Saturday, 2 March 2013

Entry #23

It has been a whirl wind of activity in the last few weeks, but we are seeing great progress as new areas are being
opened up in Northern Ghana. We now have 8 new missionaries in Tamale (which we mentioned previously) and
will soon have missionaries for the first time in the city of Techiman. With the work going forward at a very rapid
pace there is a new branch or group formed almost every month.

We recently traveled to Obuasi, which is one of the main gold mining areas of Ghana. The city is fairly large and we
have a beautiful church building there. We recently divided the branch to form two branches of the church there
and the leadership is very strong and well trained. Much of their services were in English, which is a change from
many of the units we attend (most teaching is done in the tribal language of Twi). We were impressed with the
youth speakers during their church services. The quality of the youth speakers exceeded what you generally see in
America. We reviewed their records and did some training while there and were impressed with their knowledge
and systems that are in place.

We also had the opportunity earlier this week to make a trip to the capital city of Accra and again have the blessing
of attending a session at the temple. It was such a peaceful and uplifting experiences to feel the peace and
tranquility of the temple – a sharp contrast with the hustle and bustle in the Ghanaian cities. We took the more
direct route to Accra this time, since the roads have improved somewhat. Instead of 5-1/2 hours it only took us
4 hours this time; however there was about 22 kilometers of the trip that were really treacherous – almost more
than our Toyota Corolla could handle, but we made it there and back without any mishap. (On both of our trips - to
Accra and Obuasi – we earned our PHD degree, our pot hole dodging degree. Some of them were almost impossible
to get out of!) We were able to take care of a lot of mission business at the West Africa Area offices while we were
in Accra. We have found that if you are not looking people in the eye you don’t get results, so we try to take care of
a lot of business when we travel to Accra – finance items, distribution items, travel and passport issues, reports, legal
and postal issues, etc. etc.

One of the great blessings we experienced while visiting the temple was the privilege to meet with a group of 48
saints who had traveled at great sacrifice from Liberia to attend the temple. They flew in and scheduled a full week
to be at the temple to have many families sealed together and to do additional temple work. Their dedication to
the Lord is truly amazing. We have some pictures we have included below. One family was particularly interesting
to us – the Ben Wilson Family. Rodney mentioned to Brother Wilson that his uncle served in Liberia as a mission
president. Brother Wilson looked at the Elder Palmer name tag and said – oh you mean Duffy Palmer. We
responded affirmatively. He then said,” I know him well. I was a youth when he served as a mission president”.
A picture below shows him and his family of 7 children, who were there to be sealed in the temple. They were a
beautiful family.

We also enjoyed the Wisseh family. Brother Randall Wisseh returned from being a missionary in Nigeria a couple of
years ago and is now married with one child. They, likewise, were at the temple to be sealed as an eternal family.
Generally the little children are reluctant to warm up to a white couple, but the little girl, named Ramata without
hesitation responded to her dad’s encouragement to come to Rodney and she came over and got on his lap. She
stayed there till it was time for us to go.

When we returned to Kumasi we sent both of these families an email with the pictures we had taken of their
families. The faith, humility, sacrifice and spirit of these wonderful people is impossible to describe, you have to be
there to witness and appreciate.

Finally the dry spell is over here. All of the grass is brown and many trees have fallen over due to lack of moisture.
And the dust has been terrible in the air. Finally it has rained and when it rains it pours. But, what a relief. We
should be wet and humid for many months to come. We are grateful to have cleaner air and a washed earth.

Congratulations to Bronson Clayton, Matt & Tana’s son, who was baptized last Sunday. We are proud of you!


Mom and Dad

Farewell (going home) dinner for the Thayne’s seated on the sofa on the right. Mission President and his wife also on the sofa and the new senior couple, the Reiss’s, and us standing. We are really lucky to have a piano!

Once or twice a week we pick up parcels for the missionaries here. Unbelievable experience – mail all over – nothing automated – all by hand. The people are nice and will carry the sack of packages to the car for us – for a tip.
Another shot of the post office while Rodney is trying to wait patiently as we wade through the red tape. We come in and they automatically give us – “mom & dad” – chairs to sit in and then we have to wait for them to find our mail and packages. Then we have to sign a huge book next to the listed packages that we are taking with us.

Lady we stopped and visited with – sewing with a crank operated machine. They make all of their bright native dresses with these sewing machines. I am hoping to learn some sewing techniques that they use from a seamstress who is a member and is just around the corner. That is a Butterfly machine made in China – looks like a Singer! And they are very portable – they’re even carried on their heads when they take them other places.

The Obuasi Church building where we visited and did some training and helped the local leadership. Yup, it’s up those stairs and on the top floor. It’s very nice inside.

Near the Obuasi church building – Palmers and Reiss’s. Thank goodness we traveled in their truck – our car would never have made it!

The gateway to the gold mining city of Obuasi and the road of terrible pot holes to go back home on!

Sister Modise and Sister Ngwenya at our apartment. They love to come and visit and stayed for nearly two hours. They are very happy and love to talk. We really enjoyed having them. They are from South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Incredible load bags of charcoal that people use to cook with.
Another typical Ghanaian load in a taxi. They carry anything and everything - - -
Load of bicycles

Saints from Liberia getting instruction for housing during their temple trip. They just flew in from Liberia.

Randall Wisseh family mentioned above
Ben Wilson Family mentioned above. A very happy family.

Accra temple at night – the entrance. You can see Moroni up at the top.

Accra Temple grounds from the adjoining building in which we stayed overnight (Monday until Tues.) It has nice rooms with three bunk beds in each for people who travel to attend the temple. It costs us only $1.50/night or 3Ghana Cedees. Not bad.

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