West Africa Happenings: May - June 2013

Greetings from West Africa once again to all those throughout the world who love and serve our Lord. We thank God for this opportunity to tell you more about some of the wonderful works that are taking place here in Africa. With your help, we are preaching the gospel, planting congregations, training leaders, and expanding our Lord’s kingdom. We pray that all those who read this newsletter are continually preparing themselves for the coming of our Lord so we can spend eternity in that glorious place called heaven together.

To Give or Not to Give ...
“To be or not to be, that is the question,” is the opening line of a soliloquy in the Shakespearean play Hamlet. We have a different question in West Africa, and it relates to sacrificial giving. “To give or not to give, that is the question” facing many members of the church in this part of the world today! Why do so many fail to give sacrificially to support the Lord’s work? Why is it difficult for congregations here to support their preachers, or build their church buildings? What can we do to change this troubling trend?

This problem has ramifications for the church throughout the world, and we are attempting to find a solution here in West Africa. Some of the staff of the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies travelled throughout northern Ghana recently to discuss this issue with various church leaders. Our travels took us over rough and dusty roads to meetings in Salaga, Kpandai, Chamba, Saboba, Yendi, Wa, Nadoli, Kpassa, and Laura with other areas to follow.

As we moved from place to place, we asked and answered questions related to the problem of giving. We then invited the leaders of the congregations to a four-day brainstorming seminar in Tamale, which we scheduled for the end of April. Over 80 participants attended the program, which was a wonderful way to use our new building. Everyone slept on the premises, we provided food, and numerous speakers introduced various topics. “Are we too poor to give to God?” We heard this question asked. “No, we are not poor!” was the response. Why should the preacher’s family go hungry, while the members have plenty to eat? Why should the preacher’s children lack funds for school fees, when the members’ children are going to school? Why should congregations in West Africa need to rely upon Christians in other countries to support their preachers and build their church buildings? How can we expect our young people to make the decision to become preachers, missionaries, and evangelists when they see those presently working for our Lord suffering because of a lack of congregational support?

The seminar was an enlightening experience for all those involved as we became more aware of our shortcomings in this area. We did not discover all of the answers. However, many church leaders offered suggestions, we recruited numerous students for the school of preaching, and the members made promises that they would try to do a better job in the future of helping their preachers. We pray that this seminar is the beginning of something that will bear much fruit in the future. It is possible that Ghana can be an example for the church throughout the world.

West Coast School of Preaching - Ghana
As the preaching school in Takoradi continues their efforts to train church leaders, we have some very sad news about one of our graduates. Jerome Tohr, a Liberian refugee, graduated from the WCSOP last year. Over the past few months, his wife became sick, and there was difficulty diagnosing her condition. During the month of April, she passed away at the age of 31 leaving Jerome with their three children. Jerome left Liberia over twenty years ago because of the civil war, and now has a desire to return to his home country. He needs funds for transportation, and assistance with living expenses for a period after his arrival. Please keep Jerome and his family in your prayers, and if you can help financially in any way, let us know.

Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies, Ghana
Many wonderful events are taking place at TIBS in Ghana. We are now utilizing our new building, and have completely moved out of the rented premises. During April, we held the seminar discussed above that housed over 80 participants, and we are preparing for our second graduation in July, as we actively recruit new students

Center for Biblical Studies - Togo
The school in Kpalime Togo was very busy during this period. We thank brother Barry Baggot from Nashville TN for taking the time to teach our students the book of Romans. The brethren at CBS resumed the radio program in Kpalime during the period, and held a three- day seminar on the “Divine Principles of Stewardship.” CBS graduates and students also engaged in numerous Bible studies, and our Lord added new souls to His kingdom.

Southwest School of Evangelism - Nigeria
The Southwest School of Evangelism in Ibadan is continuing to train men to work in the white fields of Nigeria. They are working on their facilities, and attempting to raise funds for that effort. They have recently added a computer room, and are requesting books for their library. Please keep these faithful brethren in your prayers!

Cameroon Bible Institute of Wotutu
Many wonderful things are happening at the school in Wotutu. A number of souls have obeyed the gospel of Christ because of their open-air “Back to the Bible” radio program. The brethren are preaching the gospel both publicly and through personal studies. You can read all about the work in Cameroon and all of the other extension school efforts on the Bear Valley Bible Institute website at the following address: /extension-news/

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.

Contributions by check need to be made payable to: Mountain Home church of Christ

For: West Africa Mission

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

USA Phone: 971-270-8535
Please email Steven if you would like to receive this newsletter by email.

Thanks So Much, 

With Christian Love
Steven Ashcraft

To see Steven’s report with pictures, please click here.

Posted on June 30, 2013 .