Thoughts from Mission Resource's director and founder, Dave Ketchum.
Mission Resource is an organization that believes in abundance. As it states in John 10:10 "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." "More abundantly" means to have a superabundance of a thing. "Abundant life" refers to life in its abounding fullness of joy and strength for spirit, soul, and body. Mission Resource is also an organization that greatly desires to be a catalyst for positive change.
So much of the world, and even here in the United States, people struggle to get good food. Many urban areas are considered “food deserts”. One key ingredient in having good food is having good soil. In West Africa, much of the soil is depleted. Over the last several years, we have explored utilizing biochar, a charcoal material derived by gasifying organic waste material creating a soil amendment to enhance these depleted soils.
Mission Resource is partnering with Organilock in Madisonville, Kentucky, in this endeavor. I realize that making statements like the one above sounds a bit arrogant or outrageous, but I believe God will provide a means to creating abundance through this soil amendment for much of the world. Please consider adding this to your prayer list. I understand that putting a link in a snail mail letter is not too effective, but please consider copying this and listening to the podcast and hear the vision, how and why. This update/receipt is under the Director’s Notes on the website and may be an easier way to access the link.
Mission Resource continues to support our partners in Ghana, Kenya, and Liberia thanks to your generosity and prayers.
When I think of June, I think of new beginnings…Graduation from High School; Graduation from College; Weddings; and even Father’s Day. These new beginnings give us Hope. Scripture names Hope as one of the Three Great Forces of human existence:
“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love” 1 Corinthians 13:13.
By saying they last forever, God names these three as immortal powers. A life without faith has no meaning; a life without love isn’t worth living; a life without hope is a dark cavern from which you cannot escape. These things aren’t simply “virtues.” Faith, hope, and love are mighty forces meant to carry your life forward, upward; they are your wings and the strength to use them.
With Hope and the support from our donors, Mission Resource continue to demonstrate practical love for people by helping them with loans to put them into employment for the purpose of earning their living at one hand and for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ on the other hand.
Our Faith carries us when we “can’t see the forest for the trees.” We have lots of work before us and ask that you lift Mission Resource and our work in your prayers. Pray for God’s continued favor and protection; pray as the work continues the Mission Center in Ghana…we want the green light to finish this beautiful Center; pray for God’s will upon our lives; our Country; and our Work.
Tomorrow is Good Friday. Sunday is the blessed day of Jesus’s resurrection—EASTER SUNDAY! The trees are blooming here in Indiana. The daffodils are out. Spring and New Life are spectacularly evident everywhere. There is renewed hope that the pandemic is waning, and people are receiving the injection, but as written in Acts 4:19-20, Jesus Christ and his resurrection is our genuine HOPE.
"Whether it is right in God's eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there's no question—we can't keep quiet about what we've seen and heard." That same phrase needs to be our clarion call!
On April 29th at 7pm is the Mission Resource Virtual Banquet. We will get to hear the story of Hope shared by Emily Sparling about her experience as a champion and business partner of Edinam Design. I will be giving a short update as well. Ryan Bodine will share his involvement and do the “ask”. Mission Resource is all about earthly Hope through Christ-centered capitalism. Our vision gives the opportunity to improve lives and be a catalyst for discipleship lived out in the marketplace. Please consider participating! Registration will be required. After registering, you will receive the link via email.
After holding in person banquets, which we pray will happen once again, we will play the hand we have and be strictly virtual. We, however, cannot keep quiet about Jesus Christ and His reality as we share Him here and around the world.
Your prayers and donations along with God’s grace for all of us allows Mission Resource to continue.
May! Even with all that we have been and are going through, this year is flying by. Thanks to all of you, Mission Resource is hanging in there. We concluded our 2021 Virtual Banquet on Thursday night April 29th. If you were not able to participate live, you can still view it on the Mission Resource Facebook page. Emily Sparling does a tremendous job in telling her story as a champion of working in Ghana with Edinam Design. You are allowing us to help so many people.
At the end of April, I had the joy of hauling five tons of organic fertilizer/soil amendment to two farms who are putting it on their crops as a test. One farm is in central Illinois and growing organic popcorn. The other is in the Columbus area putting it on a five-acre seed corn plot. We have an additional opportunity to see how it does on turf at a local golf course. We are partnering with Organilock in Madisonville, Kentucky and cannot wait to see how it improves things.
The Organilock product utilizes biochar made from wood waste and other organic materials. It is currently patent pending. In earlier experiments the growth of microbes increased dramatically, and yields improved as well. The potential to improve soil is huge. Obviously, the reason we are looking into this, is our desire to improve the depleted soils of West Africa and around the world. In another small experiment in Haiti, the initial results are huge. It is being used to grow sweet potatoes. The Haitians doing it say nothing grows in their area this time a year, and they cannot believe their eyes as the young plants have just “taken off.”
