Mission Picture

Mission Picture
We're in Africa!

Friday, December 26, 2014


We were privileged to spend Christmas Eve with some new friends at the Edwenase Rehabilitation Center in Kumasi.  The Center is for physically & mentally challenged young people who for various reasons cannot live in their homes.  At the Center they learn skills that will enable them to earn livings when they are integrated back into their communities.   We arrived there with 16 young missionaries and four couples and enjoyed 2 hours of singing, dancing, a short Christmas video, snacks and visiting.  They might be the two most valuable hours we have passed here in West Africa.  We can't imagine a better way to spend Christmas Eve. 

This girl is their song leader & sings beautifully
Our four young sisters along with the groups song leader, lead us in singing Christmas carols.

Monday, December 15, 2014

We can't believe the number of Hawks fans we see as we journey around Kumasi

Our landlady Grace and friend Collins pound Fufu.
Trisha sells apples at a busy intersection here in Kumasi.  Of all the Seahawk fans we've met here, she has the best smile and the best apples.
I don't know who these guys are but they were so friendly and also happy to display the 12th man flag that I couldn't resist taking their photo.
Victoria stopped in the middle of cooking banku to show me her Hawks flag.
She is a teenage nanny and housekeeper.
Our friend Andy is the neighborhood IT expert and helps us with our computer problems when he isn't cheering on the Hawks.
Fauzio on the right operates our favorite produce market.  Their 12th man flag was proudly displayed between the cassava and the eggplant. 

Our friend, 13 year old Rebecca returning from school, is a big Seahawks fan.
Rebecca is a nanny to Emma and her 2 brothers.
Our favorite furniture makers, Collins and Osei, proudly display their flag.

Emma used to be afraid of us but when we brought out the 12th man flag, she decided we were okay.

Dorcas with her nephew Calvin
Calvin gets the award for being the youngest and cutest Seahawk fan in the neighborhood. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from Africa!

There is a song we sing every year at Thanksgiving back home. I have never heard it sung except at that time of year. In Africa they sing it all year round. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving Day here, they give thanks every day.


For the beauty of the earth,

For the beauty of the skies,

For the love which from our birth,

 over and around us lies,

Lord of all, to thee we raise, 

this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour, 

of the day and of the night,

Hill and Vale, and tree and flower

Sun and moon, and stars of light

Lord of all, to thee we raise, 

this our hymn of grateful praise.


For the joy of human love,

Brother, sister, parent, child,

Friends on earth, and friends above,

For all gentle thoughts and mild,

Lord of all, to thee we raise, 

this our hymn of grateful praise.

Happy Thanksgiving to our wonderful family and friends. We are sending you our thoughts, love, prayers and thanks for your support as we are here in Ghana, Africa for another 9 months of our humanitarian mission. We just passed our half way point. We feel so blessed to be here and be able to serve the people of Africa by helping them get clean water and improve their sanitation. It amazes us every day to see that even though the people here have so little, they keep it clean and do the best they can with what they have. Everything they have is a blessing to them, everything. We count them and each of you as our blessings.
With our love,
 Mike and April





Sunday, November 2, 2014


In September, the LDS church through it's Welfare Services Department, sponsored a major food initiative for members of the church in Liberia.  The Ebola virus outbreak had damaged the economy there and people were having a difficult time obtaining food for their families.  The food was purchased locally and delivered to the church district centers.  From there it was transported to the branch buildings where it was retrieved by the members of the branches.  The management of this initiative was handled by the Liberian LDS church leaders.  It was a huge job to organize and implement the distribution of 8,430 bags of rice & 8,430 Jerry cans of cooking oil.  The photo above shows rice being delivered to the Monrovia District Center.

All of the photos in this blog entry are courtesy of Konrad Barjuah and Goodridge Nyanforh.  We could not be in Liberia so they took photographs and emailed them to us.

Offloading the bags of rice required a lot of manpower.  Forklifts were not available.
That's right, three bags of rice in one fell swoop.  That is 165 pounds carried on the head.  Needless to say, these men are very strong.  I was hoping we would see our friend Konrad with three bags of rice on his head.  Evidently, no one took a picture of that.
Cooking oil being offloaded
Bags of rice stacked in a classroom at a district center before being transported to a branch building.  Each bag weighs 25 kg or about 55 pounds.
Cooking oil stored in a classroom awaiting distribution.
The church also supplied each member family with a bucket and 20 liters of hypochlorite to assist in sanitation efforts.  The buckets had lids and spigots.
These young men were delivering rice to people who needed it.
Picking up food
Awaiting transportation home
Kids are the same all over the world, aren't they?
Motorcycles are one of the major means of transportation.  As you can see, people get pretty creative.