A few notable things have happened with the work in Ghana since our initial blog post and I would like to take this time to inform you of those things as well as look ahead to what may be forthcoming.
The first two days after launching the website we saw over 200 visitors, most of which visited the lessons and sermons page. We are encouraged that so many people have been drawn to these parts of the website and can only pray that God would use it for his honor and glory. Furthermore, we purchased an online Facebook ad and directed it towards people in Ghana. Unfortunately, the data showed that people did not stay on the website very long so we are looking for other ways to spread the word about the website in Ghana. When I travel there in June, I intend to take business cards with the native preachers names on it, which will include the URL for the website. As Ghana gains better access to the internet, it is my hope that this website will be one of the first Christian resources available to natives in Ghana. Pray that God would direct us in the right path to help His truth be spread in this fertile field. (Side note: We have since added new sermons, essays, and lessons to the website and will be updating it the first day of each month. Be sure to check back each month for new content). We recently discussed translating certain resources into Twi and are looking for the best way to approach this effort. Please pray that God would direct us in this important endeavor.
In mid-March, Brother Paul Owusu and his wife, Felicia, traveled to the U.S. and he is presently preaching in churches throughout the Midwest. This is Sister Felicia's first trip to the U.S. and despite the language barrier, she seems to have enjoyed much of her time here, especially the fellowship at the women's portion of the Old Union Minister's School.
During his visit to Indianapolis, Brother Paul and I were able to record him preaching a sermon in Twi, which will be posted on the website as soon as possible. We were also able to talk in person for the first time since starting the fund, and he helped me better understand some of the needs of this work and how we might best approach teaching the churches and missions, as well as evangelizing the untouched communities.
A lot of Brother Paul's instruction helped me gain better insight to how we might best approach the work in Ghana. In Ghana, as well as most parts of Africa, the people have a high regard for the Western world because of our economic prosperity. Though this can be a good thing, this respect is a two-edged sword for sincere men trying to spread the gospel. On one hand, it allows cross-cultural missionaries to share the gospel with a large audience, many of which would not listen to the native preachers. On the other hand, the motives of the listeners can be very difficult to discern as their fascination with the missionaries could rise from a desire to create a friendship which will eventually lead them to financial gain. In this third world country, as well as most, the health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine is very prevalent and must be vehemently taught against. None of this is to say that the people of Africa aren't sincere, but rather that one must be aware of the cultural norms which exist in order to best find the "good ground" in the field.
Finally, Brother Jonathon Elliott, Jeff Elliot and I intend to arrive in Ghana on June 28th and will be there approximately two weeks. During this time we will hold a three day Minister's Conference which will introduce the Gold Coast Minister's Curriculum to the brethren. As a fund, we desire to provide each minister with a curriculum notebook (approximately $15), miscellaneous office supplies ($3), meals for three days (unknown cost), and a small stipend for their time (between $25-$50). Our target audience are the younger minister's in Ghana, though some deacons and Sunday School teachers from the churches and missions will also be present. Please pray that God will provide the financial resources available for us to hold this meeting.
Following our three day minister's conference, we are praying about where our efforts should be directed. My heart has always been burdened for people who have never been exposed to the Gospel message and it would be a wonderful blessing if God would direct our steps to these people. Pray that God would direct our steps and that the doors of opportunity would open to, "Make His name great among the nations." As always, if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment under the Contact tab.
Bradley S. Hicks