This has been another great week in Africa! We often have it re-confirmed to us that this mission is "perfect" for us. While many of the Area missionaries sit in an office all day (that would drive us both crazy!) We are out and about having marvelous adventures in the community. We know this is the "perfect" mission for us because we can use Elder Lambert's talents and special skills in teaching to bless the lives of so many. (Sister L. helps too!) This week we taught and shared self reliance principles with all ends of the missionary spectrum: departing missionaries from Accra West, returned missionaries from Kaneshie and Ofankor, and the new intake of missionaries at the MTC. (Working with French speaking missionaries, Sister Lambert's limited knowledge of French came in handy as we navigated through the French version of Family Search)
Another experience this week also confirmed we are serving the "perfect" mission for us. With the help of Hans who works for an NGO, and an engineer from Biofil, we inspected Christiana's property to see if it is acceptable to place toilets on the site. There are no toilets in the community where she lives, which is a problem for most of the poorer areas of the city. Next, we visited Biofil, a company that installs composting toilets. (Here they are called Digesters and although this is not the most pleasant subject to discuss, these toilets really are the way of the future. They take little water to operate and the odor is minimal) We were SUPER impressed with this organization which puts into practice many environmentally friendly ideas. They use solar power to run pumps that recycle the filtered water from the Digester to water plants and support several fish ponds. Aquaponics! It is so fun to find those who practice these ideas!
And BEST OF ALL.... unbeknownst to us, in a city of several million, in a neighborhood we are unfamiliar with, the owner of this company is a member of the Church! Not only that, but he is the Patriarch of Kaneshie stake, and a member of Gbawe ward. He recycles everything and is the most environmentally conscious person we have met here. We are thrilled to know others are as passionate as we are about the environment... and you wonder if this mission is right for us. We know Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives.
A couple of days later, accompanied by Christiana and Hans we visited Accra Metropolitan Authority to learn more about a grant given by the World Bank (UN) to those seeking to install composting toilets. We learned useful information and hopefully will have an up-date on this project in the future.
On Saturday Kasoa stake held a business fair which we were invited to attend. It is the opportunity for those who have taken Start and Grow My Business class to showcase their businesses, others were also welcome to join in. A year ago, while doing specialized training for this mission in Salt Lake City we discovered we were the only ones in the training who did not have a business degree/background. What could we offer those who want to start or grow a business? How do we teach something we have no experience in? It was a bit intimidating as we listened to these experts tell of their qualifications! Well, we have come to find out we do have some business skills. We have been wise investors of our money, we keep records of our finances, we are always looking for innovative ways to do things, we are good time managers, and we are creative problem solvers. Hopefully that counts for something! So, as we walked around the business displays on Saturday, (and they are all small businesses) and talked to the participants I realized we have something else to offer too; our encouragement, love and support!
Then I read this in the Liahona magazine about a couple serving in Amman, Jordan and testify that what is said is true...
The Call to Serve
Considering the remarkable experiences Ron and Sandi had, do they feel they are somehow special among couples called to serve—or that could be called to serve?
Yes—and no. “We served where and when the Lord needed a couple with our specific skills and life experiences,” the Hammonds say. “But that’s true for all senior missionaries. Every couple with the ability to serve a mission has been prepared to serve in ways special to them. They just need to exercise faith enough to go where the Lord has need of them, and He will use them to make a difference in the lives of others.”
“Couples can make a difference,” said Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “Couples can accomplish remarkable things no one else can do.
The ways in which couples can serve are virtually limitless. From mission office support and leadership training to family history, temple work, and humanitarian service—there is an opportunity to use almost any skill or talent with which the Lord has blessed you. …
“… You have received much in your life; go forth and freely give in the service of our Lord and Savior. Have faith; the Lord knows where you are needed. The need is so great, brothers and sisters, and the laborers are so few.”
We recognize that we have been prepared to serve here in Africa, and encourage all other able seniors to exercise their faith and fill out those mission papers. You won't regret it!
Elder and Sister Lambert
Pictures: Christiana's property
These ladies sell groundnut paste and Tom Brown cereal
Barbie dolls in beautiful dresses
Fred Obeng's Computer Agency