Monthly Archives: March 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013 – Saturday Workday

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

This morning we got up had our Saturday morning special, Cocoa and Toast, and then headed up to the church for Saturday Workday.

We had a great turnout for the workday with over twenty people there to help.  We got so much accomplished.  We mowed the lawn, cleaned the windows and doors, dusted every room, scrubbed the floors, painted the bathrooms, hung some new gates, and just had a good time of fellowship.

I went to town and bought everyone a plate of rice and fried chicken. We got so much done and everyone had a great time at workday. It is so fun when we can all work together with such a good attitude.

We are so excited about tomorrow! We are going to have a Sunrise Service at 7:00 and then Sunday School at 8:00 and another morning service at 9:00. Then we are all going to go home and then we are going to meet back at the church at 12:00 for dinner on the grounds and then at 2:00 we are going to have another service. After that we are going to crawl home and hibernate. This is the hottest time of year.

th 2013 03 30 18 27 54 201 zps00a03280 Saturday, March 30, 2013   Saturday Workday

The kids had great fun coloring eggs for their Easter baskets.  We usually wait and do our Easter Egg hunt on Monday.  We are so tired on Sunday that we would not be able to enjoy it.  On Easter Monday here in Ghana there are so many deaths due to car accidents that we try to stay off the roads on that day.  We just try to stay home and enjoy some family time.

We need some questions for Joe’s Podcast!  If you think of a question just call our voice mail number (936) 553-5234 and leave your question as a voice mail.   On that note, have you listened to Missionary on Fire this week?  These interviews have been so much fun and I believe they will help someone get stirred up to do something for missions with their life.  Make sure you tell your friends about these interviews.  It could change their life!

Laura got too hot today. She does not handle this heat very well!

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Friday, March 29, 2013

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

Joe took the kids to school. Several people asked Joe if we were Muslim today; they could not believe that our children were going to school on Good Friday! The people here think that Good Friday is a “Christian holiday.” We explained that we don’t believe that Jesus died on Friday. It would be hard to be in the grave for three days and three nights from Friday to Sunday.

Joe went from the school to the radio station. He called me to tell me what station he was going to be on. I got our radio tuned in and listened to his sermon. He did a good job. He found out today why the radio guy had not called him back sooner. Shortly after Joe was on the radio the last time, the guy got fired from that radio station. He has since moved to a different station and will soon be managing a station. He told Joe that he wants to set up a schedule with him after he becomes the manager.

I saw white eggs at the market circle yesterday.  I didn’t get any because I was already carrying bags and did not want to carry eggs that far.  So, Joe went to the market to get white eggs.  He did it all in Fante and caused quite a stir.  Two ladies were fighting over who was going to sell white eggs to the white man.  Joe said that they were actually rolling around on the ground fighting.  While they were still fighting, Joe bought the eggs from someone else.  He bought 18 eggs instead of 30 because the white eggs were twice as much as the brown eggs that we normally buy from our neighbor who has a chicken farm, and they were also half the size of our normal eggs.  But, it will be fun to have white eggs to color tomorrow.

I worked on typing Fante lessons and vocabulary lists today. Janet came for her reading lesson; the progress is slow, but some things are starting to click.

This evening, Joe went to the Lebanese restaurant and brought supper home. Bonnie and Danny were beginning to wonder if he was coming or not. Bonnie was holding her throat; about that time, Daddy pulled up. Hooray!

After supper, I went out to get the clothes off of the line. When I came back inside, Gilbert said, “Mom, don’t come in the kitchen until I tell you it’s okay.” A little later, he came back and said, “Okay, Mom! Come and see! You’d never guess that you have a kid this good!” He had done all of the dishes without being told.

Danny was trying to do his homework, but he was too tired. They don’t have school on Monday. So, we told him that he didn’t have to do it all tonight. He ended up in tears. He came to sit in my lap and barely fit in it. He was comparing his hands to my hands and said, “I’m almost there, Mom!” Then, he got down on the floor to compare our feet. He was fine after that. He was bouncing around and pestering everyone.

Bonnie got a little jealous of Danny being in my lap. So, she said that her chest was hurting. When Danny got up, she climbed in my lap and fell asleep.

