West Africa Mission Happenings - November - December 2011

Greetings to all of our brethren throughout the world. The Tamale Institute began a new class of students who have submitted themselves to the authority of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We thank God for your faithfulness, for your obedience, and for your desire to see our Lord’s kingdom expanded and edified everywhere on this earth. While we spent the last two months of the year 2011 reporting to many congregations throughout the U.S., the work was continuing and flourishing in West Africa. During our travels, Karen and I were able to meet with many of you in Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oregon. We truly enjoyed your fellowship as you allowed us to expound upon all of the wonderful works that have been taking place during 2011, and the plans that we are making for 2012. In this report, we would like to highlight these accomplishments and then look forward to the goals we have for the upcoming year. With your help we are moving forward!

Looking Back at the Year 2011

The year 2011 was an exciting year that was filled with many challenges and accomplishments! With your help, we trained leaders, distributed Bibles, and preached the Gospel to the lost. We planted new congregations, and continued to edify and strengthen those which were established in the past. We thank God that with your help the church is growing both in numbers and in maturity throughout West Africa!

We are continuing to train preachers, leaders, and hopefully future elders in all of our training programs throughout West Africa. The Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies (TIBS) reached a milestone in 2011 with the graduation of their first class of students. Fifteen students completed the two year program and were issued certificates showing their accomplishments. These men have now gone back to their cities and villages to work as evangelists, preachers, and leaders in their congregations. We pray that many will be brought to our Lord through their efforts!

students in 2011 that are scheduled to graduate in 2013. These new students are actively evangelizing the population of Tamale and have brought some in this Islamic city to Christ. They eagerly take what they have learned back to their homes during their breaks to edify the congregations there. The Institute is continuing to work on their building and during 2011 the roof was completed. All of the electrical wiring was also put in place during the year. We are moving closer and closer towards completion of this project!

The West Coast School of Preaching is continuing to train preachers and leaders in the Western region in southern Ghana. During 2011, they brought in a second class of students which brings their total enrollment to twelve students. In November of 2011, they held a graduation ceremony for the outgoing students. Eleven students passed through the two year course, and have been sent out to do the work of our Master. The school continues to train their instructors at the Masters Level and to provide continuing education for the previous graduates of the school. Evangelism in the area is also an active part of their training.

We are continuing to train preachers and leaders in the country of Togo. The school in Kpalime-Togo graduated their second class of students during 2011 with eight students receiving certificates from Bear Valley. The Center for Biblical Studies is active in evangelism, and has been planting new congregations and edifying existing congregations throughout the area. With their new relationship with Bear Valley Bible Institute, the enrollment during 2011 was brought up to nineteen students. During 2011, we were able to plant two new congregations of our Lord’s church in northern Togo where the truth has only recently begun to be preached. All of the new congregations in northern Togo are continuing to grow as we labor together with you to glorify God in this part of the world. May Our Lord continue to extend His mercy towards us as we attempt to do His will throughout West Africa!

Looking Forward to 2012

Now is not the time to grow weary! 2011 was an exciting year, and 2012 is shaping up to be even more eventful. We are facing many challenges in this part of the world as our Lord’s church continues to mature. We have a need for Biblical leadership in the form of Holy Spirit appointed elders to spring up within the many congregations that have been established. We have a need for teaching and encouragement that will move the local churches towards sacrificial giving so that they can better support the West African work and the men who are devoting their lives to teaching them. We have a need for expanding our training in vocational areas so that those men who have a desire to work in our Lord’s vineyard can feed their families, and send their children to school while they are sacrificing themselves for our Lord. We are currently making plans for training programs and seminars in all of these areas!

We are planning on developing a Vo-Tech type training program in many of our preaching schools. This will include drip irrigation, animal rearing, fish farming, and other profitable ventures that will help our graduates to support themselves much as Paul did by making tents. We are planning seminars on sacrificial congregational giving and on Biblical leadership that will move our congregations towards developing the church in West Africa as we saw it develop in the New Testament. During 2012, we are looking at different methods to train leaders including Saturday schools and using digital media on an individual basis. There is a great need for leaders, elders, and deacons who know the Bible well, and many cannot change the course of their lives to attend a two year preaching school full-time. Therefore, we are examining ways that we can offer significant training on a part time basis that will allow these Christians to become more effective teachers in their congregations.

We have many plans at our schools of preaching in West Africa during 2012. There are plans for the facilities to be completed, expanded or repaired at the schools in Takoradi and Tamale. We pray that we can move into the new building in Tamale by the end of 2012, and we are attempting to raise the funds needed to repair and improve the buildings at the West Coast School of Preaching in Takoradi. We have plans to increase the enrollment significantly at the school in Takoradi and hope to have over twenty students by the end of 2012. We plan to utilize land that is available in Kpalime Togo to teach the students more efficient farming and animal rearing skills that will not only help feed the students but can help support the preachers after they graduate.

We have specific plans for evangelism throughout this part of the world and have targeted numerous areas to plant new churches during 2012. With your help, we are going to make a difference in the upcoming year. If our Lord wills, new congregations will be planted, existing congregations will be edified, leaders will be trained, and God will be glorified. We are excited that God has allowed us to be a part of this work. We are also extremely grateful that God is allowing you to co-partner with us. Together, we will make a difference in this part of the world. Let us not waver now, let us finish the race, and look towards that heavenly home that is being prepared for us!

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)

Financial Support

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 at: Email: samtnhome@yahoo.com

Steven Ashcraft
P .O. Box TL 925 Tamale, Northern Region Ghana, West Africa

Please email Steven if you would like to receive this newsletter by email.

Thanks So Much, With Christian Love

Steven Ashcraft

Posted on February 19, 2012 .