Dear <<First Name>>,

We are happy to say that health-wise, 2018 has been a good year for both of us:  No malaria, no typhoid.  I know its a low bar, but after last year it is good to get a break from tropical diseases.  

Steve says he doing the best job of teaching that he has ever done.  


"I feel like the students are really understanding leadership in ways I've not seen before.   Plus I see the beginnings of many new deep student friendships."   
Suzanne's tough season has overstayed its welcome, or as they say here, kept long.  Being Provost is a challenging job.  It has been good to watch her grow as a leader and a follower of Jesus would, although sometimes she is admittedly over-stretched.  At our breakfast, usually tropical fresh fruit smoothies (bananas, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, mango...), Suzanne reads the Reflections Devotional out loud and we discuss it.  Lately, God has really blessed us with its spot-on applicability to her life.  She admits feeling sorry for everyone else who has followed along with what was clearly written just for her in this station of life.  
This Easter edition of PrayerMatters:

    A reflection on our Lenten Journey this year.[Link]
    Ashesi Update [Link]
    Steve-isms (AKA Steve's Laws) [Link]

Steve & Suzanne

Calabash Tree
A Lenten Journey Toward Easter

Though Suzanne and I have served in Ghana since 2014, the season of Lent still brings out the longing the psalmist wrote about "How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?" (Psalm 137.4)  Ghana is a highly religious country, a recent Gallup International survey reported that 95% of our host country self-identified as "religious people," with 80% claiming Christianity, it is a different kind of Christianity.  Lent casts light on how much of our lives long to be filled with meaning; to sing--in this strange land--the LORD's song and awaken the Holy of Lent.
Why is this Holy of Lent "long coming" as they say in Ghana when something is delayed?
Perhaps the hauntingly beautiful hymn "As the Wind Song" provides some insight.  In it, we sing about things never seen, ever known, each evidence of an unseen mover.  Stirring trees, a heart strangely warmed, the voice within the storm, to name a few, each concluding, so it is with the Spirit of God.
We experience this Spirit of God through the things it moves, but these things are not what moves them, they are just the evidence.  We are to love the provider, not just the provision, though too often this provision confuses us.   It is not Lent itself that brings the Holy, but where this journey of Lent has led us, and what it has taught us.
Prayer: Holy and Everlasting Lord - As we live toward this day of Resurrection and the new life provided, may our lives be filled with the meaning they long for. Fill us with an understanding of how you move around us in all that we experience of this world as you, the never seen, ever known one of our lives.  Amen.

Ashesi Update

Ashesi University College, is awaiting official confirmation that the institution has been granted its Presidential Charter.  Unofficially, we have heard that the President of Ghana signed our Charter document, but officially, Ashesi has not been notified.  Charter means Ashesi will grant its own degrees, instead of giving out ones that say “The University of Cape Coast,” our mentoring institution.  More importantly, it means faculty no longer submit their final exams for pre-moderation approval the sixth week of class, and then after the semester, provide the graded exams for external post-moderation approval.  Suzanne led the team that produced Ashesi's successful Charter application, after two previous unsuccessful attempts. 

We had a visit from our friend Shelia who taught me almost everything I know about the art of Ghanaian Cooking back in 2009.  She brought her son to apply for admission to Ashesi, and we spent a delightful afternoon renewing our friendship and walking around the campus.  This is the great hope of what we do here, the power of long-term relationships, and nurturing a place where students from all walks of life can come together to work out their differences and earn a quality education.
In addition to being team lead for a newly revamped first-year Leadership seminar, Steve is teaching a new service-learning Leadership project course for third-year engineering students. This term his students build the community engagement project they designed the last term. These are ambitious projects:
  • Combining two things Ghana has an abundance of: plastic waste and potholes, turning plastic waste into a pothole patching material [blog]
  • Building a cloud harvester.  Early in the morning, the area is covered in fog. Like a spider web covered in drops of morning dew, this project harvests water for local farmers to use on their dry farm fields. [blog]
  • Installing a solar LED light system for the labor and delivery room of the local clinic; currently, at night, the midwives use their cell phones; [blog]
  • Creating a low-cost sonar walking stick for the blind; [blog]
As these third-year engineering students were learning about Servant Leadership during the fall term, they also worked with villages to learn what they needed, and then set about designing a solution, their community engagement project.  Now Steve gets to mentor and watch these projects come to life. 
We both continue to live out the gospel in non-religious ways among the students; living on campus, being an example of a healthy marriage, and being parents to some of the students who need guidance, encouragement, a listening ear, or an open heart.  Since moving back to Ghana, we have watched the University grow almost 40%; we enjoy getting to know class after class of students, watching them graduate and then go out into the world to work to change it for the better.  It is a privilege we do not take lightly, being your missionaries, cross-cultural witnesses to these future leaders of Africa.  

Steve-isms (from our blog)

Standing Trees of Berekuso 

In an ongoing effort to make the world a better place, Steve has begun publishing his laws, just as his father and brother did before him. 

Here are the first two:
    The Law of Three Buckets [Link]
    The relationship of Mistakes & Learning Opportunities [Link]

Bonus material: Rod Buchele's Laws [Link]
Forward to Friend

Supporting Steve & Suzanne

Learn - visit, and learn more about our mission. 
Give - pledge your monthly support through TMS-Global
Pray – 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 serves as the Provost and Steve teaches Leadership and tends to the spiritual needs of the campus community. 

The goal of Ashesi University is to educate African leaders of exceptional integrity and professional ability and to do this in an African context.  Ashesi’s mission is to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within our students the critical thinking skills, the concern for others, and courage it will take to transform Africa.  By raising the bar for higher education in Ghana, Ashesi aims to make a significant contribution towards an African Renaissance.  

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