Happy Thanksgiving everyone! There is so much to be grateful for! Being aware of, and thankful for the good things that happen, and taking time to express thanks is one of the greatest characteristics we can develop.
Well, this week we were asked to give a report of our service at the Area Zone Conference with Elder Vinson (Area President). Because we don't work at the Area Office many of the other Senior missionaries aren't aware of what we do, so this was our chance to explain what our purpose is as Self Reliance missionaries. We taught them the SR doctrine and shared experiences we have had under the SR umbrella, including training stake committees, teaching the young missionaries, working with young single adults, and visiting member businesses. This showed just how diverse our calling is, and we had many positive comments to that effect.
Sister Vinson introduced us to their family through a cute video, much like our girls made us for our wedding anniversary some years ago. Elder Vinson gave an Area Report, It kept coming back to FAMILIES and I came away with the impression that we must strengthen the rising generation by developing in them faith in the Savior. "The Family- A Proclamation to the World" came to mind.
HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.....Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
I am certainly grateful for the family I was raised in. I am blessed to have happy memories of my childhood. And I loved raising our girls with Dad. Looking to the rising generation, I am grateful for daughters and son-in-laws who are committed to raising their children in a gospel centered home. Thank you, We are cheering you on!
Back to....In the afternoon we headed north to Abomosu. Due to it's isolation, bad roads, lack of a high school and no major industry this area is impoverished and struggling. Farming is the main stay of the community. The Bingham's hosted us, and after a delicious dinner we met with a group of "Start and Grow My Business" students. It was a surprise to see them operate so well together, following the outline of the program. We sat back and observed a wonderful meeting.
The following morning we met with returned missionaries whom the District President wants to use as facilitators once more SR groups get up and going. This is an excellent idea and perfect for this bush community, it is also a great example of why the self reliance initiative must be driven by local priesthood leaders. They know what's best for their members. After lunch we met branch leaderships and reviewed what we had taught on our last visit. We also had them participate in a skit showing the relationship between leadership and specialist. It was a good day of training. That evening we invited three students over to the Bingham's for us to learn about the internships they are serving here under a program called "Mentors". These International Business majors from USU have gained some wonderful insights into African life. They also want to continue to do some good here so I want to direct you to an idea they had that grew out of a dark night when the lights went out. Curious? Go to koficlothingcompany.com to learn more. I love finding examples of goodness in Ghana!!!!! Thank you Amberlee, Josh and Max.
Back in Accra , we had one more thing to do to round out a great week. Samuel (23) asked us to come and see the room where he lives. He came to Ghana from Nigeria two years ago hoping for a better life, and having completed Pathway is now taking on-line classes in business administration. With no running water, no furniture except a mat to sleep on he proudly showed us his newly painted 12x12 room. This is his home, He has no family here, no job (although he is looking for one), and survives on the kindness of friends. Honestly, Samuel is an example of the resilience of the human spirit. We don't know how he does it but he always tells us, "I am managing." As mentors, we listen to him when he needs to talk and offer encouragement and advice on his goals. After one year of being here it is still quite sobering to think about how people survive, millions of them, all over the world, and that I have been blessed with so much. Counting my blessing today...
With gratitude to God,
Elder and Sister Lambert
Life in Abomosu
Rapheal teaches Issac how to register groups at srs.lds.org
Neighbors to the Bingham's: Joyce (8) and brother (4)