Ghana Signs

18 05 2006

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been preparing for a 3 month visit in the States which starts tomorrow (!). As you can imagine, we had a ton of packing to do, gifts to find, responsibilities to pass on, goodbyes to say and lose ends to tie up. On top of all of this, Graham graduated from Kindergarten, Isaac was promoted to 3rd grade and Owen…well, he’s still 2 and 110% boy – always a handful!

We are currently in Accra, Ghana waiting for our plane to London. From there, we fly to Geneva, Switzerland to visit my brother, Andy, and his family. We are really looking forward to seeing them. (I anticipate having some great pictures to post next week from that stay.)

So what does all this have to do with Ghana signs? Well not much, except that we drove through Ghana today and were reminded of the funny (to us) business signs we frequently see. West African English is a bit different than American (or British) English which can be both frustrating and fun at the same time.

Here’s a list of our favorite signs in Ghana:

Don’t Mind Your Wife Chop Bar
– A chop bar is just a little shack that serves local food. I guess this is a good place to go if you’re having marital problems.

Observers Are Worried Chop Bar
Not the best advertising. Probably not the best food either!

Sokode Biscuit Factory – Proud Users of Holsum Fat
– Can fat really be wholesome or that just industry propaganda?

God’s Finger Farm
– If your kid ever asks you where fingers come from, here’s your answer!

Live and Dressed Chicken Sold Here
– These are more expensive than your traditional ‘dead and naked’ chickens, but I’ve heard they are cute. It is a mystery, though, why the chicken on their sign doesn’t have on any clothes.

Holy Ghost Zone Cosmetics and Hardware Store
They take face lift to a whole new level.

God’s Love Furniture Works
I’m not exactly sure what love furniture is, but apparently the God brand works.

One for the Road Palm Wine Bar
– Enough said!


Owen Ries, Rescue Hero

17 05 2006

As you can see, Owen has been on a big Rescue Hero (or as he says it “Retoo Reero”) kick. If you haven’t seen these action figures, you need to know that they have really large, oversized boots – that’s why he’s commandeered my hiking boots. He likes to run (kinda hard in the boots though) saying “Retoo Reeros!”. Too funny.

Prayer Walk

1 05 2006

A few weeks ago, during the Kabiye “All-Church Retreat”, I had what is to date, the most exciting and inspiring experience of my short missionary career. It came during the time we split up into small groups and went on a prayer walk. The group I was in consisted of three men, 2 women and 2 teenage girls.

During the prayer walk, we moved between different stations and were led in prayer at each station by a different Kabiye church leader. We prayed prayers of praise to God, out loud, one by one. We also prayed quietly together for the spread of God’s Kingdom in Kabiyeland.

At one station, the leader gave us a great word of encouragement followed by a short prayer. At another, we shared personal prayer requests which were then prayed over. We prayed for spiritual strength and protection, for the defeat of Satan and for the healing of the sick. We also prayed for unity. We prayed.

It struck me during this prayer walk, as I prayed with these Kabiye brothers and sisters, that each of them was from a different Kabiye church. What’s more, none of the churches represented had been planted solely by any of the missionaries. (Each work involved other Kabiye Christians and at least two of the churches were planted by the Kabiye Christians themselves.)

I was amazed, humbled and greatly encouraged all at the same time. The amazement came from the fact that it was even possible to put together such a relatively large and diversified group of Christians at this stage in the Kabiye work. (The 7 other prayer walk groups were just as big and varied.) I could hardly believe it was true. It seemed more like a dream.

(It is a little embarrassing to confess that while I’ve talked and dreamed of ‘bringing the Kabiye to Christ’, I don’t think I ever had a true vision – or idea – of what that would actually look like. Finally, I had caught a glimpse. It was awesome!)

How humbling it is to think that God was using imperfect, fragile beings like myself and my teammates to help this movement grow! Every day, I realize a bit more how little I know and how much bigger this work is than ourselves. Yet, God is really moving and working; turning our baby steps of faith into leaps and bounds of glory. Amazing!

Overall, I couldn’t help be encouraged to see these brothers and sisters – complete strangers to each other, and Christ, a few short years or months before – united in prayer before the One Lord and Savior. They have come so far in so little time. Imagine what all of this will look like 5, 10, 50, 100 years from now!

Who knows if you’ll ever be able to participate in something like this in Kabiyeland yourself. I hope so. But if not, don’t be too disappointed, I’m guessing you’ll get to share plenty of amazing, humbling and exciting times such as these (and many, many more) with our Kabiye brothers and sisters in heaven.