Welcome

This is the first “Official” post to my new blogging home.  After a couple of other tries using blogger and a “free” web host I have finally settled on this spot.  And, to make it official, I even purchased a domain name.  All credit goes to Pastor Dave Barr directing me on the domain name idea!

The name is kind of a play on words.  If you say it fast it sounds like “It’s good your here”.  But I also like it for a couple of other reasons, ok maybe 3 reasons.

  1. The “It” in the word “It’s”.  This covers my love for I.T. – Information Technology
  2. The “It” in the word “It’s”.  This covers my love for Investing and is the abbreviation for the name name of the site I use:  Investools.
  3. The inclusion of my last name – Goodger.  This blog is about me, my family, my job, and the things I learn as I travel through life.
  4. Ok – one more reason.  The word “Here’.  If you are there, you wouldn’t be here, taking part in this adventure I call my life.

Ok, so the reasons are corny but if you’ve known me long enough – well, enough said!

The posts that are already here encompass my trip to Ghana and Togo, Africa during the summer of 2006 as well as some random, not so regular posts from my former “family website”.

I pray that through this blog, as I learn, you learn; as I share, you share; and as I grow, you grow.

Enjoy!

Explosion!

June 13, 2006 – 5:46 p.m. Togo Time

Yep, that’s right… explosion. More to come in a few lines.

As I said yesterday morning, we spent most of the morning relaxing. Dr. Phil and I had a nice chat about investment strategies. I enjoyed our discussion and it was good to see throughout our discussion that we each had some of the same philosophies.

We did some site seeing as well. We drove down to the harbor. That was pretty cool. Everyday the women go down there and wait for the fishermen to return from the ocean with their catch and the women then bicker and bargain to try and buy the fish so that they can resell it to stores, on the streets and to restaurants.

Togo was formed under German authority so there is a lot of German influence here even though they are very close with France at this time. We had lunch at a German Restaurant. I had boiled bratwurst. MMM MMM Good.

As we were going to the headquarters for New Harvest International Ministries the Explosion occurred. We had stopped to get some bottled water and upon returning to the van I asked Nathaniel how long until we got to the NHIM headquarters – he said 5 minutes. Well I couldn’t last that long. I begged Nathaniel to find a place to stop – Praise God we were close to his house. I ran upstairs only to find a toilet with no paper and not working water but in times like this you gotta do what you gotta do. Nathaniel brought paper and also 2 huge buckets of water to be used for flushing. There would have been and explosion in the car had we not been able to stop when we did. It hit that quickly. I was not the only one though. It went through all of us – Keith, Linda, Matt, and Dr. Phil as well.

We then were able to continue to the NHIM headquarters. It is a pretty nice little compound and Nathaniel has a great vision for reaching all of West Africa through this ministry. Matt and I are already thinking of ways we can assist the ministry through the use of technology.

Despite all of us not feeling real well – God enabled us to visit a church last night. Both Dr. Phil and Keith spoke. Dr. Phil on sin and the need to cleanse our lives of it while Keith began to cast vision for the Togolese people to reach beyond their comfort zone and to move out amongst the nations with the Gospel.

This morning we were all felling better but we ate a light breakfast anyway to be safe. We began the day by going to the market – wow – what an experience. The second we walked in we were surrounded with people trying to hawk the wares. It was a pretty cool experience though. I think I have learned how to say “no” rather forcefully.

We had lunch at a different German place today by the beach and we were able to buy a few other souvenirs there as well without the pressure of the market dudes all over us.

Tonight we will be visiting another church; Keith will be preaching again. Upon our return to the hotel tonight, Matt and I will be packing up and heading back to Accra to catch our flight. Be praying for us as we will be passing though Frankfurt and the World Cup has that place jammed with people. Also be praying for our visas – we went the Ghanaian embassy today to have our visas changed so that we could enter Ghana tomorrow morning. They said they will not be ready until tomorrow morning. We will need to leave here by 11:00 a.m. in order to be sure we have enough time to get through to Accra.

