The Buchele Adventure

This is record of the Buchele Adventure, as reported from West Africa.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Return to Bolgatanga

Steve is on a tour of Ghana to visit our Mission Society Colleagues serving in northern Ghana and Togo. Having spent some time with Sue K [her blog], he is now in Bolgatanga, with the Bolga Bartletts, Dave and Ellen.


Ellen and Dave Bartlett

On the field its called it Member Care, when missionaries care for each other, what we in the church would call pastoral care, trouble is, I have difficulty relating to our friends until I can visualize their ministry setting. I come to the north thinking I am coming to meet their friends, experience their ministry, and learn how I can better help, but not long into this journey I realize, as Brian Mann put it so well, “that my deepest spiritual discoveries can be found in observing the lives of ordinary people who seek to practice their faith in ways that are authentic, truthful and unheralded.” [1] Dave and Ellen help me into a spiritual discovery from the highly relational ministry they live, “authentic, truthful and mostly unheralded.”

Steve in 2010, at Bongo Rock

In 2010, our daughter Anna and I spent a week in Bolga, and we have such fond memories from that trip. I was anxious to see it again, and see if I still felt the same way.
Read more about my 2010 Bolga Trip with Anna:
Welcome to Bolga, Crocodile Pond
Bongo Rock, Coming Alive
Navrongo Cathedral, The Art of Barter
Four years ago, Anna and I stayed near the center of town, but staying with Dave and Ellen, their home is on the outskirts, in a community of scattered houses that seem to have spilled out from the road, like an overturned truck. I’m sure there is some order to the houses, some rational in the placement of the traditional, and cinder block structures, but from the ground, I can’t see it.
What I do see is how connected Dave and Ellen are to this community.


Grandpa walking home from the bread store

“Grandpa, hello!” I hear as Dave and I walk to the corner store to buy bread. Along the way Dave drops off some paperwork to be photocopied, he knows everyone by name, and they by “Grandpa” . We do not walk alone either, at every part of the journey, kids or adults join up with us, to carry our bag of bread, to chat with Grandpa for a while, or just joins us along their journey. It is good to see their connection to the people around them.



[1] Mann, Brian D. Spotting the Sacred: Noticing God in the Most Unlikely Places, Baker Books, 2006

[2] Rothman, Barbara Kartz Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Religion, Beacon Press, 2005

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