March 2 - 17, 2001
(Updated 07/19/02 07:42 AM )
|Ghana, known in its colonial period as the
Gold Coast, is nestled between Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Togo on
Africa's western bulge into the Atlantic Ocean. The Ghana Union, with
almost 250,000 members worshiping in over 2,150 congregations, is not
only the first union-conference in the Africa-Indian Ocean Division, is
one of the fastest growing regions in the world. It's laity are
unusually active in personal and public evangelism.
It was at the General Conference Session in Toronto that I suggested to Ghana Union President, Elder P O Mensah, that if he planned a nation-wide campaign, with a Campaign in every congregation, that I would be glad to be of assistance. Elder Mensah is both a dear friend and a visionary, aggressive leader. He immediately captured and took ownership of that shared vision. A few months later I accepted his invitation to visit Ghana and, with the other union and conference leaders, laid plans for this major initiative. It was at this meeting the leaders set a goal to hold a Campaign in every one of the 2,152 congregations in the country and to baptize 37,000 precious souls.
The Ghana Union selected the city of Kumasi, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Accra, as the base of operations for the Campaigns that were to be conducted by this group of guest evangelists. The Ashanti are well known for their history as warriors, their role in slave trading in centuries gone by, and the riches, culture, lengthy royal dynasty, and ongoing influence and authority of the Ashanti King, Osei Tutu II.
In Toronto I also met with almost all of the presidents of our colleges and universities in North America. My invitation to them was simple--to send some of their theology students to preach evangelistic campaigns in Campaigns around the world. I agreed to a) provide them easy-to-preach sermon notes, b) raise funding to ensure that the laymen had materials to work with for months in advance, and cover basic campaign costs, thus assuring the success of each Campaign. They and/or their students would be responsible for the travel, hotel and meal expenses of each student evangelist. Subsequently, with funds donated for the purpose, the Carolina Conference purchased twenty sets of graphics equipment (computer, video projector, remote control unit, and case) to be loaned to the students.
Sixteen theology students from Southern Adventist University, in addition to their department chairman, Dr. Ron Clouzet, each preached for a Campaign in greater Kumasi area. Further, Pastor Jack Robinson from Trenton, New Jersey, and one of his church elders, Brian Hadley, also preached a Campaign. Finally, in addition to a Campaign preached by retired pastor Glenn Hill, from Gentry, Arkansas, I also conducted a Campaign, bringing the total Campaigns preached by guest evangelists (pictured below) to twenty one. Obviously, these were a very tiny proportion of the 2,152 Campaigns being preached across the nation, the vast majority of which were being preached by laity.
|Southern Adventist University saw the potential benefit for the future ministry of their students if they had each experienced preaching themselves (instead of listening to someone else preach) a successful evangelistic Campaign. So during SAU's spring break, Dr. Ron Clouzet (right), chairman of the theology department, brought sixteen students with him to Kumasi, Ghana and all of them, including Dr. Clouzet, preached their own Campaigns.|
|Over the years my respect for Elder Mensah (left) grew as I saw what he
did with the "Africa Roof Project." Funded by the
McNeilus family, this project offered roofing material for churches if
they secured land, raised walls, provided lumber for the roof structure
and agreed to conduct an evangelistic campaign immediately after the
church was closed in. As a result of Elder Mensah's visionary and
aggressive leadership more than 1,540 churches were completed.
Subsequently he and the McNeilus family joined forces again and built
110 new schools!
