February 2011 posts
Each of our team members have personal stories to share and I will leave most of them for their own time, but I will relate a few to you here.
Ruth Kandaras, while sitting in town yesterday, had a group of children approach her for conversation. As they visited and chatted she noticed the young boy holding a worn and tattered book in his hands. When she asked to see it she discovered that it was a small New Testament. There was, however, something unique about this New Testament. She said the cover and all the Gospels had been ripped off and the first page was the book of Acts. Upon further conversation with the boy she said, “O, you have a Bible,” to which they lad replied, “Yes, but I am a Muslim.” Not letting the opportunity pass her by, Ruth said, “That’s okay, I want you to read this book and learn that God loves you very much.” After some more conversation, the boy, clutching the torn New Testament tightly to his chest promised that he would read the book. We are trusting God to do something wonderful in this young boy’s life.
Craig Barker was in a deep and remote village on Saturday night. After preaching to the crowd of over 1,100 people at the evening’s film crusade, several hundred made public commitments to Jesus Christ but a particular group of young men caught Craig’s attention.
“These young men came to me and asked me for a copy of the Bible,” reported Craig. He continued, “These men explained to me that they have been Muslims all their life, but they wanted a Bible. I asked them, ‘Did you invite Jesus into your life tonight?’ With smiles on their faces they indicated that Jesus had in fact come into their lives this very night. They said, “We are Muslim, but now that we have Jesus in our hearts, we need to read more about Him.” We directed them to Pastor Ebenezer who counseled them and gave them a copy of the New Testament. We are trusting God to use these young men to share the Gospel with others.
Please continue to pray for us during our final five days of ministry here in Ghana. God certainly continues to watch over us and draw people unto Himself. All praise and adoration belong to Him!
26 February 2011
We entered the Chief’s palace where he was seated on his royal throne, which was atop the elevated base in the grand hall of the palace. His tribal Elders were seated along the front wall to either side of the Chief. Through his official linguist he greeted us and welcomed us to Atebubu and the entire area of his domain. He thanked us for taking time to come and visit with him and expressed gratitude for all the work we have been doing in the area.
These are a distinctly proud people. The Chief’s orator shared with us the fact that this kingdom has never suffered a loss in battle. Their history, which they stated goes back to the seventh century, reveals the fact that they have always been victorious in military battles. Not even the great Ashanti warriors were ever able to defeat them.
Following the time of pomp and circumstance I was afforded the opportunity to share the Gospel with those assembled. By the power of the Holy Spirit the message went forth in power and authority. At the time of invitation the Chief and every one of his Elders, with bowed heads prayed and indicated their decision to invite Jesus Christ into their lives. In fact, following this the Chief said, “Anyone can raise their hands to deceive someone, but today, I can vow that I have asked Jesus into my heart!”
It was the honor of our team to be present when this victorious Chief surrendered his battle of eternity to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Pastor Sammy Lartey in fact said to the Chief, “You are a Chief who has never lost a battle and today you have met the King who WILL never lose a battle.” Such is the daily ministry of Global Evangelism Ministries.
Through Saturday noon our teams have shared the Gospel in 89 venues where we have witnessed 21,554 indicated decisions for Christ.
Please pray for us as we enter our final week of ministry in this region. We have two film crusades scheduled for both tonight and Sunday night. Following that we have school ministry and film crusades each day through Thursday. The team is all doing very well and our health and strength is strong. Thanks be to God for His wonderful provision!
25 February 2011
Jeff Andler learned today that he was a grandfather for the second time! The news reached us this morning that “Jovie Andler” was born at 11:09pm on February 24 in Charlotte. Jovie was born to Jeremy and Holly Andler. Although this precious little girl was born a month early both she and her mom are doing fine. Congratulations to the Andler family – Grandpa is doing great too!
Tomorrow promises to be a day of much needed rest as we do not have school ministry planned. We are, however, scheduled to meet with the Village Chief and his elders sometime on Saturday. Please pray that they will hear the gospel message as we share it with them. Again, tomorrow evening we will share the gospel in two different film crusades.
24 February 2011
After about 10 minutes we turned off the road into an open field which led us into the bush. We drove and drove through the bush – sometimes with no reminder of even a path. Eventually we came upon a cluster of mud huts where we stopped and asked a few questions. The lady of the place spoke clearly to our pastor and apparently told us that we had missed the fork in the road. After a “photo op” we got back into our vehicle and turned around.
“Wow!” I exclaimed to Pastor Ebenezer, “I missed the fork – I didn’t even see the road.” After a good laugh, we reminded ourselves that this is the reason we come to Ghana, “To go where others refuse to go!”
