Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ghana '09 Student Mission Team


Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matt. 9:37-38


Workers in the harvest field: (Ghana '09 Team Members)


Leah Crowe

Elizabeth Mateer

Audrey Salter

Tayler Insuaste

Birgitte Obenchain

Colton Read

Amy Adams

Caleb Cathey

Taylor Duggan

Jennifer Gray

Gabby Mezarina

Cameron Westmoreland

Ashley Whitby



Monday, October 27, 2008

Baptisms in Tamale



Check out this short video of some recent baptisms that took place in the villages just outside of Tamale, Northern Ghana.

Or click HERE to view it via the Ozment's blog.

The baptisms took place in a small village called Terikpaa. In total there were 24 new converts baptized in a flooded rice paddy. Some of those who passed through the waters were from Shalom Baptist Church in Terikpaa and some from Heritage Baptist Church in Kushibu.

Praise God!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Convert


Haruna Alidu - senior prefect of Kushibo Primary School
From Pastor Mohammed:
I am happy to send you the picture of HARUNAH ALIDU. Harunah is the prefect of Kushibo primary school who converted through the evangelistic avtivities of HCA.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Baptism of New Believers in Ghana

From Pastor Mohammed in Ghana:

I am happy to send you the pictures of the 25 people we baptized on the 21st of September from the Shalom Baptist Church, 21 people are from Shalom baptist Church, while 4 people are from Heritage Baptist Church,Kushibo. We supposed to have baptize another 15 people from Sankpem Church but because of water lock in the area they could not come. Also in Kushibo, not everybody came, because the road at this time is not good, therefore the older people Heritage Baptist could not come so we are planing to get all these people baptize during dry season. I spend a couple of weeks to teached them about the requirements of salvation and then lead them to confess Christ as their persnal savior and Lord, and after the training all these people made the desicions to accept Christ into their lives.

You will be supprise to know that the senior prefect SP of Kushibo primay School was also accepted the Lord and is baptized,he got converted in one of the students from H.C.A. ministry to the students in the school.Please let the children in your school hear this,the boy's name is HARUNA ALIDU.

Pastor Mohammed, 2nd from left










For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.
Luke 19:10


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Update on Fati

Fati is still in hiding in a small village in the Northern Region of Ghana, West Africa. She is living with a pastor's family and is safe, for now. Fati's father is still looking for her. Please continue to pray for Fati as she grows in her faith. Also, pray for her safety.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.
Psalm 125:2

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Village Children


Monday, July 7, 2008

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet (and hands!) of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Isaiah 52:7

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wise Words from a Wise Man



Wise words from Rev. Pat Ozment, IMB missionary to Ghana, West Africa:

God loves to use the insignificant to accomplish the incredible. We are well equipped from the insignificant side, and God’s supplies of the incredible are beyond our comprehension.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A discussion with Pastor Mohammed...

Here is a discussion with Pastor Mohammed on accountability and trials.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Prayer for Fati





Please remember to pray for safety and protection for Fati. She is 14 years old and has been persecuted by her father for becoming a Christian. He hunted for and found her several times, after she escaped from captivity. The last news we have is that she was rescued by a caring pastor and taken to a distant village for safety. Her father had used a bicycle chain to chain her to a pole from early morning until late evening.


Her father travels from village to village selling goods, and it is likely that someone will tell him where she is. He has vowed to put one of her eyes out because of her lack of devotion to Islam.


Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him ; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.
Psalm 91:14-16

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tilee Umbo

There are no words to express my deepest appreciation to all who devoted time to praying for the Ghana mission team. We witnessed the power of God at every turn, we saw the Glory of God manifested all around us, we felt His protection in front and behind, and we experienced His Spirit move in our midst. God was and is good, all the time.

