On May 26, my team and I left for Brussels, Belgium where we would catch our flight to Ghana, Africa. To be flying to an airport where only two months earlier, 32 people lost their lives because of terrorist bombings was a strange feeling.
The plans for this trip began last year when a church from South Dakota, (who were aware of our work with sustainable food production), invited us to help a ministry in Ghana develop an aquaponics system.
The City of Refuge is a Christian ministry committed to helping families and children at risk. Some of the children at this center are orphans while others have been rescued from slavery.
There at the refuge they are given food, housing, education, and lots of love. The city struggles to feed the 300 people that they serve. Our teams goal was to help them find ways to do that. But I will mention more on that in just a bit.
Ghana is a country of 27 million in West Africa just north of the equator. It is a hot and humid tropical environment. While English is the official language, not everyone speaks it. The prominent local dialect is Ashanti. The average income is only $1533 per capita, which is only $128 per month. Over half the population call themselves Christians, but superstition and spiritism still runs very deep even in the believers.
So after two weeks of hard work, our team completed an aquaponics system, raised garden beds, composting areas, and many other projects. We taught the single mothers how to save firewood by building solar ovens and using rocket stoves to cook on. The people here were very excited to learn and practice the things we taught them. Our hope is that they will use these new methods and then teach others as well.
At the Homefront:
While I was away in Africa, Donna stayed home to hold down the fort and continue to lead the ministry in Heredia. From the moment I left though, she came under attack. On the way home from dropping me off at the airport, the car began to give her problems. It was sluggish and seemed to overheat, but without any warnings. She took it to our mechanic thinking/hoping that it was just something small that could easily be fixed, but that didn’t happen. The whole time I was away, she struggled without transportation to get to & from the ministry, and to pay bills and provide for her own needs at home.
Well now a month later, we are still without a car. We just met with the mechanic yesterday and he is recommending we put a new engine in it. We were devastated! The cost of a new engine is between $4000 ~ $6000, for our 98 Toyota Landrover. If we do nothing, the car has no resale value if it doesn’t run. We paid $8000 for the vehicle when we bought it from friends, which was very cheap here. The mechanic is advising us to replace the gasoline engine it has with a diesel engine. The diesel engine will cost a bit more initially, but it will increase the resale value of the car, and will also be cheaper to use in the end. Can you people please pray with us about this urgent need? (Or if you know of anyone you can share with, who might be able to give; maybe even businesses that may be interested in donating in some way). It really handicaps us to not have a vehicle to get around with, especially now during the rainy season. It is also harder for Donna after hip surgery to walk distances and stand for long waits in bus lines.
Next week our team that has been in Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya will be returning. We are looking forward to hearing their reports. The Lord continues to open up doors for us in Africa and around the world. Please pray that God will continue to give the grace and strength to respond to these opportunities. We feel that the time is short and we must do all we can to extend the Kingdom of God before Christ’s return. We thank you for your love, prayers and support.
Yours in Christ,
Terry & Donna Keith