Ghana (August 29-September 9) greatly exceeded our expectations.
Each year the leaders have a conference and select speakers from around the world. I was privileged to be one of the two keynote speakers this year at the two conferences. The theme was “Staying Focused on the Divine Agenda: A wake-up call,” We all concluded that this means preaching Christ. The first conference was held for 5 days in Accra and had 1,000 pastors and leaders in attendance. I spoke at the host church on Sunday and then we spent nearly 6 hours in a van, on rough roads transferring to our next conference. The second was also a 5 day conference in Kumasi and had 300 pastors and leaders. The average sized church was approx. 200 with some of the churches numbering in the thousands.
Arlie Francis, Don Vinez and I all considered the exponential result which could number into the hundreds of thousands that could be impacted in the congregations represented. Arlie and Don were both touched by the trip and each man was greatly used of God. Arlie had an opportunity to minister a number of times to the entire group as well as speaking at local churches and even a university crowd the last Thursday night. Don related so well, behind the scenes, to so many individuals and received some nice emails from men whose lives and families he touched. Arlie wrote this about the personal impact of the trip: “In many ways this trip to Ghana sparked a revolution in me. Having recently resigned as the Executive Director of an international Bible teaching ministry in February, my time since then has been invested in investigating the disciple making process revealed in the Bible and building a ministry plan for a new work called Disciple Daily. I went thinking I had much to impart to the people I would meet. How prideful. What I discovered was that I still have much to learn. God introduced me to humble, useful, servants of the King and the work He is doing through them. I firmly believe that God is going to use some of the men we met to hugely affect the whole African continent. He will do this because they are completely sold out. For the Lord to use my life the way he is using some of these men, I will have to completely die to myself so that He alone will live. I am praying for that now. Who knows how the Lord will use this, where He will lead me? Right now, I certainly don’t… but I can’t wait to find out!” Arlie engaged well with both the pastors and the students. To find out more about his ministry you can reach him at Afrancis(at)discipledaily.org. I found the support of the two of them to be invaluable.
The organizer of the conference, Ben Boateng, wrote the following: ”I greet you warmly in Jesus name. We are thankful to God for taking you back safely to join your families. We enjoyed our time with you, Don and Arlie immensely. This letter comes to express our deep appreciation to you for being vessels of honor the Lord found useful to rightly divide His word to a number of Pastors in Ghana. The Pastors, Christian Leaders and other participants from a cross section of the Christian community who attended the conference were very blessed by your expositions and practical delivery. We pray and hope to see this translated into improvement in their ministries and the extension of God’s kingdom at large. Our desire is that, the conferences will not become a yearly ritual, but rather participants (all of us) will grow in our personal knowledge of the Lord and become more and more conformed to His image. The more we become like Him in life, the more and more we will be able to express Him clearly. Once again “THANK YOU” for your partnership or contribution towards the success of the Accra and Kumasi conferences. Indeed our gratitude to you and your colleagues knows no bounds. The Lord bless you.”
Again we want to thank you for making trips like this possible. We invite your prayers for us as we plan for the future. The need is great and the opportunities are endless, but we want to be where we can reap the greatest eternal harvest. C.T Studd, who was converted to Christ under the ministry of D.L. Moody, became a famed and fortune cricket player in England. He gave up his fortune and sailed to China and later founded the “Heart of Africa Mission.” He once said, “We have all of eternity to celebrate our victories, but only one brief moment to win them.” The Lord Jesus Himself said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” John 9:4 This age is rapidly coming to a close. We must be about His Divine agenda. God bless each and every one of you.
Pastor Steve for the Team, and for SSI