Thanks so much for your prayers and support. We are a small organization, but we still have great hope in God that he will continue to use us to improve lives and move His kingdom forward.
It is hard to believe spring is just around the corner. The ice and snow have melted, and the golf course is calling some of us. As I indicated in the last couple of receipt/updates, I have felt a real heaviness about the state of our country. The blossoms of spring and new life beckon us, however. We must focus on God’s truth and remember He sees all and is in control.
Let me, once again, reiterate, if there was no spiritual benefit to doing business, I would not encourage it. Ethics and morality are the cornerstone of democracy and capitalism. Otherwise, greed, pride and corruption are the results. So often, affluenza is nearly as big a problem as poverty.
Poverty, on the other hand, limits options and puts people in a vulnerable and impossible positions that often cause them to not be able to see beyond today. Giving hope and opportunity to see the TRUTH of the Gospel and Jesus’s reality is the reason for our existence. We not only believe it is one of the best ways to improve lives and share the gospel, but through the years, it has been proven. Through Mission Resource Dzetorkoe Christian Church was planted the first week of 2021, and several people have been baptized. PTL!
On April 29th at 7 p.m., Mission Resource will have its second an
nual virtual banquet. We are honored to announce Emily Sparling as our speaker. Emily is currently in Ghana working with Ernestina/ Edinam Design empowering more women to help produce beautiful batik garments, bags, and accessories. Emily will share her experience as a Champion for Edinam as well as the Mission Resource vision of empowerment and growing God’s Kingdom through enterprise.
In HIS love,
David A. Ketchum
Each month I thank you and tell you how appreciative we are. This month is no different. However, I personally feel like I am seeing enormous obstacles on the horizon; not necessarily obstacles for Mission Resource, but cultural, economic, spiritual, and political ones that we all might be seeing.
Several years ago, a close friend gave me a copy of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I read it regularly, but the last few years I just pick it up periodically. Thinking that I am not the only one feeling this way, I want to share what Sarah wrote on February 1st. She writes in the first person as if God is writing. Some of you might find it arrogant, but I have found what she writes to be quite on target and comforting. She gives a scripture reference or references for each day.
FOLLOW ME ONE STEP AT A TIME. That is all I require of you. In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world. You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you are going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you are not looking where you are going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As I help you get back on your feet, you tell Me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead. But you do not know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains. There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance. If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb. I will even give My angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways. Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence.
Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open the way before you.
References: Psalm 18:29, Psalm 91:11-12, 2 Corinthians 5:7
This month’s update/receipt is much different, but I trust you will find comfort in it.
In HIS Love,
David A. Ketchum
Mission Resource could not be more appreciative of the donor support received beginning Giving Tuesday through the end of the year. We are so grateful to be blessed with you, our donors’ generosity. We understand how many great ministries are out there doing amazing work to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. We certainly do not take that lightly!!!!
The level of uncertainty in our Country and world is certainly unparalleled from my perspective. I think one of the reasons I have waited 10 days to write this, is I felt if I waited, I might have more insight. BUT that is not the case. In my 68 years I have never felt like I feel.
With the great year end giving, we will be able to empower the loan fund in Ghana. The Kasseh Christian Church planted a new daughter church the first Sunday of the year. Emmanuel is optimistic that many new loans will be made as he has empowered 3 others to begin making loans in their geographic areas. All three have been excellent managers in their own rights and are pastors we have known and worked with for years. Ernest, the pastor at Akplale Christian Church shared with Emmanuel he baptized seven people already this year. The loans he is making is helping his church on multiple spiritual levels.
Our eyes need to be on Jesus and not upon our political situation. Understandably, that is sometimes easier said than done. We need to rest in Him and in Him alone.
Just by HIS Grace,
David A. Ketchum
Man, what a year we have endured. But God is faithful, and we have lived through it. A dear friend who recently was discharged from the hospital shared with me that “he wants the serum and is ready for 2020 to be over.” We must be reminded that God is aware and is still in charge.
I am glad I was able to be in Ghana in March even though I had to come home on a U.S. State Department flight after being in limbo and stuck there for a few extra days. Ghana as well as the rest of the world was locked down. Even though the borders have opened, the schools are still closed, and many of our businesses have suffered. Mission Resource has made loans to several private Christian Schools that have done great with their repayments until COVID-19. Our prayer is that they will come back stronger than ever. Another segment that was hit hard were the taxis and Tro Tros, vans that transport people around the country and from the boarders. We had many of them in the loan fund as well. As I mentioned earlier, approximately $25,000 from these two segments is at risk.
