Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Children of Wayamba

On our last day in the village, the children sang for us.

Fresh Water for the Children

While on mission in Ghana, The FBC Team had the privilege of joining IMB missionaries, Pat and Peggy Ozment, in bringing fresh water to the school children of Wayamba.

We thank God for providing the funds, the workers, and THE WATER!

Click here to see pictures and read about how God brought water to Wayamba.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Women of Wayamba

On Tuesday during our trip to Wayamba, there were enough translators that we were able to split up and go visit huts individually with our own translator. As we walked through the village, my translator and I came upon the mill where there was a group of women busily working. I visited with them for a few minutes and then asked if they had time to hear a story. One of them turned over a big pot for me to sit on and several of them stopped working and gathered around on the ground.

As I finished the panorama story one of them said, "We are going to become followers of Jesus when he comes back again." I told her that Jesus was coming again but that we needed to be ready when he returned. Several women shook their heads in understanding. I asked if they knew how to become Jesus followers and they said "no". I asked if they would like to know and they said they would.

I went through the plan of salvation and asked if they would like to become Jesus Followers to which they replied yes. I told them how to pray and asked if they would like me to lead them in praying.

There on the ground three women prayed out loud in their native language asking Jesus into their lives. It was an amazing divine appointment.

Please pray that these women will grow to really understand the prayer they said and that a church and leaders will rise up in this village to disciple them.

Written by Beverly

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

So We Can Share

As I soaked in a warm bath last night and took another nice hot shower this morning I could not help but remember the thousands of women in Ghana who will never know what it is like to soak in a warm bath or take a shower. I still have the pictures in my mind of seeing them carry large heavy pots to their village's only water source, filling them with water, and then placing the heavy pots on their heads to carry back to their hut to use for cooking and drinking.

As I turned on my washing machine this morning to do laundry the picture came to mind of the people we saw washing clothes in a muddy water hole.

As I cooked breakfast in my beautiful kitchen with every appliance necessary, I could not help but remember the women of Wynamba as they cooked over an open fire in the center of their hut's compound and how much more heat the fire added to their already scorching homes.

As I sit here in my nice air conditioned home, I remember sitting in the center of a compound of huts as the woman said to us, "I never thought you would want to come and sit in my home and talk to me."

Yes, God has blessed us beyond measure. If not for His grace you and I would not have what we do. Now that I have seen people living in circumstances most of us don't even want to acknowledge existing, I understand that God has blessed us so that we can share.

Written by Beverly

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Team 2 Back in the USA

Team 2 has arrived safely in the US. We had smooth flights all the way home, praise God.

We will continue to post pictures and stories in the following days.

Thank you for praying us home!

Friday, July 10, 2009

On Our Way Back!

Fiona posting here from the capitol, Accra. We are 1 flight down and 2 more to go! Excitement everywhere here about Obama's visit. Fortunately we reached our accommodation before the Ghanaian police closed the roads in anticipation of the president's landing. Thank you for your prayers for safe travel.
Our last day in Tamale yesterday was spent visiting the villages of Kushibo and Tarikpaa. We enjoyed an audience with the chief of each community and received our Dagbani names. A highlight was witnessing the operation of a new corn grinding mill in Tarikpaa which has literally saved lives. The women in the village had been crossing the river to use a mill in a neighboring village but often did not survive the journey, drowning in the water.
The day was rounded off with a Ghanaian meal of fufu and red-red at Pat and Peggy's. We will miss their hospitality so much next year when they will have returned to the US after serving as missionaries for 3 years in Ghana. Cheryl was disappointed that her friend the bat did not make an appearance though, after making itself at home in her purse the previous evening on the front porch....
Beverly is currently the record holder for "who has taken the most photos so far" meanwhile Colton has mastered the art of negotiating a bargain at the local markets.Who says guys can't shop?
On a more serious note, we have seen great need but also the mighty power of the Lord in the lives of His people here. We return to the US eager to be with reunited with our families but sad to leave behind new and old friends.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday update

Wednesday was a very full day. The team went back into the Wayamba village for more hut-to-hut storytelling. Many Dagomba said they are interested in hearing more about Jesus. After storying with a group of men, 5 of the them said they want to know more about following Jesus. As Colton and I were sharing the plan of salvation two village elders came by to listen and the young men would no longer speak. Instead of asking them to verbally commit their lives, I told them that God wants everyone, including these elders to be saved, and now you know the way. One young man in a blue shirt looked at me with a big smile on his face and nodded his head. Please pray that proper leadership will be raised for this village to give strength to the new or hidden Christians and that a church will be established.

After a fun closing ceremony for the VBS at midday, the team traveled to Tarikpaa. After meeting the Chief we went to visit a widow and her children that Team 1 had discovered the previous week. After visiting we prayed for the widow's very sick son.