Someone told Joe about a book to help us in learning a language without a curriculum. He has been looking at that and getting ideas of things we can do differently.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

Joe took the kids to school. One of the little girls who rides with them got her fingers shut in the car door. Ouch!

Joe picked up the Fante teacher. In class, we did some different conversations. Then, we read a few pages from our Fante reader. Then, we sang the Fante songs we have been working on. The teacher is busy tomorrow with a Good Friday service at his church. He asked us if we were having a service tomorrow; we told him that we don’t believe that Jesus died on Friday. After Joe explained that, he said, “Well, the important thing is that He died and rose again.”

Teacher Adoko will be gone to his village for a funeral next week. I am hoping to make a lot of headway on the Fante book of lessons that I have been typing while we are not having class.

I rode into town with Joe and Teacher Adoko. I wanted to find a few things for the kids for Easter. We also needed to get things for our work day at the church on Saturday and things for the meal at the church on Sunday. Joe got his hair cut in town because our clippers are on their last leg.  I did some market circle shopping while he got his hair cut.  I found most of the things that I had written on my list. After we got all of our errands run, we ate lunch and then went to pick the kids up from school.

Bonnie got in trouble today for talking in class. We asked her what she said. She said, “Well, I don’t remember what I said; I was just answering the question that Precious asked me.”

Bonnie was teaching “Jesus Loves Me” in Fante to the kids who ride with them to and from school. They sang it most of the way home. Bonnie had to sing it by herself a few times for them first. Danny tried to help her out a couple times, and she told him, “Keep quiet!”

A man from the radio station called Joe this evening and asked him to preach tomorrow morning on the radio. So, Joe will take the kids to school and then go to the radio station. The guy who had him preach before has since moved to a different station.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 – Pray for my Grandmother!

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

th barb zps8a658400 Wednesday, March 27, 2013   Pray for my Grandmother! Please be in prayer for my maternal grandmother, Barb Davis! She was diagnosed with cancer several years ago. She had surgery, and just about about a year ago they told her the cancer had come back. She decided not to do chemo and surgery and to just enjoy her life. She has done that with amazing grace, and it is so much fun to talk with her. Yesterday she was having some difficulties, and she went to the hospital. They think the cancer has spread to her brain. She is 80+ years young, and she is such a joy to be around! I wish you could all meet this amazingly talented lady!

We headed to school this morning right on time. The kids are doing so well at getting up and helping do chores in the the morning before school. We have a nice little routine.

We are progressing in Fante at our expected pace. Did you know that there is a pace below “a snail’s pace?” Well, we will now try to coin a phrase! We are moving at “a Fante learner’s pace!” I doubt it will catch on! Teacher Adoko did tell us today that we read “beautifully,” although he did say, “Too bad you have no idea what you are saying!” He thinks that since we can read the words phonetically that we should be able to understand what we are saying. Oh, how I wish it worked like that!

I took Teacher Adoko into town and then went to every bank in town. They were all out of money. I finally found an ATM that was working because we needed to get our pre-paid electric units for this month. Yes, I did say PRE-PAID electric units. Here all the bills are pre-paid; and when you use all of your units, well, then the lights go off! The more electricity you use, the higher the price you will pay for next months’ units. Here is how the transaction goes every time you purchase your pre-paid electric units. You have a little card that has a chip on it. You take it to the booth in your neighborhood and tell the lady how much you want to put on the card. She asks you if you will marry her. You say how much you love the wife you have and show them photos in your wallet of your wife and kids. They remark how white Gilbert’s hair is. Then they tell you that their machine is “off-line” and they can’t sell any units today. So, then you go to the booth in the next neighborhood and repeat the process until you find someone who has a machine that is “on line.” Why can’t they tell you their machine is off line before the marriage proposal and all of the other idle chit-chat?

We got a package today from my family. My cousin, Betsy Fuller, bought a pair of cleats for both of the boys. We walked in the door, and they shucked their school shoes and put those cleats on right away. On Wednesday afternoon, I make them lie down for awhile when we get home from school because we have church, and cranky kids at church will get on your nerves! The boys remarked how clean their cleats were and wanted to take a nap with them on. Naps just did not happen today. Danny was trying to teach himself to tie his shoes. He succeeded, and he was so thrilled!

We had a good evening at church despite the power being off for “load shedding!” (“Load shedding” is better known as rolling black outs!) We had a good number of people at church, and everyone had a good attitude.

Well, now everyone has gone to bed. Even Laura! (That is why this is going to be filled with typos and grammatical errors!)

Nantsew yie!
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Joe's Podcast Icon

Joe’s Podcast Episode #016

This week we have a question from my mother, Ginger Consford.  She asks about packages and the things we like to recieve and tips for sending packages to us.

We love to recieve pagages!

Our mailing address is:

Joseph Consford
PO Box TD 111
Takoradi, GHANA
WEST AFRICA

Tips for sending packages:
*Either go big or go small.  The smallest flat rate Priority mailing box is not very expensive to send; it will fit in our Post Office box.  We do not have to pay import or duty fees on anything that fits in the Post Office box.  If you are going to “go big,” the medium or large flat rate boxes can be used.  These boxes can hold up to 20 pounds for the same “flat rate.”  For the price you will pay to send a bigger box, you will want to fill it to its capacity to make it worth the effort.  You will be hard pressed to actually fit 20 pounds in the box.
*Do not send batteries of any kind in packages.
*Anything that is liquid should be placed in a Ziploc bag just in case it springs a leak.  Also things that might attract ants should be placed in a Ziploc bag.
*When filling out the customs form, put “garage sale” value prices for the items listed.  We are not reselling the items, but if we did, we would only get a garage sale price.  We have to pay 50% of the duty plus 50% of the postage plus a handling fee.  Basically, we pay the “value amount” written on the package.  Also, be honest but vague in listing items.  For instance, you don’t have to list every food item or mention that “CANDY” is in the box.  Just put, “Miscellaneous food items.”  When the box says “CANDY,” we don’t usually receive those boxes.
We have recently discovered, that “educational materials” are duty free.  So, if you put crayons or pencils or something like that in the box, write “educational materials” in the listing on the Customs Form.  Sometimes they don’t even open the box when they see “educational materials;” they just say that the duty is waved due to educational materials.
If you send clothing like socks or underwear, remove them from the store-bought package.  Also remove any tags on other pieces of clothing or shoes.
If you are wanting to send something for Christmas, it is good to get it sent before December 1.  If it is sent in October or November, we receive it within a couple weeks.  Things that are sent after December 1 tend to get clogged up somewhere along the way; we don’t usually receive them until late January or early February.  Of course, we don’t mind receiving a package any time of the year!  : )

The children like to receive things like:

- gummy fruit chews
- Slim Jims
- Candy (Skittles, Smarties, Sweet tarts, Starbursts, Laffy Taffy, etc.)
- Little toys or games
- School items (scissors, rulers, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, small notebooks, etc.)
- Books – for reading or coloring
- Bonnie likes hair bows, headbands, ponytail holders, etc.
- We can always use socks.  (Danny is Mr. Big Foot and wears a size 3; Gilbert wears a size 13 shoe, and Bonnie wears size 10.)
- Band-aids with characters on them
My wife likes things to help her in the kitchen:
Velveeta (The pouches of Velveeta work great too; it doesn’t have to be a box.)
Dressing packets (Italian, Ranch)
Seasoning packets (Taco, Spaghetti, Sloppy Joe, Gravy, etc.)
Pepperoni (It does not have to be refrigerated until it is opened.)
Fully cooked bacon (It does not have to be refrigerated until it is opened.)
Koolaid
Vanilla extract
Maple flavoring
Parmesan cheese
She also likes journals and that type of thing to give away as gifts.
Our favorite candy around Easter time is Reese’s peanut butter eggs.  Gilbert is allergic to peanuts; so, these would need to be placed in a ziploc bag as not to “contaminate” the other items.  Gilbert prefers things like Slim Jims and Beef Jerky over sweets.
Laura also enjoys receiving things like pumpkin, almond bark, unsweetened cocoa squares, and graham crackers for her holiday baking.
I enjoy:
COFFEE
Community Chicory blend is my favorite!  (Dark Roast, or New Orleans Blend)
My second preference is Folgers Black Silk blend.
I also tell a funny story about a little boy in Sunday School singing, “Christ Arose!”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

