Chilmark Church – November 22, 2015
Endi- in the language of the Ewe people of Ghana West Africa – Endi – good morning. It is good to be with you this morning, Just this past Wednesday, we returned from Ghana after almost three weeks there. It was a busy and God blessed time for us. Joining Carol and I were summer residents of Windy Gates, Alan and Evonne Lipke. Evonne is a recently retired teacher and Alan, a producer of documentaries for public radio. As many of you may already know, we have made over a dozen trips working with our United Church of Christ Global Mission Partner, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church,Ghana. Our’s is a ministry of presence, meeting people where they are and helping them to become what God would want them to be.
We each brought over to Ghana 3 – 50 pound suitcases, full of medical supplies, school materials, eyeglasses and clothing for widows and orphans and as well as funds to support projects, schools, the cured lepers’ village, scholarships and programs of the church and community. These funds were raised through donations and the sale of goods, often at the Chilmark Flea Market. We purchased goods from local craftsmen and projects of the church.
This year our mission was one of encouragement. Wherever we were, we encouraged, and enabled persons. We visited 18 different schools reminding them that education was important, that teachers work was of worth & value and that students needed to be in school. We also delivered educational materials to them. We delivered 25 first kits to schools and project areas. We helped with school fees, purchased school uniforms and offered scholarships to worthy junior high and post junior high school students. We encouraged a teacher and financial helped her to prepare for her accreditation exam.
We visited and delivered medical goods, PT apparatus, breathing equipment, and unexpired prescription medicines to the Volta Regional Hospital in Ho encouraging their leadership and staff to carry on. We encouraged the students at Mawuko Girls High by delivering funds to help further furnish the resource and learning center.
We encouraged the eco-clubs at junior high schools and contributed to Relbonet – an interfaith Christian-Muslim group which supports those eco-clubs. This project is lead by Charles Agboklu, an agent of the EP Church, Ghana. We met with and encouraged a church sponsored fire team who protected 8,000 trees from those who would burn the bush to scare out animals for food. We visited their teak plantation and met with the leaders of that community at Adaklu Waya.
We encouraged and helped fund the building of a new junior high school in Takla- the old one could fall down during the next heavy rain. In Dzofeme Avatime, we encouraged the renovation and helped toward the funding of a new roof for its chapel. We visited its schools and its elders and got an up- date on its water/sanitation project.
We met with the leadership and paramount chief of Kpenoe and were accompanied by the chief as we brought words of encouragement and food to the cured lepers village. We saw a new clinic being built to enable that village to have closer and better medical care.
We worshipped and prayed with 3 congregations, including at a funeral and met with pastors and catechists at those places. We met with the chief and leaders of Takla Gbogame and looked at the water/ sanitation issues, dilapidated junior high and arranged for an inoculation program for their 700 goats and sheep to coincide with the program in two adjacent villages.
We met with educational officials and learned of the crying need in rural areas for resources to enable students to pass national exams. We encouraged families to pay up past due school fees so children could stay in school.
Alan Lipke conducted radio workshops at Ho Polytechnic and its radio station, 98.5 AM Volta Premier, helping students produce documentary stories. Yvonne and Carol taught in schools and brought & helped students make crafts which are rarely done.
In addition, we visited several communities and participated in two cultural programs of dance, drama and song; toured a Monkey Sanctuary; visited the highest water fall in West Africa at Wli; as well as the slave dungeon at Elmina .
We encouraged a pastor and lay church leader by giving them Bible study material and shared our faith and heard their stories. We met with development people at the church headquarters and the leaders of the 800 congregation Evangelical Presbyterian church and worshipped with them.
It was a busy and fruitful time and everywhere we went we experienced warm hospitality, deep appreciation and a sense that God is alive and well and working out His plan. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Thank you for your prayers, for having the summer flea market where we met Alan and Evonne and helped raise funds. Akpena malu – thank you God. Akpe – thank you