Afenhyia pa (Happy New Year)

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Posted by darko | Posted in News Updates | Posted on 31-12-2012

It has been some time since we last communicated via this blog but we would be remiss if we didn’t reflect on this year before it was over.  As we take time to ponder all of the blessings the Lord has lavished upon us this year, we are filled with deep gratitude and a real sense of thanksgiving.  We look around us and we see the manifestation of so many prayers prayed years ago.  We know that we are living in the space many of your prayers created for us and we are grateful.  We are even grateful for the challenges b/c they are teaching us insights about ourselves and our God that without them we would never be priveledge to know.  As we close the door on 2012 and turn the knob on 2013, we do so knowing that He didn’t bring us here just for a change of scenery but there is purpose here and it is for good and not for evil.

Thank you for your continual support and prayers!

The Darko Family

“Poetic Truths”

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Posted by darko | Posted in News Updates | Posted on 30-09-2012

Two months have flown by and yet simultaneously have crept slowly across the sands of time.   Some days have been only a blur while others have dragged on second by second.  Joy greets most mornings but sorrow occasionally shows his face as well.  Thoughts of home dance around our heads but acceptance of our “new home” gives way to old memories.  Family, friends and familiarity beckon us but the family of God, co-laborers in the vineyard and exciting new adventures drown out their pleas.  Convenience, punctuality, and consistency are now highly esteemed but can’t compare to the patience and growth that the lack of these bring.  Removing titles and positions frees us to live outside of the box that onced constrained the full expression of God through us.  Accepting and embracing our anonymity has been arduous at times but it has liberated us to accept our true identities.  Missionary, prophet, teacher, mother, brother, and pastor are insufficient to define or categorize us, or anyone for that matter.  We are bigger, better, brighter and more brillant than we dare to dream.  We are the visible manifestation of the invisible God and He looks at us and says, “it is good.”  These two months have taught us to step out, step beyond, and step above who we thought we were in the U.S. and embrace the new thing that God is doing. Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)-Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  Psalm 118:23 (KJV)- This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

Thank you for your prayers and support as we embrace our true identities!

The Darko Family

“Chickens, Lizards, and Goats Oh My!”

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Posted by darko | Posted in News Updates | Posted on 27-08-2012

Goats outside of the church

We have been here over a month now and ALOT has happened over the past six weeks.  What happened is not as importnant as how the Lord has upheld us through all of it.  We are literally in the midst of turmoil and chaos but we are living out Philippians 4:7 which states, ” the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus.  Despite the ramblings of the enemy we have been given inexplicable peace and have enjoyed the cool presence the Lord’s shadow provides.  Some days have been tougher than others but we count it a great honor to be named among the watchman on the wall here in Ghana.  We know full well that “in all these things we are MORE THAN conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37)” and we live out our days in accordance to this truth.

We have been blessed to visit several diverse ministries here and are praying for direction concerning where the Lord would have us serve.  There are so many opportunites to “help” that one could easily just decide to take up a particular cause.  The temptation is great to begin “doing” something so we can justify to ourselves and to our family and friends the reason why we came but we want to apprehend that for which we were apprehended; we want to do the “thing” that summoned us to be birthed in the earth and that beckoned us to come to Ghana.  The problem is we don’t exactly know what that is at the moment and our need to feel like we are contributing and making a difference is contending with God’s instruuctions to be still.  Holy Spirit is so kind in His dealings with us even when He is revealing the wretchedness of our hearts.  Just this past week He challeneged us with the follwoing questions:  “Would you be content if the only reason you came to Ghana was to pray for those around you?”  Would having an audience with Me anytime of the day for as long as you wanted be enough for you?  Could you find contentment in Me and Me alone?  The truth is we came to Ghana with ambitious desires to preach the gospel, heal the sick and raise the dead and anything short of that would be categorized as a failure.  Those were our ambitions but what did God have in mind when He called us here?  As  we read Matthew 7:22-23, “many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!,” we are reminded that the highest calling is to know and be known by God; then AND only then can we truly make Him known!  So for now, we don’t have incredible stories of God using us in extraordinary ways or pictures of new converts being baptized but what we can share is that God loves us so much that He was willing to take us from everyone and everything that we know so we could engage in the greatest ministry of all: pursing Him with relentless abandon and finding contentment and satisfaction there.

We can’t thank you enough for your prayers and financial support!  We pray that our commitment to follow the Lord wherever, whenever and however He leads makes your support worthwhile!

Servants of the Cross,

The Darko Family

 

 

 

 

“Can You Hear Us Now?”

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Posted by darko | Posted in News Updates | Posted on 01-08-2012

 

 After 9 days in country we finally have INTERNET!!!!!!  It’s amazing how vital technology becomes when you are thousands of miles away and several time zones apart from those that you love.  We have wanted to share so many things with you but lacked the ability to do so until NOW.  Fasten your seat belts and join us on the ride of our lives as we re-trace our first week in Ghana!

