Monday, November 8, 2010


On October 13, 2010 Pastor Bob Maki and I embarked on a three week mission of peace, unity and reconciliation in the Apostolic Lutheran Church of Ghana. The four congregations involved had been badly split. Already the day after our arrival a meeting of all the church leaders was called to address the issues. Imagine 20 vociferous Ghanaians trying to be heard, often at the same time.

 But progress was definitely made. A surprise election had been held replacing the former president (chairman of the board) Pastor Frank Famiyeh and voting in a new board. It was finally decided that the elections had been held legitimately and that the new board would be installed in ten days with Pastor Mike Basie as the chairman. Later a formal apology was given to Pastor Famiyeh for the way the elections had been handled and a great deal of respect and appreciation for his time of service was expressed. He will remain as the Senior Pastor.

Installation of four new board members where I was asked to deliver the sermon and Pastor Bob Maki officiated. Senior Pastor Frank Famiyeh, on the left, is translating - and then from left to right, new board chairman Pastor Mike Basie in white alba with the red stole, Mr. Ben Green, Mrs, Joselyn Ackwood, and Rev. Asari. This installation service by all accounts contributed greatly to the unification process in the ALC in Ghana. We have met with the board and they seem resolved to lead the church in a more peaceful and constructive direction.

Pastor Bob Maki teaching students at the Good News Theological Seminary in Accra. The pastors in our ALC congregations in Ghana have mostly come through this seminary. Pastor Frank Botchley, who invited us to the seminary and is a lecturer there, also invited us to preach and teach at his congregation the following Sunday. This was a gesture of goodwill since his congregation has been split from the others for some time.


Emmanuel Apostolic Lutheran Church in the Liberian Refugee Camp near Accra. Speaking of reunification!! To the right in this picture we have a lady called Elizabeth with her four children beside her. Her husband David (who of course is not pictured) just happens to be a member of Pastor Bob's congregation back home in Worcester, Massachusetts!! His family had a great reunion with Bob, though!

We also held a very intensive reunification meeting in that congregation together with their Pastor Billy (holding the Bible) and Mr. Freeman (behind him) who is chairman of the congregation and many others including Pastor Frank Famiyeh (center, in the tie and smile). That meeting took almost 4 hours and if you think the Ghanaians are vociferous you should hear the Liberians. Bob chaired the meeting and I was the whip! But it all came to a peaceful conclusion. God was clearly in control.

Posing with a couple of lovely Christian ladies from the Lakeside ALC Congregation in Accra, Ghana. Dig those hats!

I have now returned to Finland temporarily to be with my family for some pressing reasons, but I should be back in Africa and on my way to Liberia at the end of this month.

Your prayers are coveted.

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