The rains have come and so have the mud, the bugs and the wet laundry. When the weather is dry, laundry will dry in minutes on the line, even with the humidity. During rainy season, well that is another story. When it rains, which is often and heavy from now until August, things move slow and even shut down, similar to MI in the winter. God has recently provided us with a 1997 Hyundai Galloper. It was by far the most cost effective vehicle for $4,000.00 U.S. (vehicles are very expensive here because if import costs), not so pretty but pretty strong. Currently it has no A/C, windshield washer, functional radio, and a few other “petty” things (petty – is how our friends refer to small things). We have been doing some small work on it to eliminate the oil leakages and broken muffler, etc. We are grateful for it and also thankful that it is an off road vehicle. The roads in our area are very rough right now, we mostly creep around the neighborhood in 1st gear… and hold on …to the handles and straps.
We are continuing to meet neighbors and build friendships. We are also learning more language. When we speak to the Ghanaian people in one of their languages they light up, smile, laugh, engage and are excited and willing to teach us more and invite us to “come” or “stay”. There is still much to learn about the culture and worldview. Our love for the Ghanaian people continues to grow and humble us.
Our new brother is continuing to learn how to “follow Jesus” and “His way”. Learning to trust and obey is not without pressure, challenges and opposition. Please pray for him to be “strengthened with power in his inner being.” We believe that making the transition from dependency on ourselves, our traditions and family of origin – to dependency on God, is much the same for all of us. “There is nothing new under the sun.”
A few stories involving… money:
Most often, money “tells” where our hearts really are, where our “focus” really is.
– A young lady who sells phone units (time credits) in our neighborhood, called the other day. She went to a local carpenter we know and asked for our phone #. She said that when we were there earlier that morning, we dropped a bill and that she had it for us. This is uncommon and encouraging. 5 Ghana cedi’s is a day’s pay for most.
– A man received payment for his work with us, and he gave back a portion as a gift. We were able to pass the gift on to another who needed help. Pay it Forward – “excel in the grace of giving.”
– Another family offered to pay back money to a company that had not asked for the repayment. Most likely, they could have “gotten off “or “gotten away”, from paying it back. They decided to follow God and use complete integrity, regardless of the outcome. The lender was surprised they had asked and informed that he had already decided to dismissed the matter. Again, this is uncommon for both parties. “There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death.”
–Two families that are dear to us had a serious issue come between them, we were asked by both to pray, help and mediate. With much prayer, love and caution… we did:
One of the families is of another faith. One of them recently accepted Christ and some of the family have joined in the Sunday afternoon home study. The issue was big and painful. Tradition and law says that punishment and compensation was owed, expected, and it was offered. We watched the offended family respond with love, mercy and grace. “The law came through Moses, Grace came through Jesus Christ.” They forgave the offender and asked for reasonable accountability to fix the problem (a sin problem), and not just to punish it. They also refused the monetary compensation, not wanting “unblessed money”. This action had a profound affect on everyone. The family that returned the compensation money is a poor family, but they were seeking to honor God. The offender was awestruck, repented in brokenness and humility and agreed to accountability and counseling, which has begun. We all prayed and thanked God together. This was an amazing display of God working in all who were present. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Please pray with us for the salvation and healing of all involved. Please continue to pray for the meetings at our house. We are praying and laboring for a community of disciples. We believe that our presence is making a difference in this community.
Thank you for praying and giving to our work here. Through an intense season of challenge, change, transition and stretching; God has saved lives, sustained and met our needs. Although, the changes and transition – “on – paper”, would not confirm it. “Where God guides, He provides.”
Thank you for investing in us so that we can live among the people of Ghana; love them, serve them and God willing be a light, His light.
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” May His light shine…in spite of us!
Please remember our new brothers and us in your prayers. We need your help and prayer support. Even as we see God at work, the work is not without struggle and fierce opposition.
siham & gary
One thought on “Money Matters”
Siham and Gary, you are gift from God to Ghana. Your heart for the people in Ghana and your passion to serve set you apart as children of the living God. I know you desire to have God’s purpose for you in Ghana revealed in more definitive terms but do not doubt for a minute the impact your service is having to all of us here.
Since you first came to Ghana you have both been asked to endure many difficult trials. But through it all you have kept a humble and unwavering faith in God and stayed true to his calling on your life. Your love and compassion is what defines you and your ministry in Ghana.
I see clearly the impact your leadership and service is having on the people who surround you daily and who participate in your weekly fellowship. However, I can also testify to the selfless and compassionate impact you both have on my life. Your counseling, encouragement and friendship have kept me strong in the face of many trials in my own ministry. God is using you everyday and in powerful ways to minister, encourage and turn hearts towards him.
I can see God’s touch on your lives and thank him for his benevolent heart in bringing us together.
Your Brother in Christ,