We concluded our day by going to Shalom Baptist Church for a very Ghanaian service. We were treated as royalty. They were so kind.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday in Wayumba

Cheryl here for the team.

Tuesday was another incredible day of hut-to-hut evangelism and VBS with the schoolchildren. It is so evident that God has gone before us and prepared the way. We are so thankful for the openness of the Muslims. They are not only listening to stories from God's Word, they are asking insightful questions such as, "How do I follow this Jesus?"

Working with the schoolchildren is sheer joy on both sides. We brought two puppets (named Ruth and Naomi by the student team last week). Fiona and Beverly are doing a great job teaching Bible stories through them. Actually, we have all come to realize that Fiona has an alter ego, which is quite amusing. Judith has taught the children many songs and they love it. Colton and Chris are doing sports evangelism.

Yesterday, I spent the day with my friend Paul Napari, meeting with healthcare officials and and also meeting with the director of the orphan home. God was so good to give me the grace to communicate well and everything fell into place just as expected. To God be the glory.

Today, we are headed back out to Wayumba for evangelism this morning and a closing VBS ceremony at the school this afternoon. Our prayer is that even though we are leaving, that God's Word would stay in the hearts of the children.

Thank you for your continued prayer support.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hut to Hut in Wyamba

Hi Ya'll! Beverly is writing today. We had another amazing day in Ghana. God has blessed each day's work so much. Today we went out to the village and paired up with an interpreter to go hut to hut sharing Bible stories. Fiona and I had an awesome Ghanaian Christian with us to take our journey through the village. We first visited with a group of about eight women who were very receptive to our visit. One of them did offer her baby to me to bring home but I had to give him back. Our work in this village is mainly to help plant a church because currently there is only a mosque. We ended our visit by asking if they had any questions and one of them asked if they could come to both the church and be Muslim. We assured them that everyone was welcome to come to church on Sunday. Pray that these people will come to church and hear the "Jesus Way." We visited several other huts and shared with several more women. It was a great morning in the village and we can't wait to go back and do it again tomorrow.

We ate our lunch under a tree in the school yard while the students had their lunch. I can't wait for Rockwall students to see those pictures. After lunch we were allowed to do a VBS during the afternoon school hours at the school. Fiona and I did the Bible story using two puppets. Let me tell you that when you get a very strong Texas accent, a very British accent, and a Ghanian translator together with two puppets, you end up with quite a show! The kids were very amused with our very comical act. But they listened so well and were told how much God loves them. We can't wait to get back there tomorrow!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sun 5th July

Village women and elders listening to a story during the 1st Sunday morning service

Chris Read in Wayamba

Beverly Elam at Wayamba "Children's Church"

Beverly Elam, John Haruna, Judith Ozment, Eunice Alidu and Fiona Jones singing with the children of Wyamba

Fiona Jones, Judith Ozment, Beverly Elam, Cheryl Read meeting the village children for the first time before The Hope video

Fiona here for the team. What a wonderful couple of days! "The Hope" video was shown to over 300 in Wyamba last night. The rain stopped, the technical equipment held out and there were no bugs! We actually worshipped God in the shadows of the village mosque. Moslems came out of the mosque where they were praying and assembled to watch the video! A God thing? We think so. Thank you so much for everyone praying for the Lord to draw people to Him in this village.

This morning a crowd of villagers were waiting for us as the first "church service" took shape. It was under the shade of a tree. More joined as the service continued amongst the background noise of goats, chickens and cell phones! Several Bible stories were told and the children had their own Sunday school in the village school building. Over 100 children listened attentively to to the story of "Creation through Christ". Beverly taught them how to say "Hey y'all" so now they can speak Texan!

We are returning to the village tomorrow to do evangelism from hut to hut. We are so excited.

Here are some snapshots of our experiences the last few days:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday Team Update

David, from Team 1, was kept overnight in the hospital. My understanding is that he is better. He does not have malaria, but a bacterial infection. Thank you for praying. Please don't stop.

Team 2 arrived safely in Tamale today after a very smooth flight. We dropped off our things at GILLBT guesthouse and then went to the Ozments for a wonderful breakfast of mango pancakes and sausage. Afterward, we went for a visit to the orphan home and to see Pastor Tia at the Ghana Bible Society. He gave everyone a Good News Bible in English and we all purchased Dagbani Bibles. We also made a stop at the Cultural Center (market) to do some window shopping.

We just finished dinner. OH MY GOODNESS. We celebrated July 4 with GRILLED chicken, potato salad and baked beans. We finished off our meal with pound cake and ice cream. Mom Peggy and Rev. Paschal are taking very good care of us. In other words, we are being very spoiled!

It is raining now and we are supposed to show the video, The Hope, at Wymba village tonight. God is in control and we are trusting Him to make a way, if that is His will.

