The beginning of this month was also the beginning of our meetings in Senya. Pres. Simpson has asked me to serve as the group leader in Senya. Our first meeting, Sunday 4 November 2018, was held in the classroom of the government grade school. We came early to set up and was delayed because security had put an additional lock on the headmaster’s door. Kwame took it off with my hammer.
The Winneba district presidency came, President Arloo Yankson, and presided. He was very helpful in explaining the program to those who came in their native language. There were a total of 24 people in attendance. After our two hour service, the district leaders (4 of them) visited with the new people we are teaching. He then asked if on this Friday we could assemble in Senya to find members and other interested people and invite them to church.
Today, Sister Russell and I picked up Eric Alya at GMAD and took him to the West Hills Mall where he got his first debit card from Standard Chartered bank. We shopped at Game (a new store in the mall) and traveled home.
Due to the proverbial delay going through the Liberia junction it took us 2 ½ hours to go less than 5 miles. Something has got to give. This delayed travel on the busiest highway in all of Ghana is a major problem.
Tomorrow is our district meeting and Elder Memmott is our district leader. He and his companion, Elder Entsie, are assigned to Senya full time. We are praying for a miracle in finding those who are ready for the gospel in their lives and we can help bring them unto Christ.
We returned from Accra after having been gone for three days. The Awutu Breku elders went to Senya and we went to say farewell to our friends the Ballsteadts. On our way to Accra we stopped at K5 and picked up a mattress and took it to the elders at K4. We then went to K3 to deliver goods and then on to Accra. We met up with Benjamin, Linda’s son, and visited her in the Accra psychiatric center. She is doing well.
Bill and Binki Hill, Elder and Sister Gomez, the Ballstaedts, the Simpsons, Ben and Matthew and his wife and daughter, met together and had dinner at the Chinese restaurant near the mission home.
On our return Saturday morning we delivered 6 bicycles, Liahonas and various and sundry items to missionaries at Odorkor, Weija, K3, K1, K2 and Bawjiase. Traveling back through Bawjiase down the Swedru rough road to the Bontrase turn off took us back to Awutu Breku. It took us 1 ½ hours and traveled 45 K. That was much better than traveling from Kasoa to Buduburam through traffic. On Tuesday when we took Eric to the West Hills mall our return trip took over 2 ½ hours from Yoo Mart to the Liberia junction. This delay is due to traffic pile-up caused by 200 yards of rough roads through the Liberia junction. Never again!
Tomorrow is our second meeting with the Senya group. As group leader, I have arranged the Sunday program and hope all will go well on set up.
Life here is much like Mitchner’s novels…the reality of things often lends itself to end in tragedy for some and joy for others, depending upon the strata of the society. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer in many instances.
Sister Russell and I have been reading Mitchner’s novels together. We have finished Centennial and are now half way through Caribbean. We are glad to live in a time the society was not controlled by the Catholic church or tyrannical lords or emperors.
Senya! Well the first week we met there were 24 of us in the prescribed chapel of the government school room. Last week we were crowded in the same room sitting on small desks numbering 42. Today we are meeting as a zone to campus all of Senya along with those leaders from the Winneba district.
This should be a day to remember.
Beyond ourselves and our mission experiences there is plenty to do here. We ride our mountain bikes at least weekly, exercise, go on walks seeing many in the community. We shop at Shoprite in the West Hills Mall not to mention the Kasoa open market place. But most of our mission activities are caring for the missionaries, taking care of our Senya group and performing assignments from the president.
I have to admit life together with Dawn on the mission has been delightful. She is such a creative person and skilled in caring for the primary children, the household and the missionaries’ meals at our home and at district meetings. I love being with her throughout the day and spending nights unwinding over a game of Scrabble or Skip-bo.
I must mention our involvement with the needy. Occasionally and more often we break down and finance someone’s needs, either medical or living expenses. There are always people asking for aid. Helping Linda has been very expensive because of her medical conditions. She has been in the psychiatric hospital and now headed to the diabetes hospital for therapy. Her son, Benjamin has relied upon us to pay the expenses. However, I foresee no end to the costs ahead. Then there is Solomon needing money for his daughter, Georginia needing cedis to care for Dennis and Ivy (her children), and little Georginia needing money for school, as well as her sister Grace needing money to go to boarding school. Just to name a few.
Lastly, I must mention bicycles. The missionaries request “new” bikes each week because the used bikes they ride break down due to old replacement parts, abuse and accidents. Last week I delivered six bikes (all that would fit into the back of the vehicle) and could have used a couple more. So off to Accra soon to pick up more bicycles.
Yesterday we spent the day at Senya. There were three districts supplying missionaries from Winneba, Kasoa and Buduburam. We met at 12:00 noon at Akoitse and caravanned to Senya. Elder Memmott supervised our plans to campus the area.
Sister Russell and I selected a side street and walked down talking to people and inviting them to come to sacrament meeting on Sunday. We visited with 8 groups of people. All of them were welcoming and would listen to us as we told them about the church.
Today we are going back to Senya to repair the DA JHS classroom. Hinges to be added to the door, desks need repaired, white boards to be hung and signs to be attached to the school. Tomorrow will be interesting to see how many will actually come to church.
Well, there were 32 at church on Sunday the 18th of November. Agnes came after we invited her to attend our services. We met her on the street and invited her to come.
Thanksgiving is over, thank heavens! It was a big event for us since we had 12 guests as the missionaries from our district all came as well as the zone leaders. Sister Russell and I started Wednesday night making apple and pumpkin pies. Then on Thursday we prepared the potatoes, beans, gravy, deviled eggs, stuffing, chicken, jello salad and vegetable rice.
Also, Thursday morning I spent time putting together the backboard for the new basketball stand. The rim was attached and the entire structure was hoisted up to the railings on the water tower. It is quite functional.
This evening we are hosting President Simpson for two nights. He is traveling to Winneba (he is the presiding authority over the Winneba district) for two days. His wife, Jinny, is in Australia for their youngest son’s wedding.
Saturday we had 6 baptisms. Five were from one family, William and Bernice and children. Also, my favorite was Samuel because he is 12 years old and eligible for the priesthood and pass the sacrament, now I will not have to conduct the meetings and pass the sacrament.
On Sunday, following the six confirmations and meetings the elder and I took William and Samuel to Winneba to be interviewed for the priesthood and put in the membership records. Like much of what happens in Africa, it took a very long time to do the interviews and hunt down someone with the password to get into the records on the computer. After 4 hours we got it all done and drove back to Senya with William and Samuel. Whew!! At least we came home to dinner already made.
The last days of November were very warm. The hot season will be replaced by Homaton in December. The days of dust from the Sahara fill the air for several months. The only advantage is it is much cooler.
Yesterday was our transfer multi-zone conference. President Simpson is a master at teaching. The biggest problem with our missionaries is their dedication to teaching the gospel. A few are distracted by worldly things, i.e. music, entertainment, cell phone conversations. They also need to rise up in the mornings by 6:30, spend appropriate time teaching and have their companion study time each day.
Today, Sister Russell and I were up early and riding our bicycles throughout the community. We rode across the road and discovered places to ride. We visited with many folks as they do their morning chores. Sister Russell helped a lady scale fish. They are friendly even though they do not know how to speak English and we do not know Twi.
Tomorrow we will mark off the last day of November and start planning for Christmas activities with our missionaries and our Senya group.
|Riding in Breku|
|First Senya Meeting|
|Riding my Gary Fisher bike|
|Samuel swimming at Winton school|
|Elder Memmott at Senya classroom|
|Thanksgiving with the elders|
|Dawn biking through the water on the trail|
|Ivy's birthday party|
|First 6 baptized from Senya|
|Scaling fish for a lady|
|Sister Russell's primary class at Senya|