January – February 2021
Psalm 126:1-3 says “When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” I have quoted these verses over and again since January 17th. On Sunday evening, January 17th, Falls International Baptist Church unanimously voted in Brother Jeremy Holloway as their missionary-pastor beginning March 28th, 2021. This vote opens the door for Angie and me to return to our beloved Ghana and spend our lives there “preaching Christ and planting churches”. While we are thrilled to be a small part of what God has done and will do here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with our latest church-plant, we feel as if “the LORD has turned again our captivity” in allowing us to return to Africa. If God has done such great things in our “captivity” work, I anticipate even greater things in our “liberty” work. We will expect great things from God while attempting great things for Him.
Angie and I will begin furlough on Sunday evening, March 28th. We plan to furlough until the end of 2021. Lord willing, WE WILL MOVE BACK TO GHANA ON JANUARY 4TH, 2022. We will be contacting everyone of our supporting churches to see if you would like for us to come by and give you a mission report of what the Lord accomplished here in Sioux Falls as well as our church-planting vision for West Africa. When we begin furlough, we will experience for the first time what has been termed the “empty nest syndrome”. We do appreciate your prayers as we leave our sons behind and continue “pressing on the upward way”. Please pray for grace for us and good health for them.
The church plants in Ghana continue plodding forward despite Covid-19, national lockdowns, and mandates that directly involve church gatherings. The church in Apremdo is digging the foundation for their very own long-awaited building. The church in Agona is still waiting on the final documents to complete their purchase of land, parsonage, and a building that will be remodeled into a church. We are also still begging the Lord to provide the remaining $11,500 to complete that purchase when the documents are finished. The church in Shama is still trying to locate and purchase their own land. God is also blessing the Bible Institute as we are training several prospective young church-planting pastors and ladies to serve the Lord.
In our next prayer letter, we will be introducing “the Hope of Africa Baptist Ministry” to our supporting churches as our church-planting ministry NGO in Ghana. We are extremely excited about the “heavenly vision” that the Lord has given us as we move forward for His glory. We are also very thankful for how the LORD is already supplying needs for the transition back to Ghana. Between airline tickets, container-shipping, vehicle-buying, legal paperwork, international medical insurance, ministry supplies, and housing; there will be much cost involved. But Jehovah-Jireh is already proving that He will “supply all (of our needs) according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
James & Angie Ruckman