Mission Application Photo

Mission Application Photo

Sunday, May 7, 2017

With an Eye toward Cape Coast

We thought that this past week was rather routine thus the reference in the title of our post, "With an Eye toward Cape Coast."  (An anticipated trip to western Ghana).  But upon closer examination, there was much going on, especially for the finance "minister".  Monday was the day that about 100 ATMs were tested by our missionaries as they withdrew their monthly "allowance".

Generally speaking, things do go quite smoothly.  This week, we had a few "misplaced" cards and some that just didn't work.  It is discouraging when a missionary calls and says that the ATM took their card but gave them no money.  A quick check of their account by Elder Pace will show that there was a transaction with funds deducted from the account, but no money was dispensed.  This has happened about 10 times since we have been in Ghana.  The bank in the US has to repair those problems.  

Another missionary card transaction reacted erratically with a request for funds.  The record showed that it completed a withdrawal, but then, immediately reversed the withdrawal, then completed another withdrawal only to reverse it again.  Sometimes we can correct this by sending them to another ATM.  Other times we have to have the bank in the US help us.

You might be interested to know that one of Elder Pace's responsibilities is to request the money missionaries receive each month.  Of course, these are funds that are donated by the missionary's parents and members of the Church throughout the world.  The amount the missionaries receive is 400 cedis.  This is the equivalent of 100 US for a month.  Although this isn't a lot of money, and they still have to manage well, the missionaries do ok on this amount.

This is Ghanaian currency.  The largest bill is the 50.  (about $12 US)  Quite colorful!

Our mission facility manager, Gilbert Oppong, is the proud father of Mildred.  On the left is a picture of Mildred taken May 2016 and one taken this week, May 2017.  This time she was running everywhere in the mission office!

 We noticed this sign during our morning exercise.  Notice how clinic is spelled.

Sometimes during our morning exercise,  Elder Pace sees Stephen, a guard at a local bank. During this encounter, Stephen had worked during the night shift and so had already changed out of his uniform.

On Thursday we had our monthly Missionary Leadership Council meeting with Zone Leaders, who help oversee about 14-34 missionaries in their Zone Area.  The Heids greeted each one of the missionaries.  This is Elder Sebeliba, our new office elder, from Swaziland. He has a college degree in agricultural development and has only been a church member a few years.  He has been a wonderful addition to our office with his excellent English and organization skills.

At MLC Sister Heid talked about being Christlike and having "heart".  Sometimes we put walls around ourselves and others, and don't take the opportunity to change for the better. She shared a story from her teaching career.  One of her colleagues was teaching an AP class.  One young man always sat in the back with a sweatshirt over his head, even though it was not cold in the classroom.  He usually ate lunch by himself in the library.  During an individual senior project presentation, he showed the class his deformed hand, which he had hidden under his sweatshirt every day. He said he chose to be alone because many years ago he showed a "friend" his hand and immediately he was teased on the school playground.  So, he decided to be a loner. 

After his comments, a girl  announced to the class that she would eat lunch with him that day.  Soon, the entire class invited him to have lunch.  Not only was the young man willing to open this heart, but also class members were willing to include him in their social circle. Sister Heid encouraged the missionaries to look for opportunities to have "heart".

Our mission nurse, Sister Jones, shared a video about how germs spread.  She is always reminding missionaries to wash their hands thoroughly.  It is entertaining and makes a point!

 Elders getting ready to be attentive for MLC.

The missionaries always have a good time socializing after MLC and having pizza!

This week we lost electricity for several hours....thank goodness for the generator.  We also lost city water....thank goodness for our poly tank.  Then the cylinder on our water filter broke and water started leaking under the sink.   And, we had no replacement cylinders. Thank goodness for "plumbers"; Elder Pace and neighbor, Elder Jones.  They reconnected hoses and set us up with a new filter system that does not require the plastic cylinders. Now there is better hot water pressure too!

On the way to church this morning, we were driving the "Beach Rd" and saw this sight.  All sorts of chairs were piled on this truck.

During church we had a severe wind and rain storm.  Water came in underneath the church door and we also lost electricity.  (Fortunately, the rain cooled the air and it was not too uncomfortable without ceiling fans in the building.)  On the way home, we saw several large puddles and scattered debris.  There was a large billboard and pole that came down on one side of the road and traffic had to be forced onto the shoulder to pass.  We were not quick enough with the camera to get a picture.  One benefit of the storm was that there was less traffic!!

This is what the billboard frames look like.  Likely they have all been stripped at one time due to storms.

This coming week we have two Missionary Zone meetings in the bush.  Depending on our time and work schedule, we may attend.  Thursday we head to the Cape Coast area of Ghana for a short getaway out of our mission.  Stay tuned for more pictures.  We hope to visit a slave castle, a national park and a beach resort. 

Here is a very interesting story about a missionary that served in the Ghana Accra Mission with President and Sister Heid.  We had heard about this inspiring story and thought you might enjoy the link.


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