After, what seemed like an eternity, we arrived at the village school. This open-air, straw roofed, building was the education center for the 20 children who lived in the village. At first, I must confess, I was feeling frustrated that we had traveled so far for such a small group of children, but the Spirit of the Lord reminded me, “Let the little children come unto Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 19:14) We shared the gospel program with the same passion and conviction as if there had been 1000 students assembled. When the invitation to Jesus was offered, all 22 people (1 teacher and 1 villager was gathered) present invited Jesus into their lives!
Over and over again pastor Ebenezer proclaimed, “I am so happy we came to this place!” Yes, these sweet people are all precious in the sight of Jesus and now have a wonderful place in our hearts.
On our travels back to the dirt road our capable driver Narh, a Ghanaian himself, kept telling us, “I could not live in this place, I would die! It is too far. It is far, far-far.” Eventually we made our way back to the first school where we had stopped and as promised, the students and called the villagers to join us for our school program. This school saw over 150 individuals indicate their decision for Christ! Thus far, in 77 different ministry venues we have witnessed 20,575 people express publically their commitment to Jesus Christ.
23 February 2011
The entire team joins me in sending our appreciation to each of you.
22 February 2011
The most wonderful thing about this project is the fact that the Muslims have been humbled by the fact that we were offering free medical care to members of their communities and villages. Over and over we have heard stories that reveal a great truth about the Gospel and genuine Christians.
A group of prominent spiritual leaders from the community shared with our team their complete lack of belief in the fact that we would actually be willing to treat them freely and without question. One Muslim leader affirmed boldly, “Your faith is real and I believe your God is real. If your God loves me like you have loved me, why should I not place my trust in Him?” Over and over again I am hearing stories about the gentle ways that our Ghanaian physicians Laud Kassim, David Mekano, and Philemon Kumasah, who have traveled all the way from Accra, are giving their time and energy in the care of these patients. Our American nurses, Ronda Brookshire and Sheila Radcliff worked with vigor and determination. Ruth Kandaras, Courtney and Matt Bolling, Mark Chase, Craig Barker, and Andy Poe were the greatest team I have ever seen assembled. I am praying that each of these team members will plan on being a part of our next medical project next February.
It has become evident to us that the Medical Clinics have spread a spirit of peace that went in from of us during all our ministry. We are convinced that without these clinics we would have been unable to travel into many of the remote areas for ministry. It seems that God has used the clinics as a peace offering to those who otherwise might have been hostile.
Never before has our ministry in Ghana seen such large numbers reported at this early stage in a project. After only four days of school ministry, 14 Jesus films, and 5 days of medical ministry we are able to report 14,364 individuals indicate their decisions for Christ. Only one Muslim school thus far refused to let us come in and talk with the students, but nearly all of them were present for the Jesus film shown on that same night. This is indeed a wonderful project. Please keep praying for us.
Our three ministry teams set out from our hotel around 8:00 and traveled out in different directions for our school ministries and the medical clinic venues. Jeff’s team traveled to a village area where they shared the gospel in four separate schools over the next couple of hours. My team ventured out about 35 miles to a heavily Muslim dominated community of farmers. Upon our arrival in this community we discovered more people than I ever remember seeing in one area in Ghana. We shared the gospel in 7 different schools to total crowds of over 6,000 students. All of the students listened with interest, and while most were Muslim, we saw well over 3,000 of the people pray to receive Jesus Christ! As we shared the Gospel many adults gathered around to hear what we were saying and I am delighted to report that many of them too indicated their decisions to receive salvation. We were able to place a Bible, New Testament, or Gospel of John into the hands of all who indicated their decision for Christ.
At the medical clinic, which was in the same area as my team’s ministry, several hundred people gathered and waited on treatment. Our American and Ghanaian team members shared the Gospel with the crowds with passion and conviction. Nearly every person in the “waiting room” was Muslim with several mosque leaders also in the crowd. When the offer of salvation was offered, some lifted their hands to indicate their decision to receive Christ, but most did not so indicate. However, as Pastor Sammy talked with many of the people, he received great news.
“I prayed to receive Jesus this morning,” one strong man in the community related, “but I did not lift my hand in the light of day. I know, should I raise my hand, my villagers will kill me,” he continued. “Tonight, I promise you, I will raise my hand in my house,” he told Sammy.
Such is the place in which we are working during this project. Muslims heavily dominate this area, and we have learned that few evangelicals are sharing the Gospel in these places. We have learned that the love of God is sufficient to penetrate the most hardened hearts and His Spirit continues to draw people unto Himself. Hallelujah! What a Savior.
