Category Archives: Prayer Letters

June 2014 Prayer Letter

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Praise the Lord for His mercy and goodness.  I am so excited that we have the privilege of serving such a great God.   Furlough is such a busy time.

We were able to attend the graduation service at Oklahoma Baptist College.  Jim Post graduated, and I have to say that it has been a privilege to watch that young man grow up on the mission field.  Another young man that graduated told me that he surrendered to preach at the age of eight when I preached in his Christian School chapel.

I was able to go to Israel this past month for ten days.  I went with Dr. Vineyard and his son Paul, David Sloan, my father-in-law (Adrian Van Manen), and Jim Post.  We had a great trip, and we were able to make some great contacts. Jim Post was able to learn a lot about Israel.  We got to meet with Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’allon.  He told us about going to the Golan Heights and looking east toward Damascus.  He said, “I looked east and all I could see was death and destruction, and I looked west toward Israel and saw life and construction.”  He approved the removal of several mine fields so that 700 farms could be constructed.

We have been able to be in some great meetings in the past few weeks.  Praise the Lord for new support.  We are always in need of some new supporters.  We have also been able to report to some churches that have supported us for the past fourteen years.  Our children finished out the school year and will all be moving on to the next grade.  We also got to attend church camp with our children.  It was their first time to go to camp, and they loved it.

If you would like to see our video presentation for this furlough, you may visit consfords.com/presentation.  We would love to come and visit you at your church. If you would like to contact me concerning having us come, please call me at (936) 332-6542.
We are sending our prayer letters out by e-mail, and we are trying to phase out snail mail.  I need your help to do this in order to save money. I want to ask you to please visit consfords.com/lettersubscribe to sign up to receive our monthly prayer letter by e-mail.

Here is a list of our current prayer requests:
•    Safety on the road
•    Health
•    New support
•    Funds for an updated vehicle when we return to Ghana

Thank you very much for supporting us through your sacrificial giving and through your precious prayer time!  We pray that much fruit will be added to your account through our labors on the field in your behalf!

Your friend and ambassador to West Africa,

Joe Consford

March 2014 Prayer Letter

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Is March already almost over? Wow! Time in the USA seems to move faster. We have been on the road, and we are so thankful that we have been in some great meetings. The Lord has been so good to us to give us some good meetings with churches who have supported us for years as well as with some new churches, and we have been able to pick up some much needed support. Please continue to pray that we will be able to raise the additional support we need while we are on this furlough.

We have all been to the doctor and found out that we all had contracted Hepatitis A sometime before we left Africa. We were wondering why we all felt so puny. I thought jet lag was really rough this time. However, we are all on the upswing, and the doctor has said that we are almost back to normal now.

The kids are enjoying being in school at our home church. They are having a ball making friends, and we are so thankful that they have this opportunity.
If you would like to see our rough draft of our video presentation for this furlough, you may visit consfords.com/presentation. We would love to come and visit you at your church. If you would like to contact me concerning having us come, please call me at (936) 332-6542.
We are sending our letters out by email, and we are trying to phase out snail mail. If you need to sign up for our prayer letters, please visit consfords.com/lettersubscribe.

Here is a list of our current prayer requests:
• Safety on the road
• Health
• New support
• Funds for an updated vehicle when we return to Ghana

Thank you very much for supporting us through your sacrificial giving and through your precious prayer time! We pray that much fruit will be added to your account through our labors on the field in your behalf!

January 2014 Prayer Letter

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Happy New Year!  Wow!  It is amazing what time does.  It just keeps marching at the same pace even when we would like to speed it up or slow it down at times.

I want to apologize for not sending our letter in December.  I said to myself on December 17 that tomorrow would be a good day to sit down and get this letter sent out.  On the morning of December 18, I went to town to do some banking business; then, as soon as I walked in the door, I received a phone call from Missionary Andrew Aaron.  His wife had just given birth on December 15, and they had discovered that the new baby would have to return to the United States for an emergency surgery.  We quickly packed our house for furlough and went to Accra to help the Aarons.

My wife and Emily Aaron flew back to the United States with Elise, the sick baby, on December 20.  Andrew Aaron and I flew back with our seven kids on December 25.  I have seen the Lord provide so many times in the past, but I have never seen Him put His mighty arms around me like He did during those few days.  What my Heavenly Father did for me from December 15 – December 26 of last year will remain in my memory for years to come.  If you would like to hear this story, you can listen to it by going to consfords.com/040.