We in America take so many things for granted. Most of us have insurance. Most of us have a little money set aside for emergencies. Our government has safety nets in place for many unexpected circumstances and illnesses. In fact, all of us received a stimulus check. None of that exists there. If you do not have the cash and cannot raise it from your relatives and neighbors, you are down the tube. Thus, the reason we began Mission Resource. Give them the opportunity to better their lives through business. I have to say, if it meant eating my inventory to support my family or not paying my loan on time, I would choose to support my family.
None of this deters our vision. We have seen amazing successes through the years and look to God for many, many more. We appreciate your trust in us and know that God is the giver of all—not only salvation, but breath itself.
David A. Ketchum
“Prayer is the key for those who believe and trust in the Lord.
By the end of the first quarter of 2020, most of us thought we would be wiped away
from the surface of this earth. We were full of fear and anxiety. We did not want to go near anyone, let alone shake hands with friends which used to be Ghanaian culture.
In some instances, some pastors were trying to prove that it was going to be the end of the world.
Yet, when prayers were offered to our Creator, He answered. Today, we all have life, and it is appearing as if COVID-19 never existed. People are beginning to return to business as usual with most of the people ignoring protocols that have been put in place by our government.
It all happened because God loves us and we can only continue to praise, honor, and do HIS will. Glory be to his Name.” Emmanuel Akorli
December 1st is Giving Tuesday. Last year, we were able to match gifts up to $11000. This year we have matching gifts up to $14,000.00. Last year $26,435.68 was raised. This year we hope to at least meet our match. COVID-19 has put approximately $25,000.00 of our loan fund at risk in Ghana. Please help us replenish the fund.
David A. Ketchum
Once again, we thank our donors, especially the donors who played in our Golf Classic. On Thursday, September 24, 2020, our 12th annual tournament was held at Otter Creek Golf Course with our largest field ever. 88 golfers competed on simply a spectacularly beautiful autumn day.
Stephen Ayree spoke at our lunch at the Golf Classic. He mentioned how the vision of Mission Resource is different in that our efforts are to help the Kingdom of God grow through investing in Christian businesses. He stated that there will always be a need for emergency relief efforts when natural disasters hit, etc., but so often organizations who give past the emergency need create issues of dependency. Whereas Mission Resource is investing in the long-term—investing so our African Brothers and Sisters can take care of their daily needs and give to their local congregation and share the love of Christ with their customers. One of the goals often discussed is to have more African missionaries on the field who are supported by African congregations.
Emmanuel in his September Prayer News shared “that many of the things God has done for us, most of which we are not aware of. And so often even when we are aware of them, we do not take the time to thank Him for them.” SO TRUE!!!!! GOD PLEASE FORGIVE US, we the most blessed generation ever to live. Emmanuel also asked for prayer. Even though many of our clients are recovering from the impact of COVID 19, some are still struggling to make their loan payments.
As November 3rd approaches, we want to mention the need for prayer for the upcoming United States election, but not only pray for our election, but the one to be held in Ghana on December 7th. Both are highly contentious as well. We pray both countries have a smooth transition of power. The United States has set the standard for the world in this, and Ghana has set the standard for Sub-Saharan Africa as well.
David A. Ketchum
Mission Resource is so thankful for continuity. We thank the source of that continuity, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are blessed with great continuity in our staff here and overseas as well as with you our donors.
As many of you know, Kelly Hoover came back to work for Mission Resource when Abby Glasser left a year ago. We knew she would need to find full time work once Sam, her youngest, graduated from High School. Well, that happened, and Kelly has continued to fulfill her role with Mission Resource through the summer while working at her other position. During the year, Kelly has been so helpful. She researched donor software and implemented a better less expensive system. She helped organize our first virtual banquet and has done whatever was needed to keep us humming. We are transitioning as Melissa Burton has joined us and is in training with Kelly. Both Kelly and Abby have done an excellent job in organizing and keeping great files on how we do each aspect of the ministry. Therefore, the transition should be virtually seamless. Melissa comes to Mission Resource from the Christian Radio Ministry in Columbus where she worked the last 10 years. She loves the Lord and comes with a genuine heart for ministry. We are so happy to welcome Melissa and look forward to see how God uses her. Many of you will get the chance to meet her at our 12th Annual Golf Classic at Otter Creek on September 24th.