We labored together, lifted praises and song together, prayed and rejoiced together...together with our Ghanaian brothers and sisters in the Lord. We prayed for Rafia, a dying girl who had been snake bitten and we watched and rejoiced, as God did a miracle healing. We bathed in prayer, our sister, Fatia, a young girl of 14, who was tormented day and night, for her faith in Jesus Christ and her refusal to deny Him. Her earthly father locks her inside and binds her with chains, but her Heavenly Father has set her free. She hides in safe places, even as I am writing to you now. May God continue to hide her in the shelter and cover of His mighty wings. We shared the gospel of Christ and over 100 souls came to salvation and they each received a new name, written in the Lambs book of life. We taught over 200 children, stories from the Word of God. We took part in the commissioning of a church. We were able, by the grace of God to register 275 people for government health care. The cost for a year of care is $9 for an adult and $1 for a child, but when a working man only makes $1 to $2 a day, this becomes difficult for families. For the Glory of God, 30 bibles in the Dagboni language, were purchased for churches that have none. We were invited to visit organizations that sponsor poverty stricken children, such as World Vision and Compassion International. We gave an offering for the purchase of chairs that were needed in a local church. We visited an orphanage, where 9 motherless babies were bathed, feed and loved on a daily basis by dedicated and called women. We had the privelege of training teachers in the community, to teach children in the church. We had wonderful meals and wonderful fellowship with missionaries, Pat and Peggy Ozment. We saw old friends and made new friends. We came to Ghana as Americans with American names, and left as Ghanaians with Ghananian names. And our hearts are full. Our hearts are filled with hope. Hope for the people and the country of Ghana. Hope for the growth of the churches, the strengthening of the new converts, the answering to the call of leadership in the churches, and hope for the continued spiritual awakening and the continued rescue for the many who are perishing. Our hearts are filled with gladness for the eternal friendships and relationships made as we labored together with our brothers and sisters of both colors of skin. And our hearts are filled with thanksgiving, for all the prayers and the sacrifices made. May we all be encouraged that our prayers were answered. And why is that? Why does God hear and answer prayer? That He might show Himself mighty and His Glory might be revealed. Our prayers are honored as precious jewels, purified and empowered. Our words rise in a delightful fragrance to our Lord and do not stop, until they reach the very throne of heaven. And so we say to God be the Glory, and to you, we say Tilee Umbo.

In Christ,
Chel-Pong (Vickie Daniels)

A team member's perspective


Well, we have now been home for just under 24 hours, and coming home to family has never felt so wonderful! I praise God for His guiding hand and providential care. I thank Him for all He has done through and in us whilst we have been in Ghana. It was never our work....it was always His.

Many thanks to all who have been praying for us and supporting us. I know your prayers have been heard and answered, and I consider it the greatest privilege to have been part of the team that went 'to the ends of the world' (see Acts 1:8) this past 2 weeks. To God be the glory!

I am sure that there will be many posts on this blog during the next few weeks, and I really want to encourage you to keep checking back regularly to read about all that has gone on in Ghana. It has been amazing, and at times we have been quite simply overwhelmed to see the visible hand of God at work! It has been both awe-inspiring and humbling to have been able to speak to groups of men who have NEVER heard about Jesus Christ. Because of your prayers and support, MANY people have heard about salvation through Jesus Christ for the very first time! How amazing is that?

I also have to make a very public thanks to our team leader Cheryl Read. Cheryl is one of the most self-sacrificial women I have ever met, and has a zeal and love for the Lord that is both infectious and also inspiring. She led the group with a clear vision of the plan that God had set before her, and it has been a great privilege to have been part of the team working with her in Ghana. Her ability to put up with us, lead us and help to bring out the best in Christ through us was wonderful! Thank you Cheryl!

My thanks also go to all team members, each of whom put their all (110%) into the mission. It has been an honor (in Christ) to have served our risen Lord by your side. I pray and hope we can all continue our work in Him, and together impact the lost for the Kingdom of Heaven.

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11

Martin Jones

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

SAFE ARRIVAL IN USA

We are now safely home. Thank you for praying!!

