Summer Classes Come To An End...

Greetings from Tamale! Here is the latest news from the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies.

Today the students were let out of their morning class early in order to watch the television coverage of the funeral for Ghana’s president John Evans Atta Mills, who died unexpectedly two weeks ago. It is a reminder to all of us of the uncertainty of life, and the need to do the work God has given us while we have the opportunity. We are especially thankful that the change in leadership here has gone smoothly and peacefully, and that we continue to enjoy the freedom to preach and teach the gospel.  

School Update 
The summer term at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies is coming to a close, with final exams for Church History scheduled for August 14, and for Romans on August 17. Students have been focusing on some of the practical applications we can learn from both studies. In many areas that the students will go to work they will be facing the same issues we learn about in church history, people who want to make small changes to doctrine or worship. It is our prayer that the lessons learned in the classroom will help our students as they diligently seek to be workers who are rightly dividing the word of truth. 

Evangelism Update
During the break between terms Stephen Ashcraft and I will join two of the students for an evangelistic campaign in Sinkasse, Togo. The students, Joseph Molsak and Nichema Jacob, are from villages on the Ghana side of the border near Sinkasse, and belong to tribes that are closely related to those who live on the Togo side of the border. Since Togo is a French speaking country the campaign will also be relying on help from preachers in Togo, especially from a preacher named Fidele who is working in a recently planted congregation in the city of Dapaong. The goals for this campaign include bringing the church to Sinkasse with the planting of a congregation, and to encourage the cooperation between Christians in evangelistic work on both sides of the border. Please pray that this work will be fruitful for the kingdom.

In addition to planned campaigns during the break weeks between terms, there are a number of other evangelistic efforts being performed by members of the staff and the students of the Institute. One example is the work being done by student Timothy Niligrine, who travels every weekend to different villages in the Yendi area to preach the gospel for congregations that do not have full time preachers. Another example is seen in the weekly personal Bible studies being conducted by Jacob Yeboah, a member of the Institute’s staff. Yeboah is also involved with two other staff members, Director Joseph Baah and Dean of Students Adjei Mensah, in hosting a weekly call in radio show that provides gospel preaching and Bible answers. It is our prayer that these types of works will continue to grow in the Northern Region of Ghana. 

Building Update
Progress continues to be made on the new classrooms and dormitories for the Institute. During the past weeks the building has been plastered, concrete floors laid, and window and door frames installed. There is a great deal of work still necessary before students and staff can think about moving in, but we can now see the end in sight concerning this project, which has been in progress since 2008.

In addition to the new building we have also set aside land for vocational training in farming techniques and raising food animals. This effort has a two-fold purpose, to help provide food for the students while they are at the school while also providing the students with skills to help take care of themselves and their families once they begin preaching in villages that cannot provide full time support. We are looking forward to being able to start on this phase of development in the coming weeks. 

Closing Thoughts
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. 

In His service,

Tony Johnson

Posted on August 12, 2012 .