Patience Freeman, Bringing the Gift of Opportunity to the Children of Western Africa
Through Scientology, Patience Freeman found the key to accomplishing her purpose—to help the children of her native Ghana and all of Western Africa. Her profile is one of 200 “Meet a Scientologist” videos available on the Scientology website at www.Scientology.org.
They know her by her yellow T-shirt, her smile, and her help—Patience Freeman and her husband Bright lead the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tour through Western Africa.
The six years Patience taught in Ghana at primary, middle and high school levels were very rewarding—but frustrating.
“I tried my best, and many of my pupils did well. But there were those I was unable to help. They could not or would not learn,” she says. “I wanted to know why.”
Patience’s husband Bright, a pastor and teacher, was also looking for answers. He was determined to find a way to genuinely improve the lives of the people of Ghana and neighboring countries. It was his dream to bring a lasting peace to the region.
To accomplish this goal, he enrolled in a graduate program in political diplomacy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. While there, he found the answers he sought in the Volunteer Ministers program, which he learned about at the Church of Scientology of Cape Town.
“I first heard of Scientology when Bright gave me copies of two of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers booklets he was given at the Church,” says Patience. “One called Marriage had practical suggestions for keeping a relationship fresh and harmonious. That was great.
“But it was the Study Technology booklet I found amazing. Here was the solution to my teaching problems—a way to get through to every student. If I can teach them how to study, that gives them the skill they need. The ability to study makes the difference between a good life and failure.”
Study Technology was developed by L. Ron Hubbard to train Scientology spiritual counselors, but the three barriers to study he discovered, described in a video on the Scientology Volunteer Ministers website, apply to any student, no matter what subject they are trying to learn.
Convinced that the Volunteer Ministers program was the solution for Western Africa, in 2007 the Freemans joined the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tour that was about to begin its trek through the region.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tours bring simple yet effective techniques to help improve conditions in countries where Scientology is new and to remote regions such as the Australian Outback, the Amazon and Western Africa. In each location, they train Scientology Volunteer Ministers and establish groups to continue to serve the community after they move on. Their bright yellow 3,400-square-foot tent has lecture rooms and classrooms and serves as Tour Headquarters in the towns and villages they visit.
Bright Freeman is in charge of the Volunteer Ministers West African Goodwill Tour team and he and Patience alternate in supervising classes and leading seminars.
Of the 19 different subjects their courses and seminars cover, from the basics of organization to conflict resolution, Study Technology is among the most popular and it is the one most dear to Patience’s heart.
The Freemans learned how to run the Tour by taking it first to Durban and Port Elizabeth, South Africa. There are Scientology Churches in both cities and they were close enough to the Volunteer Ministers African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, that they could get any help they might need. Then, once confident they could operate on their own, they launched the Tour into Western Africa—an area still new to Scientology.
Over the past four years they have provided service and established Volunteer Ministers groups in every town they visited in Gabon, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mali and Ghana.
“I could never have done this before Scientology,” she says. “One of the first things you learn in Scientology is communication skills. The work on this tour has been so challenging—I often can’t even speak the same language as those I am helping, but I always make myself understood somehow.”
Patience loves her work. When people visit the tent, she, Bright and the rest of their team make sure they leave with a tool to improve their lives.
“This has been the experience of a lifetime,” says Patience. “I can see the impact I have. I know I am helping Ghana and Africa as a whole. I am so proud to be a Scientologist.”
View the Patience Freeman video at Scientology.org.