New posts and pictures will be added in the days to come, so check back often. There's so much to share!!

The Ghana Mission Team

Uneasy rest for the weary....


Uneasy rest for the weary...., originally uploaded by cread4.

Thanks,

Doug

Arrived safe in London!


Arrived safe in London!, originally uploaded by cread4.

With sadness we said our goodbye's to pastor Mohammed, Frances, Cecilia and
Ghana. With joy we boarded our flight to take us back home. After six and
a half hours flight time we have arrive in London! Only about 12 hrs to
go!
Thanks,

Doug

Monday, June 30, 2008

On Our Way Home!!

Today (Mon) was a good day. The visit to Agbogbloshie was another eye opener for most of the team members. This is a Dagomba village of about 10,000 squatters, living in unbelievable conditions. We met with about 20 church members to pray with them and give them encouragement. It was wonderful to see Zaccheus, Rebekah, Joshua and Momma. Cheryl gave her a bracelet 5 years ago and she is still wearing it. Incredible.

The market was another cultural experience. We all wanted to be with Elizabeth because of her wonderful negotiating skills. I think she is now part Ghanaian. Gabby gets the prize for buying the largest gift. I have no idea how it is getting home. I don't even know what it is because it is wrapped in plastic.

The Compassion International site visit went very well. About 250 children sang, danced and quoted Scripture for us. We then visited two homes of children waiting fo sponsors. They lived in a "house" that was 5'X5'. There were 3 living the home.

We are about to enjoy chicken and french fries for dinner and then depart for the airport. We hope to sleep from Accra to London, but many of us will be too busy thinking about and processing everything we have seen and done this week. God has been so good to us and we are thankful for His wonderful goodness.

PLEASE PRAY US SAFELY HOME.

We are looking forward to seeing all of you. We are also discussing our first American meal. I heard someone say they were craving Chick Fil A. Personally, I can't wait to have a Dr. Pepper.

Everyone is happy and well. How can one be so sad and yet so happy at the same time?

Blessings to you all,

Cheryl

P.S. Martin's room was decorated from stem to stern in white toilet paper. The girls also printed out "Happy Birthday" and somehow got it up on the wall. Where did they find tape? He says "payback is sweet".

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Arrival in Accra

We have arrived safely in Accra. The journey was very smooth, praise God. Thank you for praying.

We brought Pastor Mohammed back with us on the plane.

Tomorrow we visit Agbogbloshie, a Dagbani village near Accra. This is the first village Vickie and I went to 5 years ago. We will go there to see old friends, but also to pray with and encourage them.

After that, we visit the cultural center (market).

After that, we go to see Pastor Moses at All Souls Baptist Church. This also happens to be a site visit for Compassion International.

We depart Mon at 10:30pm, (ghanaian time). Please pray for a safe journey and rest. We arrive home Tues around 2:30pm.

The kids are having great fun this afternoon. It is Martin's birthday and they want to secretly decorate his room. The only thing we have is toilet paper, so we will see what happens. We have found out that he loves country and western music, so maybe we will sing him a song, Texas style.

Everyone is happy and well. The team has really bonded. Upon arrival to the Miklin, instead of going to our rooms for peace and quiet, we all sat around and talked for over 2 hours.

I am encouraging all the team members to post comments and updates on the blog in the days to come, so check back often.

We are anxious to be home, but sad to leave.

Blessings, Cheryl Read

Safe arrival in Accra! Happy Birthday Martin!

Safe arrival in Accra!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ghanaian Dinner



This is being posted on Friday, June 28


The pictures above are the before and after pictures of Rafia. She is the granddaughter of the late Chief Imorow of Kushibo. She was recently bitten by a snake and had malaria and severe anemia. We heard about her a couple of days ago and went to the hospital to pray over her. Martin prayed a beautiful prayer asking God to heal her. The nurse said she was dying. The next day we heard that she was going to be denied a blood transfusion because her parents could not pay. The team all pitched in and God enabled us to bless the family by providing funds for her care. Today we went to see her again and saw that she had been miraculously healed. The nurse caring for her declared it a miracle!! We praise God for healing Rafia. The father is Muslim. He told us that whilst he felt he was not able to attend the new Church in Kushibo (Heritage Baptist Church), that he would allow his wives and children to attend!


