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Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be one of Jesus’ disciples, walking next to Him down the roads of Galilee and watching Him heal the sick, cast out demons, and wake the dead? Can you imagine being on the lake when He calmed the winds or walked on water? Would being part of these activities be a life-changing event, solidifying your faith and widening your perspective on the power of God? It was for me.
If I had to describe my experience on a short-term mission trip in Ghana with African Hope, I would have to say it was as the closest I could come to being a disciple of Jesus in modern society. From the moment we arrived, I could tell God was working in my life. Scripture came alive, grabbing my attention, as if Jesus himself was teaching.
On our first day in Gomoa Fetteh, we walked in the village and passed out handbills announcing our purpose. Poverty was rampant, and not just the kind where you go to McDonalds instead of Bob Evans for dinner tonight, but ramshackle homes with dirt floors, little or no food and water, and no electricity or indoor plumbing. Still, yellow-eyed children, with severe malaria that is left un-treated because the $4 it would cost to cure them is not available, were playing, running and laughing just as my children at home do. As I watched and talked with the people, I found them to be joyful and hopeful for the future. I suddenly felt unappreciative for all the wonderful blessings in my life. Then I remembered Romans 5:3-5. “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Suddenly, all the past challenges in my life had a new meaning.
Our goal was to conduct a VBS program at a local primary school and to have a women’s ministry in the evenings. The first night of our women’s program, it was pouring rain. I was amazed as small children, around the age of five or six, traveled alone down a dark, muddy road for a mile, arriving two hours early to hear the word of God. Matthew 18:3 immediately came to mind, “And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” So many children came that we had to start two new night ministries, one for the children and one for the teen boys. By the end of the week, we had reached 150 women and another 150 to 200 children and teens in the night ministry.
The following day at VBS, where we served another 300 youth, a small boy named Desmond followed Renee, a fellow team member, around. Desmond, who had a hole in his foot with flies swarming in and out, was in need of antiseptic and a bandage. Renee was temporarily overwhelmed at her inability to help the child, and pulled a Jonah – running away from the situation. Charlie Budd, recognizing her distress talked to her and convinced her to pray for the boy. The excited youngster asked her to tie his salvation bracelet around his ankle instead of his arm. When we returned the next day, Desmond ran to Renee to show her that he was still wearing the anklet. As she looked down, Renee noticed that his foot healed overnight! Matthew 10:1 tells us, “He called the twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”
The entire week went on in this manner, when we gave out school supplies, I was reminded, “The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me” (Matthew 25:40). There were many attacks on the mission team: Charlie had malaria, luggage was lost, and many others were ill on the day they were to present. Daily, we entered the spiritual battlefield with prayer and the armor of God, and we always triumphed. Even looking down at my soil-stained feet one afternoon, I was given clarity on what it must have been like in biblical times to wash someone’s feet. Something that had seemed so trivial before now had meaning.
When I had left for Africa, I wondered if I could make a difference. I was afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. Perhaps, I did not know enough scriptures, or maybe this just was not the right time in my life to go. What about my kids, work and school? I knew I had been called, but maybe what God really meant was “later”. However, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). Philippians 4:13 became my motto, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Five hundred children and fourteen baptisms later, “everything” has a new meaning. Before I left, “everything” was measurable, now I have a better understanding of God’s awesome and mighty power, and “everything” is infinite.over 4 years ago
It wasn’t hot, but extremely humid. I felt like I was drinking a gallon of water, just by breathing. There were nice places, like where the beaches were, there were lots of really nice hotels. But, in the north, it smelt kinda weird. Also the places weren’t as nice. Though the people were nice, they laughed if you didn’t know the language. My family is from there and when my mom kept haggling the prices down(Embarrassing) she said they were trying to take advantage of us, since we seemed to be tourists. Don’t visit without either lots of cash or a true Ghanian.
Really pretty wildlife, Getting to the Tamale park was like traveling on a punch of rocks. Extremly hard, not really worth it.over 5 years ago
if u have been to ghana u’ll probably know that the title of this entry means welcome, and ghana is indeed welcoming. my favourite thing about of the ghanaian culture would be the art,the carvings and the cloth (mainly african wear) you can get. I would suggest that you go to a seamtress which you can notifiy by the examples of clothes that they have display on the door of their stall or something, and get something made for yourself, u can even imitate a style that u like but just incorprating an ghanain twist to it, if you havn’t already, plus its cheap to. As for advice if u are familiar with the currency, its change so when you exchange after july 2007, make sure u get the ghanaian cedi which is the new name not the cedi which is the old name for the currencyover 5 years ago
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