On May 24, I departed on a trip which lasted nearly two weeks. All were excited for the opportunity to be reunited once again after an extended absence. My goal on this visit was to make the rounds to all six congregation regions in Ghana, touching base with the local leadership and seeing as many of the brethren as possible.
A good portion of this trip was spent on the road. Office manager Henry Aikins and I journeyed together throughout the southern half of Ghana, making stops all along the way to encourage God’s people and to reinforce the leadership in their service to the brethren. Staying in different lodging each night and experiencing various adventures on the highway was all par for the course on this trip. We were grateful for God’s protection and provision each day.
The first Sabbath was spent with the Yeji brethren. Yeji is the northernmost congregation in Ghana. It is situated on Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world by surface area. A number of our members take wooden ferries across the lake in order to assemble on the Sabbath day. Fishing and farming support the region and are also the primary livelihood for most of our members there.
At each stop, the leaders shared with me some of the challenges this past year has brought to Ghana.
Mercifully, there was very little impact on church members’ health from the virus itself. We thank God for that great blessing. However, the economic toll from the pandemic-related restrictions has created an increasingly difficult financial situation for all in the West Africa region. Some of our church members have lost their jobs, while others are finding it difficult to even sell their crops and goods at market due to the depressed economy. As a result of the decline in tax revenue, the Ghanaian government has imposed what many are calling a “COVID tax,” which has been attached to a number of services and goods that were not previously taxed. This has added additional weight to an already stressed system.
Through it all, God’s people are holding fast! We discussed a better day that is coming for the whole world—the Kingdom of God. They all yearn earnestly for that day. It is a focus that is especially encouraging in the midst of challenging circumstances.
Traveling through the coastal region of Ghana gave us the opportunity to visit the building projects for the Kwanyako and Winneba congregations. These two projects are the recipients of an Ambassador Bible College and LifeNets fundraiser. Kwanyako has recently completed the construction of the walls to their new church hall, which will also serve as a community center. Winneba is upgrading their current structure to include plumbed washrooms, as well as a perimeter wall surrounding their complex. Both congregations are grateful for the generosity of others which has made these projects possible.
My last Sabbath in Ghana was spent with the Accra congregation, before returning home to the United States on June 6. Further details and pictures surrounding this trip are contained within a June 12 video sermon at ucg.org titled, “You Shall Be a Blessing” (see link in box below).
The brethren in Ghana wish to thank you all for your love, prayers and support on their behalf. They truly feel connected to you all as brothers and sisters in Christ.