I had never thought of being a missionary to the northern part of Ghana, when last year I was moved by the Lord to visit and organize evangelism there. Since then, the call to help the people in the North has continued to ring in my ears. It reminded me of the Macedonian call.
“The time had come for the gospel to be proclaimed beyond the confines of Asia Minor. The way was preparing for Paul and his fellow workers to cross over into Europe. At Troas, on the borders of the Mediterranean Sea, ‘a vision appeared to Paul in the night: There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.’
“The call was imperative, admitting of no delay. ‘After he had seen the vision,’ declares Luke, who accompanied Paul and Silas and Timothy on the journey across to Europe, ‘immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; and from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony.” Acts of Apostles, 211.
When the time came to leave for the North, I was pondering how to raise enough funds to visit and undertake public evangelism. It surprised me that funds were woefully inadequate, but I trusted in the Lord, hoping to receive additional funds before leaving. I had already made arrangements with the brethren in Bolgatanga (the regional capital) to meet me at Bongo (one of the district capitals). Bongo is only 18 kilometers (11 milds) from the Burkina Faso boarder and has no Adventist church in the area. The Lord moved me to arouse the people in that area of the impending conflict.
Twenty benches had to be prepared since there was no way to get pews for the evangelistic meetings. These benches would also be used by the new church after the meetings. We also had to purchase changeable lamps, since the classroom where the Bible studies were held did not have light. We were fortunate to have a guest house. We booked for two rooms; though these were not adequate to house the twelve people we had working with us. An information van was hired to go around the village to publicize our program since the people live in groups on their farmlands and are scattered far and wide within a five-kilometer (three-mile) environment. The people are mostly pagans with certain primitive cultural practices. To my surprise, the attendance at our meetings was great! This inspired me, to see the Lord’s hand in gathering in these last days. The third day when the first appeal was made, over forty
people signed their names to study with us. The crowd reduced after they heard about the Sabbath, but attendance was encouraging. In our Sabbath service, only a few people visited us, but with the interest created there was the need to continue with intensive follow-up work. The youth who had volunteered to assist, extended their stay to help with the follow-up work. This called for hiring a room which would be occupied by the Bible worker instead of extending our guest house rent. We were happy to get a room and paid for one year in advance to enable one Bible worker stationed there to help establish the new converts. To strengthen the knowledge of the Bible workers, we held training for both the Bible workers and the volunteers. This greatly inspired them and encouraged them to work for Christ.
When I recall how many children visited us that Sabbath, I remember Christ, who did not refuse the little children brought to Him. Knowing beforehand that some children would probably be visiting us, we prepared meals to feed anyone who came. The next Sabbath the attendance increased. We were visiting in the “lean season.” With no food in the area, most of the food has to come from the South. Hunger is a sad reality in this area, and poverty is high in the community. But I recalled that their impoverished state is not their fault. The climate conditions are against them. There are only four months of rain between May and August. The people grow local foods such as millet and sorghum, harvest it, and store it for consumption. Because they do not have enough land to do large scale farming, the harvest is low, and they finish consuming the food by the end of February. Then, they either move to the South to find work, or they are at the mercy of their Creator.
Plans are advancing to begin a project which will sustain the members and the work in the North. It is appealing to generate funds that will both support the work in the North and also, feed and clothe the people there.
One of the most inspiring moments of my time in Bongo was the testimony of a man called Awuni Emmanuel. I saw him having a conversation with one of our Bible workers who come from the area.
Because I do not understand the language, I approached them and asked what the matter was. Mr. Awuni, who has lived in the South and can speak English, told me that he did not sleep this night because of the Sabbath and how the changes to Sunday were made. He explained that he used to be a Catholic, but had left the church because he realized that the church is really a pagan and idolatrous religion. He then went to the Salvation Army church, in which he remained for over twenty years. He had never heard of the Sabbath, the change, and the coming crisis, until yesterday. He did not sleep much that night, since his soul was searching for truth. He pondered over it, and had many dreams about the coming crisis and did not know what to do. I encouraged him to look to Christ, who has stretched His hands to gather His elect. I told him that it might be that we came here because of him, and that if he did not respond to the call, his heart would be hardened and would not be touched. He directed us to his house, and has promised to study with us.
On the last day of the program, I nearly fell down, the motorcycle which transports me to the meetings nearly crashed, and the projector did not work. Despite all of this, the entire message was delivered to its climax with a final appeal, and many converts responded.
I thank my Savior who has been behind me, encouraging me. Before I left, I did not have the money to support the follow-up work. I prayed with the brethren and assured them that we would send them funds to continue with the work. Funds are urgently needed to support a new Bible worker and the brethren who have volunteered to help the follow-up work. There is also the need to establish a foster home to take care of the many children who have no proper care. Pray, and respond as the Lord directs you. My prayer is with you as you care and continue to support the work in Ghana, and more especially, the need of the north
By Ben Nyanor. Historic Adventist church, Box MC1280 Takoradi, Ghana.