June 7, 2016 
Hello <<First Name>>, 
In this edition of PrayerMatters Suzanne writes about her new position at Ashesi, and Steve explores a new role in the Ashesi community.  There is so much happening at Ashesi right now that we wish we could write about--and some day we may--but for right now, let us say, we covet your prayers.  
Steve & Suzanne

And Ashesi’s Next Provost is… Suzanne!

The Provost in Waiting and His Excellency John A. Kufuor, former President of Ghana at the Ghana Climate Innovation Center Launch

I am humbled and honored to be chosen as Ashesi’s next Provost, effective July 1st, 2016. In many ways, it is the next logical step in my career and my role at Ashesi.The position holds a lot of responsibility, which isn’t “fun”. It’s also a lot of work, which isn’t “fun”. And it’s difficult to take time off, which also isn’t “fun”. But it IS fun working so hard for an organization I have come to admire and love as I do Ashesi and growing in my role with the organization. 

I have had a tremendous 3+ years of on-the-job training: first back in 2007-2008, when I stepped into Acting Dean of Academics due to an unfortunate circumstance, and continuously since February 2014 when I returned to Ashesi as Associate Provost under Provost Marcia. I am looking for training opportunities in areas in which I have gaps in my professional development. Ashesi is continuing to grow and it is exciting and also a bit scary to lead the academic side of that growth. In some ways, I feel like I’ll be trapeze-ing without a net.

However, the net is there: the prayer support I get from all of our supporters and our Home Team. We STILL meet monthly with our Home Team (over Skype mostly) and we share the joys and struggles of our life here, and members of the Home Team share with us their ups and downs. I know many of you are on our email prayer list as well. Even though an ocean and several time zones separate us, we feel the support and it helps us feel connected. I am so thankful for the technology that makes it possible, and for the operations folks at Ashesi who keep it working, at least on our end. Believe me, it’s no small thing!

That leads to perhaps the biggest realization I have come to, living in working at Ashesi in Ghana. Life here is hard, for many reasons: electricity outages, water and sanitation issues, disease, health care that isn’t always up to first world standards, and of course education deficiencies. Operating an institution like Ashesi, that strives for excellence in an imperfect system, is HARD WORK. Things are going wrong, behind the scenes, all the time.  

Walking to Church

Unfortunately for me the problems are NOT behind the scenes, and as a member of the Executive Team, I am often on the front line trying to fix the problem(s) du jour. Some days if feels a bit like waving swords at windmills, but most days I see the Ashesi team transforming the continent one student at a time. It is a great place to be, and I am grateful for all the support that  is now (or soon will be) calling me “Provost”. 

Watch the Engineering Launch Video 


Steve and the Office of Diversity and International Programs

Steve in the ODIP

Last September, Steve wrote about being offered a nine-month contract as acting associate director of the Office of Diversity and International Programs (ODIP).  This office welcomes students from the US and across Africa to study at Ashesi and sends out our students to study abroad.  Since Ashesi is 21% international, this opportunity created significant moments for Steve to speak into the lives of the international students.  He loved the student counseling and coaching, working alongside the International Programs Officer and exploring the diversity among the student body.  

According to a 2012 Gallup International study, Ghana is the most religious country in the world but in a different study, Ghana was listed in the top seven of African countries with a high level of corruption.  So clearly, something is not working.   The mission of Ashesi is to “educate a new generation of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders in Africa,” but this mission can be compromised when a disconnect happens between faith and action, between what students believe and how they act in the world.  It is a crisis of leadership, not only for Ghana, or Africa;  its impact is felt worldwide.  We believe that only the real power of the gospel can transform a continent, and we work toward that, one student, one future leader, at a time.  

ODIP & American Kids

Bucheles have been on campus over two years now, long enough to understand the needs of the students and balance those with the needs of the institution.   In that regard, Steve’s nine months at ODIP were transformational, letting him see the deep need our non-religious students have for a person of faith to guide them as they work out what they believe and how to act accordingly.  Steve will continue teaching, but also explore serving as a Chaplain to the campus community.  The great value that they bring to this campus is being public, authentic followers of Jesus who are not so overtly religious but live a life of faith publicly (meaning in a fishbowl), demonstrating the Gospel in all they do. 
Sometimes we like to produce short videos about the quirky parts of our life here.  These are a couple of our videos to illustrate how different life can be here in Ghana...
When our daughter Grace and her husband Ryosuke visited, we took them to a Monkey Sanctuary to learn how to feed monkeys.
To Harvest a Pineapple
In our back yard, I have a garden.  In the garden, I grew a pineapple. Click on the picture above to watch Steve harvesting his first pineapple.  

Blog: So where is home?”

Yikes! Its cold in IowaThat is what the usher asked as in the foyer of my church in Iowa. Suzanne and I had flown in early that morning and were still were bundled up like ticks against the 20 degrees and a blue northerner outside. The usher was new here (or new since I had moved away some 40 years ago), so he didn’t know Ames was my childhood home, and this was my home church.... 
Forward to Friend

Supporting Steve & Suzanne

Learn - visit, and learn more about our mission. 
Give - pledge your monthly support through The Mission Society.
Pray â€“ join our prayer team [click here].
Connect - send us an email Steve or Suzanne.

About Our Mission to Ghana

Suzanne and Steve live on the Ashesi University Campus in Berekuso, Eastern Region, Ghana.  Suzanne is the Provost in Waiting.  Steve teaches leadership, preaches at Asbury Dunwell Church in Accra, and is mentoring a number of Ashesi students. 

Ashesi University’s goal is to educate African leaders of exceptional integrity and professional ability, and to do this in an African context.  As you may know, young Africans, when they come to the states to study, often do not return home.  Known as the brain drain, Ashesi’s mission is to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within their students the critical thinking skills, the concern for others and the courage it will take to transform Africa.  By raising the bar for higher education in Ghana, Ashesi aims to make a significant contribution towards a renaissance in Africa.  

Thanks for pledging your support
Copyright © 2016 TMS Global / ServingTheKingdom, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp