[Anyinam, Ghana – 24 Sept. 1113lt, Saturday] – The first week of our ministry is behind us. It has been marked by excitement, frustration, joy, and humility. It has been a time of education and enlightenment.
The people in this part of the country are seemingly more distant and apprehensive of us than any other place we have been in Ghana. People along the roads are far less likely to wave as we pass by or greet us as we enter the villages. There is almost a seeming resentment at our being here. As we have talked with them we have discovered why this is the case.
The area where we are ministering has recently been a place where gold has both been discovered and mined. While one might think this would be good economic news for the place quite the opposite is true.
Apparently “the whites,” not necessarily Americans, came into this area, ravaged the land for gold, destroyed the land, left it in turmoil, and then moved on to a new part of the country to repeat the process. The villages here say that this once fertile cropland is now, not only useless for farming but, is contaminated as a result of the mining. The local villages have did not receive any of the profits from the mining. One villager told us, “When we see the whites we believe they are coming to take something from us.” This sad fact has been difficult to overcome.
It is by God’s grace that we have been able to slowly overcome this stigma. I am thankful that God has allowed us to be in this place – at this time. Dr. David Ney and his dental ministry gave us the opportunity to show people the love of God in a very personal way. As he set up his dental chair and provided free service to the locals they have responded in apparent disbelief. The idea that we are providing this service freely has opened doors for the Gospel. Over and over again the tribal people have expressed relief and gratitude for the service that Dr. David has provided. You will also be happy to know that each patient receiving dental care has also personally heard the Gospel, presented by Dr. Sammy Lartey. Sammy has set with each person and, opening the scriptures, shared the Gospel with every one of them. All in all, 125 precious souls were added to the Kingdom through the dental clinics. This is personal evangelism at its best!
Every team member is serving effectively on this project. James McLean and Nick Ollila have preached every night in separate film crusades and are doing excellent. Jeff and I have been averaging 10 school venues each day. Thus far our total team has been in 53 different ministry venues where we have seen over 7,700 individuals indicate their first-time decision for Christ.
Dr. David has left the project site this morning and is returning home to his practice in Concord, NC. Pray for his safety in travel and adjustment back into the American culture. The rest of the team is scheduled to be in Ghana through next Saturday. Please pray for our continued health, safety, strength, and security. Who know what tomorrow holds? We are thankful that we know WHO holds tomorrow.