Have you known someone in a long-distance relationship? Or, have you seen a couple at a restaurant on their smart phones instead of interacting with each other?… Both scenarios have a problem with presence. In the first, the hearts are close but the people are physically far apart. In the second, the bodies are near but the people aren’t really there. For the last several years, my family and I have been in a long-distance relationship with the people of Ghana, especially the YLI coaches. Our hearts are there but the miles and the time difference make it difficult for the relationship to flourish.
As a result of significant ministry growth, I and our Ghanaian Coaches have spent a lot of time planning and in prayer as a leadership team. We believe that I need to spend more time “on the ground” working with them during this season of growth. We will work and seek God’s direction together so we can become more effective in empowering young African leaders to reach their world.
This is why our family, along with the YLI board, believes that God is leading us to move to Ghana from July 2013 to June 2014. This is a big decision, but we believe that the time is right for this move.
As I have shared in some of our newsletters over the past couple of years, YLI has made inroads with groups of people from remote areas of Ghana who have never heard the gospel. We have also taken advantage of opportunities to practically live out love evangelism through clean water projects. God is clearly moving.
While this ministry growth and geographic expansion is exciting, it has also shown me my need for additional training in African missions. God has opened a door for me to study part time at the Akrofi Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission, and Culture in Akropong, Ghana, where I will deepen my understanding of African missions with some of the top African theologians and missiologists in the world.
As Carrie and I have begun planning for the move, our excitement has grown. We are looking forward to experiencing a year together in Ghana with our children Katie (8), John Mark (6), and Timothy (16 months). But the logistics of a move to Africa with three children is complicated with many details. We are trusting God to come through.
I feel confidence in the decision to leave the US for a year and be fully present in Ghana because of the strong and prayerful friends, encouragers, and advisors we have here in the US. I consider you all to be part of the “YLI Tribe”. We will need your prayers and friendship and YLI will need your financial support as much as ever while we are gone.
Thank you for who you are, and for your friendship to our family and YLI!