Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Many Blessings! :)

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength,” 1 Corinthians

Greetings!! I am reading through 1 Corinthians right now, and this verse stood out to me as one that is both humbling and encouraging; because I often rely on my own strength for just day by day things, and also encouraging to know that we always have God to rely on, who had so much more wisdom, to share!

If I had to describe January in one word, it would be encouraging!! J In the middle of December, we had another team from Cote Divoire join our team because of all the political hostility going on. They’re also working with Campus Crusade, and the team is made up of 2 families (2 little boys in each family) and 2 girls around my age. Currently only the 2 girls (M.J. and Elisa) are still in Ghana with us, as one family went home, and the other to France to continue doing ministry in those places. Because we’re not really sure when the government will be at peace again, MJ and Elisa will be joining our team for now, which we’re so excited about!

Also, on January 4th we were able to move out of our old hostel (with little running water, and unreliable power) and into Lemann hostel!! I’m currently in my room right now; it is much bigger, closer to campus, right next to a market to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, rice, chicken, etc. and also cheaper! It was built about one year ago, and we are SO happy to be here!! Elisa, MJ, Becca and I are all sharing a big room where we have our own bathroom, balcony, and share 2 bunk beds!

Saving the best for last… we had a vision trip come and visit us on January 2, and they stayed for one week! 5 students from the University of WI La Crosse, and 2 interns led the trip. For the first 3 days, we went sharing in campus and the last 3 days we spent in Cape Coast, where we went on a canopy walk, got a tour of a 500 year old slave castle, visited an orphanage, and also shared the Jesus film! it was jam packed but so much fun to labor along side other Americans for 1 week! We also got to pet an alligator, which was soo cool! It was such a blessing to not only be encouraged by these students, but to also share with them really what it's like to live in Ghana and share our faith here! It went to SO fast!

Life has been so fun here, I feel like I've been getting to enjoy the Lord in all the blessings he's given to us! We simply have more time to spend with him, along with more time to plan for next semester, and also to see more of Ghana! On Friday we'll leave to see more of the water falls that are on the Eastern side of Ghana, in the Volta region. Africa really feels like home to me, sometimes I enjoy living here so much, it scares me, but I think right now, one year will be enough! :) God has really opened my eyes to follow him, however, so I don't know if he'd want me here next year even if I wanted to stay, if that makes sense :)

The Lord has also opened my eyes to how thankful I am for my fmaily and friends! Christmas was pretty hard... because we're so spoiled in America and surrounded by family, I really learned to appreciate these things, and also my teamates here! We spent Christmas Eve at my director's house cooking and eating food, and went to a candle light service at church! Becca is in the choir so that made it more special! On Christmas day, we spent the day with the Cote Divoire team and had pizza for dinner. I got to skype with my family friends, but I can imagine it's never the same being away from home. 

On january 29th, we leave for Malaga, Spain for our Mid year Conference, where we will meet with other STINTers serving in Northern Africa, Europe, and the Middle East! I almost feel bad for going, but i know the lord will be glorified and we will be rejuvinated, ready for the next semester! This will be my first time to Europe... very excited! We will be in meetings and listening to spekers most of the time, but I'm sure we'll have time to enjoy Spain! :)

I am having so much fun here, and the Lord is teaching me a lot about being still before him, and letting him into my life a little more at a time!! Would love to pray for anyone! here is my email katiehanson916@gmail.com, and I put all my pitcures on facebook because it's much quicker, but let me know if you want any and I'll try to send them to you! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while, so I’m not sure where to begin, but a brief synopsis of the last 2 months: J

October was a harder month for us with our water going out with about 20 of the 30 days, had a few illnesses, money stolen, trying to plan with our director and mixing our cultures (I think tougher then it sounds ;) ) and little T.V. and internet… (ok, we have a T.V. in our public living room across the hall, so that’s more of our choice) We met a lot of cool students that we still keep in touch with! It almost took us 2 whole months to get kind of a routine schedule, which I thought would happen faster!

November was much more uplifting, the highlight was that we found a church we LOVE going to! It’s called a New Testament church, and we had to go to a “member’s class” to join, and all their beliefs are very bible based. Honestly I’m not really sure how they got the name, Agape House New Testament church, but I really look forward to going! Their choir kind of sounds/looks like sister act, a lot of dancing, and loud, harmonizing songs, most in English! Twi (chwi) is their native language. The pastor and his wife are from Virginia, moved to Africa in 1982 and have been planting/ministering at churches since then. They had us over for Thanksgiving! And it was JUST as good as Dan and Sandy’s! J Well pretty close I think… so delicious!! I think my room mate Becca will join the choir and I will work with the kid’s ministry, it’ll be a good way to have a life outside of ministry because our team is so small J

We also made our Christmas tree in November!! It’s made out of filled up water bottles with lights going through the layers, reflecting off the water! Fake Christmas trees are really expensive here, and we don’t have a ton of extra storage space.

