West Africa Happenings: March-April 2014

Greetings once again to all our brothers, sisters and friends around the world. We pray that our Lord is continuing to shower His wondrous blessings upon you as we anxiously await his coming. We thank you and God continually for your partnership in the gospel as we strive together in the bountiful mission field of West Africa. We are eternally grateful for your love, encouragement and support. There have been many exciting happenings since our last report that we want to share with you.

Working Together in Africa!
The work of our Lord has moved me all over West Africa so far in 2014. God blessed me with the opportunity to evangelize, teach, preach, plan, edify, and labor in many ways in this part of the world. My journeys have brought me to five of our six Bear Valley schools of preaching located in Ghana, Togo and Nigeria. During my travels, we planted new congregations, edified churches, taught faithful Christians, and saved souls! With your help, we are shining our Christian lights, and making a difference in West Africa!

The short time I spent in the USA during 2014 has also been very busy. There were meetings and planning sessions with overseeing and sponsoring elderships, mission reports were given to supporting congregations, and the Bear Valley foreign extension staff gathered together for a strategic planning session. During this report, we will examine some of these exciting happenings and also look at some of the areas where your prayers are needed.

Prayers Needed
As I was writing this report, I received information that one of our graduates from the first class at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies in Ghana was involved in an accident. As Tony Johnson, the missionary in Tamale, was driving to extreme northern Ghana to check on our brother, he was informed that John Avoka had passed away. We need to keep John’s family, his congregation, and all those who have been affected by this terrible event in our prayers.

Brother Daniel Ampadu Asiamah, the director of the West Coast School of Preaching in Takoradi Ghana continues to need our prayers. I informed you in our last report that brother Asiamah suffered a severe stroke. I visited him a number of times over the previous months, and he has made significant progress. However, he still has a long way to go on his road of recovery. He continues to be bedridden with only limited ability to communicate to those around him. Let us all pray together that our dear brother will continue to improve and recover his strength.

Bear Valley Preaching Schools
There have been many uplifting and exciting reports during 2014 from our brethren in West Africa. I will try to recap a few of these major events in this newsletter. However, you can read about the triumphs and challenges of each of our foreign extension schools in their regular submissions to the Bear Valley Bible Institute website at this address: www.wetrainpreachers.com/extension-schools/

A New Bear Valley School...
The work is expanding and growing in Ghana West Africa! The faithfulness and zeal of our brethren amaze me while their sacrifice and labor of love are inspiring. In this small country the size of Oregon, there are thousands of congregations of our Lord’s church, and tens of thousands of Christians. If the church is going to continue to stand fast in the faith, there must be strong and sound leaders. A new Bear Valley Bible School in the Eastern Region of Southern Ghana is off to a wonderful start training some of these men. The ribbon was cut, and the doors were opened in February 2014 for the Southern Institute of Biblical Studies in Doboro/Nsawam. Twelve faithful Christians embarked upon a challenging two-year journey through the Bible. Please keep this school in your prayers as they labor to train men to edify and expand our Lord’s kingdom. The Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies is continuing their work in northern Ghana. I had the opportunity to spend one week in the classroom with our third class of fifteen men earlier this year. The congregation near the school is growing in both number and maturity. We are also building additional facilities for our director Joseph Baah to live on campus. Tony Johnson from Greenbrier Arkansas continues to labor effectively with the staff, students and congregations throughout northern Ghana. We thank God for this work! The West Coast School of Preaching in Takoradi Ghana is showing their amazing perseverance to train strong leaders as they work through the trial of the absence of their director. Souls are being saved through the students’ evangelism and preaching while the staff continues to recruit faithful Christians for our next class. Please keep Daniel and the school in your prayers!

We have also received many reports of wonderful works from our schools in Togo, Nigeria, and Cameroon. The Center for Biblical Studies in Kpalime Togo is laboring for our Lord in southern Togo. Most of the students have now accepted the truth and obeyed the gospel of salvation. Please pray that the remaining five will have their hearts touched and come to Christ soon. They are continuing with their weekly radio program and regular evangelistic campaigns, and many are coming to Christ as a result of these programs. New congregations are being planted, and congregations edified. Their goal is to plant congregations in all the villages surrounding the school of preaching within five years. We thank God for your partnership with this effort. The Cameroon Bible Institute of Wotutu continues to strive for the Master in the country of Cameroon. You can read all about their efforts on the Bear Valley website. Their weekend evangelistic campaigns are an inspiration to us all. It is amazing to read about their work, and I am looking forward to spending a week teaching the students next month. May our Lord continue to bless this effort! The Southwest School of Evangelism in Butubutu near Ibadan in Nigeria continues doing a sensational job of training preachers. I was blessed with the opportunity to teach their students a couple of weeks ago. Brother Doug Wheeler from Norman Oklahoma visited the school earlier in the year on his annual tour of WBS Seminars and Lectureships. Many heard and obeyed the gospel as a result of their efforts. Both the Ibadan and Lagos campuses are planting congregations and edifying the Lord’s church. Please keep all of these works in your prayers!

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

Mail 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 May 4, 2014 .