Adinkra are traditional symbols that pass on the wisdom
of Ghana and West Africa.
The work in Ashaiman started back in 1982 when eight members from the Tema congregation began worshipping in Ashaiman in a rented classroom.
By the time that Renee, Trevor and I moved there in 1984 the church had grown to around 40 or so. Over the next few years the church grew to around 250. As a result we had to rent two rooms at the school and still this would not accommodate our growing numbers. During this time, due to the efforts of bro. Paul Addo, the grace of God and the work of the entire church we were able to buy 7 acres of land on the main highway going through town. Truly the providence of God was at work for shortly after obtaining the land the church had to discontinue meeting in the school. Quickly a temporary meeting place was erected on the church property and we moved to the new location.
By the time that we moved back to the States in 1989 a permanent meeting place was erected.
Since that time God has continued to bless the work and there are now four churches meeting in Ashaiman (Accra Road, Lebanon, Official Town & Sebrepor) with hundreds of members.
During our trip this past summer all four congregations worked together in a city wide gospel campaign. During the week studies were conducted house to house in the daytime and public preaching was held for two hours each night. The public preaching was held on the grounds of the school where the church first started meeting. It was during this week that we started our radio broadcasting and we had a live 30 minute program each morning at 5:30 am.
As a result of all of this work there was a tremendous response throughout the community. Every where the brethren went people said they had heard the preaching on the radio and the church and the gospel were warmly welcomed.
Although it was very tiring, after getting in bed around midnight each night following the public preaching and then having to get up at 4:30 each morning to conduct the radio program, it was rewarding to see all the brothers and sisters in Ashaiman from various congregations working hand in hand.
During morning services at Accra Road I preached a sermon on church organization stressing the need for every church to be maturing toward having an eldership. There were many questions so I returned on Sunday evening and we spent a couple hours discussing the eldership. The church is now engaged in an in-depth study of the eldership with the goal of appointing qualified men in the congregation to begin serving as elders by mid-summer. (It is my hope and prayer that if elders are appointed this summer that I might be able to be with them on that occasion.)
The Accra Road church has also broken ground on building a two-story school building to accommodate the Ashaiman Christian Centre (grades K-8). Due to the generosity of a Christian sister we were able to send $ 5,000.00 to help with the construction. Recently, they were able to pour the concrete flooring and have begun working on the columns.
The churches in Lebanon and Official Town are currently in the process of putting up their own meeting places. The Sebrepor church is currently in the process of trying to pay for a piece of land so that they can begin work on a meeting place.
Truly the Lord has blessed the work in Ashaiman. The brethren ask for your continued prayers and support.
The work continues to grow in the Eastern Region. Recently bro. Isaac Adjei reported that in three months time they had 29 baptisms in Kade. In addition, they continue to work on their meeting place. Most of the walls are up and they could really use some help buying the timber and roofing sheets to put the roof on. $ 3,000.00 is currently needed.
We also had a report from bro. Daniel Owusu, who is now preaching for the church in Abaam, about 8 miles from Kade. Daniel is crippled in one leg, yet manages to walk all over Abaam, conducting Bible studies and encouraging church members. Daniel has asked if someone could help him purchase a bullhorn to help with public preaching. Cost @ $ 100.00. This small rural church has contributed funds and molded over 1000 concrete blocks during the past few months. They are in need of someone to assist them in buying the materials (cement, iron rods, stone, sand, etc.) $ 2,000.00 is needed to help them begin this work.
Kpone church of Christ
The work in Kpone is going very well. The church continues to grow in number and spirit. The young congregation started nearby in Haana is also doing very well. The couple picturedhere are now worshipping with the church in Haana. The Kpone church was also involved in the planning and establishment of the church in Nkonya (see article below).
