May 25th marks Africa Day, a public holiday in celebration of African unity. We weren't aware of any celebrations though, and our observation is that most people stay home on holidays because the roads are far more pleasant to travel on. Anyway, with the help of a Pathway student, Collins, we visited some members and discussed their businesses/SR program. We are grateful to have Collins come along since getting directions on the street to a location is near impossible if you don't speak Twi or Fante.
Mary Tetteh has been in business for 20 years selling various items. She currently sells konkonte and groundnut paste to restaurants and individuals. She took the SR program in 2014 and feels it has helped her, especially in the management of her money. Before taking the program she would leave her business earnings on the kitchen table and they would disappear with nothing much to show for it. Since the program her savings account has grown and she is yet to spend any of it. She and her husband, Bishop Tetteh, have taught the program to their 4 children. The oldest was translating for us and added her memories of the teachings and their importance. Sister Tetteh would like to add a grinder to her business to save time, middleman expenses, and most importantly her large transportation expenses. However, the rules of her rented property will not allow a grinder.The options of buying a small car, or moving the business closer to customers was also discussed.
and was spent in Cape Coast, presenting a devotional to 24 Pathway students and attending a business council meeting. This meeting was in Fante so every few minutes we were given a summery translation. Then as we were preparing to leave we were suddenly asked to speak and address a few concerns. Elder Lambert covered the concerns in an authoritive manner and the matter of the church giving loans for small businesses was once more laid to rest. One of the perks of going to Cape Coast is the abundance of fruit we can buy on the way home, including yams, watermelon, mango, avocado, plantains, pineapple, and custard apples. We also stopped to talk to some men selling bush meat (small antelope, grass cutters and a rat!) and Elder Lambert shared a message about the church and gave away a Book of Mormon. I also gave away a Book of Mormon... to a policeman who pulled us over at a check point. In case you were wondering, we hadn't done anything wrong but seeing our name tags he asked about the church and was happy with the gift we left with him.
A closing thought on "pondering". To ponder is to "weigh mentally, think deeply about, deliberate, meditate..." It is the opportunity to clear our minds and reflect on things of the spirit. To "be still and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10) Pondering will prepare our hearts to receive the message the Lord has for us as we read the scriptures. Pondering results in personal revelation. As I sat "pondering" one morning this week it stirred feelings in my heart, and then I read Nephi's psalm in 2 Nephi 4:15-35. It was powerful! I felt Nephi's pain in losing his father and the weight he carried over the conflict with his brothers, and the joy he feels in reading the scriptures, and his acknowledgement of personal weaknesses, and his desire to improve, and the source of his strength, and his love of the Lord. It spoke volumes to me! And like Nephi "my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord, and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard." I testify that pondering will bring us closer to the Lord.
So, here is the challenge...this week take time to ponder: Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going after I die?
Another great week in Africa!
Elder and Sister Lambert
Pictures: Patricia & Mary Tetteh