Thursday, February 10, 2011

Last day in Tarkwa

As we finish up the last couple of days in Tarkwa, we are showered with brotherly love and greetings to carry back with us to Covington.  All these brothers and sisters have been added to our worldwide family in Jehovah's organization.  May Jehovah continue to bless all their efforts each and every day.  Thank you Tarkwa Sign Language Group and Tarkwa English congregation for having us and sharing your humble, but large hearts.  We're off to back to Accra and Ghana Branch to prepare for our exit from Ghana, with tears of joy, sadness and appreciation.

(Jeremy, Brandon, everyone sends their love to you.)

Deann and Elli

Saturday, February 5, 2011

On the road to Akyempin

Saturday service...nine of us from the ASL group decided to go to Akyempin.  They have found 10 deaf ones there before and witnessed to them, but have heard there may be about five more.  Akyempin is a two hour bus or trotro ride on this road deep into the bush of Ghana (not to mention the hour or so you spend at the station waiting for the bus to fill up so they can leave).  After arrival you have to clean up a bit from the dirt road and begin walking the village.  We spent about 2-3 hours in the village and ended up making only three return visits/bible studies.  Apparently there was a funeral nearby, and the rest were "not-at-home".  You have to watch your time out there as the rides back to Tarkwa become fewer as the day draws to a close.  So at 3:30 the bus pulled out and we were on it for the two hour ride home, giving the other passengers magazines to read.  A long way for not-at-homes, yes?  But so worth the three we found!  Those experiences you'll have to wait to hear about when we get home...

Deann and Elli

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Last Two Days

As you heard yesterday, we went to Bogoso. Upon arriving at the TroTro station for our upcoming 1.5 hour ride we bought tickets. It costs 2 cedis for the ride, about $1.40 USD. Just as we identified the rusty, beat-up TroTro that was our transportation, the sliding door fell off the van. When one of the brothers turned around and said “that’s your ride” we couldn’t help but all look at each other and laugh! It turned out that we got there in one piece, no need to worry. We visited 4 deaf bible students, all eager to see us and learn something new about the bible.

Today we stayed local and went to visit a few students here in town.  Upon finishing our day Deann and I caught a taxi back to the other side of town to run an errand (a minimum of 4 passengers and the driver is the norm here) so we took the opportunity to talk to the other passengers. One of the women asked if we were working here and we explained that we were Jehovah’s Witnesses and that we were here to teach the deaf about the Bible. She replied with “Thank you, may God bless you” We gave her some literature to read and she mentioned that she is currently studying the bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. She is excited about what she’s been learning. When she got out of the taxi she said “May God keep you healthy so you may continue your work.” It was an upbuilding experience to end our day.

Additional pics:
This is how we drink our water and this is an African kitchen.

And while you can buy food and other things anywhere along the roadside this is the main market, we went there yesterday (we got your natural shea butter, mom). 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Auntie Martha

You have to know Auntie Martha.  This sweet older sister in the Tarkwa congregation has lived here for 30 years or so.  Auntie Martha ran a maternity center and helped deliver most of the residents, their children and grandchildren.  But her "memory is not so good", as she puts it.  So she hired a couple of women and turned the center into a daycare.  While preaching yesterday, we had a chance to stop by and  visit her and all the children.  Here is our sister and hostess to Ghana, Annette playing patty cake with some of the children...

Auntie Martha is a fine witness to Jehovah throughout the whole village of Tarkwa.  On a side note, we went preaching in Bogoso and Odumasi today, two villages with 4 deaf bible students.  An hour and a half trotro ride from Tarkwa.

Elli and Deann

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yes, preaching everywhere

It's true that you can preach to anyone at anytime and anywhere here.  While on our way back to Tarkwa yesterday, on the bus a family sat in the seats behind me.  There was an older gentleman (grandpa) and what looked to be his son, daughter and grand daughter with him.  I handed the grand daughter a cookie and she smiled and ate it.  The mom thanked me.  The grandpa asked me if we were headed to Tarkwa.  I told him yes and asked if he was as well.  They were headed there also.  He asked if we were visiting.  So I explained that we are, but as volunteers to teach deaf ones in Tarkwa the Bible.  "The Bible", he said.  I told him we were Yehowa Adansefo (Jehovah's Witnesses) and asked if he knew them.  He exclaimed, "Yes, do you have any papers for me?"  That means he wants literature.  So I gave him a Watchtower and a Family tract.  He read both of them on the bus right there.  Jehovah's name is known worldwide and it brings great praise and honor to say his name while preaching to everyone we meet.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Little Vacation

We’ve been having too much fun! We left a few days early to bring the guys back to Accra because we wanted to do a little site seeing. On the agenda: Makola Market and Kakum National Park (the canopy walk). So we headed to Cape Coast – a quant little African beach town about 40 minutes from Kakum National Park. We stayed in a great little stone hotel (with air conditioning – wooohoo!!) that was built by the Dutch back in the 1800’s sometime. We walked around to view the town and the guys were invited to participate in pulling up one of the fishing nets. Notice the seasoned hands compared to the soft Obruni hands. :) The sites were beautiful.

Off another few hours the next day to Accra where we visited the crazy Makola Market and art center. We were attacked by vendors but found some neat items to purchase. We also got to see Kente being made. It’s a local handmade fabric that is very time consuming to make, but beautiful. Also, the wood working is amazing - the hand carved drums were underway... 

After we dropped off the guys we made one last stop on the way back, Takoradi. Another little town on the coast. We stayed with a wonderful brother and sister that were so hospitable; they even served us pizza for dinner and for desert (unheard of in Ghana) we had baileys irish cream over ice cream. We’ve certainly been spoiled. The sunset of the beach topped it all off. But we're glad to be back "home" in Tarkwa.

Our travels were enjoyable but preaching was not forgotten. While awaiting the bus to arrive I had out my Awake magazine and we were approached by two local brothers that helped us along the way. It's amazing to go anywhere in the world and feel like you have family everywhere. We shared literature with ones we traveled with along the way. One local woman so happily helped us find the TroTro station when we got off the first bus and was happy to receive the Family Life tract, of which she read the entire tract before our arrival. Then when we toured the castle in Cape Coast, the center of slave trade    during the 1800's, Annette was able to explain how the transition of world powers was prophesied in the Bible. And when we learned during the tour that religious entities were responsible for initiating and supporting the slave trade for hundreds of years, we helped him understand that God does not approve. Jeremy then had the opportunity to explain to one of the vendors in the market that we were here in Ghana as volunteers to help teach the deaf about the Bible, the man was eager to receive a Watchtower and learn how to look up the scriptures in his own Bible.

More coming soon.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

On the road

Well, we have been on the road for a couple of days.  Brandon and Jeremy are making their exit from Ghana soon.  We have been traveling to take them back to Accra, but in between taking a bit of a holiday.   So stay tuned for pictures and stories once Elli and I get back to Tarkwa on Monday.