“If the followers of Christ were awake to duty, there would be thousands where there is one today, proclaiming the gospel in heathen lands. And all who could not personally engage in the work, would yet sustain it with their means, their sympathy, and their prayers. And there would be far more earnest labor for souls in Christian countries.” Steps to Christ, 81, 82.
The greatest commission is to go to every part of the world and warn the people of the impending conflict. Though this message was given by Christ after His resurrection, it is a message to all of God’s people. The Northern part of Ghana has been neglected by both the government and the Christian community, leading to poverty and economic hardship. They also have very adverse weather conditions, with six months of rain between May and October. The traditional religion is purely idolatry. The head man or priest of the house leads out in their many superstitions.
I have often listened to people tell of the problems in the north, but I had never visited there. I decided, after much prayer, that I must go and see what I could do to help these poor people. I didn’t know how I would come up with the funds, as I knew the people in the north would not be able to help.
We are told that every command is a promise and I claimed them as such. “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are able to overcome it.” Numbers 13:30. “While the doubting ones talk of impossibilities, while they tremble at the thought of high walls and strong giants, let the faithful Calebs, who have ‘another spirit’ come to the front. The truth of God, which bringeth salvation, will go forth to the people if ministers and professed believers will not hedge up its way as did the unfaithful spies.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 381-383.
On the 29th of October after a six-hour drive, I reached Kumasi and then spent the night there. The next day, I boarded the Bolga bus and after an eleven-hour ride reached Bolga around 5:30 pm. I was received kindly by the brethren who were waiting at the truck stop. We could not start the program, since the brethren had no funds to do the preparatory work. I had not thought of that and I thank God that Ebenezer Hills Mission sent the needed financial support within the month. As soon as we had the funds, we built a board for our screen, we built benches, planned the necessary meals, arranged for the electrical and more. Within one day everything was ready to begin the program at the main truck stop.
Our next challenge was that all attempts to use the board to hang our screen failed since it could not withstand the wind. “What can we do?” we wondered. After much prayer, I noticed a multi-story building in front of our stage. I walked up the stairs and hung our screen from there. All the brethren were greatly relieved and it worked quite well. Next we set up our public address system. Because of the distance that I had had to travel, I did not carry a P.A. system, but decided to rely on what the brethren in the North had available. They had a simple system, but when I got to looking at it, I discovered that a microphone could not even be plugged into it nor the DVD player that we wanted to use to show people a DVD.
The next day we called our brethren in Kumasi and asked them to send us an amplification system to handle three microphones. By 5:30 pm we had received our amplifier and were ready to use it. Now for more troubles: the amplification system was too powerful for the speakers and we blew out one of the speaker boxes and the two horn speakers. We sent our speakers in for repair. We decided to rent speakers while ours were being repaired, but when the rental company looked at our amplifier, they said that it was too strong for their speakers as well. Finally the father of the repairman convinced his son to loan us his speakers for our program. The son agreed after testing it with our amplifier and confirmed we could use it. To our surprise these speakers were also damaged by our amplifier so we decided to buy him a new one. The next day we went and informed him of the situation, but assured him that we planned to buy him a replacement. He refused our offer. He preferred to repair the speaker and have us pay him for the repair expense. We ended up renting bigger speakers from somebody else. They were quite expensive, but they did the job well.
I never knew before that the people of Bolga are just starving and crying for the truth. The high attendance was a testimony to this fact. We made four appeals and from these, fifty people registered for baptismal classes. There are many challenges in the North. Around 80% of the people in the area are Catholic. One of the unique problems about working in the North is that the men do not attend church. They send the women in their stead. The biggest problem is alcoholism. Both men and women drink and it has become a business for the people. During their market days, which are three days a week, the people sell their farm products: millet, sorghum, corn, potatoes, fowls, sheep and goats, etc. I was surprised and saddened to notice that they didn’t end up taking any of their hard earned money home. They spent it on meats (dog, pig and fowl) and on alcohol. People from the South are making huge profits on these things at the expense of the people from the North. The youth are in as much hardship as anyone. Many of them have been abandoned by parents who have gone to the South to make money. They have to attend school and take care of themselves on their own. We especially targeted the young people in our evangelism since if they will change their lives now, it will be so much better for them as well as for society.
The financial needs in the North are great. They need food and clothing, educational support and more, as there are so many widows and orphans. Your support, assistance and materials are most welcome as we launch a special fund to support the work in the North.
By Benjamin Edward Nyano, Ghana.