So, that being said – this will probably be the last posting until I return home on Thursday evening. Once home I will update you on the blog so that you all know we arrived safely.

I thank you all for your prayers while on this trip. Has it been worth it? Definitely! God has shown me more than I could have imagined about reaching the nations for Him. As I reflect upon this trip on the way home, I need to come up with ways to express everything that has occurred. There is no way that writing it in a blog could even come close to reality. Words on a screen just cannot do this justice. I don’t even think spoken words could express my feelings. I’ll share more upon my return though.

I Love You All!
Scott

Update

Ok – is this really a mission trip or a vacation. This hotel is like a resort. We will be staying here for the duration of our stay in Togo. Like I said earlier – Nathaniel feels it would be best for us to stay here due to security reasons. We do have internet access in the internet cafe at a rate of about $4 per hour so I will update the next few days on a regular basis.

Nathaniel is currently out renting a van for all of us. We will probably head out the beach or pool to do some relaxation until he arrives. Breakfast was good – French pastries, eggs, juice, and… instant coffee. AHHH!!!

We’re head out…

Scott

The Next Morning

June 12, 2006 – 8:25 a.m. Togo Time

Ok – it’s a great day after a great nights rest. Matt is just getting out of bed and waking up as I type.

Yesterday morning began with worship at Adonai Chapel. Matt and I, along with almost everyone else from the US (the GCA contingent), we shuffled on stage and we each had a chance to greet the congregation. I also sang “We Fall Down”. Their music was LOUD and there was some dancing during the service. They also took up a special offering for the Student Missions division of Global Evangelical Church – this is the ministry that sent the students earlier in the week to the northern Muslim areas for evangelism purposes. Overall the worship time was sweet and we even sang a familiar song in “Agnus Dei”.

After service Pastor Bright summoned us to his office for a visit. I can assume that there was no real purpose to this time as we were in there for about and hour and a half and probably spoke with him no more than 10 minutes total as he was attending to his flock and their needs.

We checked out of our hotel and then were taken to Lunch at the local Mobil – On The Run filling station. Matt & I split a pizza with Dr. Phil. Oh – it wasn’t quite pizza from home but it was enough to fulfill the craving for home.

After some time at Emmanuel & Mary’s home we, (Keith, Linda, Matt, Dr. Phil, Nathanial and myself) all boarded up on the van and a car and headed for the Ghana/Togo border. This was to be a short 3 hour trip and as I said last night turned out much longer. Keith and Linda’s driver got lost and we waited for them at the border for a little less than an hour and while waiting there were hustlers all around us fighting over who was going to assist us in taking our luggage across the border. They were literally screaming at each other as to who had rights to us. Kinda scary.

Dr. Phil and I also went to the immigration office to see what the process would be to get across the border only to discover that K, L, M, & I all had single entry visas for Ghana; meaning that once we crossed the border into Togo we could not come back to Ghana without paying $100 each. Eventually we did find the others and we decided to go to the local Global Evangelical Church there to see if they had any advice or could offer us assistance in getting across. Let me say that God is good. The pastor there was very welcoming. It just so happened that he has a member of his church that works on the border and she was able to assist us in getting across. Once though the paperwork we had to “Bribe” the gate keeper to go through the last gate to the main road. I’ll just say this – There is no way I can type out and describe the experience – just let it be known that God gets all of the Glory for bringing us through there with no harm.

As we were driving toward the boarder God gave me a great analogy. I was watching the moon rise over the horizon – it was full and beautiful. As I watched the moon I saw that at times my view was obstructed by clouds, then clear, then clouds, then clear, etc. What I saw was this: As sin enters our life (the clouds) our view of and relationship with God becomes cloudy. As we repent the “clouds” go away but this is a never ending process. Sin will always creep into our life no matter how hard we try not too – Christ is the only perfect one without sin. But no matter how often we sin; just like the moon rises again each night reflecting God’s Glory, so is God’s grace and mercy new each morning when we wake up.

