Newsletter September 2008
We will be leaving Ghana on 15th September 2008, arriving in the UK the next morning 16th. We look forward, of course, to meeting up with you all again during the days following. You will have noticed I have added inverted commas to ‘homeward’ on the heading above because really we are not sure where our home is on this planet. We both feel Tamale is our spiritual home now and certainly this is the way I [John] felt on my return here last week, as I opened the door to our Ministry Centre.
The main reason for this newsletter is when I was in Warrington recently I felt that there were some misunderstandings regarding our pending departure from Ghana and I would like to rectify this. We are not doing this out of choice or to have a sabbatical or nice little retirement in England but only to help the financial aspects of our ministry in Tamale. Over the years and especially since building our Ministry Centre our budget has increased four times while our personal financial support has hardly risen at all. Akua has also had new family financial needs placed on her shoulders which are nothing to do with Ministry but nevertheless needs that have to be met.
Having seen this coming well over a year ago, Akua started to train in African hairdressing, plaiting, extensions, nail care etc. She recently passed her practical exams in Tamale where she had trained for nearly a year and next week will be sitting her final exams in a college in Accra where she has trained for the last three months.
Akua will be much in demand, especially amongst the black community in and around Warrington, when she begins her work. Moreover this will help to meet her own financial needs and also take any financial pressure off our Ministry in Ghana.
ALCOHOL THRILLER OR KILLER
Although we were initially very sad about the decision to locate to the UK, our circumstances were engineered that way so we accept it; my peace has never wavered since making that decision! I have seen enough evidence in the prisons recently through John Hayes’ and my book “Alcohol-Thriller or Killer” to realise that God has allowed our departure from Ghana for maybe a season for this new ministry. God has used the book to open a door wide to be able to enter prisons where normally it would not be possible. God has given us the opportunity to minister in prisons throughout the UK, to speak to the inmates in a large assembly of how God can bring a permanent change to their lives. Just one week after returning to the UK, John Hayes and I are due to minister at Haverigg prison in Cumbria and two days later at Brixton Prison in South London, so this ministry covers every part of the UK.
We plan, God willing, to ship our fifth 20ft container from England in the early part of next year. This will bring the total number of books transported to Tamale from the UK to approximately half a million. One book can be read by many people so it’s impossible to know how many souls our books have ministered to and in a place where before our arrival there were none.
The next container will be significantly more expensive than the previous ones from Book-Aid. Over the years you get to know what kind of Christian authors and titles the people like, so we are working on this. I have recently made contact with S.T.L., a massive Christian distribution company from Carlisle and also Terranova Press from the south of England. The former will sell us the books we choose at special undeveloped world ministry discount prices plus, to counter that, donate the odd pallet or two as well. Just a few weeks ago, Terranova Press sent to my Warrington address 1200 new books at a retail value of £8000 free and even paid the postage.
A missionary couple from Florida, who are teachers, recently came looking for a house to rent in Tamale. They were directed to me and have just agreed to rent the ministry Centre, as of Monday, 1st September—God’s perfect timing and guidance! They are going to build a Christian school in Kungbungu, not far from the Centre, where there are ten Muslim schools but no Christian schools. They will also have small teams coming from Florida occasionally to minister in the local villages for a few weeks at a time.
I am blessed that the Lord has answered our prayer exactly as we wanted, in that our Centre is being used by these missionaries for the Lord’s work. Not only have we received 6 month’s rent up front ( based on a 6 month’s contract ) to help with our next container but we will now save on the money used for security while we are away!
We simply have to trust God at all times and follow Him wherever He leads through our circumstances. I will be travelling back and forth to Ghana every few months to oversee our work, leaving Sean and Akua behind. Separation from your loved ones is a cost that mission can sometimes bring but we thank God for the financial support to be able to do this in order that The Malak Christian Book Centre Ministry continues to operate effectively in our absence with our tiny staff.
TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART
AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING
IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM
AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT
[ PROVERBS 3: 5-6 ]
Moses at the store
Samson and Hezekiah, my watchmen