Saturday, April 4, 2015

Oh, Ho Nice

The Wonderful People of Ho

        We never get tired of going to Ho to associate with the members there. They are all so gracious and happy to see you. It was in Ho that we had our first experience introducing the new Self-Reliance program. After their 12 weeks of classes we went to their class "graduation" and heard wonderful stories and testimonies of how the program helped them with their businesses. They were able to start a savings program, they were able to expand their business, they learned more about their products and because of that found new customers they started saving. One young lady, whose mother is not a member, took the principles home and was instrumental in helping her mother improve her business, the blessing of sharing with ones family fulfilled. Each personal story touched our hearts.

        This week we were able to go back and personally visit some of these members again. They are so appreciative of our visits and it makes us feel truly apart of them. You cannot help but love their wonderful spirits and loving hearts.

        This is Gloria and her son. She says her passion is crocheting. She calls it weaving. Last year she rented just the space in front of the little red building. It is about four by four. This year she was able to rent the building and the space in front. She is proud of her expansion and has a savings program for her son as well as for herself.

        This is Senaya, a true entrepreneur in every sense of the word. His smile is beyond infectious and nothing escapes him. This is the post office, unofficially. Really it is more like a Mail-Box-Etc in an old fashioned sense. He has a mail-box and the real post man does pick up the mail. He sells stamps and will bring them, for a fee, to your house if necessary. In the class the members helped him come up with the idea for the postal boxes you see above. He rents them for $3.00 a year, 10Cedis. When you get a letter he will call you to come and get it or deliver it if necessary. In the back he has a freezer. You can rent space for your fish. If there is lights out and there always is, he will call you to come get your fish.

        This is the phone booth. Land lines really never came to Ghana. Most people went right to mobile phones but if you don't have either your friends and family can call here and then he will come and get you so that you can take the call. He says that people from the US, the UK or elsewhere in Africa will call and for a fee he will call you to the phone. He keeps daily logs in a very old style book. It could not be more charming.

        This is Christian and friend. This story truly touches my heart. Christian is an owner of a bar. This is the front of the bar. As with most bars anywhere in the world it is a good business but Christian is now making soap in the front of his bar. You see he has joined the LDS Church. He watched on Sundays from his bar certain families going to church and eventually asked a friend what church they were going to? The friend sent the missionaries to teach him and he carefully studied until he received a testimony. Bar keeping is not the best profession for a Mormon so he has gone back to a skill that he had. He makes soap products. I bought the green. It smells like green apple. I really admire this man. He is humble and desires so to do what he knows to be right even though it cost him a lot financially. May the Lord continue to bless him with the courage of his convictions. What a lesson for us all. 



        This is Romeo. He is a retired Army officer and now full time farmer. While he was in the service he bought land one Cedi at a time and now has all of this wonderful property that is on both sides of the road outside of Ho in a small village called Tsito, pronounced Cheeto. His land goes behind him on the East and up the ridge behind Barry to the West. He had told us to honk when we saw his scooter on the road. He came out of the fields to see us and had Barry walk for a while with him through his land. If we do nothing else we can at least be good will ambassadors.  We get the best benefit. JOY!

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