In the picture to the left Elder Mensah is giving some general orientation to the guest evangelists who had just arrived in Kumasi.
|In addition to the group from Southern Elder Jack Robinson (in the green shirt on the right), pastor of the Central Church in Trenton, New Jersey came with Brian Hadley (in red shirt), a church elder, and each of them preached a Campaign. Ms. Jackie Sisson also came from Trenton and every night made a presentation on family life to one of the two Campaigns.|
|In the six years since Elder & Mrs. Glenn Hill (left) retired, after more than 40 years in the ministry, they have conducted almost 30 evangelistic Campaigns around the world. During the last several Campaigns Dr. Clifford Luddington, a retired orthopedic surgeon, and Steve Jenkins, who operates Meadow Springs, a Lifestyle Center located near Redding, California, have been responsible for the health presentations each evening.|
|The Southern students flew all night from Atlanta to Frankfurt where I met them, after also having flown all night from Washington D.C. The were "scattered" (below) on the floor awaiting the departure of Lufthansa's all-day flight to Accra. Before taking off most (but not all) of the group awakened enough to pose for a picture.|
|After a few hours of sleep in Accra we boarded vehicles, provided by the Ghana Union, for the 5-hour drive north to Kumasi.|
|Tuesday, March 6, Ghana celebrated its 44th year of independence. A massive crowd gathered at the stadium in Kumasi (left, below) to celebrate the occasion with parades of students, including those from the local Adventist Secondary School (right, below).|
|Monday, March 12, Eunice Samaah came from Agona to meet with us, at the invitation of Pastor Jack Robinson. She told the incredible story of her eighteen years as a devil priestess, described the "services" she performed, and told how many charismatic pastors had come to her home at night, paid for demonic power to accompany their ministry, and purchased talismans to be buried in their churches! Then she told the awesome story of the dreams she had which led her to Christ and the Sabbath truth, and how hundreds of those she previously served as a priestess have been brought to Christ through her witness.|
|On the last Tuesday the group took a few hours off to visit the Ashanti Museum (below, 1st row, left), went to a nearby village that specializes in making "Kente" cloth and where Elder Mensah modeled some for us (1st row, right), and concluded with a visit to the Minister for the Ashanti Region (below, 2nd row, left). While driving through Kumasi a "boat under construction" caught my attention (2nd row, right).|
|On the last Friday morning of the Campaign most of the guest evangelists went to the palace from which the Ashantahene, King of the Ashanti, rules his nation. Before touring the museum the group gathered on the palace grounds for a group photo. Then (2nd row below) we met the king, Osei Tutu II, and his court.|
|Excitement an expectation was in the air, Sabbath, March 17. This was the day of the mass baptism. Busses were contracted to take the candidates to a nearby lake, plans were laid. Needless to say, all the guest-evangelists longed to see the fruits of their labors.|
|The group decided to take the longer way to
Accra on Sunday in order to visit two historic sites. `So after
packing to leave and a VERY few hours rest, we met at 4:30 a.m. to load our luggage and equipment into
the truck that would take it to the Accra airport where we would meet it
later that afternoon. Meanwhile we drove southwest to the coast in
order to visit two historic castles (below). Each of these old
fortresses were important due to the role they played in the slave trade
and bear witness to the extreme levels of cruelty to which man will
descend. After enjoying a farewell luncheon provided by the Ghana
Union, we went to the airport, said goodbye to our hosts and hear
friends, and boarded the
flights for home. One of the most frequent topics of conversation
during this day was how each guest evangelist might participate in this
type of an experience again and bring fellow pastors or laymen to
capture the same vision.
While the rest of the group headed for home, after an all-night wait due to a delayed flight, I made my way to Nairobi to lay plans for a similar Campaign in the early part of 2002.
From Ghana Church Leaders: News from all the Campaign sites in the South-Central Ghana Conference indicate that the Spirit of God is using all the Guest Preachers mightily. They are presenting truth-filled gospel messages of the Seventh-day Adventist faith and doctrine to their hearers with power to their admiration and understanding. The materials provided these guest evangelists has been beneficial. Interest has been sustained. A lot of people have taken Jesus as their Saviour and King of their lives. They have decided to follow Christ's example in baptism and join His Remnant Church. The old church members have also been revived. We praise God for their ministry and pray that the programme becomes a yearly affair by His grace. Amen Pastor Israel Nana-Tuffour, President, South-Central Ghana Conference.