We started the work in Kpone back in 1985 with the help of bro. Edward Owusu-Ansah and the rest of the students I was teaching at the National Bible Institute in Accra at the time. Bro. Owusu is still preaching for the church. Kpone is a very traditional town and the people are very slow to embrace new things. For years bro. Owusu and the church have struggled with just a few faithful members. In the past they would meet on someones front porch for services. What a blessing it was during our visit to see the church have around 100 in attendance.
One of the highlights was having my mother, Sybil, who traveled with me last year, teach the ladies at Kpone one Sunday morning. (Mom was 78 last year! She is now talking about joining me on a future trip.)
The church has now been able to move from the porch to a temporary structure on their own property. The property is located about a mile from the ocean. The weather and termites are taking their toll on the wooden structure so the church is now in the progress of putting up a permanent meeting place. Last year they were filling the foundation to prepare for the flooring and purchased a lot of materials (cement, iron rods, and roofing sheets.)
Bro. Owusu has labored long and hard. Oftentimes he has faced discouragement and ridicule and yet has humbly continued to do the Lords work. For all these years his family (wife, 4 children and a niece) has been living in one room with no water or facilities. A few years ago we were able to help him buy a plot of land with the hope of helping him put up a small home of his own one day. Progress has been slow; but by Gods grace and the generosity of a Christian, he has been able to lay the foundation, pour the floor, begin the wall and purchase some roofing. It is my prayer that soon that Edward, Faustina and their fine Christian family will be able to move into their new home.
Your prayers and support are needed.
62 brothers and sisters conducted a campaign in Nkonya-Ahenkro, Volta Region.
The work began on Thursday evening with public preaching and a film on the life of Christ.
Work continued on Friday and Saturday. Dawn preaching was conducted first thing in the morning. The brethren get up before dawn and then move throughout the town preaching the gospel as people prepare to go to their farms and work. Later in the day, the campaigners would go house to house and conduct Bible studies. Public preaching was held each night followed by questions and answers.
As a result of these efforts 15 souls were baptized into Christ, 8 men and 7 women, and a new congregation has been established.
Services were held on Sunday with 186 present (including 20 adult visitors and 75 children).
Weekly follow-up will continue to help build up the new church.
February 8-11, 2001
John Mac Owusu
"Behold a sower went forth to sow. . . " (Matthew 13:3). With these words Jesus pictures the spreading of the gospel upon various kinds of soils. The soils represent the different kinds of human hearts which would hear the good news. It is plain Jesus intended the gospel to go to more than one class of people.
An opportunity now exists in Ghana, W. Africa to broadcast the saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to over one million souls per week. The radio station is ADOM 106.3 FM in the city of Tema.
As Jesus gives the parable of the soils, you can vividly see in your mind, a farmer with a bag of seeds planting on a large field. He goes. He sows. Through the length and breadth of the land, he casts the life-bringing, hope-filled seeds on the ground. He plants in hope that, in the not too distant future, there will be a bountiful harvest. Of course,, he realizes not all the seeds will take root and flourish. The birds will devour some. The sun will burn up some. The thorns will choke some. But also some will fall upon good soil and produce fruit - even a hundred fold!
As the farmer scatters the precious seed, we say he is broadcasting the seed. As we put the message of the gospel on the air waves in Ghana, we are broadcasting to thousands the Word of Life, which is the singular hope for all of fallen mankind. We are firmly convinced that one of the most effective and efficient methods of evangelism in West Africa is through the medium of RADIO. Let's make Ghana "RADIO-ACTIVE"!
Let's consider some reasons that argue favorably for gospel broadcasting:
1. Radio has tremendous scope! The potential is to reach thousands in a densely populated area. In test broadcasts conducted last summer (August 2000) hundreds of comments and responses were received. Pray tell where more could be done? Other religious groups are becoming radio conscious of this new field of work. We must get there "firstest with the mostest"!
2. Radio has power! Power to release people of the delusion of religious error. The "faith-healers" and spiritual quacks are deceiving the religious world. Let us counter the religious hocus-pocus many are being exposed to in our day with the pure, unadulterated message of heaven. Truth will shine all the more brightly when contrasted to error!
