Salifu the Grocer

Nalerigu doesn’t have a very reliable power grid, so there aren’t any grocery stores that carry perishable items. You have to wait for market day (every 3 days) to buy fresh vegetables and fruit (though it is quite a limited selection).

There is a store by the market that is open all week long and carries non-perishable items. We buy our coffee, powdered milk, cocoa, oats, noodles, oil, and soap there. The owner/manager/cashier/bag boy/security guard/everything is a man named Salifu.

Salifu is a pleasant guy to chat with except for when he’s listening to BBC news on his radio. Then he keeps the smalltalk to a minimum.

Photo of the Day – Jaclyn Pearson

Medical student Jaclyn Pearson examines a patient at the Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, Ghana

This is 4th year UT medical student Jaclyn Pearson of Nashville, Tennessee on clinic day examining a patient. She has been here in Nalerigu a month and today was her last day.

Much like Heidi’s time here as a medical student, she returns to the US with a ton of experience she wouldn’t have received anywhere else. Also like Heidi five years ago, she hasn’t quite decided what specialty to pursue. Currently, it’s a toss up between Obsterics and Emergency Medicine. Whichever she chooses, I’m sure BMC would love to see her return with her humble spirit, positive attitude, and God-given talents.

Meet Tommy

Tommy Harrison has been doing mission work in Ghana on and off for the past 24 years. In the 80s and 90s, he would leave his business in Alabama and come out with his wife to work in Nalerigu for a few months at a time.

Several years ago, after his wife passed away, Tommy moved to Nalerigu and became a full-time, independent missionary. No organization supports him financially – Tommy has dedicated his life to sharing Christ’s love with the people of Northern Ghana.

Tommy’s ministry is very unique. He works with the maintenance crew at the hospital, helping with repairs and construction. He takes his John Deere tractor out to remote villages to help them plow their fields (and bring in their harvest). He teaches farmers better farming techniques and he himself farms about 6 acres. The locals help him harvest his corn and soybeans and he saves the harvest until the dry season. When villages’ food supplies get low he begins distributing his harvest among them.
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Meet Elsie (audio interview & photos)

This is the last audio interview I did while in Ghana this past Fall. In this “Meet People” series I wanted to challenge our blog readers’ traditional views of what a “missionary” is and does.

Elsie McCall at the Baptist Mission in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

In this interview I talk with Elsie McCall, a 71 year-old teacher, who has been serving for 8 years as a MK (missionary kid) teacher in Burkina Faso. Elsie is originally from Lakeland, FL right near our home in Seminole, FL.

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Meet Kerry (audio interview & photos)

Kerry Spencer is a cool guy. That about sums it up. He is a young, single guy who has spent two 2-year terms as a missionary in West Africa. I met him while on a photo assignment in southwestern Burkina Faso. Since Kerry is such a cool guy, the West Africa media team had written a story on him and wanted photos to go with the story.

You can download my 15-minute audio interview with Kerry from December 15, 2007 below:

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Meet Jerry (audio interview & pictures)

Jerry Robertson was one of the first people I meet when I first came to Africa as a 6 year-old boy in 1986. Jerry and Carol’s kids Becky and Everette were my age and I loved playing with them whenever we went to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The Robertsons have been missionaries for 30 years – 30 YEARS! What a commitment! The last 9 years of their lives have been dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Nafana people of northeastern Cote d’Ivoire. I wrote last month about the translation process the Robertsons go through. I also recorded an audio interview with Jerry in which he talks more about the process of learning & translating the Nafana language.

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