Snow Shoe, PA
My Ghana trip is now over. I am back home with my wonderful wife and family. When I arrived at the airport Wednesday night, the kids were not shy about showering on their affection. They saw me and started running and saying, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy……” It was a special moment. An onlooker commented, “There is nothing better than that! No better feeling.” He was right. I noticed that our youngest Jeremiah was all smiles that night. I had to chuckle when he said a couple times, “Dad, I like you better when you are gone for a while.” In many ways, travel is great, but it is hard to be away from your family.
God is God and that means He is at work all over the place, including Ghana. Souls are being saved, believers are being built up and strengthened, and God’s Kingdom is advancing. It was so exciting for me to be a small part of what God is doing in this part of the world.
Christianity has a presence in Ghana. There are no shortage of churches and ministries, but in all reality, there is a weakness and shallowness to the church in Ghana. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a billboard advertising a crusade or a revival for a prosperity gospel preacher, I would have left Ghana a rich man.
Even though the Word-faith (health, wealth, and prosperity) movement was an American export, it now has a much greater stronghold in African countries like Ghana than it does in North America. There is a certain appeal it brings to people who are living in poverty and looking for a quick fix to their problems. False teachers are happy to prey upon the weak (see Luke 20:47).
Pastor Stephen and I had several conversations related to these matters. He too is deeply concerned. Countless people have been inoculated against the true gospel because of the influence of these false prophets. In many cases, what is being taught is blatant heresy. I lament that these “wolves” (Acts 20:29) have been given a platform to propagate their message.
I am thankful for ministries like the one headed up by my friend Dr. Steve Van Horn….. International Training and Equipping Ministries. ITEM is working to bring biblical clarity to the church in Africa. They are now in 12 African nations, including Ghana, and have trained hundreds of pastors.
While there are challenges, there is much to celebrate and rejoice in. God is at work! Our confidence lies in the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16-17). My hope and prayer is that I will be able to return to Ghana and the African continent, maybe even in 2020. If you prayed for me before or during my trip…..thank you! God’s power and presence were so obvious to me. His grace undergirded the whole trip. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
What an incredible trip! Glory be to God! Thankful that the Lord determined to use this weak and inadequate servant.