Thursday, December 2, 2010


I know that Wes and Katie would prefer that I don’t use too many names on my blog, so for the most part I think I have tried to stay to first names only. And even then, I know that they would prefer I keep that to a minimum to protect the privacy of the village and the people here. But I do want to take the liberty of chatting with you a bit about Wes and Katie. They won’t be happy, but they will get over it. I’ll hear about it eventually when Katie reads this but I think she will forgive me. I’m hoping.

I want you to know a little bit about Wes and Katie as I have experienced them. I know that I could never presume to know a whole lot about anyone, especially after only spending a few days with them. But I want you to see them as I saw them during this time and came to know a little bit more about who they are and what they mean to this community. Again, from my short little time frame that I was privileged to see through.

Wes is a wonderfully intelligent man. I really like his sense of humor. Not too much get’s by him, in fact, I don’t think I saw one thing get by him.  Half the time you have to be listening real good to know if he was kidding or not, and I usually found him having some fun with you. I remember when I told him before I arrived that my time with them might be shorter than planned and he informed me that the inverse of being a host is taking someone hostage. When I came to realize how dependent we were going to be on Wes to get us from Accra to the village (a 4-5 hour trip over crazy terrain) and back again, his threat was real and I had to first digest that reality before I could get to the humor behind it. It all worked out and the 7 day extension to my time here made it possible for me to never find out if there would have indeed been a hostage taking of sorts.

Wes is the techno wizard of all that goes on here for the translation team. But then I found out that he is not only that for this team but for all the Wycliffe translation teams across Ghana. I think there are seven. He keeps all their computers and software going, in fact, he wrote some of the software that they are all using now that is making their jobs much more effective and productive.

Katie is a mom to everyone she encounters. She is adored here by everyone, yet she is not a push over. She has that perfect touch of knowing when to care and when to be tough. She is amazing to watch in action. She would bring everyone home if she could, so Wes tells me, and she has managed to do with a number of young people that she now calls her “kids”. She is picky, and to be one of her “kids” she has to see a real quality of character, determination and desire to learn and be great. Once you pass the test she would give her life up for you.

Katie’s first calling was a nurse and she has never left it behind but uses it well here for her guests, myself included, and those she encounters in the village that need a little care. She, like Wes, is also a very intelligent person and her part on the team was to take the translated verses from the team and line it up with the Greek. If it missed the mark, she would inform them of what she saw and they would take another crack at it. She then had a chance to look at the results a second time. She is now busy learning Hebrew so she can serve in the same role for the Old Testament.

I will protect their privacy when it comes to how they manage their support and how they bless the people they do life with. But I will tell you this and leave it at that. This couple gives in many directions around them, and I’m completely impressed by the level of wisdom and balance that they use. I think they give away more than they keep. If you happen to be one of their personal supporters, you bless many people through the hands of these two wonderful people. I’ll not say anymore.

I think Wes looses a lot of arguments with Katie, and he just smiles and knows the real truth.  I laugh when I say this because whenever Kathleen and I were in the room with the two of them, along with Scott their son, it was three guys against two girls and we fellows always seemed too loose. Go figure! Wes is a very gracious person and I can tell these two work very well together.

Wes and Katie are here to deliver the New Testament after many years of development, and now begin working on the Old Testament. The Nkonya people have very little understanding of any other language here in Ghana. They know a little Tri (I think that’s how it’s spelt), and little to no English. Many of them are able to read Nkonya so when they were able to finally read God’s Word for themselves for the very first time, well, I wish you could have seen the joy and elation that existed here during that first week. They are so excited and so thankful for what this team has done for them. Yes, they have seen it coming for the past 15 plus years, but now they can touch it and hold it for themselves and of course, read it the Word of God. Thank you Wes and Katie for serving the Kingdom of God in this way. On behalf of all CrossRoads, it’s been a joy to play a small part in this project and in your lives.

Both of these wonderful people are very much individuals, each very unique in their gifting and personalities, yet both are on the very same page working together for the good of these people. They both want so very much to be a part of these people, and never see themselves as above them.

In this small village I think there are only 2 or three vehicles. They have often received a knock on their door in the middle of the night asking for assistance to take someone to the hospital. Katie told me that she has never felt abused in this way by the villagers. It’s usually very drastic when she gets one of these knocks and they don’t hesitate to help give a ride in these cases. The hospital is many miles away and night travel is not particularly safe from road hazards and things in the night. They are fun to watch in action with these village people. There is just not a lot of “self” happening and there is a whole lot of “others” happening for Wes and Katie.

I’m starting to understand that North American missionaries come into these environments with all kinds of personalities, needs, gifting and such. There are some that need their separation from the locals to maintain their sense of normalcy and then there are those that perhaps are okay without the privacy. I think God uses both types for different situations. God has a lot of grace for each of us in our ways and in our needs to survive what he asks us to do. For Wes and Katie, I don’t think they could survive without being the kind of people that are “just one of the locals”. They feel at home here more than I think they feel at home in Canada. I have experienced them in their sweet spot. And it was a joy and a privilege to be allowed a small view into their world here.

They are loved by these people, they are greatly appreciated, and I think greatly needed. They indeed a blessing to so many here, but they would be the first to say they themselves are the recipients of the blessings having known and been a part of these people here.

I know that I could never give them proper service here, but I had to try so that you come to know them a little better. I just hope I didn’t so them a disservice in this little write up. I just wanted you to come to know what I now know. They are two very great people and we at CrossRoads get the privilage of having them in our midst.


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