Greetings once again to all of our brethren throughout the world who have an opportunity to read this newsletter. Your brothers and sisters from Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Benin, and beyond extend their heartfelt greetings to you as we continue to labor in our Lord’s vineyard. Your prayers and support are an encouragement to all who love our Lord and have a desire to see the gospel spread. We pray that God continues to bless you with health and prosperity as we labor together in service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A Tribute to Avril Keoughan
During the month of August, we had the opportunity to celebrate the life of a wonderful sister, friend and coworker for our Lord. Sister Avril Keoughan had a terrible accident after attending the graduation at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies that resulted in her death. There was a time of mourning for our loss, but we now want to celebrate her life, and the example that she set for all of those who came in contact with her. Sister Avril was a Canadian nurse and missionary who had worked in the country of Ghana for many years. In addition to administering a Mission Clinic for the church of Christ in Kumasi-Ghana, Avril also taught basic health care to the students of our Bible Colleges. She had traveled to Tamale to help the students at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies many times during the past two years, and they always looked forward to her medical instruction. She had become such a part of the Ghanaian culture that she called herself a Ghanadian, and planned to spend the rest of her days in Ghana. Her final wish was satisfied when she was laid to rest in Kumasi-Ghana on August 27.
Throughout the years that I have spent in Ghana, Avril had become a very close friend to me, and I have had the opportunity to spend much time with her and her Ghanaian church family in Kumasi. We have worked together on mobile clinics in northern Ghana where we combined evangelism with the distribution of free medical care and drugs to those in need. She was not afraid to travel throughout West Africa or to work in the villages. It would be difficult to count the number of people that she has helped or influenced with either her medical skills or her life. She was a wonderful example to Christians everywhere, especially to women interested in working in the mission field.
It is our prayer that the works that Avril had been involved with over the years will continue to prosper after her departure. We pray that women all over the world will see her life as a Christian example that they can continue to follow. There is much work that needs to be done in the Lord’s Kingdom. Let us each take up the challenge that our dear sister Avril has laid at our feet and continue to labor diligently in her absence until our Lord comes to take us home also!!
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:1-3)
The French World in West Africa
The work in the French speaking portion of West Africa continues to need our prayers, and support. During the month of July, a seminar was held in the city of Lome in Togo for many of the French speaking preachers and Christians. Many of these preachers have been trained in the country of Benin at a preaching school that is directed by a Ghanaian named George Akpalbi. This is a wonderful example of how Ghanaians are having an impact on the growth of the church far beyond the borders of Ghana. A congregation of the Lord’s church located in Benton Kentucky oversees this preaching school, and some members of that congregation were present at the seminar in Togo. It was a great opportunity for many of us to gather together and discuss the work in the French speaking world. Let us keep the school, the preachers, and all of those who need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ in our prayers.
The Bible Schools in Ghana
There continues to be a significant need for trained leaders and preachers throughout Ghana and West Africa. Many have a desire to take advantage of the training available at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies and the West Coast School of Preaching in Takoradi. However, this requires support for each additional student that varies from $100 to $150 per person depending upon the location for supplies, food, lodging, etc. There are other needs for fixed assets such as beds, roof repairs, computers, and the funds to finish the building in Tamale. We need books to build up the libraries of each of the schools, and materials and tracts that we can hand out to the students and use for evangelism. We can only continue to offer this Bible training with your assistance. If you can help in any special way or with any special needs then please let us know!
Reporting in the USA
I have already called or written many of you to set up appointments over the next couple of months. I am looking forward to seeing you all, and telling you about the wonderful works taking place throughout West Africa. If you know of other congregations that may want to become involved with this work, then please let me know. All of us working together will make a difference!!
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:
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
To see Steven’s full report with pictures, click here.