Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Ghana Picture Post Part 4

One thing that we were blessed to be able to do while in Ghana was visiting the saints there. We were able to visit with a number of the families in the church while there. Brittney and Hannah visited the Appah family, who lived across town. They were very happy to have them in the home, sharing some of their delicious food, yam and kontomre stew. 
Brittney and Hannah got to visit with the Appah's but we also visited some of the Saints as a family. Eric and Beth Ann Sarpong, the Adusei's, Jantuah's and others. There never seems to be enough time when we go to visit the Saints in other lands but I am so thankful we will be able to spend eternity together where there will be no goodbyes.

Eric and Beth Ann had their first baby while we were in Ghana. Here is sweet and absolutely beautiful baby Ara Noel Sarpong. :)  

We were able to serve in a number of ways while in Ghana. One way was to put on a  Mini Youth Camp where there were Bible lessons, hands on activities, and more!

The theme was "I Am Purposeful, Pure, and Powerful," 3 "P's."

The Youth went to the Botanical Gardens in Kumasi for more games and fun!

Brittney taught the young ladies about "Having a Pure Heart for God" during a divided session. The young ladies really enjoyed the discussion period  so much that it was hard to stop when our time was up. 
Sweet Sisters: We were so grateful for all the friendships we could renew, all the spiritual bonds we could strengthen, and ll the encouragement we could give and receive. 
Great Guys! David Sarpong and Stephen Jantuah, two great guys in Accra, where we spent the night before leaving for Cameroon. They are a huge encouragement, being pillars in their congregation in Accra, and also recently started up a Christian school, completely run and funded by Ghanaians! 
Singing songs! The Jantuah family came over to the Sarpong's home, where we spent the night, had sweet fellowship, and were shown great hospitality. We sang songs for the kids and Jeremiah was able to give a devotion as well. What a great way to spend our last evening in Ghana. The next morning, we headed out for Cameroon, and here we are! Thanks for all your prayers and support, the trip went really well, we returned refreshed and renewed, we were able to encourage, edify, and equip the saints. Despite some sickness and the sorrow of saying goodbye, we could not imagine a better trip. Thank you and thank God! Next blog post- "Back in the Saddle!- Getting back and getting to work!"

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Ghana Picture Post Part 3

Augustine, on the right, a friend and high school classmate of Jeremiah's  had his bachelor party while we were in Ghana. We met together to encourage him, quiz him, and also offer advice, those of us who were married. 

A few days later, he and Margaret, both former students of Bomso Christian Academy, were married. I was very honored to be asked to be the photographer for their wedding. It was my first time to do this, and while it was a lot of work, I also greatly enjoyed. I am no pro, but I work for cheap! :) Cake will probably do it. Ha ha. Still, it is great to have an opportunity to put my friendship into action in this way. 

My lovely family at the lovely wedding. 

One of my favorite pictures because of the couples expressions. Marriage is such an amazing gift from God. 

Jeremiah the photographer. :) 

December 31st, we were super excited to be part of the New Year's party in Kumasi. What a great time! There was singing, preaching, exhorting, playing, eating, praying, and fellowshiping. 2012 was really an amazing year, and we were happy to bring it to a conclusion and start off on a great new year! 

Some of the kids doing the actions for a song I wrote and taught- "Shake me up, turn me around, and send me out!" 
Preaching again. What a blessing it was to have so many opportunities to teach and preach in Ghana. God is amazing-  in 2012 we had the chance to share the word of God in 3 different countries! Ghana, the United States, and Cameroon!

Future preachers/spiritual warriors! These guys, Elijah and Jonathan, are great friends and are going to do great things for the kingdom of God! Watch out world! 

The hardest part of being a missionary is having to say goodbye to dear, dear friends and family. We had to do this at the beginning of 2012 when we left the United States and all of our dear friends and family there, and then again, we did this at the end of 2012, as we started saying goodbyes to family again. The Akolas, Adam and Abby, and their kids, are doing a great work in the North of Ghana, and were a big encouragement to us while we were there. 

