On May 10, 2018, a team of six boarded a flight for Accra, Ghana, Africa. The focus of the trip was to visit, observe and partner with a Christian school, called Promise Land Ranch. With over 300 students, the school boasts of a solid, structured curriculum, recognized by the Ghanaian government, but solidly Christian in its approach and application.
At first glance, the scene is striking; several things become abundantly clear: the classrooms resemble something out of a depression-era, pre-WWII setting. the floors are dusty concrete, there is no electricity, no WIFI connection, and not near enough space for the continually growing student body.
Need a bathroom break? Not to worry. Simply run across the field behind the incomplete toilet facilities and you have your pick of bushes located on the six-acre property. Positioned just a few blocks from the coast, Promise Land Ranch already boasts 1st place among schools in the Prampram Township.
One particular day, prospective students and their parents visited the school, hoping to enroll. The ever-increasing problem is the lack of much needed facilities. Four classrooms have been completed, and four more are under construction, with an additional four needed. Currently, 25-50 students occupy these classrooms. Funds are desperately needed to complete construction.
Teacher’s desks are positioned outside each classroom, to provide more room for students. The air is hot and humid, water and even a slight breeze are commodities. The school operates an 18-seat bus which picks up and returns the students home each day. Sadly, the bus isn’t dependable, breaking down regularly. To say the least, the needs are many!
Despite all this, as the team went to work with the students each day, we were met with smiles, cheers and laughter. Compared with many typical American schools, well… there is no comparison – from amenities to attitude. Most of, if not all these students have never traveled outside their general area, so they don’t know they’re poor. It certainly doesn’t affect their ability to be happy. Perhaps there’s lesson in there somewhere.
The most striking trait of the school is how they start and end each day – with prayer and worship. Imagine what our schools would be like if prayer and worship was made available on a regular basis.
Promise Land Ranch Ghana was founded by John and Tara Essien, of Escondido. John, a Ghanaian national, founded the school ten years-ago. Together, with his team, they travel to the region each year to advance the school’s mission and present much needed resources essential to the school’s survival.
If you would like to know more about how you can support the ministry of Promise Land Ranch, please visit them on the web: www.plrghanaafrica.com.
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.