Thank you all so much for your prayers. We have a big week ahead of storytelling and VBS in Wymba, a village that has NO Christians (yet!). God has been so good to open a door for us to be able to enter the village and we know that He is going to do great things there.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Team 1 Arrival in US

Team 1 has arrived safely in the US, praise God. One team member, David, left Ghana with 103 fever. He has been taken to the hospital in the US. It is probably malaria. Please pray for him.

Cape Coast

Today the team went on an excursion to Cape Coast, which is at the southernmost part of Ghana. It was a 2 1/2 hr drive, which meant a good introduction to the culture for our 4 "new to Ghana" team members Chris, Beverly, Fiona and Judith.

We toured a slave castle in Cape Coast and then ate lunch at a local chop bar (restaurant). On our way back, we pulled over and dipped our feet in the ocean. Chris decided not to take off his shoes and join the fun, so when he wasn't looking, the tide rushed in and soaked him good. Colton and I thought it was much funnier than he did.

We also stopped on the roadside and ate freshly chopped pineapple. Cape Coast is known for their pineapples. They are almost white inside and have a subtle sweet flavor. It cost less than $1.50 for 5 pineapples.

We fly to Tamale at 6:00am tomorrow, so pray for a safe journey. Tomorrow night we are going into Wyumba, a village without Jesus, to show The Hope video. We will be with IMB missionaries, Pat and Peggy Ozment. Rev. Pat has been to see the chief and received permission for us to tell the people about Jesus. These people are lost and without hope. You know how to pray.

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and prayers. We can feel them already. Everyone is doing well, just a little jet lagged.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Saying Goodbye

It was really nice to have both teams together for a few hours this evening. We enjoyed cheeseburgers and fries (more squeals and hoots) for dinner and spent some time telling mission trip stories.

The HCA Student mission team is now at the airport waiting to board for the flight home. They will arrive in Texas on Friday afternoon. Pray for a safe journey.

Tomorrow the FBC Mission Team will travel south to tour the Elmina Slave Castle. On Saturday, we will fly north to work among the Dagomba tribe, an unreached people group.

We give all the glory to God for using our hands and feet for Kingdom work.

Team 2 Arrival

Team 2 has arrived safely in Accra.

Thursday Morning in Accra

My goodness, what a different a good night's rest makes! The team just finished a breakfast of pineapple, yogurt, oatmeal and french toast. Everyone is rested and feeling great. Jennifer, one of my girls, has been running a low grade fever for a couple of days, but she is just fine this morning, praise God. Please continue to pray for her.

I just have to comment on dinner last night. The team did not know we were having 4 different kinds of pizza. You should have seen their faces and heard their squeals (girls) and hoots (boys) when they saw it. They even jumped up and down. What I didn't tell you is that all we had for lunch yesterday was bread. But it was Ghanaian sweet bread, which is heavy and filling. In fact, we all LOVE the sweet bread. You'll eat anything when you are really hungry, right? Today is chicken and rice for lunch.

Pray as Team 2 continues their travels here. They will arrive at 3;25pm in Accra. We are 5 hrs ahead of Texas time here. The entire team is very excited to see them and share their stories. Tomorrow, Team 2 will travel to Cape Coast and tour the Elmina Slave Castle.

Team 1 departs Accra at 10:45pm tonight so pray for them to have a safe journey home. Also, pray that everyone stays healthy.

I've encouraged the team to email home (slow slow connection), but most of them don't have the patience to wait on the computer to load. You will see them soon, though.

In our team meetings, what I keep hearing over and over is that they know that this trip has not been about them, but about others. They got it.

Our prayer has been and will continue to be that God is glorified in all that we say and do.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Departures and Arrivals

Team 1 has arrived safely in Accra. We had somewhat of a bumpy landing, but all is well. We dropped our things off at the Baptist Guesthouse and went to the market. Oh my goodness, taking 8 girls to the market in Accra was quite an experience! I just hope they don't exceed the 100lb weight limit on their luggage. After the market, we visited Beacon House, a local orphanage. They have 33 children, all ages. The team had a great time playing with them. We are now back at the guesthouse. Don't tell the team, but we are having PIZZA tonight for dinner. In the van on the way from the airport, they remembered that there was HOT water at the guesthouse and they were so appreciative of that. Funny how so many things can change in just a few days. Also, I noticed that none of the team members turned on the air conditioners in their rooms when we arrived.

Tomorrow is our visit to Agbogbloshie. This the village I started in years ago, working with Pastor Mohammed. They are a congregation of about 75. Pray that we can be an encouragement to them.

Please pray for Team 2, who is departing from DFW at 4:20pm today. They will arrive in Accra tomorrow afternoon. I am excited that both teams will see each other for about 3 hours and will have dinner together.

A side note....when we arrived at the Accra Guesthouse we met some other Texans. How fun!