Hello our dear friends!kwame and heartwill

It’s a pleasure to write you about the good work entrusted to the Ghanaian team. We hope the body of Christ in the USA is growing moment by moment. We are doing well and we thank you for your prayers.

We have shared about how we would like to expand the talking Bibles ministry to the Northern regions of Ghana. We have closely observed things which hinder the growth of the church in this part of the world. Lives are being saved and the light is reaching the majority of those who we reach but there are ways to make this ministry more effective.

One difficulty is dealing with people who have a saying “Amamre ye Amamre”, which means, tradition is tradition and nothing supersedes their traditions, culture or norms. Most of the villages have more than two languages or tribes living together. The history of this nation has a lot to do with tribal wars or feudalism within villages. Feuds have led to assassinations of some Northern regional chiefs and the feuds among these tribes are still being enhanced by their traditions.

For two years now we have seen how tribalism has affected the church and based on what we have witnessed, we can boldly deduce that if we don’t promote the teaching and study groups among the tribes, we won’t be able to accomplish the task before us and growth of the church will be stunted.

ghana countrysideIn one village, we met with the chief and gave him a talking Bible. Several months later, we were told that the chief hid the talking Bible and only he and his family listened to it. We cannot blame this man for not sharing with the other tribes because the tribalism among them was the reason why he promoted first the interest and welfare of his tribe before thinking about the others.

About 80% of our Bibles are being used in villages where at least three tribes are living together. We take time to meet with each tribe and even though they come together to listen, there is still division because of each tribe’s culture and tradition. We have concluded that we need to focus on one tribe at a time within a village. Then the person of peace who will be taking care of the Bible will hand it over to his deputy when leaving and never need to worry about giving it to a man from the next tribe.

The persons of peace in several of our villages have realized the kind of darkness which is upon their village because of their practices and have pleaded with us to bring the talking Bible to their villages. These people have found the light and want to extend it to their people. At this time we cannot afford more than one talking Bible in each village. We pray to God to help us with about 100 Bibles in order to implement this idea.

We are not using money to build church structures but by the grace of God we are helping build the church which is the main body of Christ. We hope this letter brings joy to your hearts.

God bless you all.
Paul, Kwame and Heartwill

 

blankets of love

The following post was submitted by Ardyce Harris, Jail Ministry volunteer:
Several years ago, when an inmate was asked what gift she would like her children to get for Christmas, she quickly replied, “Blankets!  Blankets of love!”  Those words continued to ring in my ears, and the following Christmas, the Blankets of Love Project was born.

After getting approval from jail staff, jail volunteers gathered information from inmates including favorite colors or themes, and the age of the child or recipient of a blanket.  By watching for sales and using coupons, volunteers went shopping to find fleece fabric that closely matched the requests.

Volunteers then prepared the fabric by trimming uneven edges and sometimes cut the fabric in strips so blankets were ready to be tied by inmates. Names were also taped onto each blanket to ease disbursement.

Separate workdays for men and women were scheduled to avoid distraction.  Trained and approved jail volunteers happily assisted and visited with inmates, often getting the opportunity to share God’s love with the inmates.

A wide range of emotion is displayed by inmates as they move from shame and guilt for being incarcerated over the Christmas holiday, to profound joy and excitement because of being able to hand-make a gift that their child or loved one will hold tightly and cherish for a long time. Tears are shed, and blankets are held close, as if to infuse with love.  Inmates are so proud of their handiwork!  They have expressed deep gratitude, and are reminded that God wants them and their loved ones to know that He loves them!

Last year, a church member offered to embroider the name and a Scripture reference, Psalm 91, on a corner of each blanket. Cards were available to be included with the blankets, and a sticker that read “This gift made possible through area churches in hopes that you know how much JESUS LOVES YOU today and in the years ahead” was placed on the package.  This year, we are hoping to offer an assortment of age appropriate Christian books or DVDs for inmates to choose from to include in their package.

Church and community volunteers then gathered to wrap or package the gifts and organize deliveries.  Drivers have another opportunity to assure the family/recipient of the love that went into this gift, and the love God has for them, that He would send His only Son to be born in a manger, live among men, and die on a cross for their salvation!

