i am proud to invite you to read about chris's trip to ghana. i love this guy. just saying.
Hello blog world. I am a guest. This is my first post. I am a guest poster.
On March 17th I returned home after a two-week trip to Ghana. I’m delighted to tell you about it.
plan to meet up with a Ghanaian pastor and travel to several towns and villages for daily preaching. I thought that I’d be preaching every other day to hundreds, or at least dozens of people. That was my plan, but God had something else in mind.
It appears that God’s plans are better than mine. Hmm.
On our trip...
We had car trouble. LOTS of car trouble. A hole in the radiator, worn(out) brake pads, flat tire, loose tail pipe, leaking exhaust manifold, and a faulty ignition switch (which three mechanics in three different towns looked at but did not fix, although they replaced- and charged us for another “repair” of their choosing). We spent many hours standing in the heat at mechanics’ shops.
I had problems with my back for a couple days and consequently had to stay at the hotel instead of going to church, where I was to preach.
It was HOT! At least 90 degrees every day, and we received afternoon or evening thunderstorms three times- twice preventing us from preaching, and giving us more time at the hotel.
Doesn’t sound like much of a mission trip, huh? But here’s what God did:
Because of our car trouble one day, I found myself sitting beside a Muslim man who happened to be at the shop visiting his mechanic friend. He wasn’t getting his car fixed- he was just hanging around. We got to talking about life, work, family, etc. He asked what I was doing in Ghana, and my response of “Christian missionary” led to a lengthy discussion on Islam and Christianity. He was ready with all his learned “problems” with the Bible, but he admitted he had never read it himself. He was not even all that familiar with the Koran. We talked about heaven, and how to get there through each of our faiths. When I told him of the assurance of salvation that born-again Christians have through Jesus, compared to the be-good-and-hope-for-the-best approach to pleasing Allah, he seemed moved. By his reaction and countenance it was apparent he’d never considered this before. I left knowing that I had planted a seed for the Lord, and thanking God for faulty brakes.
Several days later my back pain forced me to lie flat on my bed while the other two men went to church Sunday morning. Around 11:00 I was feeling good enough to walk around some, and on the street in front of the hotel I ran into Calvin, a 28 year old backslidden Catholic. (there are many Catholic churches in Ghana, mostly teaching a works righteousness.) His eyes were red from a night of drinking, but he seemed eager to talk. Again, I was asked why I was in Ghana. I told him of our work traveling around preaching the gospel. At one point he said, “Will you tell me the gospel?” I thought to myself, “Wow, is it that easy?!” So I stood there in that street telling him about the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man. We talked about love and repentance and grace. He was broken. I could tell. Another seed planted. Thank you God, for my backache. And to think I asked Him to take it away so I could go to church.
Another incident at that same hotel:
I sat beside Jaren on the plane on the way home. (Actually there was an empty seat between us.) She’s a 24 year old graduate assistant doing research in Ghana. In our conversation (during our 11 hour flight) we talked about many things, and eventually got around to discussing religion. She’s an evolutionist/agnostic type, with no knowledge of the Bible. I asked her what she thought about the afterlife, and she said she had no opinion- said she doesn’t think about it. Then, she asked me what I thought about the afterlife. Again, an opportunity to witness presented on a platter! I shared the Gospel, which she had NEVER HEARD BEFORE. I told her my testimony, about my transformation- my conversion. It didn’t seem to have much impact on her while I was sharing. But twice, several minutes after our conversation had given way to silence, she asked about my conversion experience. She wanted to know more. I could tell she had began to search.
Later, as she gave me a wave good-bye at the airport baggage claim, the look in her eyes just said “thank you.” No. Thank you, Jesus.
Now, in case you’re wondering, I didn’t lead any of these people in a salvation prayer. It seemed I was not there to witness their conversion. God led me there merely to tell them the story of Jesus. To share the Gospel. To plant a seed in their hearts. God allowed me to do that, and then I left them on their own them to wrestle, and search, and ponder. And hopefully, eventually, to surrender their lives to Christ. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to the hearts of these people.
By the way, I did get to preach twice during the trip, and several people responded to the invitations. Praise the Lord!!
Praise God for His wonderful plans!! For His wisdom and timing, and for His sovereignty. I praise Him for allowing me to be a part in taking His story to the nations.
In your prayers tonight, please remember these people.
Thank you, and may God bless you,
if you would like to repsond to chris directly, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org. and of course, he is facebookable!
still linking up with the end-of-the-week linky ladies!
emily for imperfect prose
christy for as of late
beki at the rusted chain for fingerprint friday
michelle for caffeinated randomness
studio jru for sneak peek friday
jennifer v. davis