What else? I met many new students in November, more then any other month! So the first time I meet a student in the dorms, we will share the four spiritual laws with them (when we tell them we are missionaries they normally ask if we have any papers or “tracks” for them, it’s super easy to share the gospel! ) About a week or less later, we’ll knock on the same door (this part is much easier, most students are excited we actually thought to visit them! We’ll normally just talk and then ask them about what they think of the Holy Spirit, and explain how to walk with Him each day!

I’ve met some pretty awesome women!! One of my friends is Emefa, and oddly the first day I met her, she came to a meeting and she connected with many people right away! Some people just have that gift J She wants to make us Norwegian waffles? She grew up in Norway, but is 100% Ghanaian. Her parents had her and then went to college in Norway. My other friend, Sandra told me of her dream to become a pastor and has already started writing sermons! She is very involved in her church, but super encouraging to talk to.

We still run into this problem, where we are not sure if students are just answering questions so they sound good, or if they actually believe what they’re saying. For example, my team mate David had been talking to this room for a long time, and asked them, What do you think happens after you pass away? Both the guys answered, “It depends on if your Muslim or a Christian..” David said, “what do you think?” Without knowing David was a Christian, they told him they would go to heaven! But it can be really deceiving, not knowing if it’s the truth you hear J

They are starting their finals from December 11 to January 6! They get 2 days off fro Christmas, and New years off, but could have an exam on any other day! So we may have a few friends to spend Christmas with!! We’ll probably spend Christmas day with Richard and Nelson’s family; they are both on staff with Campus Crusade, and then Christmas Eve with students! We were told that New Year’s Eve is a much bigger deal here; and most go to either church, or the clubs… but New Years is much more the focus then Christmas!

Everything has been more exciting with Christmas music and Christmas parties! We had a Swallowship part, which was a time to eat and celebrate the almost end of the semester! I would describe it like a big BBQ in July with about 60 plus people and a big tent to sit under! The men killed a goat! That was really sad, I didn’t see it but could here him screaming L Anyways… we also had Jollof Rice, fried plantains, chicken, Granite (Peanut Butter) soup with Goat meat, Fufu (which is plantains, like a banana and cassava, like a yam, pounded together in a big wooden bowl). We played a lot of games! Mancala, Ludu (Ghanaian), Spoons, Handmade Checkers, a card game named Spa, and many more! We put up tons of decorations of all colors of the rainbow; I’m going to attempt to put up a video, but in case not I took tons of pictures too!!

Last Friday, I was able to go to an orphanage that out church started! My camera died after 3 pictures L But I’m sure we’ll have many more visits!! They have 59 children and a huge garden all the kids planted! Later that night we had all the students leaders over for pizza! We wanted to show them our Christmas tree and say thank you for all their hard work!

 Today is Sunday, we had our last Campus Crusade meeting this afternoon which was all worship and prayer! About a month ago, 3 students came together with Becca to start our “praise band,” they are so awesome!! I’m really excited for this because I will be just cooking, doing bible studies, and just visiting with students until their finals overtake their time! On average, each student has 1 or 2 papers or finals per class, so they could have anywhere from 5-10 finals over a 3 week period!! So we might take this time to start organizing for the speakers and events for next semester!

We also have  10 day vision trip of 7 students that are coming to visit us from January 2nd to 9th!!! We’re soo excited to see them! Hopefully God will work in their hearts to come back next year!

What the Lord is teaching me, I feel like is something slightly new each day, which is a great thing! I bought a planner for next year so I’ll be really good at documenting all I’m learning! J He has been letting me know lately that he is indeed listening, and loves us so much! He has calmed my heart a bit! My lifestyle this year has a lot more time to relax then at home ironically, with little internet and T.V. so he’s teaching me to relax and remember I’m hear for his purposes. Just the other day I remember thinking, how humble it is to think that I still pray to the very same God in Minnesota that I do all the way over here? And he still is so excited to hear my voice! Our voices, all of them, it’s so crazy!! Also, sometimes I feel like when people ask me questions about Jesus and Christianity in general, I want to just say, I will show you his true scriptures, but until you give your life to him, I can’t really let you know how great it is to have freedom and hope in Jesus. But we have a lot of fun meeting so many different people! Definitely a perk about being a missionary J

Merry Christmas to all!!!! We are listening to Christmas right now and are going shopping for our presents tomorrow! Also, here is my room mate’s blog for more pictures, videos and updates! J


“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hi friends!!

