Dan and Susan Steere - February 12, 2019
Enthusiastic Response to ELI Courses
I was somewhat reluctant to teach a course on African Traditional Religion, but the response of the Kumasi students was enthusiastic and thoughtful.
This is the dry season here in Ghana and this year it has been very hot. The morning classes were not too bad, but by the afternoon, temperatures were up into the 90’s inside the classroom. It was a grueling schedule in many ways, but God graciously helped us.
I was teaching through 1 Timothy in the mornings, working with the diploma students at Shiloh, who are here for a year’s worth of Bible training. The students were initially rather reserved in their response, but very soon were engaged and asking questions. It’s a fun time for me as I work verse-by-verse through Paul’s epistle helping them understand Paul’s teaching and making applications to their lives and ministries. Paul’s instructions to Timothy are very practical and challenging for pastors everywhere, but it seems at times that Paul was writing specifically for Ghanaian church leaders. His instructions regarding self-discipline in one’s personal life and warnings against the love of money ring powerfully in a context where godliness is considered to come with the position of pastor and the false gospel of prosperity permeates many churches.
The students enjoyed their time in the Word and each received a copy of the ELI notes on 1 Timothy, promising they would go and teach what they had learned. At the same time I was teaching, Dan Gilchrist was leading the MINTS students through an introduction to Eschatology (i.e. the doctrine of Last Things). In addition, JoAnn Johnston was also teaching a women’s conference from the book of Esther. Both of them, and their teaching, were well-received and I heard many compliments about what was being learned.
On Monday, we three met for lunch in the Archbishop’s office and enjoyed a large helping of Indomie each - essentially spicy Ramen noodles with bits of vegetables, eggs, and sardines mixed in. I ate Indomie for lunch the whole week because I stayed on in the afternoons to teach the MINTS class.
Despite the afternoon heat, the MINTS students were enthusiastic about the class - formally called Introduction to Theology for the African Context - and we had some wonderful discussions. However, by Wednesday they were concerned that I was losing energy and becoming weary. It seems that with the combination of energetic teaching in the morning, the heat, and the busy afternoon class, I was being affected more than I realized. So, my brethren sent me home early on Wednesday and asked me to reduce my afternoon teaching hours for the remainder of the week. Once I realized that they were on to something (it was confirmed by Dan and JoAnn), I complied and I am now doing fine. Thank the Lord for brethren who are concerned!
Thursday during lunch, Sam Oppong and I met with the newly elevated Archbishop at the home of the retiring Archbishop Addae. My good friend Archbishop Addae has been quite ill and has little energy at this point. He is handing over his responsibilities to the new man, but wanted to make sure that everything would continue on at Shiloh as it has been. By God’s grace, Archbishop Divine (yes, that’s his name) has pledged to continue supporting ELI’s work at Shiloh - a great encouragement to all of us. As you think of it, please pray for Archbishop Addae’s health and healing. He is a wonderful man of God who loves Christ deeply and has been greatly used in Ghana for the advance of the gospel. Pray also for Archbishop Divine as he takes up this large responsibility.
We all finished up on Friday and received formal thanks and several gifts from both the Shiloh students and the MINTS students. On Saturday, Sam Oppong brought Don Mountan and Stan Armes down from Sunyani and we were all together for lunch. The reports of God’s blessing on the instruction in both Sunyani and Kumasi were greatly encouraging to the whole team.
Next week, Stan will be teaching Biblical Worship here in Kumasi and the three of us will move to Sunyani to teach there. We all look forward to this final week, but we ask that you will uphold us in prayer as we teach. This work is only possible in God’s strength and we covet your prayers for us in that regard.
For Christ’s Kingdom,
Dan and Susan Steere
ELI - West Africa