My View of Things: Physical or Spiritual Needs, What’s More Important?
Sometimes I am discouraged when thinking of how interested folks can get in the physical needs of people and seem less concerned about their much greater spiritual needs. Spending an hour doing medical work to repair someone’s body, or helping flood victims repair homes is more emotionally gripping (and photographically interesting) than viewing an hour long weekly Bible study or personal counseling. Yet we know that the body will wear out, no matter what, and the poor we will always have with us, but when a man’s soul is repaired and strengthened spiritually through the teaching and application of God’s word, they will eternally live! Sometimes it is a hard cold fact that we must invest our time and money in either/or, not both. I for one believe that investing more in prayer and the ministry of the Word, will bear greater dividends. Not that we should totally ignore people’s physical needs altogether. But many problems would clear off if people would do things God’s way, and live prudent, Spirit-led and wise lives. Many problems here in Africa are self-imposed, such as AIDS which is entirely preventable by having Christian morality.
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! NEWS!
-Extreme health and weather issues. First, at the beginning of the year, seasonal extra thick Sahara sands in the air (from the dreaded northerly Harmattan winds) caused bronchial infections that were extreme. Thankfully, God relieved us with several extreme and very unusually early and powerful thunderstorms, (one even bring hailstones!) But just as we heaved a sigh of relief, then Sherrie endured a kidney stone that lasted six days! We are thankful that it finally passed, after much torturous pain. I am so proud of the way that she kept a great attitude kept right on working through it all. A real testimony to the empowering of the Holy Spirit within, and her strong faith and determination to serve her God and this ministry.
-Funerals. On Christmas day, no less, our lawyer, Dei Kwarteng, surprising all of us, died of cancer. We went to his funeral, which was the biggest I’ve ever attended in a nation that specializes in super-big funerals. There were police to direct traffic! Chiefs, other lawyers, clan members, all were present. I know that his son, also now our lawyer, Dei Jr., really appreciated it.
Then we attended, two weeks later, the funeral of the father of Esther Adobella. He was a Moslem, and left behind many children from his two wives – over a dozen, I believe. Esther is the only one of these who has sought and gained salvation in Christ, so we wanted to support her. She also serves as the cook for our boarding students, and attended BCA for many years on her own. There was much drumming by a nearly demonically inspired, semi-professional drummer corps. Very talented but also disturbing to watch, if you know what I mean.
- Legal Issues: We go to court February 18th with a the assistant, Nana Adjoa and Dei Jr. Pray for wisdom & victory!
-Rent Issues. Greedy landlords abound in Ghana! Our landlady has demanded $200 more per month, Jessica and Attah’s – a Lebanese Moslem – $250 more, and others landords are evicting some of our church members, such as the Aduseis, the Lantames and the Appahs (these three solid families represent 17 people! Pray for boldness and courage to negotiate with these and come up with solutions. One thing is sure, we are not financially ready to add more such monthly costs to our budget!
- New Work! Caleb and Lamisi and their children will be moving to Hoehoe, a large town in the eastern Volta region, near where Caleb’s relatives, including his mother whom he has immersed into Christ some years back, all live. He will be sharing the gospel there and trying to start a Christian school and first, a church. We will help with about $250 per month support. We will miss them immensely! Caleb was a Moslem 16 year old when he first came to our school, and married a fellow student from a different tribe and area of Ghana. How faithful they have been, and so they will leave a big hole here to fill.
- New Students. We are excited about several new students God has brought to us: Wilomena, who is the 11 year old daughter of a new convert, William. Because of legal problems of his own, he’s having difficulty supporting her. She was staying with her Catholic mom and step-dad, but William wanted her back her with him to be raised in the truth. We also have two others that a local women has brought in, Bafour and sister Florence. Pray that we can disciple these fatherless, poor children for Christ to be like Christ.
- Birthdays! Grandma Sherrie especially, and also me somewhat, are the only grandparents around to do the “grandparent thing.” So we’re excited and happy to attend parties for Hannah, Zion, and Jeremiah (named after our son) Adusei, Josiah Lantame, and all the others. We recently counted 17 under 5 year olds at the last birthday party!! Praise God for these children all being raised in Christ to serve Him with all their hearts! More arrows! (Ps.127)
Thank you so very much for your support for this mission. Some extraordinary personal gifts of amazing generosity have kept things going here. May God bless you to continue doing so, and be assured that lives are truly being changed by the power of the gospel of Christ. Together we’ll partnership for a great and awesome year of ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God through Christ.
Pray for us as we try to revitalize our web site so that you can view pictures again. Hopefully by the time I send our next report, this will be accomplished. West Africa is notorious for computer viruses, so much so that major companies are refusing to do business online here anymore. Man’s sinfulness always causes everybody a lot of unnecessary hassles.
Serving Our King, Jesus,
Jeff & Sherrie Hostetter