West Africa Happenings: September-October 2014...

Greetings to all of our friends and brethren throughout the world. Our Lord is on His way, and we are laboring diligently in the white fields of Africa as we anxiously prepare for His arrival. With your help the church is becoming larger and more mature here in this part of the world. We thank you all for your partnership in this effort! 

Barriers to Preaching the Gospel 
Boko Haram, ethnic conflicts, malaria, polygamy, idolatry, Islam, denominationalism, many different languages, poverty, political upheaval, corruption, dangerous roads, and bandits. These are only some of the many barriers that we face as we attempt to spread the gospel throughout West Africa. The list could go on and on. Two recent happenings that are making the work more challenging are the Ebola virus raging through Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and the recent military coup in the country of Burkina Faso. These are two areas where plans were being made for evangelistic and training programs that have now been put on hold. Borders have been closed, transportation has been limited, and the interaction between the local people has been curtailed. However whatever the challenges and barriers, we must continue to preach the gospel and fulfill the Great Commission! 

Bear Valley Preaching Schools 
The work is flourishing at all of the Bear Valley extension preaching schools located in West Africa. We are training leaders for the Lord’s church, preaching the gospel to the community, and bringing many souls to Christ as a result of our efforts. With your help, the church is expanding and maturing in this part of the world! In the following section, we will describe some of the happenings at each of these schools. 

The Southern Institute of Biblical Studies located in Dobro/Nsawam is making progress. Brother Kojo Aquah Beenyi is a welcome addition to the group of full-time instructors at the Institute. Brother Ralph Williams with the Bear Valley Master’s program was able to visit Ghana for two weeks for another period of short course training. The students have been divided into four groups for the purpose of doing evangelism during their training, and the local congregation that was planted by the school earlier this year in Dobro is growing in both number and maturity. 

Many wonderful happenings can be found for the Cameroon Bible Institute of Wotutu on the Bear Valley Bible Institute website. The school has been actively distributing the tracts that were received from Mission Printing earlier this year. They are a wonderful tool for evangelism and edification. The church in Wotutu started a training program for ladies to help them in the children’s classes, and this has generated a lot of interest. The evangelistic zeal of the staff and students at the Institute in Cameroon is an inspiration to us all! Please keep them in your prayers. 

The Center for Biblical Studies in Kpalime Togo continues to train evangelists and church leaders in French speaking West Africa. During the period, a van complete with a driver, PA system and projection equipment was placed into service in Togo, and has already been used for a number of evangelistic campaigns. The church is also continuing their preaching on the radio, and using other methods to bring the gospel to the community. With your help, each of the students was given a Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible in the French language to help with their studies. You can read more about all the works taking place in Kpalime Togo on the Bear Valley website. 

The West Coast School of Preaching near Takoradi, Ghana is moving towards their upcoming graduation that will be taking place at the end of November. The school is continuing their regular “Campaigns for Christ” with a recent campaign in the village of Sofokrom resulting in two baptisms and a number of additional Bible studies being set up. The annual seminar by the Howe church of Christ was originally scheduled for September, but had to be cancelled due to the present Ebola crisis taking place in West Africa. Brother Daniel Ampadu Asiamah continues to need our prayers as he goes through the rehabilitation process from the stroke he had late last year. 

The Southwest School of Evangelism near Ibadan Nigeria celebrated their twelfth annual graduation and lectureship during the month of August. Nine graduates completed the two year Bear Valley program, and received Certificates of Biblical Studies. Another twelve completed the one year needed for a Diploma in Theology, and three were recognized for their attendance. Since the schools inception twelve years ago, over 100 men have graduated from the program, and over 50 congregations have been planted through the efforts of the school. Please keep this work in your prayers. 

The Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies in Ghana continues to edify our Lord’s church in northern Ghana. We thank God that many of the challenges such as Ebola, radical Islam, political upheavals, and ethnic conflicts have not been prevalent in the area around Tamale. We pray that this relative peace continues so the work can move forward. The school and church in Tamale have been active in evangelism with some new congregations planted over the past few months. Plans are being put in place to expand the evangelistic efforts throughout northern Ghana. 

Plans are also being made to set up a radio station in the area around Tamale. The living quarters for the onsite director have now been completed. 

With over 100 students presently being trained in the various full-time residential programs throughout West Africa, the impact on the church in this part of the world can be immense. We thank each and every one of you for your sacrifice that makes this work possible. 

Additional information can be found for all of the schools on the Bear Valley website at this address: www.wetrainpreachers.com/extension-schools/ 

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 from the work, please click here.

Posted on November 9, 2014 .