We are home on furlough.  We will be booking meetings from February to November of 2014.  If you would like us to come by your church, please send me an email at consford@gmail.com , or you can call me on my new cell phone at (936) 332-6542.

Our children are enjoying attending Central Baptist Christian School in Center, Texas.  It has been humorous to listen to them talk about the differences between here and Ghana.  They are enjoying the smaller classes and a real live teacher instead of a DVD teacher.

Pray for our health.  Going from hot to cold has been a big adjustment for us all.  We have all struggled with colds, the flu, etc. It seems that my wife picked up some form of Hepatitis before we left Africa; she is getting a lot of rest and trying to get over that as quickly as possible.

We look forward to seeing many of you during this year of furlough.  We are excited about getting back to Ghana and starting a church in a new area.  We are thankful for each of you and for your faithful prayers and support.  Pray for us as we will be doing a lot of traveling.

Your friend and ambassador to West Africa,

Joe Consford

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Prayer Letter September/October 2013

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In September, we had some special visitors from Texas.  Our pastor, my father, and my uncle came to visit.  We had a wonderful time with them and are so glad that they came.  Brother Danny Dodson, our pastor, got to preach in several different churches while he was here; my dad and my uncle gave their testimony.  Brother Dodson also preached at an activity day at the big soccer stadium outside of Sekondi.  Four different churches in the area came for the activity day.

Our children really enjoyed spending time with our guests. The boys ran those men ragged.  They had them out playing football or baseball almost every afternoon.  Bonnie kept everyone one on their toes too.  Our pastor stayed in her room, and she pulled him aside to tell him that if he messed up anything in her room, he would be sacked and that Papa would get to have her room.

One evening when Brother Dodson was preaching, he asked how many wanted to be blessed.  Everyone raised their hands.  Then, he asked how many wanted a curse.  Bonnie kept her hand up.  Danny leaned over and said, “She thought he said ‘purse,’ Mom.”

My wife recently found out that she has two tumors.  We travelled to Accra, the capital city, to have a biopsy done.  We just got the results back this week.  There was no cancer! Praise the Lord!  The growth rate of the tumors will have to be monitored by ultra sound, and they may have to be removed at a later date.

I was able to help secure a meeting place for the Bible Study in Funkoe village.  We met with the chief, and he talked to the headmaster of the school.  At first, they offered the worst room of all; the ceiling had fallen in, and the room was in bad shape.  The chief was offended that they would even suggest that; he told them to give him the keys to the best classroom instead. Some of the men from the church are going out there every Tuesday evening.  So far, there have been twelve people saved through that Bible Study.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support.  We appreciate all that you do for us in making it possible for us to reach souls here in Ghana.

downloadPDF button zpsf9fa0d1c Prayer Letter September/October 2013

Prayer Letter July 2013

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This is our first ever e-mail only prayer letter. Thank you for signing up!

We have been staying very busy with our language studies. Fante is a very difficult language. We can now go to the market and get almost anything that we want without having to revert back to English. People are very shocked that the white people are speaking their language!
We have been helping at Independent Bible Baptist Church here in Takoradi, Ghana. I am helping to train their young men to be soul-winners. We are having a great time. Please pray for these young men to get a burden for their own people. I take a couple of men out three nights a week. We have made some great contacts, and we are doing Salvation Bible Studies with three different married couples.

Here in Ghana, the charismatics are very prevalent. People here know Bible terms, but the meanings have been distorted. You have to tear down before you can build. Please pray for us as we sow the seeds of the Gospel in this land of spiritual darkness.

On Saturdays, I have been going to Funkoe Village to help the church establish a preaching station in this village. The people in this village have been very receptive. Being able to greet them and introduce myself in Fante has been very helpful. This Saturday, July 13, 2013, we are going to have our first Children’s Bible Club in Funkoe Village. We are very excited about this!
Funkoe is a fishing village; and because of superstition, the men do not go fishing on Tuesdays. The first Tuesday in August, we are going to hold our first adult Bible Study in Funkoe. Please pray that God would provide a meeting place before that day.

In April 2014, we are scheduled to return to the States for furlough. We want to start scheduling our meetings now. We will be available for meetings from June 2014 to March 2015. If you would like for us to report to your church or be a part of your missions conference, please let us know as soon as possible. You can contact us by e-mail at consford@gmail.com or by phone at 936-553-5380. (This is our Magic Jack number; if our computer is not online at the time that you try to call, you can leave a voice mail.) We cannot wait to get to see you in person and tell the stories about what God has done here in West Africa this term.

