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A Visit With Shiloh's Ghanaian Mission Support Family

Following are wonderful photos of my Ghanaian host family and Shiloh's Ghanaian Mission Support Family, the Rev. and Mrs. John & Marilyn Asmah and their two sons Joshua (15) and Jake (13).

The Asmahs are long-term missionaries (1994-present) with The Word of Life Missions agency based in Stronglake, New York. Pastor & Mrs. Asmah are faithful servants from Ghana and the Dutch-Caribbean Island of Bonaire respectively.

Shiloh has supported the Asmah Family in their missions work since 1994!


Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 Ghana's "Gold Coast!"

On Tue., March 5th, 2013, I honored my African Ancestors by visiting the  "Doors of NO RETURN" at both Cabo Corsa (Cape Coast) & El Mina castle-forts along Ghana's "Gold Coast!"

It was bone-chilling and humbling to walk these corridors of pain & misery, stand in these chambers of rape & torture, and pass through these horrific "doors of NO RETURN!!!"

May GOD forever bless those who died in this part of the African Holocaust, may HE have mercy on the perpetrators of this heinous and despicable sin against humanity, and may HE forever keep and prosper the descendants of those who survived, transcended, and overcame this unthinkable human tragedy!


Greetings Family & Friends!

I am writing from 30,000 feet in the air as our plane traverses the African continental airways en route from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Monrovia, Liberia, with a stop-overs in Duala, Cameroon and Accra, Ghana. As many of you know, I have been led by THE HOLY SPIRIT to make home and foreign missions a hallmark of my Pastorate at the Shiloh Baptist Church. To this end, I on a whirlwind African spiritual, ecclesiastical and social mission trip that takes me to six different countries on two coasts of the African continent in 10-days! Consider the following schedule:



02/25th-26th => EGYPT (Cairo & Giza):
th => KENYA (Nairobi):

02/28th - 3/01st => ETHIOPIA (Addis Ababa):



03/01sL03rd => LIBERIA (Monrovia):
h => GHANA (Accra):
03/04th-6th => NIGERIA (Lagos & Abuja):

Although I am NOT visiting the following two countries on this trip, our church also has made "Strategic Spiritual Investments" in them:



... which I last visited in April of 2012;


... which I last visited in January of 2010 (the day of the 'great' earthquake!).


The main reason for any of these foreign-travel trips is to fulfill what I call,


The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and The Great Emission (found in Matthew 5:16). In both of these scriptural passages, JESUS commands HIS disciples to do some things: The Great Commission (to travel locally, regionally, and globally) In Matthew 28:19-20, JESUS commands HIS followers to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations ... teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;"


The Great Radiation (to shine locally, regionally, and globally): In Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." With these two spiritual charges as my 'raison d'etre' and travel, I embarked on this incredibly compact journey wearing three different hats:


#1: Pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church:

GOD has led me to intentionally expand the number of families we support who are on the ground doing GODly work in the Name of JESUS in these respective countries; I call these outreach projects and the families who facilitate them, "Strategic Spiritual Investments."


#2: Board Member of the Princeton Theological Seminary:

GOD has favored me by allowing me to sit on a board of global theological training institution with a group of amazingly gifted individuals, which is now led by a uniquely gifted President, the Rev. Dr. M. Craig Barnes. As I travel(ed), I intentionally bring (brought) greetings on behalf of PTS and the Rev. Dr. Barnes to our many alumni/ae in these respective countries.


#3: Denominational Representative of the GBCNJ, lnc., & ABCNJ, Inc.: GOD is allowing me to serve in leadership of our church's dually-aligned denominational witness, the American Baptists and the National Baptists. As I travel(ed), I intentionally bring (brought) greetings on rich denominational history that Baptists in North America have throughout the world


In conclusion, please find below updates of my journey thus far:



I was absolutely thrilled to be visiting this great country, so rich in world history and legacy. Upon landing at the Cairo International Airport, the first thing I noticed was the massive building projects that had been completed and others which were in various stages of completion. True to the great public building projects of their past (e.g. The Great Pyramids of Giza and the Temples of Luxor), the Egyptians continue their legacy as 'builders.' I spent my1.5 days here engaging in attempts to connect with the Egyptian Coptic Church leaders and those religious leaders who have Reformed/Presbyterian roots. Unfortunately, neither of the attempts were successful.

While there, I got a chance to tour this historic city and to fulfill a lifelong dream ... viewing the Sphinx and climbing on top of the Great Pyramids of Giza! Standing next to these marvels of architectural and mechanical wonder was awe-inspiring, but also sobering. How many 1 OO,OOO's of slave-lives were lost and sacrificed in the process of building monuments to nine- royal family members. Each of the three great pyramids took an average of 30-years to build.


Click Here To View An Update On The Ethiopian Mission


This has been my most productive visit yet for I got a chance to spend quality time with Mother Christine Okwirry and her family (Ken, Jackie, and Little Chrissy and Simon). During a special welcome feast prepared by the Okwirry Family, I was able to deepen my understanding of the K-8 primary & secondary school started by Mother Okwirry's mother. We were able to sow money into the ministry which will help repair roofs, windows, and doors as well as help pay the instructors.


I was/am particularly grateful for Bro. Ken Okwirry, who is brother to our own Min. Elizabeth Okwirry Mitchell. He was extremely generous with his time in transporting and negotiating/navigating my experiences there. In addition, I was able to reconnect with the Rev. Buri, who is an Associate Pastor at the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and an Alumni of Princeton Theological Seminary.


Lastly, I was able to tour meet an Associate Pastor at the Nigerian Baptist Church, which is among the largest churches of any denomination in Nairobi, a city of approximately 10+ million people. They were in the final throes of a national election in which the people are to vote on Monday, 3/4. Do keep them in prayer as there is a tenuous feeling and concern amongst some of the citizens that a loss for a particular party could see the country devolve into civic strife. The stark contrast from Egypt, where visitors marvel at what man built, Kenya leaves visitors like me marveling at what GOD built. .. the great wild animal reserves for which Kenya is famous. The likes of the Serengetti and Tavho East leaves you with a deep respect for the natural world and GOD's created order.



My last country to visit in East Africa was Ethiopia. I literally only had 12-hours in Addis Ababa and because I flew in at night, I could not do any real sight-seeing or assessing the geography nor topography of the City. However, what I lacked in quantity of time, I made up in quality of experience. I spent approximately 6-hours with Mr. Adnew Gossa and Mr. Girham, both of whom are Brothers-In- Law to Sis. JoElizabeth Butler who is the Deputy Director for the United Nations' Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes. JoElizabeth is kin/family to our own Cooper Family (Lorraine, Carolyn, etc .... ). I got a deeper exposure and understanding of many aspects of service provided to disadvantaged Ethiopian children, through the school we are supporting that bears the name of our much beloved late Brother, Trustee Ronald Coooper . I spent time strategically planning a subsequent visit to Ethiopia in 2014 (IF THE LORD DELAYS HIS RETURN) where we can actually visit the school. I did all of this while dining on exquisite traditional Ethiopian food (nan, lamb & cabbage) and while taking-in the sights and sounds of an Ethiopian wedding feast and social gathering, complete with live Ethiopian culturally-inspired music and dancing.


Now, my Western African journey begins ... I'1l update you on these experiences later!



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