On behalf of the various churches in which Student Evangelists were sent to conduct the Campaigns; and the Organisers of the Campaigns, the Administration of the Central Ghana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists wishes to emphatically say to all those who in diverse ways made the coming of these Student Evangelists possible that, your decisions have been blessed.
Many of us here doubted the delivery or the performance of such young student evangelists at their face value, not knowing that although they were young, their messages, postures and presentation of the Biblical facts were as matured as any of our renowed preachers. Reports reaching this office from the various campaign sites indicate that the church members as well as non-member listeners are calling for the continuation of the campaigns.
Today marked the climax of the three-week spirit-filled Campaigns. You need not be told, the scene of the mass baptism was historic and reminiscent of Pentecost day in the Bible. I hope one of you would spare time to watch some captured spectacular scenes in admiration and confirmation of this report.
The students really portrayed their God-given talents. There is no doubt that they will grow up to be great preachers for our Lord.
We therefore recommend for more of such exposures to ensure their total development. It would also be much appreciated if they could come again next year to see how the churches so planted and souls son won for the Lord are being nurtured.
It is our prayer that the end-time prophesy for the younger generation be fulfilled till the end of the world. May we all stay blessed. In the Lord's Vineyard, Pastor Abraham Peter Mensah, President, Central Ghana Conference.
From Guest Evangelists: Do you want to be inspired and excited about soul winning? It doesn't happen by sitting at home and expecting others to bring the Gospel to the world. I have long wanted to lead people to Christ, but haven't known how, and I haven't had the guts to step out in faith. I have heard about many different methods to lead people to Christ, but have never seen it happen. A major reason has been because I never thought that I had enough experience and qualifications.
Going to Ghana was the best thing that could have happened to me. My eyes have been opened to see a church who are working for a cause. It is a deception to think that I went there to inspire the church to work for God. They have inspired me. The whole church is working as a body that is bringing people to Jesus. When the whole church goes out to do evangelism, there will be growth.
I know that whether I went there or not makes little difference when it comes to them winning souls, but It made a huge difference when it came to me being inspired to win souls. By practicing, I have learned practical ways how the church can win souls. I didn't have much faith in myself as a soul winner, but working as an evangelist, has forced me to trust God more. I have learned that He can use anyone, as long as they try. Now I am eager to go back into my secular part of the world and work for God. Working in evangelism opened my vision. So do you want to be inspired and excited about soul winning? Then take your first chance to do it, and go out as an evangelist. You don't have to be experienced, only willing. Tobias Edlund, (Southern Adventist University)
The greatest recommendation I can give to follow in our steps to do evangelism in a third-world country is to tell you what I have learned of Jesus firsthand. Jesus is the Lord of the harvest who is moved with compassion for his harassed and scattered children. His compassion grips my heart when I see cripples, the diseased, the poverty stricken break out into clapping and rejoicing at the picture of Jesus coming on the clouds. I'd never known hope until I saw hardship. Working with the set of sermons and adjusting them under limited time demands has been difficult. But pastors to children respond to the messages with gratitude. If you've never preached an evangelistic series, if you've never made a call for people to come to the front in decision, then you are a lot like I was. This task is impossible for you. But praise God that He does not call us to possible tasks, but to impossible ones, so that His strength can shine through our weakness. God wants to use your brokenness to glorify His name, will you step out in faith? Will you step out of your comfort zone to bring the lost the comfort of knowing Jesus' compassion? I pray you will say yes.
"The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together." (Matt 9:37-38; John 4:35-36) -Billy Gager (Southern Adventist University.)