The hotel we are at in Togo is very secure. Nathanial has told us that Togo is a very corrupt country and that we should not try to speak or build trust with anyone. He has chosen this hotel for us because it is one where all of the governmental officials stay frequently. We walked in the front door and couldn’t believe we were actually staying here. It is very beautiful. Nice rooms, gorgeous artwork in the lobby. By the way – everyone here speaks French so this will be fun.

Since I had access to a phone I called April, Kendyl and Logan. It was so good to hear there sweet voices. It has really made me miss them even more. I am excited to get home Thursday to anxiously await their arrival home on Saturday evening. I can’t wait to hold them in my arms and be a “whole” family again. As I called they were getting ready to go for a horse and buggy ride – something I never got to do while being at the farm! To my girls: mellowoo’ (I Love You in Ewewe).

Today we will be going to the Ghanaian Embassy to try and rectify our Visa issues so that we can reenter Ghana without paying additional funds. Please be praying for us as we do this. We do not have a lot of money with us and do not want to have Nathanial pay for this either.

We are trusting in God for his will and provision while looking forward to what he is going to show and teach us in the next few days. Our great desire is to see Psalm 135:13 revealed to us: “Your name, O Lord, endures forever, Your Renown, O Lord, through all generations”.

Off to breakfast.

Mia Dogo!
Scott

Worship to Worry

June 11, 2006 – 11:06 p.m. Togo Time

What a day… I’m not going to go into to much right now as it is late. We began our trip to Togo at 4:00 p.m. and arrived here about 10:30 p.m. – this was a trip that was supposed to take less than 3 hours. Let’s just say that Matt and I swear that we were smuggled across the border from Ghana to Togo even though we know that’s not really what happened.

We are tired and going to bed soon. I’ll share more in the morning.

Love to all!
Scott

Road Trip

June 10, 2006 – 10:36 p.m. Ghana Time

I said we didn’t know what we were doing today and we found out this morning when we left the hotel compound around 10:00 a.m. We crowded 13 of us into a van and another 5 in an SUV and headed out for a drive to an old castle in Cape Coast. This is a town west of Accra. Little did we know it would take 3 hours to get there and even longer to get home.

The roads in Ghana are not good. There are potholes everywhere and it is not uncommon to have to drive on the shoulder of the road to avoid all of the potholes. Needless to say we spent most of the trip bouncing right, left, up, down and any other direction you can think of. We have also been fumigated. We sucked in every speck of dust tossed our way as well as diesel fumes. ALL of the vehicles here run on diesel. I’ll just say it this way: I can’t wait to blow my nose in the morning and see what comes out. Right now it is so dry that I have nothing to blow out.

The castle was actually quite cool. It sits up on a small ridge right on the coast. The waves were rolling crashing on the cliffs & rocks with thunderous force. Keith and I thought of Franklin – they had to be 10-20 foot waves – not that we would have wanted him surfing there in the rough waters killing himself on the rocks or anything… We went down into the dungeons where the slaves were kept until auction. After the auction they were taken on small boats out to the ships where they were force to lay side by side for the journey across the ocean. The slave trade was officially ended in Ghana by the British in 1844 with a document signed in this very castle.

The tour probably only took about an hour but the trip was well worth it as we were able to get many photos of the Ghanaian people along the way. Photos of fishing villages, mud hut villages, extreme poverty. We also saw many people dressed in black as Saturday is typically the day for funerals. We saw many along the way and they seemed to be all out parties with music playing and the people dancing. Also on the way home we saw people on the side of the road selling “grass cutters”. I’ll let you try and figure out what that was. We also stopped for coconuts.

Traffic was an absolute nightmare coming back to Accra as EVERYONE was returning from the market. We didn’t arrive at the Global Evangelical Training Center until 8:00 p.m. While there we had dinner and were presented with gifts. We were all given African clothing.

Tomorrow Matt & I will be attending the English service at Adonai Chapel. Keith is preaching at another church so He and Linda will be there. Matt will be giving a word of greeting and I will be singing some sort of song – probably “We Fall Down” as it is a simple song that they may be able to pick up rather quickly.