Our power went off before the kids left for school today. It was off for nine hours; that is better than twelve hours! : )

Joe worked in the office this morning. He was working on his weekly podcast. He answers questions and tells stories about happenings in West Africa. You can listen to that podcast by going to our website, www.consfords.com. He can always use more questions. If you have a question that you would like to ask, you can call 936-553-5234 and leave a voice-mail; you can e-mail your question, or there is also a place to send a voice-mail from the website. A new podcast comes out each Wednesday.

I worked on getting caught up on laundry . . . until the dryer quit working. Pray that we will be able to get the dryer fixed. It is a gas dryer from the States; they don’t sell the gas dryers here.

When Joe went to get the kids from school today, the principal saw Bonnie as they were getting ready to leave. He asked Bonnie why he had not seen her today. She said, “Because I was good today.” She told him that she planned on being good tomorrow too.

The kids played outside for a while before supper. During supper, Gilbert was talking about Ruth and how she was in the lineage of Jesus. Then, he asked if we were in the lineage of Jesus. Joe told him that we aren’t Jews; we are Gentiles. Then, Joe jokingly told Bonnie that she wasn’t just any old Gentile; she was a Philistine. Bonnie was appalled!  She did not want to be put in the same boat as Goliath and those other bad guys!

Joe had to make a call this evening for a Missionary on Fire interview. He is interviewing missionaries who have been on the field twenty years or more to glean some wisdom from them and to encourage young people for the cause of world-wide missions. If you have not listened to the interviews, you can listen to them at www.missionaryonfire.com. A new interview comes out each Friday. I tried to keep the kids quiet in the living room. Everyone had homework tonight.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Monday, March 25, 2013

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

Gilbert had a rough time going to sleep last night. This morning, he was tired and was not sure if he felt good enough to go to school. I told him that he did not have a fever and that he wasn’t throwing up; so, he had to go to school. When they got to school, Joe said that Gilbert said, “Dad, my whole body is screaming, ‘Don’t go to school!’” But, he did fine. When he got home from school today, he walked in the door talking in a funny voice. I asked him if he did okay at school; he looked at me like, “Why wouldn’t I have done okay?” He had forgotten all about this morning.

Janet came for her reading lesson this morning. After I finished that, I worked on typing Sunday School lessons. Joe was not feeling very well today; he took it easy.

After school, the kids were all busy playing outside. The boys played baseball and then soccer. Bonnie found other things to keep herself entertained. When it started to get dark, they came inside and helped me finish getting supper ready. Danny did the deviled eggs and mixed up some egg salad for lunches tomorrow. Gilbert made Koolaid and then milk. (We have powdered milk here; it has to be mixed up the night before and refrigerated so that it tastes okay the next morning.) Bonnie set the table. It was a team effort!

Gilbert was the only one who had homework tonight. He got that done. Then, we watched a little bit of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” before bed time. Gilbert was trying to tell Danny which man was the hunchback, but he kept calling him a “punchback.”

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Sunday, March 24, 2013

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

We had a good day at church. There were only a few people there when Sunday School started, but we ended up with a good crowd.

A lot of the kids who are normally in my junior church class were not there today. They probably went with their parents to their churches for Palm Sunday. Many of the children who normally come come by themselves without their parents.

There was a lady standing at the door of my classroom the whole time we were singing. She had brought several small children, and I guess she was watching to see if they were going to do okay with the white lady. She ended up coming in to our class and sitting down. I had eighteen in my class today; about half of them were kids I’ve never seen before.

Today was Gilbert’s first day in the 8-11 year old class. Danny is wishing that he was 8 because he wants to be with Gilbert. Oh well, he gets to stay with Mom a little longer.

In my 7 and under class, we have been singing “Christ Arose” every week. One little boy who comes faithfully was sitting on the edge of the bench during that song. He was waiting for “He arose” in the chorus. When we got to that part, he belted out “Re ahose!” It was so cute; I had a hard time continuing to sing. Every time we got to “He arose,” he sang, “Re ahose!” at the top of his voice.

