Sunday, 28 October 2012

Entry #14

“Another week in Paradise” – I am sure there are those would say that it is anything but Paradise. When it comes to many of the wonderful African people and fantastic young men and young women serving as missionaries it is truly Paradise. When it comes to the poverty, harsh living conditions, treacherous roads and traffic conditions and overall concern for your safety and welfare – then it would be considered by many to be anything but Paradise.

As we mentioned last week we visited the Agona-Asamang Branch for a Branch Conference and assisted in training and teaching at the conference. The members are eager to learn and are very teachable. Travel conditions, as always are challenging and risky, at best. It took us nearly two and a half hours to go a distance of 10 miles or so, and when you arrive you are just thankful you are still alive.

The building was packed with members – more than in the picture below. They were even outside on the porch. And when we had Relief Society (the Women’s Organization meeting) lesson in the classroom, it was packed full of beautiful women ready to learn – such a great sight.

We have a great story of faith associated with one of the villages that we will share with you next week.

This week at the Asokwa Ward meeting we watched the Primary Presentation by the Primary children. It was really great. It was pretty much run by the Primary president. There are only two leaders – her and her sister. And all of the children are together from Nursery age to 13 – for two hours. It’s amazing! But, can they sing! Each of the 25 children (not nursery age, of course) went up to the pulpit and said a memorized part. They all knew it – no prompting. And when a child was to short, even with the stool, the Bishop would lift them up so they could talk in the microphone. One little girl was walking up to say her part and everyone started chuckling. She would need to be lifted up, but she was quite chubby and they knew the Bishop would have to lift her. Well, he did and had a noticeably difficult time compared to the others. Still, she did a perfect job. And they knew all of the songs and sang out so strongly. Well done!

We continue to marvel at the way the Priesthood takes care of the Sacrament with such respect and reverence. The men/young men are all in their white shirts and are sure to do a perfect job. At one meeting we attended in a branch, a Deacon’s little sister wanted to stand there with him. She was insistent. Her mother got her back, but then she followed him as he passed it to the members. She knew he was doing something very reverent.

A sister here told us that most of the women wear their very expensive clothes on Sunday to their churches because if they don’t they are shunned and forced out. The churches just want those who look good and have money. Most church here are businesses so want the more affluent. She stopped going to the church because she was quite poor. Now she is a member of the church and is grateful that we are not looking for wealth but for the humble and the pure in heart. She is a wonderful person and has three cute little children.

Well, every day we hear music and chattering. I call it “the heartbeat of Ghana.” Music always playing with a heavy beat and people always talking. The evenings are their social time because it’s too hot inside their homes. They are always out walking and talking and children playing. They are a very social culture.

As always our love and prayers are with you constantly. We miss all of you, but we also feel that the Lord is happy with our service here in Africa.


Mom and Dad

Agona- Asamang Branch – The picture was taken well before the meeting started. Every seat was filled with about 50 outside on an adjoining patio by the time the meeting was under way.

This is the land behind the Agona-Asamang church building where a family lives. There were chicken and a goat earlier.

Mom and Sisters in the Branch - they have very colorful clothing.
Dad with several men of the Branch that begged for a picture with him. We provided them each a copy of the picture afterwards.

50 or 60 year old tractor and trailer, which we regular see during our travels. After they are worn out in the US they must send them here to finish wearing out. Notice – only three tires, not four like it’s supposed to have.

Several cows tied down in a three wheel vehicle – going to the slaughter. How did they get them in there and pushed down so they could be tied so tightly?

More cattle (2)tied down – going to slaughter – part of a Muslim holiday feast preparation. How did they get them in there?

The power is out for 4 or 4 hours several nights a week – so dinner by lantern light is common. At least we have a propane stove. Just wish we had battery powered fans! Can you see the family pictures on the wall? There are others around the corner too. You are with us.

This is a young woman carrying her baby sister on her back. The little girl is very contented – sleeping. Notice where her black shoes are under her sister’s arms – typical. The little girl on the left (about 12 years old) is carrying her little sister too. The little one is quite big for her sister to carry. They love to take care of their brothers and sisters.

This is the way they transport goats – on top of a bus. They are tied together up there and very scared.

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