3. Radio is now! The urgency of this project cannot be overstated. Let us realize the opportunity looming before us and do some thing about it. When opportunity shows us a new field, let us immediately grasp a handful of seeds and sow as never before. The night shall soon come.
Bill preaches for the church in Mountain Home, AR and has been working with me in Ghana now for several years. The Mountain Home church has been helping us with support to keep the radio program on the air. Paul Addo (Ashaiman) has been interpreting the sermons and hosting the program live each Sunday morning at 5:30 am.
In addition to thanking Bill, the brethren at Mountain Home and bro. Paulwe would like to thank Carl & Nancy Chambers for helping with the recording of my sermons for the radio program. They have been providing me with free time in their recording studio and have been donating hours of their time to help record, edit and send the sermons to Ghana. Carl also helps me with graphics and the web-site. Be sure to drop by and visit their site www.dizzyrambler.com
We would also like to thank the brethren at Accra Road (Ashaiman) for working with us in getting the radio program on the air and keeping it going on a weekly basis.
Due to the tremendous response we are receiving we would like to expand the program to three or four other stations to help us cover most of the country. The cost to air the radio program is @ $ 100.00 per week. For a little over $ 400.00 per month a congregation could support the program on a new station and reach thousands with the gospel of Christ! Just 4 members giving $ 25.00 per week could support a radio broadcast. Can you or your congregation help?
West Coast School of Preaching...
We hope that this letter finds you well and enjoying a profitable service to the Lord. We sincerely wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to you for your tremendous assistance to the Takoradi Preachers Seminar, July 2000. We appreciate the sound, educative and enlightening lessons that you presented. The seminar was very successful. We had 167 in attendance though we were expecting 70. We shall forever remember you. May God richly bless you.
It is our prayer that the Lord will open the way for you to participate in July 2001. We anticipate a grand seminar this year. Thank you.
Yours In His Service,
The West Coast School of Preaching is located at the facilities of the Kweikuma Church of Christ in Takoradi, Western Region. During our visit Bill Dillon, Johnny Polk, Bob Bauer and myself had two one-hour sessions each day. Bruce Caldwell and Trent Alexander closed out the seminar on the last day.
The Takoradi brethren did a great job organizing the work and caring for us during our stay with them. I had the opportunity to meet with a number of the preachers in that area and spoke one evening at the Central Church of Christ in Takoradi.
Martin Oppong, a brother from Kade, is now attending the school full time. I have worked with him for a number of years in Kade. After school he plans on establishing the Lords church in his hometown and surrounding areas. He is in desperate need of someone to support him while he attends school. $ 100.00 per month would be a great help to his family at this time.
Report From The North
This report is being written in Kumasi, where we have been spending a few days attending meetings and laying plans for the groups of campaigners who will be coming in to help us with the work. Our summer will be very full. We will be delighted to see many friends, old and new who have helped with the work in Ghana. Among those coming will be Jerry O. Reynolds, and hopefully our granddaughter, Lyndie Reynolds with some of her college friends.
As most of you know, our evangelistic efforts have flourished greatly in the northern half of Ghana in the past few years. A virtual explosion of church plantings has resulted from the fantastic harvest of souls the Lord has provided. Many workers are needed to help. Our native evangelists and preachers carry the major work-load of evangelizing and caring for the churches. Some of these trained workers who want to devote themselves fully to the Lord's work need financial support in order to do this. In our past reports we have mentioned that supporting our indigenous workers is a needful and a fruitful door the Lord has opened. Several have responded to this appeal.
The medical team will be starting Primary Health Care courses in a few days. Cindy is preparing lessons for that, giving supplementary food and seeing to the needs of 24 malnourished babies, doing weekend health care clinics for the churches and helping care for the lepers, plus the multitude of daily tasks which are ever present.
