Austin Link Update 2018 

Ghana Trip 2015

Leading up to the physical mission a fundraising team consisting of Kenan Bullinger, Trudy Dadson, James Awuah, Stephanie Jones, Lee Houn, Bobby Houn, Cathy Myrvik, Steve Carl and Jen Einrem spent 2 years raising funds for 2 children surgeries and for the Mephibosheth Training Center (MTC) facility to purchase supplies and drill 2 water wells, pump, and hookup to their facility and fields. The ways funds were raised included speaking at several churches, creating hundreds of crafts to sell at the local fairs, several food events, and a 5K – Any Way You Can race. In addition, the team spent a lot of hours getting donations of speech & physical therapy supplies, several medical supplies, VBS and school supplies and other items. Close to 600 lbs of supplies were taken by the team.

The traveling team consisted of 6 people: Barb Nash, James Awuah, McKaila Wentz, Bobby Houn, and Jennifer Einrem all from Legacy United Methodist Church in Bismarck, ND and Sheriph Afun from Accra, Ghana Africa. The trip was from October 22 to November 4.

The trip started at the Mephibosheth Training Center (MTC), a boarding/trade school for children with disabilities. In Ghana many think that those with disabilities are cursed, so they recommend the parents to just ‘leave the child in the bush and let nature take its course’. MTC is tackling this social norm by trying to train people in the community that this is not the case, and they are trying to teach the children a trade so they are not doomed to beg for their future. The team spent almost a week at MTC, and accomplished:

  • Barb (physical therapist) & Bobby (speech therapist) did evaluations on the children and some adults and taught some college classes.
  • McKaila (student for early childhood and special education) led the VBS and taught teachers Montessori Teaching methods.
  • James (engineer and health professional) did medical evaluations and helped co-lead the VBS.
  • Jen (engineer) painted a mural and gave a presentation on God’s View of Disabilities.
  • Sheriph (finical person & local contact) helped in various ways on all the activities and guided the team.

The 2nd part of our journey was then spent going to James’ home region and to several underserved communities along the way. In addition, James was able to get us in contact with the Methodist Church Diocese in the Ashanti Region at Kumasi, Ghana.

The team experienced a traditional church service in the local language and dance worship. We learned that the Americans cannot dance and we gave the rural village something to laugh about for the next few years.

During our time in the rural areas, we visited several places where children had distended bellies due to malnutrition, had several deformities (assumed due to possibly contaminated water), and had no ability to get medical help. The team is praying to see if God is guiding them to do anything about all the needs they saw. Please join us in lifting all these efforts in prayer. If you want to know more, a full write up with pictures will be posted to the 5K Facebook site in the near future at:

New Life International: Underwood, IN


John and Helen Bennett spent 5 days at New Life helping assemble components for the water purification kits, stuffing envelopes with newsletters, and grooming the beautiful grounds for their Annual Fall Open House.

Byron & Yvonne McGuire (originally from Washburn) were missionaries in Ecuador when their son, Duvon nearly died from contaminated drinking water.  As a young adult, Duvon developed a water purification system that is easily shipped, assembled, and maintained. It is capable of supplying pure water to schools, hospitals, and villages.

In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch struck Central America, devastating the lives of hundreds of thousands. At the request of missionaries with World Gospel Mission in Honduras, Duvon took the first 33 purifies to aid in the wake of the hurricane  The purification systems were successful and provided safe water. Since that time, New Life has deployed 3500 systems in 80 different countries.

This year, several purifiers were shipped to the Tree of Life Missions (Arbol de Vide) in Honduras. Since the earthquake in April, systems continue to be installed in Nepal.  Thanks to a team of local young Nepalese men, they have been able to install 80 systems and train maintenance teams.  The Nepal Orchid Garden Day Care and Nepal Tikabhairab schools with their combined 900 schoolchildren now have safe water at their schools.

These water purification systems meet an urgent need and open the door for meeting the people’s spiritual needs as well as their physical needs.

For more info, see their website

Components for water purification systems ready to be assembled.
Retreat Center building.
Jon working in one of the many beautiful gardens.
prayer cottage
Lovely prayer cottage.