Greetings once again to all of our brethren throughout the world. As we continue to labor throughout West Africa to spread the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our thoughts and prayers are with our financial partners who make this work possible. With your assistance, men are being trained in numerous locations in Ghana and West Africa to lead and teach their people the word of God. In this report, we will attempt to help you understand where, what and how we are moving forward.
During January, I had the opportunity to make my first trip to Ghana as a coordinator for Bear Valley Bible Institute. It was a wonderful journey! The entire month of February was spent working and planning with the schools of preaching in Ghana located in Takoradi and Tamale before returning to the U.S. in early March. There was also the opportunity to visit and plan with the director of the Bear Valley extension school in Kpalime Togo where our Togolese brethren are laboring to train men to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in that country. It is exciting to be able to come in contact with so many faithful Christian leaders throughout the world who are making sacrifices for our Lord and Master so that His church can be expanded and strengthened in their homelands and beyond. May God Bless each of them bountifully!
West Coast School of Preaching
I had the opportunity during the month of February to meet with the principal, Daniel Ampadu Asiamah, and staff of the West Coast School of Preaching in Takoradi on two separate occasions. They are continuing to labor to train leaders of the church in conjunction with Bear Valley Bible Institute. In these meetings, we discussed the vision for the school, and how we can help them move forward to achieve that vision. They would like to increase their student body at the school to forty full time students. They currently have nine full time residential students. They also have over thirty students enrolled in their Masters and Bachelor Degree programs that come for two week short courses throughout the year. This increase in full time residential students will require that additional funds be raised to expand their facilities. There will also be the expense to feed and provide school supplies for these new students. These extra costs will be greatly outweighed by the benefit each of these students can provide for the Lord’s church in Ghana. Can you help us achieve this vision in southern Ghana by supporting another student monthly or making a contribution to help with the needed facilities in Takoradi? We need your help!!
Challenge of Coordinator Work
One of the significant challenges of becoming a coordinator for Bear Valley Bible Institute is that I now ed to raise funds not only for the school in Tamale but for the other existing and potential schools of preaching throughout West Africa. Additional schools equal more trained leaders and preachers but also equal the need for additional congregations to partner with us to provide support in this work. If you know of a congregation who may want to become involved in this work please let me know. Can you help us to train a church leader?
50 Years in Ghana
2011 marks the 50th year (Golden Jubilee) of the church of Christ in Ghana. During the year, various congregations and schools throughout the country will be offering lectureships, conferences, and seminars to attempt to educate and motivate the brethren in Ghana. Many who are in the church today know very little about the Restoration Movement, and see the church of Christ as one of many denominations. These programs during the year will help these Christians to understand the distinct and unique characteristics of our Lord’s church and the exclusive benefits that are available to the members. Only a few Christians remain in Ghana who were members of the church back in the 1960’s. Daniel Ampadu Asiamah, who is the director of the West Coast School of Preaching in Takoradi, is one of those, and he will be very active over the next few months participating in these programs to edify the church. The need for educating Christians throughout the world is pressing, and shows the importance of the preacher training schools that exist in Ghana, and throughout West Africa. The students are being trained to be leaders and teachers for their fellow Christians in Ghana. However, the past has shown that many Ghanaians move far beyond their borders to spread the gospel! Ghanaians are evangelistic Christians who have a desire to share their faith. We see a great future for the church in Ghana and throughout West Africa. You, through your prayers and support, are playing a significant role in this portion of the history of the church in Ghana which is now in the making!
TIBS - Tamale
The school in Tamale is continuing with their building project as they prepare for their first graduation of fifteen students in June and the arrival of twenty-four new full time students in May of 2011. It is our hope that the roof for the building will be completed before these new students arrive. However, many finishing touches will still need to be made to complete the facility. Additional funds will need to be raised for the new students that are coming in May, and to finish the building. Much time was spent during the month of February meeting with the leaders of the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies to discuss the administration of the school and how we should move forward. We continue to appreciate and need your help in all of these efforts!
The Bear Valley Bible Institute website related to the Extension School program continues to be improved and updated. At the link that follows, you can get general information about the extension program, the extension staff, information about each of the extension schools, and weekly news updates from the director. You will soon be able to view my reports and photo albums on this website also (As soon as I work out how to do this!). It is a great place to find out more about Bear Valley and how they are training preachers all over the world with your help.
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:
U.S. Cell Phone: 971-270-8535
U.S. Message Phone: 870-425-4330
Ghana Cell Phone: 233-24-614-6022
Please e-mail Steven if you would like to receive this newsletter with photos by email.
Thanks So Much,
With Christian Love