Our first month in Ghana has been amazing: Filled with stretching, pruning and prayer; many “in-roads”, opportunities and relationships – Opposition, brokenness and the favor of the Lord. With each new step of obedience and surrender we find the Lord’s gentle hand – providing for us; teaching us and refining us. We heard this phrase recently – “New level – new devil”. As cliché-ish as this sounds, we believe there is some truth in it.
On our 2nd day in Ghana God blessed us with 3 great local friends. God has used them to provide for our every need. In their service to the Lord they have loved and served us like we have never experienced before. We will share more about them and what God is doing in the future. We’ve heard it said that “God loves to dress himself up in human skin”; and with all the doctrinal implications aside, we believe there is truth in this statement. “…you are the temple of the Holy Spirit”… “you are the body of Christ”… ”you are a dwelling place in which His Spirit lives”… ”but the Father who dwells in me does the works…he who believes in me, will do what I have been doing… and even more…my Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home in him.”(John 14:10-27) etc…
God provided a 2 bedroom house in very good condition for $500.00 per month rent. The owner is a former Political Ministry Official who is a brother in The Lord and a respected, influential man. God gave us immediate favor with him. The standard lease/rent in Ghana is a 2 year contract which is paid in full up front, occasionally a 1 year is given. He offered us a 3 month initial deposit with monthly payments, and when we wish to terminate, to give him 3 months notice if possible and just live out the balance of the money or get a refund if necessary. The owner also included a large 15 K generator (strong enough for multiple homes with A/C), 2 beds and a dresser, double water tower/tank, water pump, kitchen cabinets, a/c units and some curtains (usually none of these are included or if they are the price is very high). This is a blessing from God and unheard of in Ghana.
We have lived in the house for a while, with just the bed. Our neighbors, the friends and partners we mentioned earlier, have blessed us with everything we’ve needed. We haven’t been able to ask them for anything, they seem to know and take initiative often times before we even fully recognize a need. God has used them greatly and “He is greatly to be praised”. We still need to furnish the house with appliances, some furniture and a vehicle. We have friends helping with this and are waiting for God’s timing and leading. We care little for these things anymore, as if some of the “things of earth are growing strangely dim.” – “owning nothing yet possessing everything”; yet there is such joy and opportunity to love people in this “shopping” process. “He makes all things new.”
Last week 4 neighbor’s came to church and Sim’on accepted Christ, and wants to be discipled. Disciple’s not just decisions! The entire household has committed to going to church this weekend. A dozen people committed to come to church this weekend and many neighbors are waiting to start home bible study. Gary has had the opportunity to work as a volunteer with some of the local workers, which touched and encouraged them. A muslim young man was so impacted that he asked us if he could come to church with us because he has never met whites like us before; very humbling to hear this kind of thing. “the hope of glory, Christ in you.” He speaks Arabic (and a few other languages), so he also really enjoys connecting with siham. It is very exciting and humbling to see God working in those around us.
There is a large Lebanese population in Ghana and God has connected us with over a dozen middle eastern folks already. They are so excited to find out siham’s background and there is an instant connection; after all it’s not everyday you meet: a born again Palestinian from Ramallah who went through the six day war, was delivered from a bus bombing, is on fire for God and has a passion for people! (that’s our girl – so proud of her) Siham is building many relationships with both the Ghanaian and Lebanese women. We pray that we can say with confidence and appropriate humility to others; “follow me as I follow Christ”, we pray,,, please pray with us.
“Let your light shine before men, that they will see your good works and praise your Father in heaven.”
We’ve had some experience’s in West Africa and seen those who are “Christians” or “seekers” but not for the sake of following Christ. In Ghana, we are seeing a sincere desire for God. “Look to the fields, they are ripe for harvest”.
Gary and another young man, are developing a friendship. He asked Gary to train him, which opened the door for hearing how gary’s martial art training was competing with his relationship with God and Gary stopped training 20 years ago. After expressing gratitude for being asked, Gary committed to pray and seek God’s heart on this. The other day he asked about prayer and they had a great conversation about how Jesus prayed, what He modeled and taught, and how He prayed in the garden. “Not as I will, but what you will”. He then opened up his life and some deep hurts to Gary and his heart has become tender. 3 weeks ago, He was proud of his Islamic stance and now he is not only open to the Bible and to Jesus but he is also asking questions. We already love him and have much compassion for him, please pray for his salvation.
siham & gary