We have just finished a wonderful Ghanaian meal with MomPeggy and Poppa Ozment and Rev Isacc and Grace Wuni. We had a taste of tizit (okra), black-eyed peas in peanut soup, fruit salad made with mango and pineapple and fufu. Fufu is eaten with the fingers. It is like a dumpling that you pick up between your thumb and fingers and scoop the sauce and meat into it. Usually the meat is goat, but we requested beef instead. I'm not sure the students would have touched any of it after receiving the goat as a gift. He is still tied up in the yard of Lansah. I think he is being fattened up. Enough said.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOUG AND MARTIN! We are celebrating with birthday cake, ice cream and cards. Of course we will sing to them, too.


We have had a great day attending the outdooring ceremony. The new baby's name is Chenti-wuni Jessica Napari.


We also went to the Cultural Center, which is a market. Then we rested for a couple of hours.


We are all well.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday 27th June 2008

Everyone is well!

Thank you for your prayers. There have been problems with internet connections locally here, hence the lack of information recently on the blog, but please rest assured and know that we are all well and God is answering prayer and blessing our efforts here.

In recent days we have had the opportunity of speaking to a large number of people from the Dagbani tribe about Jesus Christ for the very first time! We have also been running VBS style activities in a local school for tribal children, registering families for state health care, teaching Sunday School teachers how to plan lessons, partnering with the Ghana Baptist Seminary in Tamale and engaging in one to one street evangelism, visiting and bringing supplies to a local Christian orphanage, acquiring Bibles in the native mother-tongue of the Dagbani tribe for the leaders of the Christian Churches, assiting in local evening 'crusades'......

GOD IS GOOD! Praise God for all of His many blessings. We have seen a number of people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord this week! Souls have been saved!

All of this is of course God's work and not our own. We are continually aware of the need to rely and trust in Him at all times. It is a process during which we have felt His strength, but at the same time we are accutely aware of the forces of evil that constantly surround this region. Even as I type this post, I can hear the Muslim call to prayer wailing in through the window.

Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement. Please keep them coming! We are due to leave the Northern Region (Tamale) on Sunday at 11.45am (local time) and return to Accra. We will be leaving Ghana Monday late afternoon for London as scheduled.

Written by Martin Jones for all of the Mission Ghana 08 team.

Ghana Update

It is noon on Friday as this is being typed and sent. This update is from Cheryl

The last few days have been incredible. The team has been extremely busy from early morning until late evening. Also, there has been no internet access and that is why there has not been any updates.

Everyone is doing just fine. Everyone is well and safe and good. Ashley told me she was loving every minute off this and she does not want to leave, but not to worry, I will make sure she gets on the plane home. Gabby is my morning sunshine. She wakes up every morning, throws her hands in the air and loudly proclaims, "Good Morning Mrs. Read!".

Yesterday, the entire team went to Kushibo to help register over 275 for healthcare services. The healthcare is free, but there is a fee to register. The villagers are too poor to pay the fee. Being able to meet not only spiritual needs, but humnaitarian needs is a wonderful thing. The villagers were so appreciative that they gave us more eggs. We ate them for breafast this morning.

Yesterday afternoon, we went to meet Richard Newman's World Vision sponsored child. Richard, you would have been so proud. Almost the entire team danced with the village drummers and took probably hundreds of pictures to share with you. You are a famous man in this village and they have asked that you come and stay with them. Jason, Zach and I went to Moses' hut and met his parents. He was presented with the gifts and funds you sent. He is a very handsome young man and was so appreciative. In your honor, they presented us with about 60 guinea eggs. I may have trouble bringing them on the plane, though.

