March 2013 Update
Benjamin Ward (2008)
The Chicken Uprising
In my last update I shared about how Pastor Boniface’s chicken farm is going well, and after six months of waiting, the work has paid off! I don’t know exactly how many eggs are being laid at this present moment, but I am estimating it to be around 25 eggs each day. Once the chickens are laying 40-45 eggs every day, it will provide, Lord willing, 75% of pastor’s income! This will help the family significantly! In the last couple of weeks many of you wrote to me asking me about how much it would cost to help another pastor start up chickens like this, and so I wanted to try and roughly estimate that for you. I am not 100% sure on all the figures since it took a while to get this first project off the ground, but here is what I just wrote up.
$100 - 50 Egg laying chickens (as chicks)
$500 - Chicken Coop
$400 - Food for the first 6 months
$200 - Underlying expenses (i.e. vitamins, vaccinations, water feeders, etc.)
Approximate Total of $1200 start up costs
(Add $500 to double the amount of chickens - $100 for the chicks and $400 for the food)
RESULT (6 months after buying the chicks)
+$180-$240/month ($6-$8/day; 40-45 eggs a day)
-$70/month for chicken feed
-$20/month to help other pastors start a similar project
-$20/month for reinvestment
Approximate Total of $70-$130/month to help support the pastors family
(Approximately 50%-75% of a monthly salary, depending on the size of the family)
Now you will notice that I added in the results that $20/month will be helping other pastors start similar projects. This is because the idea behind what I hope will happen is that the pastors will all get together and help each other to start sustainable businesses that do not require much time, and give them more freedom to study the Word and minister to those around them. How I figure it, if we even had five pastors who had this above farm running and gave $20/month into a collective pool, then each year they could together help one pastor start a new project, and in the 3rd year they could help two pastors start a new project! If you are interested at all in something like this, please let me know! It is pretty exciting to help pastors provide for their families so that they can give more time to the ministry!
Some Major Prayer Requests
I want to thank you all so much for your prayers. I would also like to ask you to be praying for us very specifically over the next little while as we try hard to make changes (for the better) in the vision, goals, and purpose of the ministry here in Ghana. In the last fifteen years, several churches have been planted, several people have graduated from our bible program, and many leaders have had training. At this time as we have many leaders working with us, we want to try and work together in something much more like a partnership, and develop a strategy that all of us, as ABWE Ghana (missionaries and Ghanaians together), can be a part of and be effective in Ghana for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray especially for the dates of March 15-17 as we are trying to organize a Spiritual Life Retreat for many of our leaders and pastors. This is a very important time for us to build relationships with one another, and we all greatly covet your prayers for this time. Even prayer for the details of organizing such a retreat is necessary as this is a recent idea, but not much time is left to get it all together! Thanks for your prayer!
Have you ever caught yourself grabbing someone else’s arm and saying, “Wow, isn’t that a beautiful sunset?” Well one of the things that I love about Ghana is that every sunset is gorgeous! It is certainly one of the perks of living and ministering in this beautiful country. Our God is so creative and His paintings are a masterpiece. Here are some of my photos. Please enjoy them!
It is such a beautiful country, and I am blessed not only to be a part of the ministry here in Ghana, but to be a part of the lives of the people, the culture, the language, and of just life itself. Thank you so much for being a part of this ministry with me, and thank you for your prayer, encouragement, and support. LORD bless.
• I had an opportunity yesterday to share the gospel with a pastor that I think might be a little confused on the gospel. Please pray that he would search the scriptures I shared with him and that the Holy Spirit might change his heart as he preaches to many others.
• It is neat to see how God is organizing details in some recent activities our team is working through. I will try to share more details about this in a future update.
• Please be praying as I will be doing a lot of traveling in the next little bit. My itinerary is below:
• March 11 - Agou, Togo
• March 14 - Ho, Ghana
• March 15 - 17 - Retreat
• March 18 - Agou, Togo
• March 22 - 27 - Lalamila
• April - I will be doing a lot of traveling and attending many meetings. Appreciate your prayer!
Born to be a slave of Jesus Christ,
Psalm 27:1-4, 14
Born to be a slave of Jesus Christ,
00 228 9087 4525
Psalm 27:1-4, Philippians 4:19
John 4:35, Colossians 3:2
March 21 Update
Right now I don't even know where to begin. I can only say that I am amazed, and excited, about all the awesome things that God is doing here. I wish that somehow I could express to you in my words how I feel and the things that I have seen, but how can words ever reveal something like the presence of the Holy Spirit?