Inflation is a serious problem. Prices of fuel recently increased by almost one half, and we are bracing for it to be double from the former control price shortly. Diesel is now costing us the equivalent of $1.50 per gallon, with expectation that it will be more than $2.00 soon. It is a rule that when fuel prices go up all other things go up accordingly. This will put a sever crimp in our working fund budget which is being quickly depleted. We don't worry about ourselves, but I simply don't see how the people of the North are going to make it financially.
Here in Kumasi we have many friends and we work closely with the Elders of the Bomso church. We were among the missionary team that started the Bomso congregation, and we have considered it our "home" congregation in Ghana for many years. From a small group with an attendance of around 50, back in September of 1970 when we first came to Kumasi, the church has grown to 23 congregations. Bomso has established many congregations in Kumasi. Their attendance was 850 on Sunday. A new worship site is under construction and already there are concerns that 1000 capacity will be too small.
Until next time, may God bless each of you.
Royce and Cindy Reynolds
Saturday, July 21 - 3:56 pm (EST)
Yesterday I sent you the first part of our trip to the North. I spent about an hour typing up the second part only to have the power go off in Tema and have the computer I was using crash - losing all the information I typed. I was so bummed that I decided I would wait til today to try and send any more mail. And I will send shorter updates to avoid losing so much work. Since I have been here we have had intermittent power outages. I will be back later with more updates. We will travel to the Eastern Region tomorrow and worship with the churches in Kade and Adonkrono. Ted
I am now back in Tema with electricty, telephones and running water! Boy did that first warm shower feel good. Ernest, Owusu and I are in good health and as usual we have been doing our fair share of eating at every meal. We have been eating a lot of local foods and got to try some new meals that I have never eaten before.
We left for the North and Yendi as scheduled on Wednesday, July 11th. Nat Adams was nice enough to drive us up to Yendi. He is the director of the well drilling teams. We made very good time, stopping only at filling stations for fuel, a soft drink and whatever we could find to snack on. For those of you who know of our famous turkey-tail stops at Nsawam - believe it or not - I passed on the turkey tails this trip. )This weekend we will be driving to the Eastern Region and since it is a long tradition we will stop in Nsawam this time for our fried turkey-tails and loaves of fresh bread. :) The trip to the North took about 13 hours. When we arrived in Yendi - Nat dropped us off at Royce and Cindy Reynolds. Cindy had prepared a big meal for us. After dinner we showered, visited for a couple hours and then Ernest, Owusu and I got to sleep in one of the Reynolds bedrooms (with A/C!).
On Thursday, July 12, Ernest, Owusu and I drove with Royce and John Kandeoja to the village of Macheliyilu - about a hours drive from Yendi. The road was very rough the last few miles and we got stuck on a big rock that jutted out of the ground (it was a two-track road with grass in the middle - of course the rock was in the grass and unseen). We locked in the four wheel drive and climbed off of it fairly easily. We arrived at the village to meet a number of the church members. A big storm had recently damaged their church building (a traditional mud building with metal roof). It looks like they will loose one of the main walls. We talked about various ways to shore up the wall until the dry season when they can pull the wall down and rebuild. Our main reason for visiting Macheliyilu was the fact that many of the members were without food as they waited for the rains and the harvest that would eventually come in the next month or two. There were 35 widows and orphans in the church as a result of the war five years ago. We provided financially assistance to all of these to help them until the crops came in. As we were about to leave they showed us a house (mud building with thatched roof) that was hit with lightning one night. Fortunately the family, though stunned, were rescued, and have moved in with friends until the house can be rebuilt during the dry season. They do not get much lightning and it was the "talk of the town". We said good bye and then drove back to Yendi. When we reached Yendi, Cindy had dinner ready - including her famous coconut cream pie. We polished off about half of the pie and ate the rest the next morning for breakfast.
I will send this message before something crashes and continue shortly.
