Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus,
Our first week in Ghana:
We arrived on Saturday evening. One of our first experiences was worshiping on Sunday morning with the Agape church family. It was a wonderful celebration service in their new facility, “every tribe and tongue” praising God, about a dozen people gave their lives to Christ. We were overjoyed to see Rick & Donna Whitcomb and 5 of their 6 children. They are the founding missionaries of Agape who have been serving the Lord in Africa for 27 years. They are seasoned and experienced missionaries who are dearly loved and respected. Jesus said…“learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart…” We quickly noticed how loving and gentle they are in their relationships and leadership. The Agape staff, which is quite large, seems to be a reflection of this Christ like Character and modeling.
”Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
We have observed many qualities of the Ghanaian people and culture: a relationship centered, respectful, people of “community”. Our love for them is growing daily and with each new interaction. We have also observed the affects of sin in this fallen world and the schemes of our enemy, and “we are not unaware of His schemes”. We are reminded that… “He has made everything beautiful in it’s time. He has set eternity in the hearts of men: yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Things… “take time” in Africa:
We now have local cell phones and drivers license’s. We are in the process of opening a bank account, yes – the process, maybe one more week till open. It has been determined that we will need to get settled in a house before becoming immersed in the work, and we are house and vehicle shopping. We are currently living at the Agape guest house, which has been wonderfully established and facilitated by Tom & Kathy Newall. God has been so kind and gentle to us in this transition.
WE GET TO SERVE HIM!
We have met many wonderful people and are beginning to build some friendships. Went out to the orphanage twice this week and were immediately filled with love, compassion and vision for these beautiful children; for their future lives and the school building. These children have been rescued by God through Agape; and are being loved, educated and trained.
… African construction is strong… and lasting. “Train up a child in the way he should go…” – “Fruit that will last”
“If building a school brings souls to Christ, we would be fools not to build!”…“Disciples who make disciples”
“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them,
because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” Mathew 9:36
The temperature is apprx 95-100 and fairly humid – we love it – lot’s of sweating. We are learning about local customs and culture and still have much to learn. We are adjusting pretty well. Accra is the most expensive place to live in West Africa, and one of the most costly in Africa. Houses and utilities in our primary area of interest and ministry, range from about $1,200.00 – $1,800.00 monthly, not including furnishing’s. Gallon of milk = $10.00, etc…we are not drinking much milk, besides, Gov. Arnold said, “milk is for babies”. Even God has said, “get off the milk” (“crave pure spiritual milk”)… “solid food is for the mature”…Hebrews 5:12-14
Please pray with us for:
· Additional/continued support for the Agape Children’s Home and the Academy project.
(the project has a dollar for dollar matching funds pledge)
· God’s clear leading and favor for a house and vehicle; the cost and location.
· Planning, organizing, unity and team building for the academy project.
· that we would be “gentle and humble in heart”, reflecting our Lord’s heart.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world.” James 1:27
gary & siham