July 22– We drove to Atlanta to catch our 8 pm flight to London and were accompanied by family and friends (not to mention 29 pieces of luggage).  Despite our concerns David and Victoria were like pros and enjoyed every minute of our 8 hour flight and were completely unphased by the 200 mph head/tail winds that had us bobbing and weaving in the air.

Worldchangers ready to go!

Boarding our plane in London

Only a third of our luggage!

 

July 23- We landed in London at 10 am amidst the crowd of Olympic enthusiast and began what would become a 6 hour layover.  We finally boarded our plane to Accra 2 hours late and began our descent toward destiny at 9 pm (Ghana Time).  As the wheels of the airplane touched Ghanaian ground I could not help but become overwhelmed with emotion and I began to weep.  My “God” moment was quickly interrupted as I turned the corner to behold the Immigration line which was filled with hundreds of people seeking to enter the country.  By this time our patience was all but gone but somehow we managed to wait the additional hour in line to retrieve our 29 pieces of luggage.  We were greeted by 4 members of our school staff, Prince’s family, a customs officer (who opened 5 of our bags) and a host of people who insisted on pushing our luggage (for a fee of course).  We finally arrived at what would officially be our home sometime after 11 pm.

 

 

July 24_ We rose/rise early to the crow of roosters around 4:30 am, a family of birds chirping around 5:15 am and the first flight around 6 am (we live directly in the path of the airport landing strip).  We didn’t venture out much because of our two guard dogs that were keeping us in instead of keeping people out.  We spent most of the day cleaning and organizing our very large but beautiful home (we are blessed).  The Lord blessed the children with playmates who came over and played and helped ease the transition.  In addition to our transition, the president of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills transitioned from this life to the next, much to the surprise of the Ghanaian people.

 

                                                  

July 25thWe went to the mall (quite impressive and expensive) and purchased a cell phone and a few imported food items from the grocery store.  We are at the mercy of our neighborhood right now because we don’t have a car but as soon as we sort out our transportation we will be hitting the markets for some fresh fruits and vegetables.

July 26thWe finally went to the school and saw our classrooms and searched for textbooks.  Once again, the Lord has given us the “good of the land” and our rooms are large with great views (at least Nicole’s). 

July 27th We rested and unpacked the bulk of our 29 bags.

 

Dining Room

Living Room

July 28th– Prince’s family came to visit and it was a glorious time! 

July 29th– We joined a co-worker and her family at church and WORSHIPPED the Lord.  It was so exciting to hear beautiful Ghanaian voices raised in worship and to look out at a congregation dressed in colorful patterned cloth from the youngest to the oldest. 

On our way to worship!

 

July 30thI don’t remember!

July 31st– This was the one week memorial of the passing of President Mills and the nation mourned by displaying red fabric.  The fabric could be seen on buildings and on individuals to pay respect to their beloved president.  We spent the day “trying” to shop but were set back by several circumstances, the least of which was breaking down and having to get a taxi back to the school.  Needless to say, we were able to purchase a T.V. but we need someone to come and install the channels so we can actually watch it.

 

In a taxi after our vehicle broke down.

Red cloth in memorial of President Mills.

Walking…

August 1stToday was our first day of work!  We spent the day getting to know each other, worshipping and learning about Ghanaian culture.  We are so excited about this incredible opportunity to be used by God at AIS and pray that we can be faithful witnesses for Him.

There are so many details that we left out but this is an overview of our first week in Ghana.  I know that you are praying because we have uncommon peace and we ask that you continue to pray.  Hopefully, we can update you more frequently now that we are connected!

We love you!

The Darko Family

 

 

Eureka! We’re Moving to Africa!

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Posted by darko | Posted in News Updates | Posted on 21-07-2012

Okay, after years of anticpation and longing to live out God’s purpose for our lives, it is finally sinking in that tomorrow we board a plane to move to Ghana, West Africa.  You would think that the moving out of our home, selling all of our things, resigning from our jobs and packing 20 bags (good job Prince) would’ve birthed this epiphany long ago but not until this moment did the reality of what all of this means hit us.  It’s a sobering yet exhilerating thought that we get to go on assignment with the Creator of the Universe not knowing what each day will bring but knowing Who holds each day in the palm of His hand.

Last night, we were so blessed by our family and friends as they celebrated our departure with a beautiful comissioning service and meal.  So many kind words, gifts and prayers were lavished upon us but we felt a little guilty.  Everyone spoke of the huge sacrifice we were making but to us it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all, in fact, we feel so blessed that we get to be a part of what God is doing.  At the end of the day, knowing Him, serving Him and obeying Him is our hearts desire and if it please Him for us to move to Ghana then it pleases us.  It is the great honor of our lives to be summoned by the King to share His love with His creation and to watch first hand His transforming power change lives!

Our pastor spoke about finishing well and the importance of prayer in ensuring long-term success.  I’m sure that we will pray more, longer, louder and more fevent than ever before but we covet your prayers as well.  “The objective, intelligent and continuous prayers of intercession for spiritual workers is the least utilized source of spiritual power but when appropriated produces drastic effects in the lives of the workers and their ministry.” 