Tuesday July 10 - 6:03pm (EST)
As soon as we left the Consulate we found out the battery was dead in the car. So we had to push start the car. Then we drove straight to a Shell station and bought a Red Bull (a carbonated energy drink) and a Mars bar. When we got to Tema we stopped at a small local restaurant that makes a fairly good pizza (for some reason they haven't discovered pizza sauce so they just pile on whatever items are available) for our supper. Our pizza had onions, green pepper, sliced hot dogs (they come canned - definitely not Ballparks) and some kind of cheese. Not Pizza Hut - but after a day without food it hit the spot.
I then went home and packed for the Yendi trip tomorrow. After I packed I was hot and sticky and so I took a shower and waited for Ernest to get home from work. When Ernest got home he packed and then he, Owusu and I went and bought some supplies to take along. We dropped Owusu so he could take a taxi home and get packed himself. Owusu will meet us at Ernest's house around 6:30 and then Nat Adams will pick us up at 7:00 am and we will start on a long hard day. It will probably be 8:00 or 9:00 pm before we reach Yendi. We usually make four stops for fuel and something to drink. 1st stop will be at Nsawam where we will buy fuel, bread and fried turkey tails, 2nd stop - Kumasi for fuel and a soft drink and a meat pie, 3rd stop - Kintampo for fuel and a soft drink and fried yams; 4th stop - Tamale for fuel and a soft drink - then 85 miles to Yendi. Keep us in your prayers for it is a long and hard trip. And in many places the road is not good.
We are at George and Theresa Amuasi's as usual and they have been good to let me use their home and PC. They will get a 10 day reprieve while we are in the North. Lord willing we will be in Bunkpurugu over the weekend. We have a mobile clinic planned there for Saturday. I will try and send an email from Yendi whenever I can. Ernest hasn't had supper so I will have to go find him something to eat. Love and greetings to all. ....Ted
Monday July 9 - 7:28 am (EST)
This morning I woke up to a number of visitors. Bro. Koranteng, one of the first men that I met and worked with back in 1980 (and for those of you who know a special friend of Archie Chapman) came by to say hello and tell me about the program of the Sebrepor church. Also, Daniel Ababio, a crippled brother, we are helping with education, came by and we discussed his progress and upcoming examines. he is studying to be a CPA. Owusu arrived so that we could take care of some business together. All of them enjoyed the fresh brewed coffee that was one the table. They are only used to instant coffee. They especially liked the scent of the coffee - something that instant doesn't have. When we were finished brother Appiah Sackey and his wife came by to thank me for the money that was sent to help his daughter have the surgery to remove the tumor. He said she is really doing well and is now back in school. A special thanks to all who helped.
Owusu and I just returned from the U.S. Consulate - didn't accomplish very much - I couldn't really get to see the people that I needed to see for Paul and Matilda's visa. There were 300 people waiting for visa interviews! Paul and Matilda have another interview tomorrow and I will go with them. Pray that they have a low number and are called quickly or I could be spending most of my day sitting outside in a crowd. The lady did tell me to tell Paul and Matilda to be persistent. Persistent will be our by-word tomorrow for we are scheduled to depart for Yendi and the North on Wednesday. That is a long hard 13+ hour drive. After the first night in Yendi - I will be out in the small towns and villages (no electricity, etc.) so there will be silence from this end. I will try and send updates whenever I can and should be able to send one while I am actually in Yendi.
George is letting me use his PC again so I am at his house. In about an hour Owusu and I will be heading to the Addo's house for lunch. I am not sure what is going to be on the table; but Matilda is an excellent cook and prepares fufuo (made from boiled cassava and green plantain and then pounded in a ball similar to bread dough.) and a special groundnut soup that she knows I like so I am suspecting that is the meal I will go to meet (as they say in Ghana).
After lunch I will visit the new site and construction of the Ashaiman Christian Centre (school ... K-8).
AOL is getting ready to give the disconnect so I will sign off here.
Charles Salmon and his group arrived safely this morning.
