Some final words from Ghana!
"How long will you stay in Ghana?" This is a question we have answered many times over the years. Our usual response was, "Until God tells us it is time to leave." Now we know the answer is 19 years. We arrived in Ghana on April 13, 2000 and we expect to leave on June 5, 2019.
It is very hard to say goodbye, but we do so knowing that God has made it abundantly clear that now is the time.
The last few months have been very busy. We have spent time in South America for Phil to assist the Bolivia team with a strategic review and also to spend time in Paraguay with Dan & Christie, the couple we are mentoring, to see them in their context. (An added bonus was stopping to see Kieran and Liam for a few days enroute.)
Phil also visited North East India to visit the churches and families of our 5 colleagues from Mizoram, India. It was a blessing for Phil to see where our colleagues come from and hopefully be an encouragement to their churches and families. Following India, Phil spent some time with several of our other Asian teams as part of his role as ministry focus consultant.
Andrea was delighted to be able to support one of our North East Indian families as they were in Accra for the birth of their second child. They were blessed with Mercy, a lovely baby girl on March 19.
Mercy's arrival on the 19th meant Andrea was able to join Phil in the UK for the start of the Integrated Mission Leadership course we are taking. It is a 4 module course with the remaining modules in June, September and January.
We were also privileged to attend the Middle East/North Africa team conference. Our colleagues there work in very different contexts compared to Ghana. It was a great opportunity for Andrea to once again spend some time with her Middle East team, and a blessing that provision was made for Phil to attend too.
"Where will you move to after you leave Ghana?" This continues to be a very common question and our response continues to be, "We don't know yet!" We expect to be in Canada for at least 9 months, being close to our kids and connecting with family, friends and supporters. During this time Andrea will also continue her Middle East role and Phil his global role as we wait for God's direction as to where we will be based and what Andrea's role(s) will be in the future. Once we know where we see God leading us in 2020, we will be sure to let you know!
The last week of April we spent with our friends and colleagues at our annual team conference. We have been at every one since 2000, except for 2015. It was a great week with Malcolm & Liz, our mentors, teaching on Connecting Our story and God's Story. We also enjoyed lots of time to connect with our teammates, including Bev, our new personnel coordinator, and Graham and Trudy, business manager and treasurer. We were also blessed with a very nice farewell dinner. It has been an incredible privilege to be part of this amazing team - a team that is very diverse but also very united. The difficult side of the week was saying goodbye to many of our colleagues who we won't see again before we leave Ghana.
Whats on the horizon?
We need to pack and then leave Ghana. But before we do that we have one other very important visit to make - to visit Sahel Academy in Niger to attend Cara's graduation on May 30th.
We value your prayers as we continue to say good-bye!
Kieran has finished his degree and will graduate June 11.
Liam has finished his co-op placement.
Cara has almost completed her final semester and she has been accepted to study Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo.
For a good strategic review with the SIM Bolivia team.
For the opportunity to visit Dan and Christie in Paraguay.
That Phil was able to visit Mizoram, India to meet the churches and families of our North East India colleagues.
For a good Easter break with Cara.
That Bev has come as Ghana Personnel Coordinator.
For Graham's willingness to be the Ghana Business Manager.
To be able to attend the Middle East/North Africa team conference.
For a wonderful final Ghana team conference and a lovely farewell celebration.
Items for Prayer
For Cara as she writes exams, graduates and transitions to Canada in anticipation of university.
That we will be able to pack up and say good-bye well.
For a good transition to some months in Canada.
That God would give us and our leaders wisdom as we consider where we should locate and clarity regarding Andrea's future role(s).
That we would benefit from the Integrated Mission Leadership Course.
Thanks for your interest support and prayers. Andrea and Phil