Your friends and ambassadors to West Africa,

Joe and Laura Consford

downloadPDF button zpsf9fa0d1c Prayer Letter July 2013

Prayer Letter April/May 2013

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Thank you very much for all of those who have signed up to receive our prayer letters by e-mail.  If you prefer to receive our letters via the postal system, we are not going to stop sending them.  We are trying to save money by e-mailing our letters to those who are set up for that.  If you could go to our website (www.consfords.com), and then click on the menu item that says “Prayer Letters,” you can sign up for our monthly prayer letter; or just send me an e-mail, and I will add you to the list.  (consford@gmail.com)  If you have signed up to receive the letter by e-mail, this should be the last letter that you receive by mail.

We had a great Easter Sunday with several visitors in attendance.  Two weeks after Easter, we thought that the church was prepared to vote in a national as assistant pastor.  We had talked to everyone, and they said that they were in agreement.  During the meeting, a man stood up and presented himself as a candidate.  We were blind-sided by this.  Thinking that everyone would still vote to call the other candidate that we had discussed, we went ahead with the vote.  The majority of the people voted for the man who had presented himself.  This man had caused trouble for us in the past.  Because the church people wanted to follow him, I resigned from the position of missionary pastor.  This was not a church that we started; it was a struggling church that we have been trying to help.

We have one year remaining before our scheduled furlough.  We are going to spend this year working hard on learning Fante, the tribal language of this area.  We are attending the church where our children go to school as we concentrate on Fante.  We will be much more effective as missionaries if we can speak to the people in their own language.  There are many people in this area who do not speak English at all.  We have been told that Fante is one of the hardest Ghanaian dialects to learn.  It is a tonal language; the same word can mean several things depending on how it is said.

We would ask that you pray about something the Lord has laid on our hearts.  There are many unreached fishing and farming communities in our area.  We would like to hold tent meetings in these villages and present the Gospel to these unreached people.  To start out, we will just need a video projector and a screen.  Eventually, we would like to purchase a truck and a tent for this ministry.  The truck would also be used for Bible distribution.

We had a blessing this past week. Our daughter, Bonnie, accepted Jesus as her Savior.  Both of our boys, Gilbert (8) and Danny (6), have been really concerned about her salvation and have been witnessing to her frequently.  Bonnie, who is almost five, could answer every question this time, and was ready to be saved.  There was not a dry eye in the house!

Your friend and ambassador to West Africa,

Joe Consford

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February Prayer Letter 2013

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February 2013
I have a special prayer request. In the last two years, due to many different factors, our support has dropped by $1000 per month; couple that with the change in location due to the civil war in Ivory Coast, we are struggling to stay afloat. We do not want to have to take an early furlough! So, we are asking you for help. I would ask, if your church does not support us, could you consider taking us on for monthly support? If you are one of our supporting churches, could you pray that some additional churches would take us on for monthly support?
Laura and I have been working very hard the last few months to learn Fante, the tribal language of this area. We have been making some progress, and we can now walk around town and greet people and invite them to church. We have been quoting Scripture verses in Fante on a Radio program every Saturday morning. We have received a lot of comments in town about the white people speaking the local language on the radio. Please pray for us as we strive to communicate with the people here more efficiently.
We just had our Valentine’s Day Banquet at the church. I did not expect the results that we had! We had over ten visitors who had never been to a Baptist church; some are pictured below. Some of them were Methodists, and several of them were Catholics. What a blessing to get to present the gospel to them on Valentine’s Day. We had a great time of fun, food, and fellowship. I wish you could have been there!
We are trying to save money by e-mailing our prayer letters. We need your help. If you could go to our website (www.consfords.com), and then click on the menu item that says “Prayer Letters,” you can sign up for our monthly prayer letter.
We also have a weekly internet radio broadcast. People call and ask questions via voicemail about life on the mission field and African culture. I have had several people tell me that they have played this podcast in their Sunday School classes and had their students call and ask questions right from class. You could do this in your Sunday School, in your youth group, or possibly in your Christian School classes. It gives a personal touch and a feeling of being more closely connected to us even though we are thousands of miles away. It is my prayer the Lord will use this podcast to call someone to missions! Just go to www.consfords.com, click on the heading “Joe’s Podcast,” and you will see a list of all the shows we have done so far. There will be a new show each week on Wednesday morning.
Pray for us as we have big plans in the next few weeks here at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Ntankroful, Ghana. I believe God is going to do great things this year!