As all of you will know from reading my updates, last weekend we had a retreat for all of our pastors and some church leaders. It was amazing how everything came together, and what was just an idea not more than three weeks ago became one of the most successful, spirit led conferences I have attended. In the past there have been a lot of hurts, offences, miscommunication, and unmet expectations between us missionaries and our brothers. It certainly is not easy living across cultures where both sides think they are communicating clearly, but aren't. This weekend was the beginning of a healing process for all of us, but ended with such unity, forgiveness, and reconciliation that it felt like basking in the sun or living on the mountain top. I wish, that even for a moment, you could have experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit that we felt on Saturday night.
The theme of the conference was "One Mind... One Voice..." Taken from Romans 15:5-6 which you can read from our banner below. We had a great guest speaker, Pastor Joseph Akakpo come from Togo and he shared the Word with us. His messages were particularly challenging to me, especially his message on having an "Attitude of Gratitude." So many of you are behind me in prayer and in financial support, and I want to especially thank you for all you do for me and the part you have in this ministry.
Since the close of our retreat last week, we have been preparing for Master Planning, where we will be getting together with several of our Ghanaian leaders to talk about the future of the ministry. In the last week we have had several pre-master planning meetings, all of which have been so uplifting and encouraging. I am REALLY getting excited about what the Lord is doing! I have always said, "I know God wants me in Ghana and that He is going to do something big, but I don't know what it is yet..." Well, I still can't put my finger on it with precision, but I can say that the next few weeks and months are going to be quite a ride. So please pray for us continually! We desperately need your prayers as Satan is struggling against us. Even prior to this retreat we just had, we were having some big internal struggles within our own missionary team that at least made us question and almost even cancel the retreat (or timing of it). Obviously we are so glad that we went forward with it and the success of the retreat can only be credited to God, as He is the one who not only brought it all together, but worked in each of our hearts. As we move into master planning, I have no doubt that Satan is going to try to thwart the ministry. I am so glad we are on the side of Him who is able to present us faultless before the throne of Grace! Pray as we attend meetings with individual people who will help us with information about certain future ministry ideas. Pray for the master planning process and that God would lead us through the next few weeks. Pray that we would continue to move ahead with One Mind and One Voice so that we can be as effective as we (ABWE Ghana - Missionaries and Ghanaian Pastors and Leaders) can be in this great country. Pray that God would give us His vision, godly wisdom, and discernment as we make decisions. Thank you so much for approaching the throne of grace on our behalf!
Now I also wanted to share something else for informational purposes. The 10 acre property that I have been administrating here in Ghana is getting a lot of attention these days. Up to now it would seem to be just a forest of 10' tall elephant grass (called this because elephants can hide in it and you would never know they were right beside you), but if you were to see it now you would see a couple lawns and some sawdust in the flower beds! The campus is really starting to pick up, and we have huge aspirations to use this property for the glory of God! We don't know exactly what that means yet because we are waiting for our master planning meetings next week, but we are making a lot of preparations for whatever that may be. We could see this property being used for a school, camps, soccer tournaments, and so many other things. Now in these preparations, I have opened up two new accounts with ABWE (a Canadian one, and an American one) for our property here. These accounts will be used for anyone who wants to donate funds to this property. These funds will be used for staffing Ghanaians (guards, labourers, masons, administrators, etc.), maintenance of the campus (lawn mower upkeep so the elephant grass doesn't get out of control), and future development. Now I can't share much about future development with you right now because we will be going through the ABWE Project Office to make sure we have all our ducks in a row prior to putting up any structures (after all, we want things to last don't we?), but I should mention that any funds we get now even prior to project office approval will help with the ease to move ahead as soon as we are able. Even in the next few months we are interested in moving ahead in several areas, but we will need finances to do this. If this is something you are interested in helping with, please let me know, or you can contact either of the two offices below depending on where you live. In the next several weeks and months I will try to give you a lot more information about the kinds of buildings we would like to be putting up, and how much those might cost. Thank you so much for your prayers about how we will use this property well, and for your financial help to see it developed!
Please pray for me also as I travel to Togo today (March 21) and then up to the north with some Togolese guys including Pastor Boniface who is my "dad" on the 22, do some evangelism, baptize some new believers, and head back on Sunday. By Monday I will be back in Ghana and by Tuesday we will start Master planning. I have many, many miles to travel over the next few days, and I appreciate all your prayers for safety and for the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of those we will be in contact with on the road and in Lalamila.
Born to be a slave of Jesus Christ,
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