Letter from Feb. 20
I think my emails are probably getting a little repetitive. More trainings and meetings interlaced with adventures and personal growth experiences.....
This week's schedule included two stake Self Reliance committee meetings, a Pathway devotional at Tesano stake and a Returned Missionary Orientation for six recently returned RM's.
We also said goodbye to the Binghams, our sweet friends serving in Abomosu. They have been awesome and we will miss them tremendously but we know their family in Idaho will be super excited to see them again after nearly 23 months! Using Primary tunes, Sister Munro and I wrote a musical tribute to them. It was fun to honor them in this creative way, express our love, and remind them of some special memories we shared together.
On Saturday Ernest invited us to see his slipper (sandals) business and he demonstrated how to make pair. What impresses us about this young man is that he has applied all the principles from the self reliance class; from What do people want to buy? How do I separate my business and family money?, How will I grow my business? to How will I increase my profits? and How do I continue to improve my business?
Unlike many of his fellow shoe salesmen Ernest markets his slippers to high schools, so he sells them in bulk (ten schools and counting), who in turn sell them to the students. He has only been in business since last October and has been careful to save his money, refusing to consider a loan (loans in Ghana run at 40-60% interest per year!) So, following the counsel to "Start Small and Grow Big" he is now ready to move into a shop, employ one or two helpers, and brand his product- "Citizen Footwear.” We are excited to see what the future has in store for this young man!
In nearly every situation we have seen, those who are successful in Ghana start small and grow big by being patient, careful with their money and having the drive to make something of their lives. I was inspired by one of our daughters to try my own small business of making mango fruit leather this week. It tastes great! Maybe I will have to stick around and see if I can grow my business (haha!)
On Sunday we visited three different churches; checking back with our friends at Anyaa, assisting with a My Path devotional at New Gbawe, and then traveling cross-country to Ofankor stake for a self reliance committee meeting. In Anyaa we were touched by a sister’s story of offering two cedis (50cents) to a man sitting on the side of the street. He had been in an accident and lost both his legs. However he refused her offer telling her he could not loose his dignity. He was still able to work and earn money for his family by shining shoes. She said at first she was embarrassed that her offer was rejected but then she realized he was trying to do the right thing, by working and taking responsibility for himself and his family... more goodness in Ghana.
We love you all,
Elder and Sister Lambert
Pictures: slippers- Ernest- RM's- Tetteh family from Ofankor