Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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We are currently in Palmer Lake, Colorado attending Missionary Training International - this is our final US based training prior to leaving for Ghana!

The first part of the training is a course entitled PILAT - pronounced "pilot" - which will teach us language acquisition skills - not the actual language that we'll be learning.

Today we spent several hours learning how to make our mouths move in ways that the English language doesn't require - it was a lot of fun listening and making the sounds that our instructors were modeling for us.  It's been a long time since we sat in an academic classroom!

Our classmates are all ages (hmmm...I don't "think" we're the oldest, but close!) from teenagers on up in the phonics classes...and are from all over the country.  From Seattle to Iowa to Kansas to Texas to D.C. to Georgia - there are even two couples from Alaska!  Some are couples, some are singles, some have children, some have grown children, some even have grandchildren (we're not the only ones!) and some will soon have children!

We actually took a short walk yesterday (approx 2 miles) on the Santa Fe Trail :).  There's some snow on the ground and some of the locals say we'll get more this week-end...

Keep us in your prayers as we work to stay focused and attentive as well as retain the things we're learning!

Monday, December 17, 2012

We had a contract on our house - but, it has become clear that God had a different plan :).  So, that plan has taken a detour...For the present and near future, we'll be renting the house to two friends.  Please pray with us that when we return from our trip that we'll have clearer direction on whether to continue renting or putt it back on the market.....we are not disappointed but we are curious to find out where this is leading....hmmm?

Last night we had our family Christmas party for those family members that live in the Atlanta metro area - what a great time we had of - too much! -  food, fellowship and laughter.  The grandchildren that were able to come - ranging in age from 3 1/2 to 19 - were a delight and kept us laughing most of the night.  We love our family, are grateful that we get to spend quality time with those that are close by and miss like crazy those that we don't see so often...

Our next adventure will take us to Colorado - by way of Kansas City - for our final phase of US based training!  We'll be leaving Georgia a couple days after Christmas and headed to Kansas City and the One Thing Conference hosted by the International House of Prayer.  We are so looking forward to a time of getting away with the Lord - time spent at the conference and then time spent in the prayer room afterward - before heading to 5 weeks of training.  We'll be staying at the home of a friend and hoping for a little down time with them as well before we head out to Colorado Springs.

We've heard wonderful reports about MTI in Colorado and are looking forward to our time there.  However, it will be C O L D!  LOL - Ellen is a Georgia girl and has never really experienced the harsh winters of the north so it will be a challenge for her for sure!  Dave grew up and spent most of his adult life in Vermont so it will be a somewhat familiar situation for him (even though he's not lived in that cold climate for 17+ years).

We are (always) praying for God's will to be done in our lives.  We are hoping that means that shortly after returning from MTI we'll be packing for Ghana.

God is faithful.  God is good.  Even (especially) in the midst of trying times God is faithful.  God is good.  We are thankful for our faithful and good God that leads us in the path of righteousness for His namesake.  Trusting that He has a plan - and it is for our good - as we continue to take steps in the direction of Ghana full time.....  We are looking forward to quality time spent with family and friends as we make this journey!  Some family members that I (Ellen) haven't seen in 45+ years!  Others that we haven't seen since our wedding almost 3 years ago....

Traveling mercies - we'll be driving 3,000+ miles in the next 7-8 weeks - we're asking for extreme provision that will keep traveling expenses to a minimum - we are also hoping to participate in a couple of friend dinners (fundraisers) on the way back to Georgia from Colorado - please pray with us for God's perfect provision.

We love you guys and are very grateful for your prayers and support!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wow - it seems like it's never a dull moment for us!  Ha, ha - but God is good, He is gracious, and He checks on us all the time!  Giving us strong hints sometimes and other times bonking us on the head.  It's all relative to how well we're listening.

After a wonderfully uneventful trip from Kumasi back to Accra we spent the night at our friends' house and then on Monday morning headed out for what we thought would be a 2 1/2 day retreat/unwind before returning to Accra for our last appointment and heading to the airport on Wednesday evening.

On Monday night, however, I got this nagging feeling that we needed to check our email.  The only problem was that the place where we were staying didn't have internet access.  So, we made plans to go into town on Tuesday morning to get a mobile modem so we could access the internet.

A short time after breakfast we secured a taxi and completed our errand without issue and returned to the hotel.

The internet was slow and access was trying but it felt important that I stay focused and at least get into the email account.  Dave, in the meantime, wanted to go have a conversation with a gentleman we had met on Monday afternoon so off he went and there I stayed.

After about 15 or 20 minutes I was finally able to get into the email account and what do you think I found?  A B I G surprise!

It was an email from Delta telling us it was time to check in for our flight from Accra to JFK.

WHAT?!  We weren't leaving until Wednesday night, this email shouldn't have been sent on Monday night.  But, wait a minute.....what does that say?  The flight leaves Tuesday, not Wednesday?  Wait...that's today!  Oh no!!!

