Ghana Mission Update: September 16 and 17, 2018
Come Hear Josh Heikkila and all that’s happening with the Ghana Mission
Please join us in welcoming Josh Heikkila to the Presbytery of Lake Erie September 16 and 17, 2018. Josh is the West Africa Regional Liaison of the PCUSA World Mission. He is the Mission Co-worker in Ghana and also reaches out to Niger, Togo, Liberia and Nigeria. Josh has been a tremendous partner in helping to establish, maintain and encourage the Presbytery of Lake Erie’s Partnership with the Upper Northern Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. He again is reaching out to visit us in person, to share news from Ghana and the mission work of the global Church, and his new Wheels!
Our Presbytery, congregations and individuals have contributed to Josh’s support and to the Ghana Partnership. You are invited to hear how and where your support is making an impact. You’ll also get an update on our friend Ruth Brown, the new Mission Co-worker living in Saboba near the Wapuli Health Clinic.
There are Several Opportunities to Meet Josh.
He will be preaching at the First Presbyterian Church of North East,on, September 16 at 10:30 am. On Monday, September 17, there is a lunch gathering at Meadville First Presbyterian Church from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Also on Monday, September 17 there is a dinner gathering at the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Please consider attending even if you can’t be there for the whole time. Meals are provided. Contact Donna Cammarata at 814-873-4860 or [email protected] to RSVP which helps for preparing, but last minute guests are welcome too. Also contact Donna if you would like to arrange another meeting time with Josh.Help grow and strengthen our Ghana Partnership in the Presbytery of Lake Erie by representing your congregation and sharing with them the stories and messages from Josh, our brother in Christ.
Ghana Mission Update: August 2018
Thank you for your prayers. Two of our three Ghanaian friends received approval for their visas. Rev. Vincent Dagadu and Mr. Anthony Atsu will be visiting Lake Erie Presbytery from Sept. 23 – Oct. 4. They will be available for Sunday Morning Services or for a gathering with your congregation or small group. Please be thinking about ways you may participate in meeting or hosting our Ghanaian Partners. Rev. Emmanuel Amey and his wife Caroline will also be visiting during that time period. Our Ghana Partnership team is beginning to prepare the itinerary for our guests. Please contact Donna Cammarata at 814-873-4860 or the Presbytery Office if you have some suggestions or would like to schedule something.
Update on the Lake Erie Ghana Partnership – July, 2018
Lake Erie Presbytery is in Partnership with the Upper Northern Presbytery in Northern Ghana, which is in West Africa. Over the past eight years, the Partnership has been growing slow but steady.
This past year has been an exciting year! Last September (2017) we had a group of 11 travel to Ghana to visit our friends and the places where you, in Lake Erie Presbytery, have contributed money and resources. Overwhelmingly we found that those investments are being well used and are having an impact beyond what we could imagine.
To help share the experience of being in Ghana, the Presbytery commissioned Brian Miller, a professional filmmaker, to join us on the September trip and create two videos, a short and long version. The short video is complete. It shows the essence of what we are doing and why we are connected to a people so far away.
Lake Erie Ghana Partnership Video Our Partners, Our Friends: from Lake Erie to Ghana
The video is also posted on the PCUSA Presbyterian Mission website on their Mission Resource page.
Also on that website is an article written by our friend Rev. Seth Agidi, who is the Moderator of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ghana. Rev. Seth has visited us several time in Lake Erie. The article gives a glimpse of how the Lake Erie Ghana Partnership is seen through the eyes of our Partners.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Seth Agidi’s Article on the PCUSA Presbyterian Mission webpage
“Mission moves ahead in faith and friendship: Ghana/Lake Erie partnership brings fresh perspective to mission service and Christian living.”
This Ghana Partnership endeavor that you are involved in and support is being recognized and is making an impact on an even larger scale. It was highlighted in the PCUSA General Assembly News, Day 6 page 4.