Another family that's doing great things for God- the Lantames. They are serving the Lord in the southeast of Ghana. Caleb, Lamisi, and their three boys are also a great encouragement to us. Again, it was sad to say goodbye, but we thank God for the fellowship of the Spirit that we share wherever we are, and know that all our tears are being stored up and counted in Heaven, where there will be no more goodbyes, no more sorrows.

One more blog post about Ghana is coming. We hope you are encouraged by all that God does/did in our short time in Ghana. 

Friday, 11 January 2013

Ghana Picture Post Part 2

While in Ghana, we were able to help out with their Annual Family Camp. There were around 250 people there from many congregations for preaching, singing, prayer, youth programs, fellowship and more. The theme was "Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life."  I was asked to help MC a forum on enriching our marriage, and had 9 men share some of their insights and understandings from the Scriptures. 
Sometimes there are trials. Much to Brittney's dismay, she and Jonathan came down with Mumps (contracted in Cameroon) the day that Family Camp started. This disease is highly contagious and so she had to remain mostly isolated. It was painful and also difficult, not being able to visit and talk with many dear friends and fellow saints, but she did her best to keep a good attitude and sometimes was able to listen to the sermons anyways. 
Hannah enjoying the Sunday School class with her friend Montana Icenogle and others taught by Aunt Jessica. Our kids were tremendously blessed to be able to spend time with other children who are being brought up in the Lord, attending Christian schools and are good examples for them. Most of their interactions with other children here in Cameroon are of an outreach nature, and must be carefully monitored to try and ensure that they don't pick up bad examples from other kids. In Ghana, they were rather being blessed and learning good examples from other kids. If nothing else had been accomplished (but much was) we feel that the benefit to our kids from this trip would have made it worth it.

"Introducing" my family at Family Camp before I preached. I preached on the faith it took Jesus to say "I AM" and how we also need to have faith and accept what the Bible says about who we are. It was warm there as you can tell.

Brother-in-law and missionary to India, Binoy Thomas, preaching the closing sermon of family camp. He was a big encouragement to us, and it was a blessed opportunity to be able to talk with him and garner some of his wisdom and experience from his nine years of ministry in India. 

Brother Daniel and his family. They came down from the north, where he works as a preacher among the Konkombas. I coached his son Isaac (on the right) in basketball when he was in BCA in Kumasi. They are a great encouragement. 
Some of the family and friends that were together for Christmas. I can't express how joyful it was to be able to be there with them all- the Icenogle, Akola, Thomas, Osebreh and Hostetter family all together. What a diverse group- Ghana, India, and America all together.
Answering Bible questions about the birth of Jesus. A very Biblically knowledgeable group of kids.

Well, this is part two- as you can see, a lot happened in Ghana. More is yet to come- We had a wedding, a New Year, a Mini-Camp for Youth, and visiting people... coming up in parts 3 and 4! 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Ghana Trip Part Picture Post Part 1

We have been so blessed being in Ghana- numerous opportunities to share, to reach out, to encourage and to teach. Our first Sunday here, Brittney taught the Bible class for the ladies. 

Hannah read the Bible in her Sunday School class.
And Jeremiah taught the Men's Sunday School class, preached , and shared a video report of our ministry in Cameroon  in the Evening. It was great to be able to share and encourage so many times and ways.

Another way in which we were able to share and to serve was with the  Christian  School Staff Annual Party. We were able to help organize the activities for the evening, and all had a great time.

"Musical Gift" Whoever was caught with the gift when the music stopped was out. The last person got to open it.  It was wild and wonderful fun. 
We were blessed to enjoy BCA's Christmas Program. In the past we have organized these,, but this year it was organized entirely by the students. 

An interesting take on the Wise Men. Quite funny. 

Hannah received a Bible from Aunt Jessica as part of her reward for finishing 2nd grade (PACE's 1013-1024). We are so proud of our little 5 year old princess. She is a precious gift from God.
More pictures soon... things have been blessedly busy, and we have really been grateful for our time here so far. In four days we head back to Cameroon. The time has been precious beyond description. Next blog post- Family Camp, A Wedding, The New Year, and Youth Mini-Camp.