We are supposed to check out of the hotel at 11:30 and sometime tomorrow we will be leaving for Togo. We probably will not have access to the internet while in Togo. I’ll just keep on blogging on my laptop and post them when I can. Matt and I fly out at 7:00 p.m. Ghana time Wednesday evening. Be praying for our trip home. I will say this. Today was the first day that I really began to long for home, more specifically the food from home – a nice Chili’s burger, some ice cream and some real coffee – not the instant stuff we have had for breakfast each morning.

I pray all is well for you back home and can’t wait to share with you our trip upon returning.

By the way… “grass cutter” is a huge rat. They sell it whole or cut up and smoked. Yuck.

Good Night!
Scott

Hungry

June 9, 2006 – 9:32 p.m. Ghana Time

Oh… I’m hungry. I didn’t have much lunch or dinner. Lunch was, again, chicken and rice. Dinner was fish & chicken covered in some type of spinach sauce with casabas. What is a casaba? It is some kind of root that looks like a huge potato but really doesn’t have much taste. Think of a potato with the consistency of corn bread. I’m not sure that does it justice but it will have to do. Needless to say I am right now eating my daily treat that April so kindly sent along. Each day I have had something from April and the girls for me to open and enjoy. I have had both notes of encouragement and also food treats. Today’s was Hersey Kissables. MMM!!! BROWN FOOD GROUP!!! I’ll also be cracking open, for the first time all trip, my jar of peanut butter.

Ok – I’m also hungry for more. More of Christ. I can’t even express in words what I am thinking. I don’t even know what to think. Keith keeps asking Matt and I, “Now do you see what I am talking about?” Yes, Keith, I do but I still can’t process everything. The last summit session this morning was incredible. I won’t go into more only because I haven’t even processed it all yet. Even more so I have been trying to process all that Keith has to say. Imagine that, right? Wow – I think the only way to process this is to let God work in me for that to happen, I need your prayers.

This afternoon Matt and I went back to Adonai Chapel to do our final class with them. We were asked to share some motivational words with them. I shared from the June 4th blog where I wrote about how we need not worry from day to day for our provisions. I stated that I wasn’t sure how to relate to the People of Ghana because of the vast difference in our worlds. I explained that even though we look like we have everything we could ever want in America, we still struggle with the same things as they do. We worry how we will pay our bills, we worry about where a meal might come from. We all are charged with pursuing His Kingdom and righteousness and that is how we can relate – We serve the same Great, Big, Huge, Almighty, Powerful, Providing, Loving, Caring God. And if we are faithful to our God, we can do great things for Him by His strength and power.

After leaving there we visited a short time with Pastor Bright and his family. We were at his home for about an hour and a half, sitting on the front porch chatting about life. What life is like here in Ghana and the USA. Pastor Bright’s wife, Doris, served us “Digestive” cookies and fruit juice. It was a sweet time of fellowship in the Lord. They share pictures of their time ministering in the northern Volta Region. A time when they were living in the remote villages without electricity and running water. They have a great love for the people in that region and I sense a great desire for them to return there one day to minister.

Daniel, our driver, tracked us down early this morning to present us with a gift. Each of us rec’d some Africa attire. Matt & I have matching shirts and Keith and Linda have matching outfits as well, Keith a shirt and Linda a dress. We immediately ran up to our rooms and changed our clothes for the day. We rec’d many compliments on our attire. We were extremely touched by Daniel’s thoughtfulness. Giving gifts is a part of this culture and we will be leaving a gift for Daniel and others as well.
Tomorrow we have a day off – it will be spent as a pleasure day. We are not sure yet what we will be doing but I have heard that we could be going to a National Park or to the Market. We’ll just take the day as it comes.

April, Kendyl, & Logan – I pray that all is well there in PA. I’m sure you are all having a tremendous time even though the person who makes trips like that fun is missing – ME! I yearn for a good cup of coffee on the farm at the kitchen table. All that I have been able to get where we are staying is instant coffee. YUCK!

I love you!
Scott

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