21 February 2011
Upon arrival in this rejected area I was humbled and awed by the gracious way in which we were received. The entire village had gathered in an open area of the place awaiting our arrival and the screening of the Jesus film. Although I have seen poor and desolate areas before, this particular one surpassed them all. There were no roads, no lights, and no water. Every dwelling in the place was wretched and horrible – nothing but sticks and mud houses for these people. There was literally no signs of livability.
We showed the Jesus film to a completely quiet crowd of more than 200 and then shared the gospel message in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our entire team was moved with compassion and gratitude when we witnessed approximately 150 indicated that they had just prayed to receive Jesus Christ!
We distributed bibles to each one of them and promised that we would have a pastor there to serve them this coming Sunday. Think about it. In a matter of three hours a new church had been planted in a previously unreached, neglected village of the world. This is certainly the work of God!
I, and our entire team, are counting on you to keep us in your prayers. None of this is easy, but it is comforting to know that our friends around the world are remembering to pray earnestly for us.
Our medical clinics continue to function smoothly. I stopped by the clinic today on my way back from a morning of school programs and once again was thankful for the great work each team member is doing.
I am especially grateful for the way Andy Poe is managing and coordinating these clinics each day. My original plan was for my dear friend and colleague, Jeff Andler, to coordinate the clinics, which would have meant loosing him from preaching each day in the schools. While I know Jeff would have effectively managed the clinics, I am thankful that he is able to utilize his dominant spiritual gifts of preaching and evangelism each and every day.
Please remember to pray for our film crusades each night. Normally the preaching takes place around 9:00pm each evening (which is 4:00pm EST). Pray for Craig Barker and Mark Chase who will be speaking tonight.
In addition to the already mentioned team members, continue to pray for Ronda Brookshire, Courtney and Matthew Bolling, Ruth Kandaras, and Sheila Radcliff. Everyone is doing an outstanding job! Through Monday noon we have recorded 8,706 indicated first-time decisions for Christ in 39 venues.
19 February 2011
The ministry on Saturday was filled with critical needs for many of the 140 patients seen. There were many open and oozing sores on feet which required detailed attention. It was challenging and difficult; and some of these sores were so old that we fear some of the people will ultimately lose limbs. Our Ghanaian physicians were overwhelmed at the condition of many of these villagers who had never before been attended to by physicians. We are thankful to God for providing perfectly these young men to come alongside us for this project.
At least three people today were actually carried to the clinic, one even on the back of his fellow villager. These people were in such poor physical condition that they could not walk to the clinic. “It looked like a scene from the New Testament, when the paralyzed man was carried to Jesus,” said Andy Poe. “Even though Jesus completely healed that paralyzed man, I hope we were able to offer our patients some relief from their suffering. I know they all were attended to and heard the gospel,” he continued.
Through all of this we are fully committed to always clearly presenting the gospel message of Jesus with every person we encounter. Over and over again we are reminded that GEM goes where others refuse to go.
Following our meal of oatmeal, fresh fruit, toast, juice, and coffee we set out for the medical clinic in the area of Bantana which was about 2 hours away. The road to this village was pretty rough and very dusty. I tell you all of us looked like we were native to Ghana by the time we arrived in Bantana, because of the heavy dust and dirt that covered us!
Upon arrival in this village our team began sitting up for the clinic with teamwork and precision while Ebenezer corralled the awaiting crowd for the presentation of the Gospel message. Through his able gift of interpretation I was able to present the life-changing message of Jesus Christ with those waiting to see the doctors and nurses. The crowd consisted of Muslims, nominal Christians, and traditional fetish people were all attentive to the Word of God.
By the time we offered them Jesus, no fewer than 100 people indicated that they had prayed and asked Him into their life! I never cease to be humbled and amazed at the absolute power of God in drawing men and women to Himself by grace through the presentation of the Gospel. It reminds me over and over again that all that is required of us is obedience and trust in the sharing of the Word of God.
Please continue to pray for our team and the project. Thus far we have witnessed a total of 6,713 individuals publically indicate their decision for Christ! To God be the glory!
18 February 2011
When we were first seriously contemplating a medical clinic in Ghana we knew that we would need a person to “take charge” of the daily organization of the clinic. While we knew the importance of this role, neither Jeff Andler nor I thought we were the men for this task, knowing that our spiritual giftedness was best utilized through evangelistic presentations. I began asking the Lord to reveal His choice for this role of “coordinator” and it became clear to me that our friend, Andy Poe was the right person for this role. Although a videographer and photographer by profession we asked him to abandon this task and take up the mantle of “Clinic coordinator.”
