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Ghana Teaching Project 2000

Project Date: June 2000

A United Youth Corps volunteer introduces a computer to pastors in Ghana

United Youth Corps Volunteers Teach Computer Skills in Ghana

Two United Youth Corps volunteers began working in Ghana, West Africa on June 12. Daniel Mingle, 24, a mechanical engineer from Huntsville, Alabama, and Nathan Albright, 18, a civil engineering student at the University of Southern California, are spending two weeks in the city of Kumasi to teach introductory computer skills to pastors from the Remnant Church of God, and to church members in the Kumasi area.

Daniel and Nathan are working in conjunction with a United Church of God summer project to help the Remnant Church of God in its efforts to become fully a part of United.

During four days of classes with 13 Remnant Church of God pastors who had no previous experience with computers, Daniel and Nathan gave an introduction to Windows 95, to Microsoft Word and to the concept of e-mail. They also helped most of the pastors set up personal e-mail accounts for the first time. The teaching is being conducted on used laptop computers donated to the project by the United Church of God.

“It’s wonderful!” said Daniel. “I’m really happy to be part of the project. I’m glad to have this opportunity to serve others in the faith. I don’t often have chances to serve in such a direct manner. This project has given me the opportunity to use my skills to help others in a way that is useful and exciting to them.”

When asked what he found most striking about visiting Ghana, Daniel explained: “This has been my first real introduction to the developing world. It’s eye-opening to see the difficult conditions in which people conduct their day-to-day lives. You see things here you don’t see where I come from. The people here have very little, physically speaking. They may not know where their next meal will come from. There are open sewers running along the streets, electricity and running water are often interrupted. At the moment we haven’t had running water in the Church house for three days. We filled our water containers last night during a heavy rain. And yet it’s exciting in the middle of such circumstances to see and work with a Church of God group that sincerely wants to learn and grow in its understanding of the Bible, and which seeks to fulfill God’s will.”

“I think this is an amazing project,” Nathan agreed. “It’s an incredible chance to be able to come to this part of the world and see how much interest there is in learning about computers. Besides a greater knowledge of the world, I feel I’m gaining a deeper understanding of God’s people everywhere and their desire to grow in any way they can.”

Several things have made a big impact on Nathan. “I was surprised to see how excited the children here are just to see someone from the West…we kind of stand out here,” he laughed. “Learning about the proud heritage of the Ashanti people [ Kumasi is the capital of the Ashanti kingdom] has been very interesting. I’m also amazed at how many things that we take for granted at home are very rare here. There is no phone service at the house; there are frequent power and water outages.”

United Youth Corps International Projects Coordinator Joel Meeker, also working in Kumasi, said he is very pleased with the work Daniel and Nathan are doing. “They have shown a very positive can-do attitude,” he said. “The help they have given the Remnant pastors has not only been useful to them, but also very exciting and encouraging. Personally, I’m excited to see such a service-oriented attitude among the young people in the Church of God. Danny and Nathan paid their own airfare in order to be able to help here. I think that’s great!”

In the week following the work with the Remnant Church of God pastors, the two UYC volunteers gave introductory computer classes to high school and college-aged young people from the Remnant congregations around the Kumasi area.

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