Let’s Go!

I’m sure we’ll be wanting a piece of this cake in about 2 weeks! 🙂

 

“Kodak Moments”

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Posted by darko | Posted in News Updates | Posted on 07-07-2012

All of the 2012 missionaries who said, "Yes Lord, I'll follow you wherever you lead me."

Our family has been so blessed by the men and women who poured into our lives during PFO.  Every presenter, facilitator, fellow missionary and even our host family impacted our lives in significant ways.  There were several “Aha!” moments that have altered our perceptions of ourselves, our call and our God.  We will take the time to share  a few with you  now:

1).   Following Jesus is exactly like playing the childhood game, “Follow the Leader.”  We are expected to DO what our leader (JESUS) did and not merely memorize, quote and discuss what He said.  So what did He do?  “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness (Matt. 9:35).”

2).  Much of how we express our Christianity is cultural and not biblical.  So when we enter another culture  we must be willing to throw out our cultural expressions while continuing to live out the biblical principles of our faith.  “When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some (1 Corinthians 9:22).”

3).  As a missionary teacher, the greatest tool in winning our students to Christ is our effectiveness as an educator.  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men (Col. 3:23).”

4).  We must enter the culture with our eyes and ears open and our mouth closed.  “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19).”

5).  We must be willing to keep our opinions to ourselves and always give people the Word of God.  “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).”

There were so many more nuggets of truth imparted during the past two weeks that we haven’t even begun to process and unpack in our lives.  We pray that we can begin to avail ourselves to Holy Spirit in such a way that these first 5 will be evident in our daily lives.  We ask that you join us in that prayer and seek to truly follow our leader, Jesus Christ the Lord!

 

 

“Nothing Can Stop the Favor of the Lord!

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Posted by darko | Posted in News Updates | Posted on 16-06-2012

A guest mninster came to the ministry a couple of months ago and said, “save your money and spend your favor.”  Upon hearing these words, my spirit bore witness with these instructions and I have spent the last several months doing just that.  We have experienced the favor of God in such obvious ways and through the most unlikeliest people.  We have been so blessed as people have obeyed the leading of the Lord to give generously to us as we prepare to embark upon the biggest adventure of our lives.  Thank you Lord for your favor!

We will be heading to Southaven MS on June 24th to attend NICS Pre-field Orientation (PFO).  The purpose of PFO is to equip each missionary teacher with the skills and mindset required to make a lasting impact in the countries the Lord is sending each of us to.  The children will attend sessions designed to help them transition to a new culture and to appropriately say good-bye to what they have known as “home.”

Continue praying with and for us as we answer the call to GO and make disciples!

 

Enjoy Today!

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Posted by darko | Posted in News Updates | Posted on 25-05-2012

Today, May 25th officially marked David and Victoria’s last day of school in the United States of America (for now).  Prince and I will say  “À bientôt” to the Cumberland County School system and to our precious students in 9 days.  The time seems to have passed quickly but when you consider that this seed was birthed in me at the age of 5 it has literally taken 29 years.  Nevertheless, the next 59 days will be a blur as we finalize paperwork, fill prescriptions for malaria prophylaxis, travel to Southaven, MS for training, and personally say goodbye to friends and family.  It has always been easier for me to look to the future but now as my future is looking back at me I can finally step back and enjoy the beautiful blessings of the present.  “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
Bill Watterson

Pray Saints!

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Posted by darko | Posted in News Updates | Posted on 14-04-2012

As we prepare to transition to Ghana, West Africa in less than 100 days, we sincerely covet your prayers.  We don’t take lightly the assignment to go and preach the Gospel among the nations of the earth and we know that it can only be accomplished through the effectual and fervent prayers of the righteous.  We would like to invite each of you to commit to pray daily for our family and the work of God through us.  If you will join us in prayer, please leave your name and email address in the comments section  of this page so we can keep you informed of specific prayer requests.

Thank you for your support!

 

 

NICS

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Posted by darko | Posted in News Updates, Prayer Requests | Posted on 16-03-2012

We are excited to announce our acceptance as NICS missionaries and educators at AIS-Accra.

Our family will depart for Ghana in late July and begin teaching in mid-August. We sincerely

covet your prayers and support as we obediently step out in faith with our two young children.

We will communicate as often as possible through this page and/or Facebook. Please check

often as we will post specific prayer requests and praise reports. We couldn’t fulfill the purposes

of God for our lives without your support. We can’t thank you enough for your dedication to God

and His work around the world. We look forward to hosting many of you as you fulfiill God’s call

on your own lives.

If you would like to help please make checks payable to NICS, P.O. Box 1260, Southaven, MS

38671. Please do not include our name on the memo line but rather indicate our project

number (003590). All gifts to NICS for the ministry of the Darko family are tax-deductible.

Until next time,

Onyame nhyira wo (God Bless You-Twi Fanti)