I've have found that if I want to grow in my walk with Christ, I need to put myself in situations where I'm out of my comfort zone. It is only then that I sense my complete need for full dependence on God. As part of an evangelistic team of students, laymen, pastors, and the local people of Ghana, West Africa, I have experienced the power of God in ways I never have before. Learning to give everything over to God and leaving it in His hands is never easy as humans, but doing a two-week outdoor evangelistic series has re-enforced for me that it is the only way live. You never know what is going to happen…will you have electricity…will the generator work…will it be windy and rain…will the equipment function. The Devil works hard, but Christ is more powerful and He works things out for the best no matter what happens. Seeing the primitive Godliness that the local church people have is refreshing. Playing with the kids, talking to the people, and praying with them I have received a greater blessing than the one I came to give. Seeing God's Spirit draw people to Him during the altar calls and seeing souls won to Him has reaffirmed for me that God's work is still going forward. It's an awesome thing to surrender yourself to God and allow His Holy Spirit use you to win souls to Him.
If you want to deepen your relationship with Christ and rekindle the fire in your heart to win souls for Him, I'd strongly recommend doing one of these trips. Your Christian walk will never be the same. If you think you don't have what it takes and think you can't do it, read Mark 10:27 and then ask yourself why you are still sitting there. Brian K. Hadley, Youth Elder, Trenton English SDA Church, Trenton, NJ
Before I left The United States, I had no Idea that God's plan was as powerful as I have experienced it. As soon as we arrived to the country of Ghana, the blessings and the challenges began to come in. Immediately, I knew that this was to be a great evangelistic endeavor, because the Evil one was not happy with what was going on. It has been a life changing experience for my life, and my ministry to daily interact with the people of my church in Atonsu Kumasi and to teach them about Jesus and His plan for their lives. The things that I have experienced have affected me deep inside. The loudest experience that I have had occurred every day when Christ-hungry people approached me and with the voice of their needs simply asked for what Jesus has to offer. I am reminded of Matthew 11:28. What is amazing about these people is that they have come to Jesus and have taken upon themselves His burden so He could give them rest. The people of Ghana want the rest that Christ has to offer and Christ brought that through us. I have been used and reused by the Lord on this trip and all I can say is "here I am Lord, use me." If any one desires to have their life changed, and if any one desires to establish a true genuine view of the world through the eyes of Jesus then come and evangelize the people that Jesus has died for. Manuel Ojeda (Southern Adventist University)
Satan is strong . . . but God is STRONGER!!! Sunday, March 4 Satan sent the biggest tropical storm to town Santase. I have never seen so much water in such a short period of time! We had to cancel our 4th meeting of the evangelistic series! Yet, God sent forty souls to seat in the rain, praying for the strange looking Asian-evangelist in Africa. Friday, March 9 Satan burnt my Dell 3800 Pentium III notebook computer! Computer's electricity converter was smoking because of 300 volts power generated by broken portable diesel generator. I could no longer do my Power-point presentation! Yet, God fixed the computer, so that I could work with the batteries. Sabbath, March 10 Satan sent another storm, tropical storm II. This time, my translator and I didn't give up! We've preached in the rain. People were OK, but the brand new Panasonic 501U LCD projector was soaked in water. Satan killed the projector. Yet, God sent us another projector! Santase church had a projector for the satellite meetings. Sunday, March 11, Satan killed the second projector! My heart was broken when I saw smoke rising from the projector instead of pictures coming out . . . Yet, God successfully preached the 'State of the dead' sermon without the Power-point presentation. Monday, March 12, Satan sent a semi-truck to run over our meeting site. It ruined our electric wires and it busted our fluorescent lights, our only source of light! Yet, the very same night, under the moonlight, baptism was preached! God called people to baptism. We had over forty-one people answered to the call . . . in one night!!! These are only few of the miracles that happened to me in Ghana. Satan works pretty hard, but God is stronger!!! I would like to encourage all the SDA youth leaders to experience this awesome God! Enoch (Chang Hi) Lee (Southern Adventist University)