Last night was our last night of the crusade. I think that there have been about 25 converts. More on that later.

Last night was also our last training sessions. Vickie and Stephanie have done an excellent job training the teachers to teach Sunday School.

This afternoon is the orphan home visit. I'm not sure our hearts can take it. Birgitte and Elizabeth will be presenting items from our team. We brought bottles, diapers, clothes and shoes. Thank you so much to those of you that contributed financially.

I am being called away for lunch so I cannot write any more. Today we are headed also to the Ghana Bible Society. Doug and Martin are purchasing 30 Bibles to give to the leaders at Tarikpaa Church. This will be a huge blessing to them.

There is so much more than I cannot write now. Please continue with your comments and prayers. Your words encourage us to "keep on keeping on."

Blessings, Cheryl

Like rain, God poured down his Spirit upon the Crusades on Tues, Wed and Thurs evenings.

Monday, June 23, 2008

1 goat, 100 guinea eggs, and 2 bowls of rice

...these are the gifts presented to the Ghana Mission Team at the commissioning service of the new Heritage Baptist Church in Kushibu. What a glorious day!

Presently, we are at Pat and Peggy's for a stopover to drop off the goat. We gave it to Lansah, the caretaker for the Ozments. He has many children and is very poor. This will feed his famiy for one week.

The children named the goat "William" and I promised them we would not serve him for dinner while we are here.

Instead, I have sent our driver to the market to get yam balls for a treat. They are like hushpuppies.

Mom Peggy is "babysitting" the children tonight. They are going to sit on her screened-in front porch and play games and eat ice cream while the adults go to Rev Wuni's church and train Sunday school teachers.

This day has been very productive, praise God. The students did an outstanding job in the village school.

I was able to sit under a big African tree and do "storying" with about 50 village women. They were very receptive and listened well. I was more blessed than I can describe here.

Pray Pray Pray for the work as it continues. Pray for our health, pray for God's spirit to be like a fire through the villages and schools. Pray for good understanding with our interpreters. Pray for Phatou, our Muslim driver. Zach invited him to sit with him at the back of the church during Martin's sermon. This is huge for a devout Muslim man to enter a Christian church. He especially loved Mary's song. Mom Peggy says that Phatou is a man of peace, rather than a man of goodwill, and men of peace are more accepting of the Gospel.

More later. The yam balls have arrived!!!!! Salisbury steak for dinner. MMMMmmmmmm..........

Cheryl


An eye opening experience...

Greetings from Ghana! Since we are blessed to be able to spend some time with Pastor Pat and his wife Peggy we are able to post some photos over the past few days. We thought you might enjoy being able to share in this experience and see the important work that is being done for God's kingdom.


The Team Arrives in Accra, Ghana

Our plane to Tamale!



Accra from the Air

We arrive at the guest house in Tamale



Paul, Cynthia and Baby Nepari!

We head off for the Kushibo for the Church opening

We greet the head chief of the region and are welcomed by him

We arrive at the Church

Cheryl and Village leaders cut the ribbon to open the new Heritage Baptist Church Kushibo!

Dancer's worship

Cheryl presents the funds to buy a grinding wheel for the village!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Team's Perspective

A few members of the team have been able to get internet access while staying at Pastor Pat and Peggy's home, so we thought we would put a brief post on the blog.

Today was a true African experience for all the team members from African tribal dances to seeing poverty up close and personal. We participated in the Kushibo church commission services, which has been named Heritage Baptist Church. First, we met with the chief of Zugu who granted us permission to enter the village because Kushibo has not named the new chief yet. Then it was the start of the day's adventures. We arrived at Kushibo with a warm welcome from all the children who attached themselves to each and everyone of us. Each child grabbed on to all of our fingers. Cheryl Read helped cut the ribbon with Pastor Steven to enter the new church. The commission started off with wonderful Dagbani worship. Martin Jones entertained us all with his wonderful dance moves. We all soon followed after him.

