I like closure. I always have and that is a problem for me in doing ministry in general, but a real plus in teaching where there are semesters and graduations. I have enjoyed seeing my students graduate from their academic programs here at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Seminary in Peki, Volta Region of Ghana in West Africa. That has been one of the highlights of my time here and a source of joy for me after becoming so close to the students. To see them move forward in their dreams of being in the ministry is fulfilling for all of us.
The other point of closure for me as I come to an end of my time working with our partners here is the accomplishment of the main reason for their request; helping to secure the accreditation for their fledgling college, the Evangelical Presbyterian University College. They have secured their accreditation with the University of Cape Coast in Ghana so their students are receiving recognized diplomas. This is an important accomplishment and I would like to say “thank you” and “well done” to all of you who are reading this report for your part in this work. It is your prayers, encouragement and financial support that has made it possible to say we walked together with our partners in moving the work for Jesus forward in here in Ghana.
As I prepare for departure in December and my return to my homeland on this planet, I have to say a lot has happened in my time here that I will remember forever. I think of all the believers that have touched my life and have shared with me in the fellowship we enjoy that crosses all borders and cultures. Of course, there are the Ghanaians and other West African who have communed with me. But now I also have friends from Germany, Scotland, the U.K. and other European nations as well as South Africa and people I would not have met otherwise from the States. Engaging in mission always reminds one that we are a part of a community that spans the whole globe.
Another of the highlights of my time here has been the complicated relationship I have with the “wonder truck,” that fantastic 1989 Toyota truck (4x4) which has a long history here at the seminary. My access to this truck has allowed me to be part of many service projects and allowed me to meet quite a few mechanics and welders who have helped me keep it on the road. One of my favorite projects is the completion of school rooms for E.P. Church primary school in Avatile. The picture shows some of those students “helping” by opening and closing the tailgate after we had unloaded the bags of cement. We have moved stone for the building of a new women’s dormitory on campus. We have delivered donated pineapples to the school for the blind in Accrakpong and delivered all the water tanks that now make life much better for everyone on our campus. The last thing I will ask of it, Lord willing, is to take the refrigerator and stove I now use to Ho for the new dorm just completed for the street children’s project, “Nenyo Haborbor,” on the day I leave. You may recognize that as part of the ministry my coworker and friend Kristine Tisinger works with in Ho. All of you have been part of all these things and I thank you again.
I would like to leave you with something I hope will make you smile. I met Winnie the Pooh at the bottom of our seminary drive the other day. Her mom runs a small second hand clothes store that sells donated clothes from the States and she was trying on this costume. I didn’t have any honey for her or her sister, but they let me take this picture. I pray that your part in this work in Africa will always bring a smile to you.
Gary Luallin, a member of Southside Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Jacksonville, Florida, serves with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana, as a university professor at the Peki Seminary. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples' Mission Fund, Our Church's Wider Mission, and your special gifts.