The Ghana field school with Elder Folkenberg and Dr. Clouzet has been so scary and wonderful. I was petrified about preaching an evangelistic series! But I've been equipped and empowered through this trip, and now I love it! I've learned to be determined in preaching the word, come rain or shine no matter the time or cost. My brothers have preached while getting soaking wet in the rain. Nothing can stop the Word! I've appreciated learning from Elder Folkenberg about managing the masses, power point presentations, lay involvement in evangelism, and so much more. I've had so much fun doing this that I wrote my fiancée and suggested that maybe during our honeymoon we could hold an evangelistic series in Latin America. It's in the blood! Praise God! Chris Sorensen (Southern Adventist University)
I can't do justice in one paragraph what I've learned. But I guess that what I've learned the most is that, as Christians, we have to have a passion and dedication to souls. If there is no passion for people, then there is no soul winning. I'm learning that the goal of our faith isn't so we can get cool things...the goal of our faith is the salvation of souls. (1Pet.1:9) People here see it in black and white...I wish Americans could see it that way. Jason Foster and I asked a man at the airport if he new Jesus and he put it simply, "Oh yes, you know Jesus...you live!" That sums it up for the way things are here. People want hope...not religion. People want a God who cares...not a God who's picky about little things. And when these people are introduced to this God, then they turn their city upside down. They can't help but keep it in that they have found salvation from evil...the salvation of their souls. I'm praying that Americans can catch the full dose of Christianity the way that these people have. When we catch this vision pushing broken down cars through the streets won't matter...living in less than perfect conditions won't matter, being dirty won't matter. The only thing that will matter is getting to the place where we can tell someone about Jesus. There's a lot that we can learn from those who have fewer possessions than we do. I praise the Lord for all he has taught me here. Religion isn't about what God can do for me...it's about what I will allow Him to do through me. David Anchata (Southern Adventist University)
"Coming to Ghana has been one of the best experiences of my life! I love the people and their culture. I have seen their love for evangelism and that love has inspired me with a new love for God's work. It was intimidating at first, and I realized even from the first night that they don't need me as much as I need them. But now I have gained experience in evangelism and church ministry that I would have never gained if I had not come here. I have seen that everyone in the church is involved! And that is why this program here is such a success. I am completely sold out to this idea of evangelism by the whole church body. And if I ever have the privilege of doing this again, I will! I have even talked to my father and brother (who are minister's) to come with me next time!" Glenn Aguirre (Southern Adventist University)
Honestly, nothing I have done has ever been more grueling, more humiliating, more tiring and more rewarding than this work. Furthermore, I have learned about my limits; I have learned about what I am capable of doing and I have learned that this isn't much. But more importantly, I have seen just a little piece of what the Holy Spirit is willing to do through my life. This experience has given me a chance to see ministry in action, to fall in love with my Bible all over again and to find a new and interesting culture to grow with and enjoy. Being here has trained me and shaped me and I will value it for the rest of my ministry. Michael Messervy (Southern Adventist University)
Since retiring five years ago after 41 years as a pastor, evangelist and director of various conference departments, Mary Alice and I have conducted more than 25 evangelistic series outside the USA. We have also helped finance several others by people in their local fields.
It has been the most rewarding ministry that has ever engaged our total resources of time, energy and finances. The series we are now conducting in Ghana has been very special because of working alongside young theology students from Southern Adventist University and hearing some of the instruction given them by the Ghanaian leaders, their teacher, Dr. Ron Clouzet, and Elder Robert Folkenberg who organized the program. Their youthful energy and dedication has been and is an inspiration. It gives the feeling that the future of our SDA work will be in good hands as they assume the leadership positions that become available. The best kind of retirement that I know about is active participation in sharing the Gospel around the world. The assistance from The Quiet Hour and various friends who volunteered to help has made it possible. Pastor Glenn and Mary Alice Hill
As an alumnus of Southern, it has been a thrill to be associated with the young senior theological students from SAU here in Ghana. They have been Christian gentlemen--enthusiastic to learn by instruction and experience. Their spirituality has been an inspiration to me as I see them head out equipped to their assigned church to speak. They return three hours later looking tired, but excited by what is happening. I have renewed faith in the future of our church. In a few weeks I will be 80 years old, and have participated in 14 overseas programs. All have been inspiring in their own way. But to see 14 young ministers in training with their young professor, join with local leaders, ministers and Bible workers, and under the blessing of the Holy Spirit harvest hundreds of decisions for Christ. I have to sit back and say, "What hath God wrought?" With my Ghanaian brothers and sisters I give a loud "Alleluia, Amen!" Dr. Cliff Ludington
