in his efforts there.
The church in Kulungungu, which began meeting during a campaign this past spring, reported three baptisms since then, bringing their membership up to seven. Due to some issues finding a place to meet in this Muslim town, the congregation has decided to move their meeting place a half mile away to the nearby village of Kanyeri, which is in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso is a French speaking country, but both villages speak the same tribal language which makes this arrangement possible. I will be visiting with members of the congregation and delivering French language tracts next week to help them with their evangelism efforts.
TIBS graduate Stephen Abugbilla, preacher for the Atuba congregation, has recently been working to re-establish the church in the neighboring village of Kaadi, which has been dormant for about ten years. The church began meeting again the last Sunday in April, and now has 26 meeting each week, most of whom are restored former members. In addition to his efforts in Kaadi, Stephen also reports three baptisms at Atuba.
As we continue to reach out into new areas we have a great need for local language Bibles. If you would like to help in this effort you can send your contribution to the Greenbrier church of Christ. Please make sure you attach a note letting them know that the contribution is for African Missions Foreign Language Bibles, or send me an e-mail, so that the funds can be allocated properly.
Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies P.O. Box TL 925
Tamale, Northern Region
Ghana Phone - 011-233-0248216622 E-Mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
To see Tony’s report with pictures of the work, please click here.