MARCH 13, 2006

by Pastor Connie Larson DeVaughn

“If I can go, why can’t others? I’m going back to Africa! And this time I’m taking a group of people with me.” This was the thought that came to me upon my return from my missions trip last November.

I knew that other people went on these kinds of trips. But the logistics and the funding seemed like such staggering obstacles that I’d never considered the possibility for myself, until Jean Bouchebel in a whirlwind, took it upon himself to set up my trip, using his bonus air miles. The Deacons gave their support, many people generously donated the funds, and off I went.

Greatly encouraged and blessed by my experience, I determined to spread that blessing to others. And so, ABC’s Amazing Adventure in Africa begins. A group of 13 ABCers will travel to Ghana this July to visit the Amazing Grace Preparatory School. We raised an offering for this school last summer during VBS, and now we are going to meet the children and staff. Founded and run by Ghanians, this school provides education, food and basic health care for Ghanaian students from poor village communities. Flowing out of a deep Christian commitment, it seeks to change children’s lives and the lives of their families by providing an excellent education and a strong spiritual foundation. In our week-long visit, we will be establishing friendships with the students, and learning from the staff and other dedicated Christians there.

The target age group of our team is 11-14. Eight Middle Schoolers are signed up, along with five adults. My goal is that this age group would catch God’s heart of love for the world, to become deeply aware of their privilege and responsibility as American Christians, and to respond with life-long generosity and compassion. We will be learners and receivers on this trip in order to produce lasting growth. Our team has a lot to do if we’re going to pull off this trip.

  • We have to raise about $35,000 to cover all costs of the trip plus a gift to the school to help put a roof on their Junior High building. With about a third of that amount in hand already, we have sent support letters to friends and family. Some in our group have started selling candy and recycling. In fact, if you want to help with the latter, please bring your soda cans, plastic and glass beverage containers to church and place in the coffee room. We have brainstormed a long list of other fundraising ideas that we will be working on throughout the next few months. Eventually we will come to the church body with our remaining needs.
  • We have to prepare ourselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally. We are meeting every other week for this training. Each time we commit ourselves to a new discipline that will build our characters and our teamwork, with encouragement and accountability built in.
  • We will be learning about God. Our new Ghanaian friends have to trust God to provide basic food and shelter every day. We know we’ll have food to eat today, but we are having to trust God’s provision for this trip, and God’s care in the unknown as we set out.

You will likely be hearing a lot more about this venture. We are too excited about this opportunity to keep it under wraps. Our journey has already begun although we haven’t packed our bags yet. It’s a journey that will involve a lot of our time and effort, but ultimately it’s really a journey of faith. We would greatly appreciate your prayer for our team as we set our sights on Africa.