Ok, so picture this - it is approximately 11 a.m. - our flight check in time was 6:30 p.m. - we were at least 2 hours away from our friends' house in Accra where the rest of our luggage was - waiting for us to pick it up on the way to the airport.  We didn't have a car - didn't know when the bus ran - and felt quite helpless really to get from where we were to where we needed to be in time.

So, I ran out of the room down to the beach to retrieve Dave and back to the room we went.  We stopped, took a deep breath, sat on the bed and prayed, "Lord, we know that this didn't catch you by surprise.  We know that you have a plan to get us where we need to be.  We trust you.  Amen"

So, one step at a time, we gathered our belongings and Dave headed over to the registration desk to check us out and find out if they could get a taxi for us that could take us all the way to Accra.  Not only were they gracious enough to refund us for one of the days we had paid for, but they called a taxi and arranged the price to get us back to Accra.

The taxi ride was awesome - our driver friendly and fun to talk to.  We arranged to be picked up at the American Embassy by our friends' driver who would then take us the rest of the way.

By the time we met Jasper it was going on 4:30 p.m. - it's looking like we might make it, but traffic is terrible!  (Always is terrible in Accra)  We run by the house to repack our bags, throw them in the car and head to the airport.

An interesting side-note - while we were in Ghana we got an email from Delta telling us that we had been upgraded to Silver Medallion status.  That was great news!  We knew that at the Accra airport that would mean we'd be able to hang out in the Akwaaba lounge so we were hoping for some time to decompress before getting on the plane to head to JFK.

We got to the airport - got the car unloaded - and checked in with plenty of time to spare!  Thank you Jesus :).

After hanging out in the lounge for a while - filling up on food and drinks (we had missed lunch and dinner!) we headed to the gate only to find out that our seats had already been upgraded to Business Class!


This is just one day of our journey - know that almost everyday was like this.  We had a plan and sometimes our plan and God's plan were the same.  Sometimes they were different. But every change was an upgrade!  Just like the upgrade from coach to Business Class!

God was very clear to us - individually - that Bolgatanga is His choice for us.

We know that this will prove to be an upgrade!

Thank you for praying for us - it's through your prayers that we remained alert and attentive - that our eyes and ears remained open and we saw and heard accurately.

Here's our picture - getting settled in on our return flight from Accra!  We're pretty happy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

October 5, 2012 - Kumasi, Ghana

We are on a “vision casting” journey to Ghana.  We’ve been in Ghana since 9/25 and so far have traveled from the far, far south (Accra) to the far, far north (Bolgatanga).  The journey has been fun all along the way…even when we weren’t sure how we would get from one place to the next, God threw open doors and made passage easy!

Now we are in Kumasi and in a few days will either travel by air back to Accra – or – since the airport in Kumasi is currently closed (smile) we may travel some other way…we have several options but won’t really know until sometime Saturday afternoon which option has the “all clear” from the Lord.

Once we return to the south we’ll travel over to Cape Coast for a brief retreat before our last meetings on 10/10 and our late night journey back to the US.

We’ve had a wonderful time.  We’ve reconnected with old friends and made many, many new ones.  God certainly is at work in this wonderful country and has prepared a place for us here.  We are looking forward with eager anticipation to not only how He’s going to move in and through us once we move here early next year, but also how He’s going to move us back to the south of Ghana in just a few days!

We continue to covet your prayers as we travel the last leg of our journey – with eyes and ears wide open listening for “the voice behind (us) that will tell (us) when to go left and when to go right”.

Sunday, September 9, 2012



We just found out that Alex is most likely going to have a short pass between trainings at Fort Benning!  How exciting that Dave will be able to visit with him briefly before graduation in October.

Our Ghanaian daughter, Charity, is doing great and is now in her 3rd trimester!  Please keep her and baby Ellen in your prayers - repeat C-section will be scheduled somewhere around Thanksgiving.

We've had quite a bit of activity on the house - no offers yet.  "Our" perfect timing would be to get a contract just before leaving for Colorado with a closing date after we return :) -


We'll be doing quite a bit of traveling in the next few weeks - our itineraries are pasted below - please keep us in your prayers!

Georgia -
September 20-23, - Ellen at Emmaus retreat
September 22 - Dave visiting with Alex for Mid-cycle break

Ghana -
September 24 - Dave and Ellen leave for Ghana
September 25 - Arrive in Ghana; visit with Gilbert & Brenda & Brian  (Charity's husband and children)
September 26 - Visit Akosombo and the rehab center that's in operation there
September 27 - Fly to Tamale, take bus or taxi to Bolgatanga
September 28 & 29 - Stay in Bolgatanga
September 30 - Church in Bolgatanga then travel to Tamale
October 1 - 3 - Stay in Tamale
October 4 - Travel to Kumasi
October 5 & 6 - Stay in Kumasi
October 7 - Travel to Accra
October 8 & 9 - Retreat
October 10 - Meet with Presiding and Admin Bishops in Accra (2 p.m.)
October 10 - 10:30 p.m. depart for Atlanta
October 11 - mid-morning; arrive in Atlanta

Some of the time while we're traveling around we'll be visiting and reconnecting with friends in Ghana.  However, the primary purpose of this trip is to spend time praying in the areas  of Tamale and Bolgatanga - asking for discernment and the Lord's leading as we make preparations for the move early next year.  The reason for the retreat is to spend time reflecting on what the Lord has shown us before we return to the US and the busyness that quickly follows.  Our appointment with the Bishops in Accra will be a time of vision casting with them and asking for their partnership.