Andy has already proven to be both capable and careful. He took charge over the doctors, nurses, and helpers involved in this ministry. The Americans and Ghanaians have responded perfectly to his leadership. I am thankful for the great way Andy has stood up and led out in this vital ministry.
With each passing project I repeatedly learn that nothing catches God off guard. Through all things, God remains faithful and sufficient for all our needs. I trust you will continue to pray for us every day. [rdm]
17 February 2011
As I sit writing this blog, I am listening to the afternoon “call to prayer” emitting from the mosque across the way from my hotel here in Ghana. The melody of the voice seems soothing, but ultimately is a hopeless call to religion. A carefree walk through the village reveals that very few are actually at the mosque, but I can see people around the region bowing religiously in the direction of Mecca hoping to be accepted by their god. This is yet another reminder of the deception of the enemy against the people of this age.
I do not know if I will ever realize the depths of the spiritual warfare that has (and is) taken[ing] place surrounding this ministry project in Africa. On both sides of the Atlantic the opposition to the Gospel has been intense. Here are just a few of the things we know about so far:
- Our prescription medications delivery was three weeks late in arrival to Charlotte causing no small amount of frustration and difficulty in sorting and planning for the project.
- Sammy Lartey, our national director in Ghana, informed us of the warfare surrounding the actual approval of bringing the medications into Ghana. He had an official letter of invitation from the national Minister of Health, but upon presenting that letter to the Customs Officer he (Sammy) was threatened with violence and bodily harm. This woman official dispatched armed security personnel to the airport to intercept us upon our arrival. These people were somehow delayed and we entered the country without even the slightest interference.
- Our flights from Accra to Kumasi were cancelled and we were forced to find a different flight airline serving Kumasi.
- On the three-hour drive from Kumasi to our project area we had a flat tire on the long dark road.
- The medication needed for the treatment of malaria was omitted from our order from our supplier. This means we must find a pharmacy here that can provide these medications.
- This morning while traveling to the project site our Land Rover threw a gear in our transmission which caused us great difficulty. The truck was completely paralyzed, but after a look at the situation, God miraculously “repaired” the truck and it moved on down the road with complete ease.
The list could go on and on, but all this is said to remind us that we are certainly involved in spiritual warfare. It is imperative that I continue to ask you to pray for us. All of these things, while humanly explained, are most certainly attacks on the work of the Gospel. As I mentioned, earlier in this blog, are working in a heavily “Muslim influenced” area of the country. Even this morning at my school ministry I had the chance to answer questions from an inquisitive Muslim who had just heard the Gospel message. His questions were honest and heartfelt, but confused by the false influence of his religion. I can report to you that this man did pray to receive Jesus Christ and I hope that you will begin now to pray for this new brother in Christ. As Thursday, February 17, 2011 comes to a close here in Ghana I can tell you that we have seen over 3,500 individuals indicate their decision for Jesus Christ.
Please keep praying!
Our adventure took us off road into the middle of the African bush for the next three hours over some of the most treacherous terrain on which I have ever experienced. We were so far remote that we went over 2 hours without seeing another human being! I jokingly told Ebenezer (one of our beloved pastors) “We are now BEYOND the Great Commission!” To which he replied, “Yes, Dr. Roy, we go where others refuse to go.” Such is indeed the work of Global Evangelism Ministries.
Our entire team has settled in well in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The medical clinics began on Thursday morning to overflow crowds of would-be patients. Our American personnel is working wonderfully with the three capable Ghanaian physicians. The initial morning clinic saw of 200 people indicate first-time decisions for Christ. Remember each person who sees a doctor or nurse also is presented with a clear gospel presentation.
In addition to the medical clinics we have three teams going out each day to conduct school ministry and two teams leading in film crusades each evening. As of the posting of this blog we have recorded over 2,650 indicated first-time decisions for Christ.
Please continue to pray for us as we minister in Ghana. The spiritual warfare has been, and continues to be intense for us. I will share more of the stories of the battle in upcoming blogs. Until Jesus comes, I remain
Yours, in the fulfilling of the Great Commission,
15 February 2011
13 February 2011
Several of our team are struggling with either colds, stuffy noses, coughs, or the like which is yet another indication that spiritual warfare comes in both strong and simple ways. Please pray for health and safety for each team member.
We also need to know that you are praying for us as we enter Ghana on Tuesday afternoon. As you know, on this project, we are taking in a good amount of both prescription and OTC medications. Please pray that our passage through Customs and Immigration in Ghana will be without incident. We need God to go before us and clear our path for any opposition that Satan might try to use to hinder us.
I will do my best to keep you all updated throughout the project via this blog. Please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond as I am able. Thank-you, in advance, for your faithful prayer support. We’re all counting on you.