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January Prayer Letter 2013

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We started this year off with altars full at our Watch Night Service!  What a blessing to see people at the altars praying in the New Year.  In Ghana, it is a custom to go to church on New Year’s Eve.  People look down upon those who do not attend church somewhere on December 31.  For many people, it will be the only time this year that they are in church; so we gave a clear presentation of the Gospel!  We had one saved, and several people dedicated their lives to serve the Lord more faithfully this year.  Praise the LORD!

A few weeks ago, a man moved here from Togo.  He does not speak very much English and does not understand the local language at all.  He is from an Independent Baptist Church in Togo, and he just happened to see our sign.  I have been preaching most of the services in both English and French and having someone translate into Fante, the tribal language in our area.

Laura and I are trying to learn Fante.  We have a language teacher coming to the house three times a week for two hours each time.  We are making slow progress, but at least we are making progress.  Last Saturday, our teacher, who does a weekly radio program, interviewed me on the radio. The whole interview was in Fante, and I quoted Luke 1: 68 in Fante.  I look forward to being able to preach all in Fante.

My last attempt to digitize our prayer letter was a dismal failure due to a lack of understanding on my part on how this works.  I have been on a mission to learn how to do this in a more efficient way.  Go to www.consfords.com and click on the heading “Prayer Letters.”  You can sign up to get our letters there.

While I was learning about the prayer letters and setting up this new website, I stumbled upon a great idea.  I am now doing a weekly audio podcast.  People call and ask questions via voicemail about life on the mission field and African culture.  I have had several people tell me that they have played this podcast in their Sunday School classes and had their students call and ask questions right from class.  You could do this in your Sunday School, in your youth group, or possibly in your Christian School classes.  It gives a personal touch and a feeling of being more closely connected to us even though we are thousands of miles away.  It is my prayer the Lord will use this podcast to call someone to missions!  Just go to www.consfords.com, click on the heading “Joe’s Podcast,” and you will see a list of all the shows we have done so far.  There will be a new show each week on Wednesday morning.

Pray for us as we have big plans for this year here at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Ntankroful, Ghana.  I believe God is going to do great things this year!

Your friends and ambassadors to West Africa,

Joe and Laura Consford

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December Prayer Letter 2012

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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

November Prayer Letter 2012

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November Prayer Letter 2012

Can it be Thanksgiving time again?  Wow!  Time surely does fly when you are having fun serving the Lord!

We have so much for which to be thankful!  God has been so good to us this year.  I do not know how to tell people this, but if everyone could know the peace God gives when you are in the middle of His will, then we would have trouble finding places to serve without getting in each other’s way!  We do not have that problem over here in Ghana either!

This month has been packed with so many unexpected challenges and blessings!  I suppose we should be thankful for the challenges as well as blessings!  At least the challenges give us the chance to exercise our faith!  There have been heartbreaks and disappointments; but even in the midst of those times, God shows His power and mercies in such a wonderful way.

We have had people saved almost every week this month.  People who have been living in sin have repented and made decisions to walk more closely with Christ.  Last week, we had seven baptisms!  What a blessing!

A twelve-year-old girl named Gifty came to church and raised her hand for prayer during the invitation.  She had gone to a charismatic prayer camp, and they had prayed over her to “deliver” her from demons.  Then, they went to her house and told her that they had a dream that witches were going to cast a spell on her and kill her.  She was so afraid!  We showed her from the Bible how that when one accepts Christ they are moved from Satan’s kingdom to the Kingdom of Christ.  This story was just a reminder for us that this is a battlefield and we are in a war!  Thank you so much for your prayers for us as we take the fight to the devil’s old stomping grounds!

We finally found a Fante (pronounced “fon-ty”) teacher.  Laura and I started Fante lessons this month.  Fante is the tribal language spoken in our region of Ghana, and it can be understood in about 90% of Ghana.  Please pray that we will be able to pick up the language quickly.  This will be a very helpful tool.  Although English is the official language of Ghana, there are many who do not speak or understand English.

We are so thankful for those who have faithfully supported us for the past twelve years.  It is a blessing to have so many faithful supporters who continually pray for us and support us financially.

Your friends and ambassadors to Ivory Coast

Joe and Laura Consford

Click on this link to download and print the PDF version:

November Prayer Letter 2012