For ABC students, staging this big event in the spring is one of their biggest challenges; it also provides one of their greatest accomplishments. They must learn to plan various aspects of the program, divide the work among themselves, and cooperate to do what none of them could do alone. Working through the difficulties together develops a unity in the class that could hardly occur by artificial means. The long hours of planning, preparation, and hard work leaves the students exhausted, but also exhilarated. They find that they can indeed surmount tough obstacles and work together in a program that brings benefit to many people.
Another reason ABC continues asking students to put on an annual fun show for charity is that in doing so, they practice skills they can later use to help plan and conduct events and socials in their home congregations. Ambassador graduates have been putting such experience and skills to work in service to the Church for many years now.
The proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will directly benefit the congregations of Kwanyako and Winneba, Ghana.
Kwanyako sits approximately 120 miles west of Ghana’s capital city of Accra. On its outskirts is a village region containing a UCG congregation of approximately 50 members. Our brethren currently meet in a primitive, open-air structure that has been condemned by the local government. The reason for this condemnation pertains to the high-tension power lines that were installed overhead of the structure, thus placing it into the newly established right of way zone which must be vacated. This has resulted in the need to relocate our congregation to a new meeting location.
Two years ago, ground was broken for a new meeting facility on a piece of bare property that was purchased by UCG-Ghana. The funds for this land came from private donations. The building structure itself is a Good Works project designed to not only give our congregation a place to meet on the Sabbath, but also a location where they can conduct community outreach projects and events that bring benefit to those beyond our congregation.
Helping finish this building project was the primary focus of this year’s ABC (partnered with LifeNets) fundraiser. Walls for the Kwanyako structure have already been erected. Approximately one third of the walled-in area will serve as the main meeting facility, with the remaining portion of the compound serving as a secure courtyard for our other activities.The donated funds will go towards putting the roof on the meeting portion of this structure and completing the weather-tight environment for our church members to assemble in on the Sabbath. This facility will also provide a functional location for carrying out the church’s community-based activities throughout the week. Having an enclosed building with a walled compound is a great asset in this region and will provide opportunities for future expansion of church, business and community ventures, with a place to safely operate, maintain and store locally-owned equipment and produce.
Much of the work to erect this structure is being done by hand by our members. Only a minimal portion of the work has been hired out to outside contractors in an effort to minimize costs where possible.
The United Church of God in Kwanyako functions much like a community church. Most of its members live within close proximity to the meeting location, in the surrounding village area. Many walk to church services each Sabbath, with a few riding motorbikes or taking hired transport.
Almost all of our members in this region are farmers by occupation. They grow crops for their own personal consumption, as well as for sale to the public. Once completed, this structure will provide a secure location for both church and community members to come together in the processing of their goods for sale and trade, as well as coordinating outreach projects that will benefit the needs of the community. This centralized interaction will also provide our brethren with greater opportunity to spread the true gospel of Jesus Christ and the soon coming Kingdom of God in their region.
A portion of the proceeds from the fundraiser will also be going towards helping with the building needs of the congregation in Winneba, Ghana. Winneba is an historic fishing port in the southern coastal region of Ghana. The UCG congregation there totals approximately 50+ members. They are in dire need of structural renovations and weatherproofing to their existing structure. The name Winneba means, “Windy Bay.” As such, this region is known for its penetrating sideways rains during the wet season. Sealing those rains out of the meeting facility is essential.
Additionally, there are no restroom facilities of any kind on this site. The church members have been working to make concrete block by hand in the hopes of constructing small washrooms and a much-needed compound wall as well. The LifeNets contribution will make a dramatic difference to the soundness and sanitation of this meeting facility where our brethren congregate each Sabbath.
The construction efforts on both projects are set to move forward throughout the upcoming spring and summer. COVID-19 restrictions do tend to play a factor in the pace of the work. LifeNets will be kept apprised with periodic updates and pictures documenting the progress as it moves forward. We extend gratitude to all who have contributed their support to this important project.