Saturday, January 28, 2017

Bible Storying

Most of the people with whom I work are illiterate. They cannot read or write. They live in an oral society and have oral traditions. They learn the stories of those who have gone before and tell them to their children. So, in this culture, it is especially important to teach the Bible in the way people will hear and understand. 

In the two churches where I work, Kunyukuo and Kalsagri, I have started a Bible storying class. We meet in Kunyukuo on Sundays, after church, and in Kalsagri on Saturday afternoons. We will methodically study the main 80-100 stories of the Bible, beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelation. During the class, the Bible story is told. We discuss it and answer some very pertinent questions, then the story is told again. (This is done in both English and Dagaare.) Then, we break up into pairs and tell the story to each other. Kalsagri did is when I was the Caretaker at their Society. So, they got right into it. They are very animated as they tell the story. And, when someone arrives late, there is no hesitation to tell the newcomer the story of the day.

Kunyukuo, on the other hand is tough. During the first class, people looked at me as if I had three heads. They are not used to doing thing. The last class we had, most groups told the story and a couple of them were very animated. I am hoping that this continues. You can watch some of the Bible storying on my Facebook page, Sue Kolljeski, Serving Christ in Ghana.

In an oral, illiterate society, it important to know the stories and lessons in God’s Word. And, little, by little, these two Societies are able to tell the Bible story and lesson that are taught. Hopefully, people will share the story of God's extreme love for us. And, hopefully they will draw strength from His word, for now they are learning it and hiding it in their hearts.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A "What About Bob?" Kind of Day

You know, as a Christian, and in the work I do, the place that I live, I often feel as if I shouldn't have "one of those days." But, the truth of the matter is, I do. I do have "one of those days" from time to time. Days like yesterday. I didn't choose to take a day off. My body did.. It must have been on strike or it was planning a mutiny and didn't know how to pull it off. 

Out of the last 30 days, I have been sick for at least 20 of them...back to back illnesses. Nothing big or traumatic. Nonetheless, I haven't felt 100% well for awhile. Thien came Monday and Tuesday this week. I felt great, for the most part, still battling small health issues that refuse to let go. I baked! I cleaned! I wrote Sunday's sermon!I played with the children. People visited me. I visited them. I walked. I exercised. I called the carpenter and the plumber to fix things. I did laundry. I sent a report to the pastor. Oh, it felt good to be so productive....

Until yesterday. I could barely drag myself out of bed. I didn't even make coffee! I resorted to the iced coffee I made the day before. What was wrong with me? Even coloring seemed to be a chore. Did I overdo it the last two days? (Yep!) I went back to bed and watched What About Bob? Baby steps. I needed to take baby steps. That way, something would get done. One little step at a time. I sent some emails. Then, I read. I made breakfast. And then I read. And I napped. And I read. I tore myself away from Mr. Mooey and put away the clean laundry from the day before. I started a letter to my sister. I read...that was about all. I ate. I read. I slept. I didn't get much done except for the rest I obviously needed. Anything I did was done a little bit at a steps.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


How do I keep sane with so many children around? I try to set boundaries and stick to them. It should be easy. Right? Operative word - should! 

I have scheduled days for the children to come and play. And, they are pretty good at keeping to those days. And, I am pretty good at sticking to them, too. But, it isn't easy. When there's no school is the hardest. I will be sitting on my veranda and here comes Boniface. "Maakum, I want to read." "Okay, Boniface, here are the Bibles, you read while I read." In a few minutes, "Maakum, I want to do schoolwork." How can you say "no" to schoolwork? But, I must. "No, Boniface. It is time to read. If you are finished, then you need to leave." Some days he reads more. Some days he leaves.

Over the holidays, I was sick, Then, I got better. Then, I got sick again. So, Boniface didn't see me on the veranda. He would come to my bedroom window. (He can't see in because of my curtains.) "Maakum." Pause. "Maakum." Pause. Now, a bit louder, "Maakum!" Pause. "Maakum!" Another pause. Now, louder, "MAAKUM!" It was so hard not to answer. He isn't supposed to come to my window. I listened for him. He didn't leave. He was talking to someone. "MAAKUM!" "MAAKUM!" Finally, I answered him. "What, Boniface. I am sick and I am resting." "Oh, Maakum. I just came to greet." "Boniface, you know you aren't to be at my window. You need to go to the gate. Who is with you? Who were you talking to?" "Maakum, nobody." "Boniface, I heard you talking to someone." "Oh, Maakum, I was praying!" You gotta love the boy!

Monday, January 9, 2017

What Would You Do for a BLT?

In Lawra, there is definitely a shortage of recognizable meat. One of my stand bys has been bacon, which is unheard of where I live. "Bacon, what is that?" "It is pig meat." "Oh!" Bacan can be used for so many things.But, my favorite is a good BLT sandwich. Since I had been so sick and also busy during Christmas and new Year's Day, I decided to take a few days and go to Tamale. In Tamale, I could get BACON and an excellent BLT sub. 

So, on Tuesday, I got up at 3:30 am to prepare, leaving my house at 4:10. I walked to the station and boarded Yaro's tro tro. We made it to Wa in time for me to board the new Metro Mass Transport bus which was headed to Tamale. We should have arrived by noon. Notice I said, "should have." Yes, it was a new bus. Bright, cheerful, with air con. Yet, a half hour into our journey it glided to a halt. The warning beeping started...the annoying noise that lets you know something is wrong. The driver got out to check on the problem. He couldn't find it. So, he called for a mechanic. Over an hour and a half later, the mechanic arrived, no tools, just holding on to a piece of wire. He tried and tried to find the problem and fix it. An electrician was called. But, wait, the mechanic fixed it! The motor was running...two and a half hours on the side of the road. We started moving. Then, after about three minutes, we stopped again. But, this time, no annoying warning sounds. We were waiting for the driver. Apparently, he went somewhere as we waited on the roadside. Twenty minutes later, he arrived, got on the bus and pulled out. We were now on our way to Tamale and my BLT sub. 

Finally, at 3:00 pm, in front of me sat a most delicious BLT sub. Mmmm...heaven on earth. You now know what I would do for a BLT. What would you do?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 - a Year of Hope

2016 is history. 2017 is full of possibilities. It is right before me. What are my hopes? What dreams do I have? What goals have I set? What choices will I make? All of this remains to be seen. The one thing I am sure of is my commitment to be available to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Today I pray the words of John Wesley:

I am no longer my own, but thine.Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.Put me to doing, put me to suffering.Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,exalted for thee or brought low for thee.Let me be full, let me be empty.Let me have all things, let me have nothing.I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,thou art mine, and I am thine.So be it.And the covenant which I have made on earth,let it be ratified in heaven.Amen.