Here are the first three days of my journalling. So much more could be said. Will try to get some pictures up with the next installment. Thanks for all your prayers.
State College, PA Airport
Embarking on a new journey today. Heading to Ghana, West Africa today to preach about 7 times and experience my first overseas mission’s trip. There has been a lot of prayer and preparation to get to this point and I am excited to see how God works.
We have just experienced the pain and sorrow of saying goodbye to our church family. Yesterday was our last Sunday and we felt much love and support from many in the church. Not sure what’s next, but we know God has a plan for our lives. Serving our Master is always exciting and never boring!
The Lord has given me two verses for this trip – Ephesians 6:18-20 and Colossians 4:2-4. These are very similar. It’s not surprising that the same guy (Paul) wrote both. These verses have to do with proclaiming the mystery of the gospel boldly and clearly. Lord help me! Give me the words.
My mind goes back to 2001 and my trip to France as a senior in High School. That was half a lifetime ago, and was my last and only international (overseas) trip. Ironically, that was the only trip I ever journaled. Happy to pick up the practice again.
Soli Deo Gloria
London Heathrow Airport
Waiting at the gate to catch my flight to Accra. It’s been delayed about 1.5 hours……hopefully no longer. Didn’t sleep much on my red-eye flight from Philly last night so feeling a little fatigued.
Exited to be flying for the first time on a 747-400 jumbo jet! Flying on a 777 (also a big plane) last night was great, but this will be even better I am sure. I have always been a bit of an aviation geek – hence the interest in planes. Not too many white people on this flight. I am feeling a little “pasty” right now.
Being at Heathrow for the past few hours has been a lesson for me in multi-culturalism. There are people here from almost every nation of the world I am sure. Our God is a big God and the redeemed of the Lord come from every tribe, every tongue, every nation. Makes me think of Psalm 96. “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”
Lord, use me as a vessel to declare your glory among the nations.
Got in last night around 9pm local time after another good flight with British Airways. It took about an hour to go through customs and wait (forever!!) for my bags. My good friend pastor Stephen Kwakye (whom I met just 7 months ago) was there to pick me up. We went to a nearby Burger King to grab some grub and catch up. He told me, “no more American food after this.” Sounds good.
The trip from Accra to Suhum (where I will be staying) was very bumpy. Infrastructure here is lacking to say the least, and Stephen said it really holds back the economy of Ghana. Even though it was at night, I was excited to catch my first glimpse of Africa, a continent that has been on my heart for some time now. I was well-prepared for what I saw through Tim Kesee’s “Dispatches from the Front” documentaries and through my friend Steve Van Horn’s blogs and pictures. However, as we got further out of the capital city, the poverty was still a bit of a shock.
After about 4 hours of sleep, woke up at 4:45 to the sound of roosters doing their thing. Was ready by 7 to go and preach in a local middle school. With about 130 kids present, I preached (in English) on the story of Jonah and sensed God’s enabling. My basic message was that God saves sinners and even uses reluctant prophets to do so. Afterwards, Stephen and I met with the principal and chaplain of the school and prayed together. Thankful for the religious liberties enjoyed here in Ghana. Also visited another school (this one with Presbyterian roots) and talked with the principal and another administrator.
Getting ready to preach and share my testimony tonight at an outdoor event sponsored by pastor Stephen’s church, Living Faith Revival Center.