In the early 2000’s Central Presbyterian Church of Geneseo provided financial support for a Ghanaian pastor, Francis Acquah, to obtain a Master’s Degree in Theology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Theology. At least once a year during Francis’s studies in the U.S., he came to Geneseo to share his faith and talk with us about his work in Ghana. Over these years, as Francis stayed in our homes and dined at our tables, we developed bonds of mutual respect, faith, and friendship. In 2012 Francis returned to his native land of Ghana where he now teaches theology at the University and pastors Trinity Methodist Church. We have agreed to continue our relationship with Francis by supporting each other in our faith, exchanging cultural and social customs and engaging in acts of mutual support.
From July 24 to August 5, 2015, an intergenerational group of 7 members of Central Presbyterian Church traveled to Accra, Ghana where we worshipped with, worked with, and stayed with members of Trinity Methodist Church for the express purpose of fostering a mutually rewarding intercultural exchange and helping them build a school for neighborhood children. As we walked around the neighborhood where Trinity’s school is being built, we witnessed first hand the stark poverty of those living there. We saw young children playing in dusty yards during regular school hours because their families cannot afford to pay for public school uniforms, books, and other associated fees. In spite of their poverty, they welcomed us with open arms and smiling faces.
Prior to leaving for this trip, we were generously awarded $800 from the Marjorie Harding Memorial Fund. Marjorie was a long time member of Central Presbyterian who believed in and generously supported issues of social justice and peace. We were able to exceed our goal of raising matching funds and with our congregation’s support of an additional $1200 we sent a total of $2000 to The Rev. Dr. Francis Acquah, pastor of Trinity Methodist Church, for building supplies. Upon our arrival we were encouraged to see workers already using the materials purchased with these monies to finish the first floor of the school. We worked alongside these workers removing cane poles used to support the roof and carrying heavy basins of sand used to mix the mortar for the walls. The first floor of the school has 3 large classrooms, bathrooms, and a large foyer to welcome the children. It is expected to be operational by the end of this year while construction continues on the upper 3 floors. The completion of this first floor has brought hope to the members of the church and neighborhood that soon their children will be able to attend school so they may prosper and eventually use their education to improve their families as well as their future families’ lives.
In September, 2015, we celebrated this first journey sharing our stories, our pictures and a Ghanaian dinner. Please click below for our powerpoint presentation.
Thanks to the generous support of our congregation we have been able to raise additional funds for building this school and in November, 2015, we sent an additional $3590 to the Rev. Dr. Acquah for more building supplies. Thanks to the Harding Memorial Fund and to our congregation for making this journey a reality. This is just the beginning of a long relationship between the Central Presbyterian and Trinity Methodist Church congregations