Opportunities and Obligations: Listening to the Voice of God
[Accra – Ghana] I have received word that team members, Jeff Andler, Craig Barker, and Andy Poe have arrived safely in New York after a good (and uneventful) overnight flight from Accra. Again, I am very thankful for the work and ministry of these dear brothers.
The ministry opportunities have not ended for our team! Last night after dinner, James and I were sitting on the balcony of the hotel lobby overlooking the swimming pool. (Yes, we are spoiled and this hotel in Accra does have a pool!)
We were talking about the great opportunities God was giving each of us in the advancement of the Gospel. A college-aged Ghanian woman was sitting at the next table and asked us if she could join us at our table. We agreed and began talking with her. I learned that her name was Fatima and that she was a college student studying in the area of tourism. After a few moments we engaged her in spiritual questions.
I asked Fatima, “Do you attend church?” and she replied, “No, I am a Muslim.” I assured her that God did not care how she identified herself religiously and began to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ as God’s sacrifice for our sins and risen from the dead. She was drawn by the Holy Spirit and within a matter of a few minutes she bowed her head and right there she moved from a being a religious person to be a relational person! She met Jesus last night. I am thankful that God continues to open doors of opportunity around us every day.
I awoke this morning and thought about things I might do today. In the back of my mind I knew I had promised six months ago that I would go by and visit and old friend in town but really did not want to battle the traffic and heat again. After I realized that we must always keep our word, we decided we would get a taxi and go to the African market in hopes of meeting my friend Hassan Nacro — the former Muslim art dealer who became our brother a few years back. We wandered through the crowed market and I called his name loudly. He walked out from his shop, smiled ear to ear and embraced me with a big bear hug and said, “Hello My brother!” We spoke for a moment, but seeing that he had other tourists in his shop, I assured him that he should serve them and that I would return in a few minutes.
After strolling through the market we went back to see brother Hassan and we visited for a few more minutes. He was kind, gentle, and gracious. Just before we were leaving I asked him, “So how are you doing … really?” He said, “I am doing fine,” but my spirit compelled me to pry a little deeper. He finally said, “I am very sick! I have been to the doctor and he tells me that my entire body is troubled.” As we talked more and he showed me a long list of problems from the hospital I knew we must promise this brother that we would all pray for him.
I saw the list of medications (prescriptions) that had been ordered for him and I asked if he was taking all of these meds. He said, “I buy them as I have the money, but the market here is not doing too well.” I took out some money and offered it to him, but with tears forming in his eyes he said, “No, you have done far too much for me.” After a bit of conversation I told him this money was not from me, but from God, and his brothers and sisters in the US. He reluctantly took the money and hugged me once again.
This journey to the market showed me clearly that we must realize the truth that God is always working around us and inviting us to join Him in His work. Had we opted for the comfort of the hotel this morning we would have missed seeing God do something wonderful in the life of our brother.
Please continue to pray for Hassan — his health — his heart — and his healing.