Moroni 7:47

"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."
-Moroni 7:47

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 30 - The Work Continues...

Dear Family,

This week kept us hopping. It's funny because sometimes I look at the calendar and wonder how we will fill the time, then things "drop" into our lap, new opportunities appear, and before we know it the week is full!

On Monday we joined "Speaking Partners" working with Pathway students at the Christenborg Institute. This is a one on one, conversation time for them to practice speaking and listening to the English language. We follow a guide which includes a gospel discussion, the use of the English language, and a math element. My speaking partner was Good Luck (Yes, that is his name). We had a really fun conversation, sharing experiences and practicing "proper" English.

On Tuesday we visited member businesses with the 2 BYU-I interns. Here is one of our reports

Christiana Azure: A 3 year member of the church, Sister Christiana Azure completed the SR program in 2014. She is a wonderful example of the foundation principles of faith, perseverance, and problem solving. 

Her original business was growing and selling flowers on a section of land she had leased. Three years ago she lost this land and her livelihood. Facing the need to provide for herself, she decided to take out a loan to buy a business shack and stock it with a variety of goods to sell. This new business started to make enough profit to meet her most basic needs and about this time she started the Start and Grow My Business course and began to apply its principles. Progress was being made when disaster struck in the form of the June 2015 floods. Sister Azure lost everything to the flood waters. With her recently learned SR principles, and her unpaid loan to worry about, she elected to make her new start a small one. Since then her life has been difficult and her challenges many, but two weeks ago she triumphantly paid off her loan. She told us, “A loan of 1,000 Ghc requires 1,600 Ghc to pay back.” Borrowing is just not worth it.”

Though her store is stocked very modestly she is moving forward in small steps. She has recently added sandals she has decorated to what she can offer to the public. She has not sold any of them yet but hopes to soon start seeing a profit from her investment. Sister Azure’s eventual goal is to buy a container or to build a cement block structure.  
Before we left she asked if she could read to us. Sister Azure received no formal education as a child and had to learn to speak English. It wasn’t until two years ago that she made the first steps to finding the joy of being able to read the scriptures. With great pride she “read” to us Moroni 10:3-5. But then with sadness she told us her reading progress stopped when the senior couple who were teaching her went home.  

The smile on Sister Azure’s face and the light in her eyes misrepresent the challenges she has faced. However, when you come to feel the faith and hope with which she faces difficulties it is easier to see how she moves forward regardless of what ends up in her path. 

On Wednesday we held a training session for the Anyaa branch facilitators and they all showed up! These facilitators will lead their groups through the SR program. This is another example of how this program teaches the people to teach themselves... i.e. become self reliant. No experts needed!

On Thursday we met with 24 Pathway students at Tesano Institute and presented a devotional on choosing a career. Using slides, worksheets and discussion we addressed the following: 
1. The making of wise choices concerning one’s educational path, 
2. The causes of graduate unemployment 
3. How to improve the chances of there being a job available after graduation.
4.  A list of 11 things they can do to gather information about their intended careers
5. A survey of available white collar jobs created by Fred Dei-Oppong (SRS Op. manager)
6. The need for skilled craftsman
7. The importance of SR Foundational principles and other soft skills in all employment.
The students especially enjoyed “The Parable of the Oranges.”

On Friday we were invited to join a Business Advisory Council meeting. What we learned here was encouraging because it confirmed what we had researched for our presentation the night before- that there are jobs here, if you are willing to volunteer your time initially, begin at an entry level position, have something else going on the side, and work, work, work!   

On Friday evening we took our friend, Larbi to an investigator devotional with Elder Ulysses Soares. Elder Soares delivered the perfect message for Larbi who is meeting with the missionaries tomorrow. He is a gentle soul with great faith in Jesus Christ. He told us, "This is the church I want to go to."

On Saturday we headed to Lartebiokorshie stake for a training of all their ward SR specialists. Not a single one showed up! Communication glitch. So we got to know Jessie, the stake SR specialist better and encouraged her to persevere and re-schedule the meeting. From here we went to a job fair and then to Tesano to meet with Thomas and Patience who are a couple of young returned missionaries we have been mentoring in the SR program. 

We love the diversity of what we do. We love working in the field (technically, on the streets) and meeting new people every day. We love being involved in this work. We love the people of Ghana! 

Hugs to everyone,
Elder and Sister Lambert

Pictures: Christiana Azure
Baby Hope: sleeping in church is allowed!

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