Praise God for the vision and the encouragement of men like Elder Robert Folkenberg and Elder P.O. Mensah of the Ghana Union to develop the program of Global Evangelism in the nation of Ghana, West Africa and around the world. As a local pastor in Trenton, New Jersey it was a great privilege to go to Ghana taking with me one of the Elders and the Youth Director from the Trenton church. To present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Agona, Ghana has changed my life. Not only has a new vision of mission for evangelism been renewed in my heart, but this experience has caused me to long for the Second Coming of Jesus even more. Our lay leaders and pastors need to experience the thrill of evangelism that has been lost for so long in the states. I return to my church with blessings abundant and the joy of seeing over 200 souls won for the kingdom. Pastor Jack Robinson, Trenton English SDA Church, Trenton, New Jersey
This experience has been a first for me in many ways. It is my first time on a foreign mission project, evangelistic Campaign or otherwise, as well as my first public speaking experience. My faith and my passion for spreading the gospel has been tripled as a result of seeing what the Holy Spirit has done for me. I have seen first hand that all you need is a heart that is willing to be used by God, then He will do the rest. I have been presenting 15 minute talks on "God's Plan for Today's Families" before the main sermon each night. I've found that when I speak, the words are not my own, otherwise they would be awkward or stuttered out of my mouth. Instead, they seem to flow from my lips. I know it is the Holy Spirit inspiring me. I don't need to be here for the people of this land, for they have a highly organized and spiritual SDA program already in place. It is for my growth and my development in my Christian walk that I need to be here. I believe that all lay people and leaders in the church should experience what I have just experienced. I am now ready to come home and spark enthusiasm for God's Word in my youth department and church in general. This experience has brought refreshment to my understanding of Jesus and has increased my usefulness in working for Him.. Jackie Sisson, Youth Director, Trenton English SDA Church, Trenton, NJ.
Do you remember how you reacted when you heard that several hundred or a thousand people were baptized? I know when I heard of these stories I couldn't help but think how awesome it would be to be part of a Campaign with those kinds of results. Here I am in Ghana and we are approaching the last Sabbath when we have planned a mass baptism for all those who are ready to make that decision for Christ. It is hard to believe that just a few weekends ago I was hurled out of my comfort zone and found myself standing in front of 500plus crowd of people who had come to hear the evangelist from America. It is amazing how God uses us when we realize how small we really are and decide to fall on His grace. He is truly awesome! How awesome is the God who can take a senior theology student and do His work in a foreign land, far from home. How He takes the fears and enables you to preach night after night about a Son who was sent to die for the whole world. I have been blessed to be a small part here in Ghana. I wish others could have shared this experience. It has been life changing. Ted Struntz (Southern Adventist University)
To all who are viewing this note, should believe every word as true and that words cannot explain half the experience. When I found out that I would preach in Ghana I was filled with trepidation. However, I trusted that God would carry me since only the almighty could. I have many excuses why I could not, but God said trust me. And ever since the embankment on the trip until the end I have been learning to trust God in a deeper way. I have learned to trust God so much, that it was getting dangerously close to neglect on my part, however, I was quickly disciplined by God. Anything that God put in your path concerning ministry never, never, never shy away because God is able. For me this is the largest giant step I have ever made in my life and for the rest of my life it will ever be a shining beacon. It will always be the propeller of inspiration as to what God can do with nothing. Whatever you imagined as an impossibility with your life and God; please go a little farther ahead of the impossibility and then rest in God see his Salvation. Leon Smith (Southern Adventist University)
