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Rafiki Foundation  |  Training Africans to Transform Africa for Christ

Nelson December 2020

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Years ago, when Scott and I met, married, then welcomed Grace to our family the next year, we played a little game with each other which started, “If I had told you a year ago…” We had experienced so many changes in such a short period of time that it was beneficial for us to reflect on God’s unexpected blessings. It seems like the year 2020 has been a bit like that.

If you had told us in 2019 that in 2020 we would be able to participate in our home church’s Easter Service via Zoom because worship services were being broadcast to congregants in their own homes; if you had hinted that our furlough would be postponed because Ghana’s borders would be closed for six months; if you had detailed to us that we would spend time teaching the Rafiki residents because the President of Ghana had closed the schools; and if you had suggested that we would enjoy our first Thanksgiving in the U.S. since 2014, I do not think we would have believed you. The year 2020 was not what anyone could have planned or imagined, but thankfully, God is in control.

Amidst the uncertainty of this year, we have much for which we are thankful. It is fitting as 2020 winds down to name a few of our many blessings.

Please thank God with us for:

—His graciousness in granting us salvation and allowing us to disciple young people.

—His Word and the freedom to study as a community at the Rafiki Village. (In 2020 we studied 1 Peter, James, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude.)

—His strength and wisdom needed to adapt our roles amidst COVID protocols and changes.

—His provision of a new missionary in October! Kiley Bronke, who will be aiding the school in teacher development, is our new team member.

—Technology to access excellent preaching to view weekly as a Village. The shutdown of churches and ongoing national protocols for children’s homes caused us to have a weekly Sunday worship at the Rafiki Village.

—Providing unexpected extra time for many of our resident children and youth to spend with their relatives. The majority of our residents visited with their relatives for about five weeks early in 2020.

—Good health of Rafiki Village Ghana residents and staff. Prior to her retirement, Janet had developed a relationship with a local pharmacist who proved to be an invaluable resource this year. The pharmacist offered advice and delivered any medication or medical supplies we needed as we limited our trips outside the Village.

—Completion of tertiary studies by five of our Rafiki Scholars despite in-person school closures: two software engineers, one networking engineer, one in business management, and one in pre-law.

—A capable new assistant for Andrea and her willingness to live at Rafiki from May through December. She got to know the kids very well as she was locked-down with us all!

—Extra time for missionaries and staff to meet with resident children and teach and discuss various Enrichment topics.

We pray that you have had eyes to see God’s blessings even amidst the unexpected difficulties you have faced in 2020. We continue to be humbled by the faithfulness and generosity of our supporters. God is using your prayers and resources to strengthen the faith of dozens of children and teens in Ghana. Thank you for your kindness to us all.

Here are some pictures from the Village for you to enjoy.

In 2020, we celebrated nine 16th birthdays with a cake. In 2021 we’ll celebrate eleven more 16th birthdays!

During our fall break, the residents enjoyed GAMES. At one station they strengthened their chess skills.

Also during GAMES, the residents crafted Christmas cards to send to their sponsors.

The optional, weekly drawing class attracts 25 of our 72 current residents.

Most drawing class attendees chose to draw from photos. Several of the students were nearly able to duplicate the photo!

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