If you missed Part 1, click here to read.
After equipping and training about 15 pastors and wives at a church in Apam on Tuesday morning (7th), I worked with the VBS ministry outreach in Ankamu that afternoon, while Debbie met privately with 2 young ladies to teach them how to train single girls in sexual purity. Teaching on sexual purity is one of the greatest needs in the Christian communities in Ghana. These ladies, Maggie and Akuse were extremely eager to grasp truth and pass it on to the girls they cared so deeply about. They had worked all day at their jobs, then rushed over to open their Bibles and take notes for an hour and half before attending church services that night. Debbie took them through different passages than were taught the night before. They asked excellent questions and desired to have the notes from what she was teaching them, and from the session taught the previous night. They requested to meet with her again later in the week. It was thrilling for Debbie to have the privilege of training ladies who so deeply loved Christ, His Word and their community.
Debbie and I went that night to Pastor's Joe's church in Ankamu. The Lord trained me in patience at all of these sessions because, most of the crowd arrives an hour and a half after the scheduled meeting time. After forty-five minutes of music services with only two to three in attendance, I am usually ready to leave and prepare for sessions scheduled
later in the week. Then the people start filing in to join the worship. The Lord showed me how little faith I had, as six married couples and about 60 singles ended up attending. So I proceeded to teach a session on marriage. Although we started late, the people were in no hurry to leave. Most of the singles had attended the purity session on Monday night. Now they could see the reasons our Lord wanted to reserve their purity for a strong future committed relationship. Each time we taught on marriage, we were delighted to sense the surprise and delight as couples realized husband and wife are to be best friends-committed companions with a common purpose ordained by God Himself. We were able to pass out a copy of our What is Marriage book to each single and couple who attended.
Wednesday morning (8th), we taught marriage principles to about 10 pastors and wives from Ankamu. Their response was very encouraging and the wives asked if they could come back to hear more the next day, even though their husbands were unable to attend. We found out Thursday that one of the ladies had gone door to door to invite people to come to this extra session.
Wednesday night, the session in Ankamu covered parenting. The crowd grew in number again. Please pray that the Christians will be diligent to apply the truths and break cultural traditions/habits that weaken the family unit. In this country and in Ghana, we have to be alert against following the norm and instead be responsible to follow the Word.
Thursday morning (9th), I went to help with the VBS team as they ministered to over 2000 children while Debbie met with the ladies who were so eager to hear more of the Word on family life. These ladies not only came ready to hear the Word, but they brought many challenging questions. We acquired a deeper concern for the difficulties families face there. Debbie was honored that the queen mother of Ankamu region attended the session and even helped with some of the translating. This was the first time either of us had spoken to royalty!
Thursday night, we traveled to Victory Bible Church in Winneba to speak on marriage. The hearts of the people were well prepared and we immediately felt a connection with the congregation. Pastor Stanley had a very obvious concern that his people and nation grasp and live out biblical truth. The church measured us and made African clothes as a gift. We were humbled and honored. As in every place we taught, we distributed our books on marriage.
Friday, we were able to take a breather and visit a rain forest where we walked across high hanging bridges. In the afternoon, we visited the world's largest slave castle in Cape Coast where we were informed and saw firsthand how African slaves were treated while awaiting to be transported on ships across the ocean. It was a fresh reminder of how treacherously depraved man can treat other precious image bearers of God.
Saturday, we traveled two hours to conduct a marriage conference for pastors and wives at Cape Coast. Attendance was excellent (about 25 pastor/church leaders) and the questions following the sessions were stimulating and showed strong desire to follow the Lord's principles in family life. We feel our efforts are multiplied when we have the opportunity to address leadership because we know they will in turn train their congregations. We were able to bless them with gifts of jewelry, ties, and marriage books that people donated to us.
On Sunday morning, I had the privilege to preach at another church in Ankamu. As you can see in the picture, the children were so excited that we were there! Be sure to checkout the video below of the children playing instruments. That afternoon, we packed and prepared to take a three-hour bus ride to the airport in Accra to return home.
We thank God that although Debbie was feeling sick the last three days, He strengthened her each time she spoke and allowed her to attend all the sessions. We thank Him for a safe uneventful trip home. We are especially proud of the teens on our team who had the boldness to sing the VBS theme song to about 200 people (at midnight) who were waiting to board the plane from Ghana back to the US (see the video below). We are grateful for pastor Bill Hegedus and the support of the entire team who traveled with us. They were a dedicated, godly group. And, we are very thankful for Pastor Joe and Andrea at the Mephiboseth Training Center who hosted us, and organized all of our ministry outreaches. They were a real blessing!
Since we returned to the states, we have received communication from several Ghana pastors who desire to build an ongoing relationship. We plan to ship more family resource materials to Pastor Joe later this fall for further distribution. Please pray the Holy Spirit will continue to bring the truths that were presented to the hearts and minds of those who heard and that they will maintain the enthusiasm to spread those truths.
A BIG THANK-YOU to all of you who helped us make this trip possible through their financial gifts and prayers.
ALL for His Glory,
Sam & Debbie Wood
Here are some additional pictures and a few videos that you might enjoy:
|Worship before a Teaching Session
|Children Playing Instruments in Church Service
Or Mail Your Donation to:
Family Fortress Ministries
PO Box 1505, Jamestown, TN 38556