Danny helped me in the kitchen when we got home from church. We were working on a soup for supper as well as Mexican rice for lunch.

About halfway through nap time, the power went off. It was off for a couple hours and came back on just before we left for church.

We had a good service this evening with eleven in attendance.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Saturday, March 23, 2013

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

The kids helped wash the car this morning before breakfast. Then, Joe went visiting. No one else came for visitation. So, he made some visits by himself.

The kids wanted to give the dog a bath after Joe left. They were trying to keep the dog in a five-gallon bucket of water. It was quite a sight. I went out to help them. We got the job done; the dog only escaped twice.

After the kids picked up around the house, we did homework. Gilbert was working on his Math homework. He had some equations that he was having trouble with. So, I was having him break it down a little. He was frustrated and was not thinking things through. I asked him what 5 + 6 was, and he just sat there. Danny said, “That’s 11, Gilbert! You don’t know your 11 addition family!” (Danny just finished learning the 11 addition family.) Danny proceeded to quote the 11 addition family. While Gilbert finished his homework, Danny was busy writing out some math problems. When Gilbert started working Danny’s problems, Danny insisted that nothing should be in the “hundreds” place. He was thinking of borrowing while subtracting instead of carrying numbers over when adding. I tried to show him, but he was not understanding. So, then he wrote out a big long list of numbers for me to add. The answer ended up being 71,567,000, or something like that. It was quite the Math problem! : ) Bonnie’s homework was writing her first and last name with middle initial. That is quite an undertaking for a four-year-old; she finally finished the page.

After homework, the kids went down to play with the Nixon boys for a little while before lunch. I helped Joe with some correspondence.

After naps, we headed up to the church for children’s choir. Shadrach was the only one who came. So, we just did some cleaning instead of choir. The kids played outside with Shadrach. Bright and Harriett had come to do some deep cleaning. Bright washed all of the windows, and Harriett washed every chair. I wrote out the order-of-service for tomorrow morning and then worked on sorting books in the library. We got the auditorium all set up for tomorrow.

We got home a little after 7:00. Danny and Bonnie helped me make tuna sandwiches for supper.

I just got to talk to my brother and his wife on Skype and saw Baby Sophie. She is so cute.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Friday, March 22, 2013

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

Thank you for praying for my sister-in-law, Amy Van Manen. She gave birth to a beautiful little girl this morning, Sophie Janae’ Nicole VanManen ~ 6 pounds 5 ounces ~ 19.75" long. My brother and his wife have been married for 18 years, and this was their first biological child. The Lord has blessed them with three adopted children. They were all excited about the new addition to their family.

Joe took the kids to school. There is a new building being built behind the existing building at the school. The missionary who started that work is on furlough. He asked Joe to check on the building project today to make sure that things were being done correctly.

We worked on saying what time it is in Fante class today. It could not be as easy as just saying the numbers. To say that it is 10:15 would be “ndɔndu apaho sima duenum” (which when translated literally says ten o’clock past minutes fifteen). The teacher said that a lot of people do use the English words when talking about time, but he wanted us to know the Fante words in case someone switches over to Fante thinking that we would not understand them. We also learned how to say “add” and “subtract.”

Then, we read another story in the Fante reader. Today, the story was about a little boy named Ata, a cat, and a mouse who lived together in a mud hut. Each time anything was said, Ata would say it; then, the mouse and the cat would repeat the same thing. That helped us to understand the story better with all of the repetition. We are able to translate about 50% of the words that we are reading now; we are making progress.

After Fante class, Joe went back to the school for a while to check on the building project. Janet came for her reading lesson. She knows all of the sounds now, but putting words together is a different story.

The kids had a good day at school. Danny was proud to show me his Math test; he made a 100.

This afternoon, the boys had made a ramp for their little cars with some scrap pieces of wood. Joe went out to see their masterpiece. While they were out there, the hawk swooped down and scraped the back of Danny’s head. Danny was offended because he was not even anywhere near the tree with the hawk’s nest.

After the hawk incident, the kids went down the hill to play with the Nixon boys until supper time. We had tacos for supper. Everyone was tired and ready for bed this evening.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie