From September 21 through 23rd, Jefferson and I, and 26 discipleship practitioners from seven African countries and United States gathered in Nairobi, Kenya for a “Discipleship Symposium.” The goal: to “Look Upward, Look Backward and Look Forward in regards to effective discipleship practices.
Joe Williamson from Carmel, Indiana joined us for this gathering. Joe is the founder of TSOAR Ministries, and our primary partner in CLTI’s discipleship focus in Liberia. Joe’s initial ministry started with a sponsorship of a needy student at NEGST (an African International University) in Nairobi, Kenya. From that small beginning, the discipleship ministry is now carried on by communities in seven African countries including Liberia. Participants gave thrilling testimonies of how God is using their TSOAR ministry to change lives in their nations.
Joe has this message to all the participants: “Listen to God and do what He asks you to do.” This requires spending time with the Lord, discovering the truth, trusting, surrendering, obeying, abiding and reconciling—TSOAR.
This was Jefferson’s first time to travel outside of Liberia. He was challenged as well as inspired, and enjoyed every bit of the experience. When Jefferson saw a microwave for the first time, he asked me, “Is this a small TV’?
On this trip, Jefferson and I learned many effective practices of disciple making and mentoring. So, we are ready and will be integrating some of the new ideas we acquired.
From September 24 through 27th, we had training in developing ministry partners. Ministry is teamwork. We are designed to need God and each other. No one person has all the skills, gifts and wisdom to doing it alone successfully. “There can be no jealousy or internal competition in teamwork when the whole team is working for the glory of God.” The Apostle Paul puts it well: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow,” (I Cor. 3:6).
Ministry partners are essential to move God’s mission forward. Developing ministry partners will be a key driving force for our upcoming trip to the United States in October.
Accra, Ghana- 5-day stay-over
The primary agenda that drove us to Ghana: to visit a couple high schools, and we did visit two. We met headmasters and listened to their stories—challenges and good practices. We listened, learned and noted every good and significant point—all learning processes. Now we are looking forward to integrating good practices when our high school is ready to open its doors in 2020.
Emmanuel Akorli, our Ghana’s entrepreneurship partner
Emmanuel has been a director for the Mission Resource-Ghana for over 15 years. We were honored to sit at his feet and learn from him as much as we could. Mr. David Ketchum, founder and President of Mission Resource International, and our entrepreneurship partner in the United States connected us to Mission Resource-Ghana. Our special thanks to David! We will now return to Liberia to share tons of incredible information with Yah and her entrepreneurship team.
God’s Extra Provision
Thirty years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Professor Kingsley Labi in Kenya. Our initial connection goes back to 1988 at NEGST (an Africa International University) both pursuing theological studies. His family and ours became very close friends for about three years. But our friendship came to an end when we both completed our studies and
went our way—he back to Ghana, and I to the nation of Gambia. Later Kingsley went to the UK and obtained a Ph.D. in Old Testament and I went to Loyola University to pursue a Ph.D. in higher education.
On Tuesday, October 2nd, after 30 years, we met again! We hug, cheer, pray, and praise God for our family and above all, the call of God on our lives to serve him. Professor Kingsley is currently the founder of Regent University of Science and Technology, a renowned and reputable highly academic institution in Accra, Ghana.
Amazingly Kind: Mrs. Maggie Mensah
We had planned to stay in a hotel. But every move was difficult as hotel prices are very high in Accra, and we had extremely low budget. Then God answered our prayer. Tonzia,
our daughter, texted and informed us that her Ghanaian friend in Minnesota (an old student mate from Anderson University in Indiana) had contacted her mother, asking if we could stay in her home. This was the answer to shortfall budget, but not sure how this would work out. It turned out Maggie is an amazingly kind mother and grandmother. We enjoyed delicious homemade food for two great days and nights. Thank you “Grandma Maggie,” I will come back again and again!
On the day of departure, Maggie took us to a tree nursery and we purchased few varieties of trees and flowers for our future campus beautification. We brought royal palm, Indian trees, Christmas trees, orange trees, and avocado trees—all for future campus landscaping. They are already being watered!
We thank God for the opportunities and learning we were able to experience on this trip, and we pray that we will use what we learned in a way which honors God to the fullest.