Reports from the Field

Click this link to see 7th grade French class using Rosetta Stone progran. (Thank all of you who made this possible!)

January 2012

Click this link to see the latest happenings from the Kintampo area...the Farms and Community Outreach by CONTG in that area

January 2012

Click this link to see a recent report of World Bible School Outreach.

January 2012

 

2011 Report from the Thorntons

 

January 6 found us back in Ghana for a 2 month stay. Then again in May for a 6 week stay. Our plans and goals for this time were ambitious. We were able to meet some but not all we had hoped for.

In January we were able to reconnect with the BCA staff and get to know the two new pupil teachers that were hired in our absence. In June, we began interviewing certified teachers to teach the seventh grade that is beginning in September. These teachers will take time from their full time work to work part time for BCA. We are very pleased withthe performance and committment of all the staff.

In February, we were joined by Ann Robertson, who though she only spent two weeks, was amazing. She was a bundle of energy, assessing the perfromance of the teachers and how they had followed through with what they were taught during the professional development time last June. She also spent a great deal of time catagorizing resources and assessing needs for the various classes and planning for seventh grade.

Jerry and I spent time going over the bookkeeping and accounts and assessing BCA's budget needs for 2011. We realized very quickly that we needed help in this area. The Lord always knows our needs and unbeknown to us he had been preparing just the right person for the job. We were all very blessed to have Joyce Hendrick, a self-employed accountant from our Kerrville church congregation, to join our team in June. She really didn't know what she was going to find...probably not as big a mountain of work as she found. However, she jumped right in and got BCA's office on the right track in the month she was there. She succeeded in hiring and training two young ladies for the office, helping them to set up email accounts and teaching them how to send the records she will need to keep the books from her home in Kerrville. She also spent as much time as she could with BCA's director, Martin Ariku, to help him learn the accounting system and what he would need to do to make it work. Her contribution was and continues to be HUGE. Thank you Joyce and thanks to everyone who helped make it possible for her to go!

In May, we took tee shirts donated by Kerrville church from thier VBS. We challenged the youth group at Bazua church to pick a service project, as a group or individually, to complete in the month of June. We were so encouraged by the way they received the idea and the way they came together. Besides some individual projects, about 25 of their number came together one Saturday (in their new tee shirts) and went on their bicycles as a group to visit the elderly and those who had been missing services for a while.

They sang for them and encouraged them to remain faithful. What a impression they made on the neighbors of the ones they visited! They were told "we didn't know how much you cared for each other"!

Through the ongoing ministry of the men and women from the churches in the USA, the church and community of Bazua and surrounding areas also know how muchYOU care.

One of our new pupil teachers is a young man, named Francis, from Agatuse. He is sometimes the only man in a church made of mostly of women. He is doing a wonderful job of leading and preaching for them. We are happy to have him on our BCA staff.

God is definitely blessing and growing His church!

 Our plans and goals as outlined in December and where we are now are as follows:

  • Start ‘listening groups’ in Bazua and Kintampo South, using the ‘Proclaimers’ donated by ‘Every Church, Every Village’.
    This is a very exciting tool to use for spreading the gospel message to people in remote undeveloped areas.     At least one new listening group was started. One of our students who is from Beka, near to Bazua, requested the use of proclaimer to use with his family and neighbors. He thinks if they can just hear the word, they will believe. He is the first in his family to convert from Islam to Christianity.
  • Prepare two rooms that can be used for permanent Sunday school class rooms. Recruit and begin training two of the older youth to teach the younger ones. We still do not have permanent rooms and teachers for Sunday school but we do have two or three of the older youth who are able to teach the younger children. Finding the materials and the time to do it remains an obstacle to be overcome
  • Begin building the 7th grade classroom and add a latrine for the upper primary. The foundation is in place but unfortunately due to financial constraints, we were unable to continue the building at this time.
  • Take stock of all teaching materials and library resources and assess needs.   Ann Robertson was a wealth of help in this area, working digently during her two week stay in February and again in June for one month.
  • Sponsor James Arango, our 6th grade teacher to a university teacher training program, leading to a degree in teaching and school management. James completed the application for sponsorship and it was accepted. He will begin his distance learning 4 year course, from the University of Cape Coast, in the fall.
  • Along with Ann Robertson, meet with the director of the Ghana Education Service for our district. Ann and Martin Ariku, BCA's director, met the the director of the Ghana Education Service during February. They were able to gather much needed information from him to help us begin implementing the Junior High grades at BCA in September.
  • Assess the health of the Mango seedlings planted earlier this year. These seedlings were doing well. However, another 50 trees fell prey to bush fires. Jerry arranged for the replanting of these in May.
  • Repair equipment. Our school van's engine was overhauled in January and the farm truck's engine was overhauled in January as well. BCA's generators were repaired several times this year and a new one was purchased in May.
  • Plan food crops for this year’s planting season. We have planted 10 acres of Maize this July. The Mango trees are requiring more attention so we have had to defer further planting of other food crops until next season.

How Can I Help?        ........Current Needs

We need your prayers. Pray for workers to come along side who have a passion for spreading the gospel and are willing to share whatever skills God has given them with the Bazua and surrounding communities. Pray for protection over those that are working now. Pray for God’s provision for moving his work forward. Pray for God’s wisdom for all of us.

      some of our current  physical needs:

  •  Partners to sponsor children's school fees. This is running about $150.00 per school year.
  • Partners to sponsor several of our 'pupil' teachers in a distance learning program, leading to a teaching certificate. (A pupil teacher is one that has only a high school education) The cost is about $700.00 per school year.                                                     
  • Partners to donate to building and furnishing 3 classrooms for our Junior High students plus a latrine. The estimated cost is around $50,000-$60,000.                                                     
  • The school vehicle, a Toyota van, is 12 years old and needs to be replaced. Estimated cost of a new one is $30,000.

 

‘Every Church Every Village’

The ‘Proclaimer’ is a wonderful tool, donated to us by the organization Every Church Every Village. We have begun using them at school and in various congregations of the village churches. People are very responsive to the audio dramatization of the scriptures in their own languages. So far, four ‘listening groups’ have been started.

 


 

Report from Bazua Church, Ariku Martin, preacher

On the 31st of December 2010 we had a church full of people to usher in the new year. There were over 100 in attendance. It was very wonderful.

On 5th January 2011-Twelve people accepted Christ and were baptized

On 7th January 2011-Six people accepted Christ and were baptized

The numbers attending Sunday morning worship at the Bazua church is increasing and is very encouraging.

The Agatuse church is also doing very well, with attendance growing. Recently the ‘Proclaimer’ (audio Bible) was introduced to them and they are listening on Wednesdays and Fridays and sometimes on Sundays. They are excited to be able to listen to the Bible in their own language.

 


 

End of Year Report 2010

December 31, 2010 

To all our friends and family,

Thank you for the love you have always shown us and the interest you have expressed to us towards God’s mission in Ghana. Jerry and I are deeply appreciative of the support you give us both spiritually and financially.

2010 was a busy and eventful year for the church and the school in Bazua. Thirty persons were baptized into Christ. More visitors were seen this year and more young people from the mission school started attending church services. In fact two of our older 6th grade students were among those that were baptized only this week. This is so exciting to us, as it is the beginning of the realization of the dream! Eliminating illiteracy and giving young people a chance in life, most especially the chance of knowing Christ.

The reputation of the school is growing. Each year we have many more applicants for enrollment that we can possibly accept. The student body is up to about 250 now. We have two Kindergarten classes and Primary classes, grades 1 through 6. Our ‘summer missionaries’, Gwynne Fikes and Bonnie Ward returned again this year. This makes 6 years they have committed to teaching and encouraging the Bazua school staff, the children and the church. This June they were joined by Ann Robertson of Westminster, California. Ann is recently retired from a long a varied teaching career. She was heaven sent! She has been able to supply the needed knowledge and abilities to move forward with the upper primary and planned junior high grades. She is so enthusiastic about the mission and has committed to returning in January-Feb. 2011 for 3 weeks to do follow-up and then again in June 2011 with Bonnie and Gwynne for the annual seminar. We pray that she will be a part of the work for years to come.

The Mango project in the Kintampo has seen progress. About 1500 new seedlings were planted to replace the ones that were lost to a bush fire last year. The other food crops were reported to have not fared very well due to heavy rains this year. We have two Christian brothers who are doing the continuous weeding, cleaning, and care of the orchards and the crops. A third Christian Brother and the main manager of the farm project has gone to London to study for his master’s degree and will be gone a year. He will be sorely missed but at the end of his studies he has promised to return to manage the farming business.

Jerry and I are deep in preparation for our return to the field on January 5th. We plan to be there until early March, when we will return to Kerrville until mid-May. We then plan to return to Ghana and stay until mid-September. (6 months total planned for 2011).

Our plans for the next two months are:

Goals for the Church:

  1. Start ‘listening groups’ in Bazua and Kintampo South, using the ‘Proclaimers’ donated by ‘Every Church, Every Village’.
    This is a very exciting tool to use for spreading the gospel message to people in remote undeveloped areas.
  2. Prepare two rooms that can be used for permanent Sunday school class rooms. Recruit and begin training two of the older youth to teach the younger ones

Goals for the School:

  1. Begin building the 7th grade classroom and add a latrine for the upper primary.
  2. Meet with new teaching staff
  3. Reconnect with all staff and assist as needed
  4. Check book keeping and accounts for the past year and refine budget for 2011
  5. Take stock of all teaching materials and library resources and assess needs
  6. Sponsor James Arango, our 6th grade teacher to a university teacher training program, leading to a degree in teaching and school management.
  7. Along with Ann Robertson, meet with the director of the Ghana Education Service for our district

Goals for the Farm:

  1. Assess the health of the Mango seedlings planted earlier this year
  2. Repair equipment
  3. Plan food crops for this year’s planting season

Well, there is always more that we could say, but this has probably gone on long enough. Please keep checking the site for more news in the coming weeks.

Have a blessed and Happy New Year,
Jerry and Fran Thornton
011-233-24-1564448 (mobile in Ghana) | 

Bazua Christian Academy, Church of Christ Mission, P.O. Box 167, Bazua-Bawku, Upper East Region, Ghana, West Africa