Monthly Archives: December 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

On the way to church, Danny and Bonnie were telling how many pencils and pens they had brought. Danny had his Bible case to put his in. Bonnie was holding hers; her Bible case has come up missing. I asked Danny if he could keep her pens and pencils for her. He wanted to claim them as his if they were going in his Bible case.

We had a good day at church. We started with just a handful of people but ended up with 150 people by the close of the morning service.

Emmanuel is back from university for the holidays. He jumped right in and helped today. He translated for me in Sunday School and junior church. That was a big help! I had almost fifty kids in junior church today.

Joe said that after I went out with the children for junior church that all of the chairs that we had vacated were full again by the end of the service. Everyone was all dressed up today; the new year is a big thing here.

We will have our evening service tomorrow night. We are going to have a watch-night service beginning at 7:00 PM with a meal of goat stew and fried rice. Then, we will have some preaching, games, and the revealing of the calendar for next year. Twelve people have signed up for the meal (excluding our family), but we are sure that more will come.

Danny has been in the question asking mode lately. Most of the time, he asks questions when he already knows the answer. I recall a girl that used to ask a lot of questions too, hmmm!

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Saturday, December 29, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Joe took our vehicle to the welder this morning so that he could finish the work on the back bumper, but the welder could not work on it today. Joe also checked on having a security service guard our house. Someone came out this afternoon to check on our location. When they told us how much it would cost to have twenty-four hour security, we decided that it was too much. Our guards have not been very dependable lately, but we will keep looking.

The kids wanted to scrub the pool this morning. It was still a little slippery from the algae. Danny fell and scraped his back; that ended the pool cleaning session. The boys worked on sweeping the side porches while Bonnie helped me fold laundry. After she had folded clothes for a few minutes, she said, “Can I take a little rest here on your bed, Mom? My arms are tired.”

This afternoon, a photographer came out to the house to take some family pictures out in our yard. That was one of my Christmas presents. We got some good pictures.

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Joe barbecued hamburgers on the grill and fried potatoes on the side burner for supper. I am liking that grill more and more! : )

Bonnie brought the dog’s food bowl in to show us that she was so proud of him for eating all of his food. Then, she put some water in a cup and took it out to his water bowl. She came back in and said, “Mom, people that aren’t saved can fill the dog’s water bowl, right?” (She has been talking to us about not being saved, but she doesn’t quite understand everything yet.) Danny said, “Well, people that are saved can fill the dog’s water bowl too!”

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Friday, December 28, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Our power was off all night. It came back on for about ten minutes this morning and then was back off until about 4:00 this afternoon. Hopefully the problem is fixed!

We had invited several missionary families over for lunch today, but no one was able to come. So, we went into town and went out to eat for lunch instead. We stopped at the post office; the kids like to open the box and look inside, even if the box is empty like it was today. We needed to get some flea shampoo for the dog; one of the pharmacies in town has things for dogs. Then, we went to Planter’s Lodge for lunch. Joe and the kids were just about finished with their food by the time that mine came, but it was worth the wait. It was yummy! We stopped at one store on the way home. I ran in to get a couple things. Then, we headed home for naps.

This afternoon, Joe had to chase some more boys who were about to get in the pool. He chased them down to a little corner store and then back up into the bush.

Algae had taken over the pool again due to not being able to use the pump because of an obstruction in the line. So, Joe drained the pool today. He will have to take the pipes connected to the pump apart to find the blockage. Once he gets all of that squared away, we will fill the pool up again.

The boys have been trying to play baseball. Gilbert came in today and said, “Mom, we’re getting pretty good at that baseball stuff.” Max gets right in on the action when anyone goes outside.

Martin came by this evening. He played with the kids for a while. He ate leftover pizza with us. Then, Joe gave him a ride home.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Thursday, December 27, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Around 1:00 this morning, the power went off. Max, the new puppy, was letting us know that he did not like the dark. I thought he would wake the kids up, but they slept right through the power outage and the howling. We waited for about thirty minutes to see if the power was going to come back on. Just as Joe got ready to go start the generator, the power came back on.

The kids played outside quite a bit today. Max follows them wherever they go. Gilbert told me that Max is the cutest puppy in the whole world.

Bonnie came in and asked, “Mom, what’s the biggest consonant?” I was trying to figure out what she meant. Danny had sent her to ask about the biggest “continent.”

