The drive down to Elmina yesterday was uneventful. I was able to meet with the marketing manager at the hotel to go over the details for the conference this weekend. He brought in one of the chefs from the kitchen so we could discuss the menu, and then we went to take a look at two of the conference rooms that we could choose from. One was clearly better suited to our needs, so we settled on that one. We discussed how we’d like it set up, and he had a crew start to work on it.
Today Pastors Reuel Dima and Eshun Plange met me at the hotel about 10 am so we could go take a look at the facility that had been suggested we might want to use for the Youth Camp this summer and the Feast this fall.
The grounds were nice and well-kept, and the housing facilities were on par with typical Ghanaian facilities. The major problem is there is not enough housing for everyone. Even with the use of a property across the road we would still come up about over 100 beds short of what we need for the Feast. And the meeting room is likewise too small. The manager suggested we bring in a very large awning and have the meetings under it. I suppose that is doable, although not nearly as comfortable as meeting in a building. But it doesn’t solve the problem of not having enough bed space. Also, the manager said they have their own kitchen staff, and they would require that we purchase meals from them rather than cooking our own. That makes the entire thing way too expensive as well as not being large enough.
After spending some time walking around both facilities, and looking at the pros and cons, we came to the conclusion that this just will not work. So we are back to looking for suitable locations. One possibility is the facility outside of Kumasi where we’ve held the Feast the last couple of years. They are going to check and see if it is available on the dates we need.
The Youth Camp in August is a bit more of a challenge. In the past we’ve been able to easily rent space from the local schools. Many of them have on-campus housing so we have all we need. But that is no longer the case.
The new government in Ghana has promised to provide free education through the end of senior high school. The purpose is to raise the overall education level of Ghana over the next few years, which will have a wonderful positive impact on the country and the earning potential of the next generation.
The immediate trouble is there are so many who are qualified and desire to go back to school that there aren’t enough schools and teachers! So they’ve created a modified school year that allows some to go at one point, and then they switch. But that means that all schools are now in use year round, and all teachers are working year round. It is a good decision for the country, but it eliminates many of the places we’ve used for camp in the past.
But we are sure God will provide and open the right doors for us. So we’ll pray about it, and the search continues!
After returning to the hotel I met with the marketing manager again, and we looked over the room set up for the conference. The powerpoint projector has some problems, so they are going to switch it out, and there aren’t quite enough chairs, so they’ll set up a few more and we should be all set to go!
Tomorrow there are some members who’ve called and want to come by to see me, so I’ll enjoy the chance to talk with them. The men and wives from Headquarters should also land in Accra tomorrow evening. They’ll stay at the same hotel I used the first night, and I’ve got their transportation arranged to come down here on Friday. I pray all their flights and connections go smoothly!