My experience in Ghana was purely evangelistic. If anyone has a burden for souls and is willing to be a mouth-piece of the Lord, I would encourage them to stretch his/her barriers that the gospel of Jesus Christ may go out. It was a wonderful experience to be a witness of people making decisions as a result of my preaching, which the Holy Spirit has impressed upon the hearts of the people. The preaching night after night was less of a burden than I first thought. God has thoroughly bless me in this process so that in the future I know much more in what to do in holding public evangelistic meetings. I thank God for this opportunity that is only the starting point of future experience in the business of winning souls for Christ. As a result of these meetings, I have found it much easier to preach Christ more openly and powerfully-which is what America needs. This has been a tremendous way for me to gain the much needed experience in evangelism to give me the confidence I need to go back and win people in the United States in the name of Jesus Christ. Brad Cauley (Southern Adventist University)
Ghana... What an experience. It is hard to explain because it is an experience. If someone else wants to understand what I do about this situation, they can only experience it themselves. If one wants to know about the power of prayer, and how even a week man like me can ask boldly in the name of Christ, and God answers with an unmatchable strength, they must experience it. If one wants to know about what it is to preach in the rain and say I don't care, we are going to preach because God is more powerful than the rain and Satan. They must experience it. If one wants to witness as the Holy Spirit invites fourteen souls to meet them in the pouring rain to give their lives to baptism, one has to experience it to understand. I invite all to be witnesses for God and experience Him. If one has the desire, join a trip like evangelism in Ghana and experience the power of God. If one would really let God, He can change your experience. He can change your life. Jason Foster (Southern Adventist University)
The greatest invitation Jesus gives is when He says, "Follow Me." We can respond like the rich young ruler or we can be like the disciples and forsake all and follow Him. The greatest joy for a Christian is to see souls accepting salvation in Jesus Christ. This is also mandatory for our own salvation. The grace we receive we must impart to others. To truly "follow" Him means we put the salvation of souls above our own life. We become like Jesus. I praise God for letting me have this experience in Ghana. I have once again heard the invitation from Jesus, "Follow Me." Christopher W. Bullock (Southern Adventist University)
There is no experience in this world as exciting as seeing mature men and women making solid decisions for our Lord Jesus Christ. After preaching about the Sabbath and making a call I will never forget looking into the eyes of one of the men who came forward. He had a look of excitement and determination in his eyes. He was making a stand for Jesus and he was determined that nothing was going to stop him from making that choice.
Hundreds and thousands of people have been involved in preparation for this Campaign. They have worked very hard and the Holy Spirit has blessed. It is a wonderful blessing that God allows us as sinful human beings to be a part of bringing others to Christ. What an awesome opportunity.
I am reminded that I am nothing more than an instrument of the Lord. It is up to the Lord how, when, and for how long he plays me. I am under the control of God. It is only when God is in control that we can be used. I praise God that He has allowed me to be a part of His work. Adam Case (Southern Adventist University)
I came to Africa expecting to experience something new and exciting. I expected to see God work in a mighty way. I expected to learn many practical things about public evangelism. What I did not expect, was to have a paradigm shift in my thinking about church ministry.
Watching the church operate here is like stepping into a time machine and watching the church operate in her early days. The church members here place their responsibility to the church in a very high position. The people do not see the church as an entity responsible for meeting their needs. Rather, they see themselves as responsible for meeting the needs of the community through the church mechanism. This is not the way we are used to thinking about the church in North America.
As much as I have enjoyed preaching out in the streets to hundreds of people, and as much as I have enjoyed seeing a part of the world that is different than what I am used to, what I have most enjoyed is watching the church members here work together, giving their time and energies to the church. I have learned that the way to have church unity is by being evangelistic minded. When you are working together to save souls, it is hard to find time to disagree over matters unimportant to that objective.
Everything we did here in Africa was outside my comfort zone. I have learned that it is healthy to stretch my comfort zone. I hope that I can take home with me a willingness to try new and radical things in order to save souls. I hope even more that I am able to help others be more comfortable sharing their faith with others. I believe that once people experience the joy of being a part of a team that did something impossible for God, their faith will never be the same again. Roger Schmidt (Southern Adventist University).