The kids were wearing their new boots without socks. I told them that the boots would rub on their ankles without socks. Bonnie said, “It’s okay, Mom. I don’t have ankles.” I showed her what an ankle was. Later in the day, she said, “Oh, I hurt my ankle!”

Joe worked on the church calendar for the new year. He has some new things planned; it should be exciting.

Danny helped me make pizza for supper tonight. Gilbert and Bonnie came to help put the toppings on.

The power has been off several times today and has been off all evening. The power company said that they were working on a fault and that it should be restored shortly. That was a couple hours ago. Joe went into town to get more fuel for the generator. He just called to say that there has been a wreck right where the main road joins the road to our neighborhood, and he can’t get through. So, he will just have to wait until the road is cleared.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

December Prayer Letter 2012

Click on this link to download the PDF version:

December Prayer Letter 2012

Another year is drawing to a close. The years seem to go by faster and faster! My wife writes an annual Christmas letter. I thought you would enjoy reading it as well.

In January, Nana and Papa, Joe’s parents, came for a visit. We had so much fun with them and were sad to see their visit come to an end. We had Christmas all over again when they came. Their suitcases were so full of stuff for us that they barely had room for their own clothes. This was Joe’s dad’s first trip to Africa. Upon their return to Texas, our home church in Center, Texas, purchased a new vehicle for us with an air conditioner that works!

When the Luthers returned from the States, they moved to a new area. This left the house just up the hill from us vacant. In March, we moved up to the larger house.

In April, we were finally able to get the paperwork to stay in Ghana. We received permission to be in the country for three years, but the residents’ permits still have to be renewed yearly. That was a big answer to prayer. At one point, we thought we were going to have to go back to the States to obtain the proper paperwork.

In June, Joe did a lot of traveling. He traveled to Ivory Coast to help the Post family prepare for their departure. He also needed to sort through our things and get rid of what would not fit in the vehicle. Up to that point, a visa was not required to enter Ivory Coast. After crossing to the Ivory Coast side, he found out the hard way that they were requiring a visa. They put him in handcuffs while threatening to deport him and confiscate our vehicle. After talking to them for a few minutes, they let him drive back across to the Ghana side. He went straight to Accra to get a visa. After going through that red tape, he returned to Ivory Coast. After the Posts’ departure, he came back to Ghana for two days before leaving for a trip to Israel. When he got back from Israel, he needed to make one last trip to Ivory Coast to tie up loose ends. We were all glad to have Daddy back.

In July, I made a three-week trip to the States. Joe’s family paid for my plane ticket; that was such a blessing! I had a good time and packed a lot into my three-week stay. I was able to visit with Joe’s family in Texas and our church family there. I got to spend some time with my parents and the church family in Oklahoma. I even made it out to Idaho for a few days to visit with three of my four siblings as well as other relatives. When I was waiting for my luggage in Accra, I was surprised to see Joe and the kids coming my way. They are not usually allowed past the Customs checkpoint, but Joe was able to manage it somehow. We were so happy to be reunited! Danny had a whole stack of notes that he had made for me.

I returned just in time for the children’s end-of-the-year school program. Bonnie completed K-3. She was overcome with stage fright during her portion of the program. Danny graduated from K-5. He had several parts in the program. Gilbert finished 1st grade and quoted several verses in the program.

The church here in Ntokroful, Ghana, has had its ups and downs this year. But, we saw over fifty saved and had ten baptized. We are thankful for the opportunity that the Lord has given us to serve Him in West Africa.

We trust that you all had a Merry Christmas and want to wish you a Happy New Year! We are looking forward to what God is going to do with us and through us in the coming year.

Your friends and ambassadors to West Africa,

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie Consford

Click on this link to download the PDF version:

December Prayer Letter 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 Boxing Day

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Well, the day after Christmas, or as they say here “Boxing Day,” even though no one here knows why today is Boxing Day, has come to an end. We had a great day here at the house. I just tried to take it easy and play with the kids. While the kids swam this morning, I worked on my podcast. The podcast is a lot of fun and I sure am enjoying learning how to do it. I know it will get better with time and practice. If you have any questions about the podcast, you can just take a look and see what it is all about on our website. Joe’s Podcast

This time of year they have people that dress up in these kinds of clown suits with Halloween masks. They call themselves masqueraders. They block the road and just generally cause frustration. I try to avoid going to town during this time of year because of those guys. When I do go to town, I just pretend they are not in the road and just drive on. They generally get the point and move out of the way. I was able to avoid going to town today though, and that just saves me lots of frustration.

