Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jan 4, 2017

Another day of meetings:
Welcome -John Buah
Opening Prayer - Sister Parke
Spriritual Thought - Elder Baker
Finance Issues - The team of Finance officers came in and we talked for almost 2
hours. There were many questions and we learned so much from our different
countries. Liberia and Sierra Leone are very close the same except the banking system
in Liberia is far above Sierra leone. Sierra Leone's banking system is 1940's and is
horrendous to deal with. But, Senegal has not registered the Church yet so the
humanitarian couple cannot get a bank account so Accra sends money to the Parke's
home account in America and then they have it transferred though western union to
them in Senegal. Then they take the money to the bank and the bank writes checks for
the Parkes and charges $10.00 USD for each check. Senegal only works on a check
system. Sierra leone works on a cash only basis. Because of all the different challenges
in each country, we came to realize what an awesome job is being done by the finance
department in Accra in dealing with all of our issues. I know I have gone way away from
policy in some of the things I have done that was necessary for my country and the
people in Accra have just dealt with my "off the beaten path" way of doing things and
have adapted my methods into their books. It is all legal and correct just awkward. It is
just not normal bookkeeping procedures. But Liberia has had to do similar things and
again Accra has quietly worked their magic in the background. The people supporting
us missionaries are awesome. They never criticize nor even imply we have done
something screwy. They just fix it.
Public Affairs
Legal - Elder Webster who is the attorney for West Africa came to talk to us about the
legal part of our job and what we are suppose to do. 10 Months into our mission and
we are just now learning we are suppose to have a contract for every project with every
contractor, site manager, project monitor, etc. He and Don had a small back and forth
disagreement. We are building a bridge in Kenema and the contractor wrote up a
contract and had the community sign it saying they will never hold the church liable for
any accidents and failure in the bridge. After the community signed it, they gave it to
Don. Don asked John Buah what to do with it and John said to send it to him. Which
we did. John took it to Legal and it took almost 3 weeks for them to get it back to us.
We waited a few days and when we did not hear back from the Legal Department, we
went ahead and started the bridge. Elder Webster said that he always looks at the
contracts right away and gets back to us quickly so he doesn't hold up a project. Don
called him on that statement and they went back and forth. It was not pleasant, but it
was not severe.
Welfare Training: The Law of the Fast - Brother John Buah & Chidi
Discussion: What works and what doesn't in each country
Closing Remarks: John Buah
Closing Prayer : Sister Nay
Temple Session
Dinner: in the Conference room of leftover lunch. More important, time to hang out
with the other couples.

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