I wans't sure how to add my pictures to my blog, but if you go to this website, I dowloaded some of my pictures in a slide show form!

I hope this works!


As for my team and I, we have had to do a lot more planning this month, which has taken away from our time for sharing, but there is so much to organize with just the 3 of us! :) We've had some trouble and didn't have much running water or electricity last week, but this week everything is back to normal! We just got back from church, and Sunday afternoon's is our internet time! (So, if you sign onto skype between 9am and noon in America on Sunday mornings, hopefully I'll catch you! )

Last night, we had our weekly meeting and the speaker tlaked about how to really walk with the holy spirit everyday! It was exciting because about 4 women that I met last week, came to the meeting! I know this may not seem to be a big deal, but almost all students tell you they'll come, and most don't :)

Last Wednesday, I had a bible study with my friend Eva, and it was really uplifting! I'm super excited about our friendship! She also goes to the church that has been my favorite so far. We have been doing a lot of church hoping, and it's getting a little old, but hopefully we'll find a steady one soon! Anyways, besides the point, I was asking her some pretty challenging questions, and her answers were really unique compared to how most students I've met, respond. For instance, I was I said, "Eva, this would beterrible, but if you got git by a bus tomorrow and died on impact, are you sure you'd go to heaven? And she was like, "Of course, Katie!" and then she pointed out this verse:

"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

I think Eva and I are planning on meeting every week, I wish I had a picture to show!

Also, I'd love to send you my updates if I haven't already!

Jesus continues to teach us to find our peace in him, I love this verse and think about it often! His compassion for us to be at peace with him:

"For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandmetns and regulations. His pupose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace..." Ephesians 2:14-15

Sunday, October 3, 2010

When we first got in the taxi, his name was Music, by the end of the ride, he confessed his name was really Jason!

Greetings!! My title is a pointless story about one of our taxi drivers that had a whole theme to his cab and Mariah Carey playing, a perk to taking public transportation! :)  

So today is October 2nd; we have been in Ghana for just over a month now! I’m sorry if you haven’t gotten my newsletter, I would love to send it to you, so please send me your address to KatieHanson916@gmail.com!

Alright, we just got out of our Campus Crusade for Christ meeting, and a few women I met this last week came, as well as a about 60 other students! We had a speaker talk about relationships and how to glorify the Lord through them, and the question, answer part was the most comical! We meet at the Aquafo (meaning farmer in Twi, which is pronounced chwi J ) Hall Chapel every Saturday from .

I’m pretty exhausted, but we take Sunday and Monday off here, because we are usually preparing, and going to the meetings on Saturdays. So sorry this is my first update!!

So much to say, I will try to make this both entertaining and informational! It has been raining here, at least 4 times a week, so we stay cool.. er then I was expecting! I hope you’ve been able to see the videos of my room, and also campus! They are on youtube, I’ll try to attach them!

The exchange rate is 1.43 Cedi fro every dollar, this is something we bartered for; they wanted it to be 1.45, I know we’re pro’s J

So a typical week, and every day looks different, but here is a main idea:

Sunday and Monday we have off: Laundry, Mall (internet, possibly pizza, also a coffee shop, and a grocery store!) There are 10 regions in Ghana, and we are looking to going to the Volta region to see their huge waterfalls; we plan on traveling out of Accra at LEAST once a month, I hope more! J

Tuesday: We have a team meeting to plan out the week at ! We have a bible study with a few women in Aquafo hall. This is an enormous hall, with 3 courtyards within just this hall. Thelma is a part of the CRU leadership team, and lives here, so she’ll be helping us lead it and invite people! We haven’t actually had one yet, and are still in the midst of reaching out to students in this hall. I also help lead the Athletes in Action meeting at . During the rest of the day, I go out sharing!

Wednesday: We go to the Accra Polytechnic school, which takes us an hour, at least to get there by tro-tro.  The best way to describe a tro-tro is a 15 passenger van (that’s even too nice) that’s really beat up and packed with people, and large sliding windows on the side. We pay about 20-40 pesos (about 15-32 cents) and drive almost all the way there. During the way there will be sellers coming up to the windows the whole time (balancing all sorts of things on their heads, we saw a chicken coup with 5 chickens one time!). They sell everything: bags of water, Bob Marley posters, “How to learn English,” textbooks, and my personal favorite: plantain chips! Similar to a banana chip, only better! Really, anything you think of, they probably sell it! Last Wednesday, I bought ten rolls of toilet paper on my way home! And my room mate: A huge map of Ghana! We were like, “who would really buy that….wait a minute...” We take a taxi on the way home because it’s normally a 2.5  hour trip in traffic, and the tro-tro’s are very hard to get… it is so hilarious to watch 40 year old people elbowing each other to get into the tro-tro’s, we take the taxi for about 10 cedi’s.
            So at this school, they just started a Campus Crusade movement about 3 years ago, and only have about 8 committed members. We try to get there at about and evangelize in the dorms. The women are so nice to let us in; so easy to talk to, most times! A lot are already involved in there church, and love the Lord, which is really encouraging! But many women we ask, only think there is a 70-80 % chance they would get into heaven. So Becca and I find ourselves explaining how Jesus offers us a 100% assurance to living forever with him. We also learn a lot about Ghana through their eyes, all sorts of things, sorry I got side tracked!

Thursday: We had our first Volta hall bible study last Thursday at , and no one showed up which was a little disappointing. We have spent I think 5 days evangelizing in Volta hall, which is the size of Aquafo hall, and is all women. I think this week, I’m just going to call a lot of the women that we made friends with through our time there, and just hang out with them; build a relationship and then possibly create a bible study or help them grow in their faith in other ways!

Friday: We meet with the CRU leadership team from (it’s so odd, a lot of students study on the weekends, so they prefer to meet on Friday nights.) Other then that, we go out sharing, play basketball and meet people that way, make copies of various flyers or bible studies, go on prayer walks… etc

Saturdays: We meet with Richard, the director of the Legon campus (which is the main campus), and tell him how our week went! We usually have to plan a few things for the meeting and then go invite people in the dorms to our meeting and try to get in to spiritual comversations! The meeting is from 7-9/10 pm.

Ghana Man’s Time! (GMT) I just wanted to mention this, because I illustrated a normal week, but the GMT always mixes things up a bit! J If you tell a Ghanaian that you want to meet at , they will leave their wherever they are coming from, or possibly start getting ready at , and get there at about or , patience is virtue! J

**** Because there hasn’t been anything really laid out for us, a lot of our time here is just trial and error! God has been teaching us patience, and my room mate pointed out that we have nothing to complain about! We have so much, I pray I can embrace and be thankful for being here, Ghana and it’s people are exciting to be part of!

My team mates are so hilarious and we have so much fun together! Even though there’s only 3 of us J   We play a lot of cards when the power goes out by flashlight, and watch movies, hang out with the Ghana leadership team, etc! A lot of things just take a lot of time! Making dinner, doing dishes, hand washing laundry, mopping floors each week, so we don’t have a ton of down time J Also,

God has been teaching me a lot of things, about relying on him completely and not other comforts in my life. To put his reputation of higher importance as opposed to mine. Ghana is a very spiritual country, and I’ve asked the Lord many times to open my eyes why he sent us here of all places. One of the staff on Campus Crusade said that most pastors he has talked to aren’t 100% sure they are going to heaven, so what are they teaching the students? We meet many women that go to church to earn favor from God, that ask him on their lives everyday. I am really praying for the students to see Jesus in our conversations and not a white girl that wants things her way. I want Jesus to get all glory and love he desires, and from these students he loves! Actually, today as I was praying it occurred to me how arrogant I was in thinking the Lord should show me any results in the services we’ve put in. But who am I to have the privilege? Because of the truth and grace he’s given us, we just have to trust in to remember Jesus has already completed the fight, and we want everyone to know about him. The Lord’s timing is perfect, and we don’t have to worry about controlling our ministry (whew!) here because he not only created it, but is perfecting it as I type. All I can do is keep having faith! And having fun, hey hey!! J    

A few funny things:

Instead of saying, “Come here!” or “Hey you!”  They just say “SSSSSSSS,” similar to a snake, which I have a hard time taking seriously

I was in a family portrait last time we went to a grocery store, they asked me to jump in with their young girls, awkward, but I guess the moment was monumental! J Also when I was running someone snapped a shot, but then I thought of all the random Ghanaians I’ve taken pictures of, and it’s fair J

We are being taught on Tuesday how to cook by a few students! So excited to get away from rice and chicken!!  

I’m so excited to be here! Thanks for thinking of me, I apologize if I can’t get any pictures on!: ) Would  love to pray for you, let me know!!! Katiehanson916@gmail.com

Love, Katie

“…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very ends of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Monday, September 20, 2010


Welcome to my new blog! I am excited to update all on our adventures in Ghana, but for now I only uploaded to one picture, much more to come! Thank you for your prayers and support!! :)

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