Last night we smelled something funny in the kitchen, but we could not figure out what it was. It smelled like meat cooking. This morning, the smell had changed, it smelled like hair burning. So, we went in search of the offending odder. We found the culprit; a shrew had committed suicide by electrocution in our cup cupboard. Apparently no one had ever told him don’t chew through an electric wire while holding on to the ground wire!

 

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This afternoon, the boys and I played frisbee in the yard and Bonnie and Max sat on the step and watched us. Bonnie and Max looked like they were having a good time. Bonnie had a box of Nerds and Max had a steak bone. Bonnie did tell us a few times what we were doing wrong. And she had to scold Max and tell him to keep his elbows off the table while he eats.

We had a good evening at church. (Have we ever said that we had a bad evening at church?) There were only a handful there at starting time, but before the preaching started, we had about a dozen show up. I thought it was a pretty good amount of people for Boxing Day.

We got home and the kids had a snack and then off to bed. Laura was feeling very tired and she went to bed early too. That is why you are stuck with me for tonight!

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Joe’s Podcast Episode #003

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Or as they say in Fante “Afehyiapa O!”

We had a wonderful Christmas here in Ghana!  Thank you everyone who sacrificed this year to do special things for us. Our church, Central Baptist Church of Center, Texas, did so many wonderful things for us.  The Spratley family and the grandparents spoiled our kids!  Brandon Dodson, our pastor’s grandson, sent some great candy.  It was so much fun!  Thanks!

We are so excited about the seeds of the Gospel that have been planted this year, and we look forward to the great harvest that we trust God to provide.  We had a great Christmas service at the church on December 23.  Here is a video of the kids’ Treasure Hunt!

Don’t forget to send us your questions for the podcast.  You can e-mail your questions to me at consford@gmail.com, or you can call in your question as a voice mail at (936) 553-5234!

 

Joe’s Podcast Episode #003

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Or as they say in Fante “Afehyiapa O!”

We had a wonderful Christmas here in Ghana!  Thank you everyone who sacrificed this year to do special things for us. Our church, Central Baptist Church of Center, Texas, did so many wonderful things for us.  The Spratley family and the grandparents spoiled our kids!  Brandon Dodson, our pastor’s grandson, sent some great candy.  It was so much fun!  Thanks!

We are so excited about the seeds of the Gospel that have been planted this year, and we look forward to the great harvest that we trust God to provide.  We had a great Christmas service at the church on December 23.  Here is a video of the kids’ Treasure Hunt!

Don’t forget to send us your questions for the podcast.  You can e-mail your questions to me at consford@gmail.com, or you can call in your question as a voice mail at (936) 553-5234!

 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Merry Christmas!

When I got up to start rolling out the cream cheese bread, Gilbert was the only one up. Danny and Bonnie soon joined him. They emptied their stockings.

Then, Daddy went to pick up a gift for the kids; Martin found a puppy for the kids. (He originally found three, one for each child, but we were happy to find out that two of them had been claimed. We weren’t sure what we were going to do with three puppies!) Bonnie said, “What should we name him?” Gilbert said, “Reindeer!” Then, Joe thought of Max, the dog of the Grinch. So, Max it is.

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After breakfast, we opened presents. One of the three phases was still off this morning. About halfway through opening presents, the power went haywire and then completely off. We were pleasantly surprised to have a truck from the electric company pull up in our driveway a little later. They said that they were working on the problem. By lunch time, the power was back on. Hooray!

As we started to open presents, the puppy was letting us know that he was not happy to be left all alone. Gilbert said, “I think this is going to be a day of howling!”

Harriett, one of the ladies in the church, came in a taxi bearing gifts. She brought several pineapples, a watermelon, and a flat of Pepsi.

We had a good time opening presents. The kids were very excited. They could hardly open the next thing because they wanted to play with what they had just opened. All three kids got a pair of boots from Nana and Papa. They all three wore them today to try them out.

Joe grilled steaks for Christmas dinner. I made a potato dish, cheese-filled breadsticks, green bean casserole, and deviled eggs. Danny did the deviled eggs mostly by himself. Gilbert was Daddy’s runner to take things back and forth. Bonnie was too busy playing.

After lunch, the kids and I took a nap. Joe went to visit the church people. One of the guys went with him. Joe said that they visited in over forty homes and met some people who used to be church members but have not attended in at least a couple years. He left at 1:30 and got back home at 6:30.

We had some fruit and pie after supper. The kids were still wound up playing with their new toys.

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Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie