Now that we have returned, we want to share some of the wonderful things we saw as well as what we experienced while on our latest Discovery trip to Ghana.
We must include a word of thanks here to the many fine Discovery 2009 photographers who shared their photos with us; we couldn’t have done this letter (or for that matter, this trip!) without you!
Throughout Orientation and Debrief, members of the team learned as we discussed things together……
…and as we played together and experienced together the beauty and culture of Ghana.
Our participants spent four weeks living and serving in different locations throughout Ghana, encouraging those they lived and worked with as well as helping in practical ways.
They then continued to serve in Tamale during the Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Institute of Linguistics Literacy and Bible Translation….…and helping set up the duplex that is home for all three generations of the Schafer family, Bible translators par excellence!
After that, we spent time debriefing as a team before sending our Discoverers back to where they had originally come from… different people in many ways from when they had started. Of course, our time in Ghana always changes us too….and builds us up as well.
Every time we come back to Ghana we are loved so deeply by so many friends and co-workers, some whom we have known for over twenty years. We are deeply encouraged by these long lasting relationships, realizing afresh what a gift they are to us - especially this past year, as we have felt at times a real loss of our community life back here in the US.
After this year’s Discovery trip was completed, John spent an additional two weeks in Ghana accompanying two elders from The Well House Church Network who came to plant simple (no building needed) churches and encourage those they had planted before. John’s role in this mission was to be the cross-cultural consultant or “Ghana Man” as some of the church members started calling him. Their first stop was the home of Pastor Kingsley, who they are partnering with in the Eastern Region of Ghana. In the last year Pastor Kingsley has planted thirty simple churches, and they spent four days together visiting and encouraging those groups as well as seeking to observe as he planted a new church. After that, they visited other pastors and their churches across four of the ten regions of Ghana.
During a debrief at the end of the trip Joe, one of the elders said:
“Having you (John) made the trip harder….but better! I couldn’t imagine coming to Ghana without you!”
The “harder” was John’s ability to both encourage and enable them to engage more deeply in Ghanaian culture during their time there.
Reading over my (Shevawn’s) journaling throughout our trip, I was often amazed – even surprised, at how God answered our specific prayers so quickly, so wonderfully and sometimes so unexpectedly.
Here are just a few of the prayers we saw answered:
· The Lord helped us to continue to grow as Discovery leaders, helping us to ask better questions…to be more patient (although there is always room to continue to grow in that area!)…and to love and encourage the participants more in their struggles. We also gratefully experienced our loving Father’s help when we struggled too!
· We were amazed and thankful for the peace we had when the four days we’d planned to spend with another missions organization in Ghana had to be filled with other activities instead at short notice. We felt God’s grace via the prayers of many, as the Holy Spirit reminded us frequently that God was indeed in control and He would use this for His purposes and His glory!
· At the end of our trip, one of our participants told us that the whole team felt that we really cared about them. We were so thankful that in the tumult of leading 16 people that did indeed come across, because THAT is really what it is all about: loving our participants and helping them as they encounter what God has brought them there to experience.
Current prayer requests for this fall:
· Pray for the Discoverers of 2009 (those who went to Ghana, Tanzania, East Asia and Papua New Guinea) that they would continue to seek God’s leading/direction in their lives…that they would integrate what they experienced into their today as well as their future and be willing to serve God wherever and however He leads. Pray that many would continue to be involved in the work of Bible Translation.
· Pray for our 2010 trips; that God would direct us to where they should be and that agreements would be reached quickly with those entities so we can get the word out. Pray for those whom God is or will be leading to consider going on Discovery; for their willingness to follow. Pray for leaders for the 2010 trips.
· Pray for the newly forming Ghanaian Discovery Alumni Association as they seek to help GILLBT in the process of lining up Ghanaian participants for Discovery trips.
· Pray with us for the simple churches that The Well is partnering with. That this small beginning may become a people movement as local believers take initiative to reach their neighbors with the good news and begin meeting together weekly to become the church.
We are so thankful and grateful for your partnership with us; every time we go to Ghana we are reminded afresh of how many need Him and His word in their language!
In His service;
John & Shevawn Ramsey
A special note of thanks to Maame Esi; co-leader extraordinaire! Her wisdom and calm demeanor was such an asset to our team….and the extra days she volunteered to help with Discovery work went above and beyond the call of duty.
Meda wo ase, wo aye ade!
Contributions may be sent to:
Wycliffe Bible Translators
PO Box 628200 Orlando, FL 32862-8200
Please designate your support “for John & Shevawn Ramsey”