On a serious note it was obvious to see the great spiritual and physical need of the people of Kushibo. The preacher's message was directed at the Muslim leaders in the village who were there at the service. Even though they were probably not Christians we know that a seed was planted.

Martin preached a wonderful sermon at Koinonia Baptist Church and Mary sang a beautiful song.

God is answering prayers and all of the members of the team are well. Please continue to pray for us and the Ghanaians we interact with.

Team Mission Ghana 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

On to Tamale, finally

In line with our schedule, we arrived at the Accra airport at 5am for a 6:15 flight to Tamale. Well, who needs a schedule when we have Ghaniantime. The flight was delayed and actually departed at 10am.


It was a smaller plane than we expected, but God is good and the flight was also good. We arrived just in time for a quick lunch (another dose of Chicken and Rice) and off to an opening ceremony at Pastor Wuni's church. (Well, after a quick hugfest with Pat and Peggy.) In addition to his church, Pastor Wuni is the president of the Tamale Baptist Association and student in the seminary where Pat Ozment (IMB missionary) teaches.


As the ceremony was concluding, the Ghanians announced that it is their custom to share a drink of water (valuable resource) with their honored guests. Two men brought in a cooler, and we were very relieved to see that they had a bottle of Coke-a-Cola for each person. They also had meat kabobs, which we nibbled at so as not to offend.


After other greetings and meetings. We went to Pat and Peggy's house. Peggy had offered to fix dinner for the whole team. We were prepared for another feathered friend to sacrifice it's life for dinner, but Peggy fixed spaghetti and for dessert we had poundcake with chocolate syrup! The kids are thinking this is not such a bad place!!


Another blessing, and there have been many already, our group was to be split into two guest houses with Elizabeth, Birgitte, Martin, Mary and Aidan staying a short distance away for two nights. Peggy offered to host them, and they quickly agreed, so they are staying with Pat and Peggy for the first two nights. What a deal!

We just love people from Alabama. They are not Texans, but they sure are family. It is easy to see how God can use people like this.

We are exhausted, but excited about what God has planned for tomorrow. Please pray for the ribbon-cutting and Worship service at Kushibu church.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Arrival in Accra, Ghana

Safe arrival for the Baker's Dozen, also known as the Ghana Mission team, in the capital city of Accra, Ghana!

Good news is that everyone is well and personal belongings also arrived. Things are going according to plan with Francis and Cecelia Osei, along with Pastor Mohammed, meeting the team at the airport and getting everyone to the hotel.

Of the 13 boxes being shipped, 3 did not make the transfer in London. British Airways assured us that they will send the boxes on to the northern region in the next day or two. Please pray that the boxes are located and do indeed catch up to the team. They contain teachings supplies for use with the children in the school.

Saturday morning (which is around 1am in Texas), the team boards another plane for the final destination, Tamale.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We're Off to Ghana!



After much preparation and anticipation, we're finally off to Ghana. There are not enough words to express our appreciation for your words of encouragement and prayers. As I write, we are sitting at the airport, waiting to board. Everyone is excited and ready for this great adventure with God. We know we are in your hearts and prayers as much as you are in ours.


I think God wanted us teach us patience right off because not long after getting to our gate for the 2 hr wait, a very loud, annoying alarm began going off. It was more like a siren. The kids are happy because located right beside our gate is a candy store. They are now well stocked with gummies, sour patch, chocolate and jelly beans.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Mission: June 19-July 1



Check this blog daily for updates from the field! You are encouraged to leave comments, words of encouragement, prayers, etc. on the blog. The entire team will be able to see them.

The purpose of this mission trip is very simple. We are going to tell the Dagomba tribe of Ghana, West Africa, about Jesus. Many of them have never even heard His name.

We ask that you pray for our safety, health and boldness in witnessing.

There is a link to a detailed prayer calendar on the right side of the page. Won't you join us in asking God to bring a great harvest of souls into His Kingdom?