A New Adventure for Bob Jacobs

Jerie and Bob Jacobs in GhanaWhen I first met Jerie (now my wife) 35+ years ago, she was getting ready to do a full-time volunteer service mission. Thankfully she consented to hang her hat with me instead – but I promised her that I would take her on just such an adventure someday.

Well, that time has now arrived.

The church we belong to has volunteer service opportunities all over the globe. There’s a need for electricians in Hawaii for maintaining building facilities. Idaho potato farmers go to Ukraine to help local farmers increase their crop yields. Registered nurses and retired physicians do all kinds of medical service work in developing countries. There are opportunities to provide humanitarian and literacy skills services all over the world.

Bob Jacobs smiling in front of church on sunny day in AfricaThere is also a need for legal services worldwide. Large international non-profit organizations have a need for ongoing legal work in many areas – contract, construction, real estate, tort defense, compliance with local laws, and so on.

Africa is experiencing rapid growth, and so is our church’s ranks there. As a result, there is a continuing need for the construction of new facilities, as we gain about one full congregation each week. This generates pressing demand for legal services that go along with real property acquisitions, as well as the negotiating and administration of construction contracts for the facilities.

I am (obviously) not licensed to practice law in West Africa. But I am excited for the prospect of working on identifying and engaging with local law firms who can fill our legal needs, giving ongoing instructions and assignments, interfacing with them, and reviewing their work.

My wife is not an attorney, but she has a background in teaching literacy. English is the official language in Ghana; she will most likely be doing humanitarian work and teaching literacy skills to those in need.

We will be in Ghana, but we will be interfacing with local counsel in as many as 17 West African countries.

After 18 months someone else will take our place. We will return home in October of 2023, and I’ll resume my work as a full time mediator and arbitrator. It will be an adventure!

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