Wes Leibee Family
We moved to Ghana as a young married couple in the summer of 2003. God led us to the northeastern part of the country, to live with the Konkomba tribe who number around 400,000. The majority of Konkombas are animists, being deceived by Satan into a religion of venerating their ancestors and attempting to worship ‘the Supreme God’ through mediator-spirits. They are nearly 100% agricultural and very rural, living almost entirely off their farms, which they cultivate, tend, and harvest by hand.
We spent our first year and a half in immersion language and culture learning, which has proven invaluable in understanding and communicating with the Konkombas. In the spring of 2005 we built a local-style house in a small village called Katani, located about 4 hours’ rough ride from the city of Tamale. Our initial phase of ministry consisted of evangelizing and discipling in about 10 villages using a very hands-on approach: biking out to their villages, sitting under grass sitting places, talking and teaching, spending the night in their room with them, waking up the next morning and praying with them, and then biking back home. The groups of seekers in these 10 villages appointed men to represent them, and soon we had about 15-20 delegates or potential church leaders who came to us in Katani every week or two for a day of Bible teaching. This continued for about a year and we were able to do an overview of the basic stories in the Bible as we taught on crucial issues like God, sin, judgement, redemption, and holiness. Though some lost interest or drew back in the face of opposition or challenges, a core group pressed on and entered the kingdom of God! Burning of fetishes, public stands for Christ, and baptism have been some of the sweetest moments of our time here.
We continue to work with these men, teaching and training them in the kingdom of our Lord with a desire to grow up young Konkomba churches that are dynamic, Biblical, and outreaching. We need much wisdom from God as we seek to identify with their culture and its challenges, speak God’s Word into their lives, and “teach every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Jesus Christ” Col 1:28.
It has been a joy to see Christ’s kingdom blossoming in these men’s lives! Most of them are illiterate, and it takes much time and repetitive teaching, but the fruits of the Spirit being manifest in their lives are truly thrilling. One church leader has painstakingly taught himself to read the Konkomba Bible, and we are doing what we can to help the others to also learn to read their own language. There are setbacks, persecution, sickness, and challenges, but God is very faithful.
We live in a simple mud dwelling, in a location that is fairly central to the villages where we work. We have no running water, but we do have limited electricity produced by solar panel. In seeking to live a lifestyle of identification with the Konkombas, a lot of our time is also consumed in just living – hauling water from the local well on a bicycle, re-erecting the log and grass sitting place after high winds, annual cow dung plastering jobs on our mud walls, buying food in nearby markets – just to name a few!
Over the past years we have also hosted various young people in our home who came from the States to serve under our GES program, teaching English in the local primary school here in Katani. This has been a great opportunity for these young people, has enriched our lives, and has absolutely thrilled the local communities in affecting the reading abilities of about 200 children.
Our two little boys enjoy their life here and are very much Ghanaian! Hudson was born in the States on a furlough in December of 2007, and Steven was born here in Ghana in July of 2009. We love being their parents!
Please pray for us as we endeavor to plant vibrant churches among the Konkomba. We need daily wisdom from God as we stand in front of a people who are coming from centuries of spirit worship to understand about God and His Word. We want to see leaders raised up in these village churches. Thank you for joining us in this work!
-Weston & Charity Leibee