Take On the Spirit of Wisdom

Senegal 521The beautiful piece of fabric presented to me in the picture has on it the words “Take on the Spirit of Wisdom.” This is the motto for Good News Theological College and Seminary in Ghana. The ELCA has had a relationship with this institution for more than thirty years. Many of the teachers there have been educated through ELCA Scholarships. The words on the fabric symbolize the hope of the faculty and administration as students study and learn to facilitate the proclamation of the gospel. They are to with God’s help, take on the Spirit of Wisdom.

I was on the campus of GNTCS visiting with West Africa Regional Representative Themba Mkhabela, his wife Kwena and their beautiful son. Kwena had just moved to Ghana from South Africa and I wanted to see that she was feeling at home. On this night Kwena and Themba hosted a party for the staff and families of GNTCS to tell them thank you for helping to make their home comfortable and for welcoming them into the community. It was a good three-day visit.

I had just finished an eight-day trip to Senegal visiting Dakar with Anne Langdji another West Africa Regional Representative, where we saw many of the projects that the ELCA supports in Senegal. They include an elementary school, an AIDS and sex education program run by beautiful young women who go out and teach adolescent girls about safe sex practices and how to take care of themselves and a sports program where youth play basketball, table tennis and other sports. We also visited the theological institute where future pastors are being trained. There was one young woman in the current class

.Senegal 100

We also attended the church wide assembly of the Lutheran Church in Senegal. This was held some three hours from Dakar in Fatick. I mentioned the one young woman in the theological school because as of yet the Lutheran Church in Senegal does not ordain women. This was one of the major topics of conversation during the assembly. The discussion was led by a Senegalese pastor who graduated from LSTC. He did a fine job of lining out the biblical reasons to ordain women. He cited the story of creation in Genesis and agreed that we are all created in the image of God. His next statement was, “Men were created after the animals, but no one would say that man is inferior to animals.” I thought, “that will preach.” There was no conclusion to their discussion, but they are having the discussion.

From Fatick we traveled north to Linguere. On the way we saw herds of cows and a rare sight a herd of camel. In Linguere we visited the primary health care project and the farm that raises cows for milk production. I was able to see how the milk is pasteurized and how yogurt is produced. I learned tons on this trip.

It has been over two months that I have been in Central and West Africa and I am having an excellent adventure. Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ghana are no longer unknown places on a map to me. I look forward to visiting Liberia before I return to Chicago. I look forward to all the places that I have yet to visit and all the people I have yet to meet. I look forward to a life that will be very much tied to the continent and countries of Africa. My prayer is that God will enable me to “take on the Spirit of Wisdom” as I learn and grow into this awesome calling.

I am westafricabound.

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