The reports from Mission Resource Ghana, Liberia, and Kenya, are all upbeat. The airports are opening and the restrictions are being lifted. Ask and it shall be given, says the Bible. Nothing that God promises us fails. “We have asked for his mercies over the COVID 19 pandemic and the good signs are showing up that He is healing our country and the world as a whole from the virus. May His grace be plentiful over us.” Emmanuel Akorli, Mission Resource Ghana
David A. Ketchum
Once again, I want to share from Emmanuel’s monthly report for Mission Resource Ghana. Your prayers and gifts have allowed him to write the following:
PRAISE GOD FOR THE IMPACTS MISSION RESOURCE IS MAKING IN THE KINGDOM THROUGH BUSINESSES. The purpose for which Mission Resource came into existence is to make impact in the spread of the Gospel through businesses. Our relationship and training we give to our clients have a lot of emphasis about how they impact on others and the kingdom through their businesses. We can praise God for two churches that have been started through the loans. Though one is closed as a result of the passing away of the leader, the other is very strong with over 100 membership and baptizing over 200 souls.
Many of the business owners we support share the gospel with their customers, supplier, and employees, and some people have come to Christ through this. We have some of our beneficiaries who have used a lot of their business profits to glorify God in several ways such as:
a. Construction of church buildings.
b. Buying church instruments.
c. Holding crusade to win souls.
d. Supporting the education of needy church members.
e. Paying for hospital bills for aged poor people.
They have made significant impacts on people and the kingdom for which we can all thank God. Beyond this, several people have been helped to have their own jobs instead of looking for non-existing jobs.
As life on this earth continues, although in a way different for all of us, I want to encourage us all to be more cognizant than ever of those around us who need Jesus. Sometimes I find myself complacent. Let’s all rest in Him, but not “grow weary of sharing the Good News we have in Him.”
David A. Ketchum
What a weird year! Thanks to you, our finances are still strong, and our ability to grant funds to our partners in Ghana, Liberia, and Kenya continues. Please pray for the businesses Mission Resource works with. The old saying that when the “U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold” certainly is true during COVID 19. In Ghana our clients who own taxis and vans have been especially hurt. We, also, have several clients who operate private schools. They, too, are experiencing hardship. With schools closed, there is no revenue. Unlike the U.S. government that has given out funds and made low interest loans available, Ghana and the developing world has done no such thing.
I know I have mentioned this often, but I want to say how thankful I am that Mission Resource invested in Samaritan FM 88.3. It recently blessed its listenership with a program on finances with tips on borrowing and lending. The Mission Center is now plastered inside and outside. The next steps are to put in the windows and outside doors. It is probable that it will open in 2020. The issue now is whether or not the Ghanaian airport will reopen in 2020, and whether or not it will be safe to resume international travel.
Kelly has decided she can no longer remain working for Mission Resource. She has been exceptional, just like she was when she worked for us before. She stepped in when Abby left and really kept things moving forward at a high level. She evaluated new donor software and instituted our use of Little Green Light, which has saved us a lot of money and is a more efficient way to keep track and to integrate it into our different fundraising platforms. Please pray for the right person to fill this role.
David A. Ketchum
Mission Resource continues to support our partners in Ghana, Kenya, and Liberia thanks to your
Mission Resource continues to support our partners in Ghana, Kenya, and Liberia thanks to your generosity and prayers. The following is a quote from Emmanuel Akorli who is our field secretary and Secretary of our Mission Resource Board of Directors. It is apparent that the pandemic is making it quite difficult for people to operate their businesses. So, please consider taking the time to pray additionally for not only the millions who are suffering here in the U.S., but for our partners in Africa who live at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
“We can all be grateful to God that he has given us life through the first five months of the year 2020. The times are not normal with us in terms of health, social life, financial life etc mainly due to the COVID 19, yet, we have hope and belief our God who holds all powers will continue to protect and takes us through.
With the support from our donors, Mission Resource continue to demonstrate practical love for people by helping them with loans to put them into employment for the purpose of earning their living at one hand and for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ on the other hand. We pray that these businesses would be able to survive through the COVID 19 periods to become major source of mission funding someday.”
On a positive note, work continues on the Mission Center in Ghana. The electrical conduit has been installed and the plastering both inside and out is underway. We praise God for this and pray the center will begin hosting visitors by the end of the year, especially if the airport in Ghana reopens to international passenger traffic. Please pray, in addition, for the right person or couple to become the managers of the center.
David A. Ketchum
First of all, I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who participated in the First Annual Mission Resource “virtual banquet”. I believe, even though we had a little glitch at the end, it was a great success. We had people streaming from all over the country and even in other countries, and historically, that was out of the realm of possibility. With that being said, I would hope we will have a virtual banquet that coincides with our physical banquet in the future. Only God knows that one.