The Regeneration Center is partnering with the Blankets of Love Project this Christmas season.  If you would like to ease the pain of separation at Christmas and share the love of Christ with these families, you may give towards the cost of the materials by writing ‘Blankets of Love’ in your check memo and/or volunteer to assist with shopping, preparing fabric, wrapping, or deliveries. 

Contact Ardyce Harris at ardyceharris@gmail.com or 320.766.2019

blog post rita

 

Psalm 84:11 ofthe NIV Bible says, “ For the Lord God is a sun and shield.”

On a fall day like today when the wind is blowing hard, I am reminded how powerful the sun is to warm us and keep us from the full effects of a cold wind. Several years ago a young girl from Community Kids was in our home spending the day with our family. As I fixed a meal in the kitchen, she sat at the counter with paper and pencil drawing pictures. “Here Rita, this is for you,” she said. On a small square sticky note she had written these profound words, “Sunny days blow the clouds away”. That paper is a treasure to me and remains on my cupboard door as an important reminder. This note was written by a young girl who had many, many clouds in her life yet even at 8 years old she knew that a sunny day, even a sunny moment, can cause the gloom to be dispersed. This is why we do what we do at Community Kids. One friend, one hour, one day, one homework night, one bright spot at a time making a difference. Sharing the sun of the Son with amazing kids who need His light and warmth to shine on them and shield them. Sunny days do blow the clouds away!

By Rita Loti

Community Kids Coordinator

Paul and I have just arrived from another interesting trip. We are doing well by the grace of God and we hope the Good Lord
has also kept and still granting you peace. Its a World Cup soccer season and our dear friends are enjoying via the commentaries from the various
dialects on the radio. Its Paul’s idea that we congratulate the USA Team ( Those of you in the regeneration center who are following the
tournament so far), Kwame and I are not so happy about the result which can cause the elimination of the Ghanaian soccer team from the World
Cup.  Tory, we believe follows the soccer tournament because Kwame said he and Tory talked earlier about the game.
In all most all the last two regions we visited,villagers came together to listen to commentaries on their radio sets and it really
helped us to talk to them and even used their gathering as an example of what we expect to be be as far the study groups go. We enjoyed this
trip so well because we met many of our friends and we had the chance to listen to them regarding their needs.

The talking Bibles are in good condition and so far we are impressed by how the Krobo or Dangme people are really taking
good care of their few talking Bibles. There are numerous Dangme villages in the Eastern region and from Bokunaw all the way to Asesewa we
have so many people waiting to receive the talking Bibles. Some of the villages have already created a place where they can come together and
listen and discuss. Regardless of different churches in this part of the Eastern region, the people are so United and share the talking Bibles so
well.

The Dangme tribe is the only non Akan tribe in the Eastern region therefore they hold tight their customs and its hard for
even religion to separate these people. At Bokunaw and Koryire our two dear brothers Awaitey and Osmond Amuzu are bringing the talking Bibles
into the bushes around Koryire and also encouraging and helping the other dangme people with no electricity or phone reception use the Bibles as
well. Looking at the number of Dangme villages and the roads to travel on, we want to bring so many men to help us because a whole two is not
enough to visit them all.

The Sefwi people also pose the same challenge to us. Paul and I have discovered so many villages in the Upper part of
Western region. Good news is that, they are willing to get rid of the idol practices but as babies they will need us to spend some time with them
and take part in most of their scripture learning groups. They are also many languages which are not written or learnt in school in this region. We
have spent many time on each trip with Elder Agyemang Badu of Kwafukwa seeking his help to unite the Christian from his town and Mantukwa to
help bring the Gospel to the other villagers in the region.

We still go to the Ashanti region but we are not at the moment looking forward to increase the number of Talking Bibles we
have in this region. Majority of the villages have electricity and Cinema or places where they show movies are big thing in this region causing
distraction. And the part of the region where we have talking Bibles are hard to reach in this rainy season. We went to J1 Dagaati and was unable
to go all the way to anyinofi so we went round the region by way of Atebubu back into Ashanti region. Seneso 1 and Seneso 2 are coming together to start their own scripture learning group.

We bring you greetings from all four regions. Please send us some talking Bibles soon and may God bless you all.

Paul and Heartwill