“Lake Erie, Ghana presbyteries join on a journey of faith”. https://issuu.com/pcusa_oga/docs/ga223_news_day_6?e=33600028/62576572
Rev. Joshua Heikkila is the PCUSA Mission Co-worker in Ghana, West Africa Liaison. You can read more about Josh and his ministry in Ghana, and sign up for his newsletters at:
Wheels for Josh update: through the Lake Erie Presbytery and others in the PCUSA Ghana Mission Network, close to $35,000 was raised. This will enable Josh to purchase a solid reliable vehicle for his travels through Ghana and neighboring countries. Thank you and thank the members of your congregations!
Just a few months ago, we learned that another PCUSA Mission Co-worker, Ruth Brown, would be going to Ghana. Ruth learned of Lake Erie’s connection to Ghana and came to visit with us in Erie at the beginning of June. She has a background in public health and has done mission work in several African countries, most recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ruth departed for Ghana July 22.
Ruth will be living in Northern Ghana in a town called Saboba, which is in our sister Presbytery. The Wapuli Health Clinic, where we are partnered, is just outside of Saboba. Her main area of focus will be in Community Health Evangelism (CHE). We are really excited about Ruth and her placement. You are encouraged to sign up for her newsletters and support her in prayer and/or financial support.
Ruth Brown – New PCUSA Mission Co-worker in Ghana
Wheels for Josh Update – Background
A conversation began in the highlands of south central Ghana that has rippled around the world. And you have become a part of it!
In September, 2017 a conversation was initiated at the Ramseyer Training Centre in Abetifi-Kwahu at the Ghana Mission Network meeting. Josh Heikkila serves as the Presbyterian Church (USA) regional liaison for West Africa. In that position Josh relates to Presbyterian Churches in Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, and Togo. The work he does involves extensive travel under daunting conditions. It is no surprise that motor vehicles bear the brunt of travel on these roads. It is also no surprise that vehicles wear out – which is exactly what has happened for Josh in the ministry in which you share with him.
A conversation in September at Abetifi-Kwahu led to action on two continents over a period of several months. The Presbytery of Lake Erie voted to provide an initial gift in November, as well as providing dollar-for dollar matching gifts. The matching gifts were made available to both churches within the Presbytery of Lake Erie as well as churches and presbyteries in the Ghana Mission Network.
Out of God’s generosity an abundance of gifts have been received in order to support ‘Wheels for Josh.’ Over the past six months 16 of the 58 churches in Lake Erie Presbytery provided extra commitment gifts of more than $9,900. Nine partner churches and presbyteries across the Ghana Mission Network in the United States also contributed matching money totaling $6,400. Including the matching money from Lake Erie Presbytery a grand total of $31,301.78 was raised, by the grace of God, for ‘Wheels for Josh’ across the Ghana Mission Network!
This transportation conversation is also a two way street! The Upper Northern Presbytery, Evangelical Presbyterian Church Ghana, also made a sacrificial gift of 3,000 cedis ($750) to this joint effort. The churches in northern Ghana also understand the great value of this partnership.
But the good news stretches beyond that! A partnership that shares a profound faith in Jesus Christ also saw spiritual and financial support coming from the Fumbisi congregation in northern Ghana. To quote from Presbyterian News Service, the church members sold peanuts in the local marketplace and donated the money they received to support the work of Presbyterian mission co-worker Josh Heikkila.
“We don’t have much but we decided to give something small just to support him,” said Gladys Lariba Mahama, pastor of the Fumbisi congregation. The gift is more than the average Ghanaian earns for an entire month, Josh says.
The 150-member congregation raises a plot of peanuts each year and sells them to benefit its ministry and mission. “It is the only way we have to get income apart from the offerings that we offer to God,” Gladys says. She adds that it “helps us to ease some problems and meet some of our challenges.”
Their Pastor Gladys attended the meeting at Abetifi-Kwahu. She heard an appeal for network members to give to Josh’s ministry and urge their congregations to do so. Though the request was intended to garner U.S. support, Gladys decided that her congregation could help as well. “I told the session and the congregation about the need and everybody was happy to contribute,” she says.
Christians in Ghana and Christians across North America have partnered on a practical project which has helped relationships to be built and Good News to be shared! Thanks be to God!