Please pray for us - that we'll stay strong and healthy - with ears and eyes wide open.

Vermont -
October 17 - 20 - Travel to Burlington VT to visit with Dave's brother & sister in law

Georgia -
October 24 - 26 - Travel to Ft Benning for Alex' graduation from AIT

We would love to share with your Sunday School Class or other small group what Jesus is doing in Ghana and how He has called us to partner with Him.

Please contact us with your dates and we'll get you on the calendar!


Dave - 678-925-3328
Ellen - 678-429-2077

We love you all so much - it's so wonderful to be traveling on this journey with you!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

http://daveandellen.weebly.com/Wow!  Where does the time go?  I know we've all had that thought before so it's not unique - but, just the same, how does it slip away from us so easily?

The Lord gave me (Ellen) fresh insight to a passage of scripture last week - one that's very familiar to us all and yet, I never saw this before...

Luke 9: 10-13
On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. 12 Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.”

So, the things that Jesus showed me last week?  Well, His disciples had just returned from their journey, He wanted to go on a retreat with them ("he took them and withdrew") however, the people wouldn't let him ("when the crowds learned it, they followed him").  I would have most likely been impatient and tried to shoo the intruders away, but what did Jesus do?  He welcomed them.

Wow - another great example of loving others more than yourself.  Of laying down your desires for the desires of others.

Not only did he welcome them, he taught them and healed them.  (vs.11)  Then as the day went on, the disciples pointed out to Jesus (as if he needed them to point out anything to him) that the people were hungry.  Their logical thought was to send them away so they could buy food.  Jesus had a better idea - he told the disciples to feed them and there followed one of the most incredible banquets of all time.

So, Jesus welcomed, taught, healed and fed the masses.

Sounds to me like Christian Action at its core.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Making Progress...

We've both been home now for two full weeks!  Thank you for your prayers as we continue to seek God's guidance as we fill our days -

Taking one task at a time over the course of the last few days we've "mostly" gotten the yard in shape (Dave did 95% of labor while I admired his handiwork!)  And it is beautiful - most weeds gone, poison ivy successfully poisoned, flowers planted, hanging baskets filled and hung, and 75 bags of cypress mulch later....

We've scraped and painted 4 interior windows with only 14 to go!  The decks have been scrubbed and Dave is in the process right now of sealing them.  On the list for today is scraping as many of the downstairs interior windows as possible and washing those blinds as well...painting them will be for another day (perhaps Monday) as Dave has an away from the house appointment for early afternoon...

This week-end we are attending a missions conference at a local church - looking forward to re-connecting with old friends and making new ones as we continue to spread the news of what Jesus is doing in Ghana.

We are reading an incredible book - "The Great Omission" by Dallas Willard.  Wow.  What a book...it truly is not for the faint of heart - this little book is showing me how most (dare I say "all"?) of my instinctive decisions are made with my best interests at heart - "how with this benefit me?"  "will this make me happy? rich? popular?"

He makes a point early on in the book, "That brings out a profoundly significant fact.  In our culture, and among Christians as well, Jesus Christ is automatically disassociated from brilliance or intellectual capacity.  Not one in a thousand will spontaneously think of him in conjunction with words such as "well informed," "brilliant," or "smart.""

Wow.  Guilty.

Dave and I have been reading through the Chronological Bible during our devotion time daily.   I've read through this before.  However, this time it has struck me over and over how the Israelites (in the modern day that would be us) over and over again did "what was right in their own eyes".  I'm struck by this as all too often - maybe routinely without giving it a second thought, I am guilty over and over of doing "what was right in (my) own eyes".  Here's another direct quote of this powerful book, "...practicing Jesus' words, as his apprentices, enables us to understand our lives and to see how we can interact with God's redemptive resources, ever at hand.  This in turn gives us an increasing freedom from failed intentions as we learn from him how to, simply, do what we know to be right." 

Mr. Willard points out most of us have not been discipled and we are not making disciples...he even mentions that we should be making disciples of our unsaved friends, neighbors and acquaintances...obviously it would look different in all types of situations but the reality is a lot of people will never come to know Jesus because they've been "turned off" by those who claim to know Him.

So, I am convicted today (again) to look for Jesus everywhere - as I sweep the floor, prepare meals, scrape windows,  wash blinds, and even writing this blog...