Take care and God bless.
Saturday July 7 - 8:53 am (EST)
This morning we woke up early and had coffee. Then we had several visitors including Isaac Adjei who arrived from the Eastern Region with the good news that he had baptized the head mistress of a large school and one who has a great influence in that area. We are praying through her conversion many others will come to the Lord.
Isaac and I took Ernest to work and then dropped in and greeted Christian and Lizzie Nsoah, long time friends in Tema. I am now at bro. George's and using his PC to keep in touch with you.
Also, this morning an electrician finally hooked up the 5 gallon water heater to the shower at Ernest's house. So tonight, as long as they don't turn the power or water off, I am looking forward to a hot shower!
Renee and the kids are traveling today from NC to home - so please keep them in your prayers.
Love and greetings to all.
Friday July 6 - 6:13 am (EST)
On Thursday Ernest and I got early and had breakfast - fried eggs, bread and coffee before Ernest left for work around 6:45 am. Bro. Owusu came around 7:30 and we spent most of the day taking care of some various things that needed to be attended to. We changed a little money (the exchange rate was down a bit - 6,800 cedis to the dollar). We also stopped by the post office and I applied for a new Ghanaian drivers license (my current Ghana driver's license is valid for another year - but they are changing over to a new license and it takes about a month to get one and then it is good for 5 years.) Hopefully, I will get before I return to the States. In the meantime they gave me a temporary license that is valid until the new one is issued. We stopped by and greeting Paul Addo at his office at Tema Development Corporation (TDC) and then stopped by Christian & Lizzie Nsoah's house to greet them - but they had traveled. (It is a Ghanaian custom that you go by greet friends)
Owusu and I then picked Ernest up from his office and went to Ernest's house for lunch - boiled rice and beef stew with some coleslaw on the side (not bad for my first lunch). After lunch we took Ernest back to work and then drove to the Amuasi's house to formally greet George, his wife, Theresa and their children. Also, George provided with the antimalarial drugs that I will be taking during my stay in Ghana this year. We visited for awhile and then we had to get back to Ernest's house to get ready for evening services.
The Accra Road church has arranged for me to speak every night through Sunday. Last night we met from 6:00 - 7:30 pm and we studied "How to hold on to your faith during difficult times". It was raining in Ashaiman (and since most of the members have to walk a distance that usually means smaller crowds) but we still had a good number of people present. Traffic was heavy and the 8 mile ride from Ernest's place took around half an hour.
When we got back to Ernest's house we found the water was off (The utility company was doing some repairs and said it might be three days before they had our area back up and running) - so I took my shower out of a 5 gallon bucket of cold water. Brrrr! but after the initial shock it felt good to be clean and cool. The weather has been hot and it has rained a little everyday.
This morning there were several brethren that dropped by to see around breakfast time. Bro. Kingsley Boakye told me about a lot of the good works that are going on at Accra Road and he said that especially the radio program was having a tremendous impact on the community. He said almost every Sunday there were large numbers of visitors at services and they are baptizing people on a weekly basis. I also had a phone call from a brother in the Volta Region and he said his people were hearing the program 80 miles away and it was helping the church there. praise God for this. A special thanks to all the brethren who make it possible for the radio program to be on the air. I finally got away from the house a short time ago and am sending this email from bro. Amuasi's computer.
This afternoon bro. Owusu and I will be driving to Accra and I will be going to the U.S. Consulate to see if I can talk to them about granting a visa for Paul & Matilda Addo to return with on July 27. I am taking all their documentation along with their passports and my own letters to see if something can be done. Please remember this in your prayers. By the time I get home from Accra it will be time for evening services in Ashaiman.
Take care and God bless.
Wednesday July 4 - 8:28 am (EST)
Monday July 2 - 2:06 pm (EST)
"Thank you", to all who encourage us, pray for us and support us in this work. As we work together - it is my prayer that God will bless our efforts richly to His glory and the saving of many souls.