One of the things that has changed in my life is I have been taking walks multiple times a week since my return. It has really opened my eyes to how small the world becomes. One cannot go very far by walking. In Ghana and in the two-thirds world, there are small congregations scattered throughout the neighborhoods, villages and cities. Now I get it more than ever. When you are dressed up in your Sunday clothes, and it is your day of rest from the week of work, you do not want to walk a long way to church. You do not want to pay to get on public transportation. You just want to worship with your neighbors close by. I truly get it.
At the conclusion of the “virtual banquet” we shared a link to Morgan Murdock’s video about the Mission Center. Please take a couple minutes, watch it, and share it with your friends. Our goal is to have it completed in 2020. The Mission Center will help Mission Resource be even a better link to Ghana and the rest of Africa.
David A. Ketchum
You continue to support the work of Mission Resource and allow me to lead the work that is truly making a difference in hundreds of lives. At the beginning of April, I returned from Ghana on a U.S. State Department sponsored repatriation flight, just one night before the President of Ghana closed their airport to passenger traffic for 14 days. Needless to say, there were a handful of days of uncertainty.
The trip seemed extremely productive. I was able to physically walk through the Mission Center and see it first hand for the first time. It will be a tremendous asset and means forward.
I was able to meet many of our new clients, pray with them, and encourage them. Over the last few months, we have empowered a couple pastors to administer loans in their rural areas. So, probably the highlight of the trip was going to a few villages in the southern part of the Volta Region to meet them. It was so neat to see their smiles and gratefulness. These small loans are giving them hope and a means to support their family and their congregation. It is real HOPE!
David A. Ketchum
Your support helped Mission Resource have its best year yet. Over 50 percent of all income to us went toward direct support of our projects in Ghana, Kenya, and Liberia. We are so thankful and grateful for our partners who are excellent stewards of the funds given. Emmanuel Akorli in Ghana, Peter Mulwale in Kenya, and Sei Buor in Liberia are all men of integrity and faithful followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As I indicated in the February letter, my plan was to be in Ghana at the end of the month. God evidently had other plans. My Ghana Visa did not arrive on time to make that trip. In fact, it arrived 10 days later. That caused me not to be able to go to Liberia, and be there for Edinam Designs, Ernestina’s business, to ship her largest order to date.
One thing I feel certain of is that the level of uncertainty on every level is higher than at any time in my life—politically, economically, and culturally. The only solution is for us to be in prayer and not allow the uncertainty to paralyze us. One of my friend’s grandpa was a painter. He often said that there were many houses that were not painted due to a chance of rain.
Remember, the Mission Resource banquet is Thursday evening April 30th. We’d love for you to join us.
David A. Ketchum
You simply cannot imagine the thrill I get when I see new photos and videos every few days of the Mission Center that is really coming along in Ghana. You are providing the funds for it to happen. Imagine the people, some within a few months, and others beyond our lifetime who will get to experience Ghana and beyond because of this facility. Our prayer is that this God-given vision is preserved and taken from Ghana to other African countries and to many other countries in the world. I look forward to sharing pictures and videos at our banquet in April.
One of the businesses I am truly excited to see develop is Kaaka Organic Ginger Powder. One of the best places to grow ginger is in the northern Volta Region of Ghana because of the abundance of rain. Ginger has been grown there for generations. Iddi Issifu has been faithfully putting together his business plan. He began by selling whole ginger he purchased and transported to the southern part of the country to sell. After experimenting with drying it, he decided it made more sense to sell ginger powder. It has a longer shelf life. It is easier to transport. It has an international market. Over the last several months, Mission Resource has helped him purchase a slicer and grinder to get him started. I look forward to visiting Iddi on my next trip to Ghana at the end of this month.
Save the Date! Please consider putting Thursday, April 30th on your calendar for the upcoming 2020 Banquet.
David A. Ketchum
2020. It does not sound that unusual to me since that was my and my parents’ address for over 50 years. But, 2020 the year does seem nearly beyond comprehension, especially to us baby-boomers who think 2000, the new century, was just yesterday. That being said, you have allowed Mission Resource to continue to thrive and enhance Africans lives along with their proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We begin January with fervent faith that the Mission Resource vision will continue to impact our African partners as well as our U.S. partners who support it. Construction will begin again this month on the Mission Center with the dream of getting the roof done in the first quarter. Perhaps the first mission group will be able to stay in it before the year concludes.
Please pray for the right people to come forward to be the caretakers of the Mission Center, Americans and Ghanaians. Morgan Murdock is preparing a brand new video that explains the vision and shows the progress and plan. We are so grateful for how God is providing through you and cannot wait to see how 2020 evolves.
David A. Ketchum