Daniel Grimwade & Ivan Watson – Report on Week 2 in Sunyani, Ghana
We left Ho at 5.30am on Monday morning to travel to Sunyani. We were taken by car to Accra airport where we flew to Kumasi. From there we went a further two and half hours by car to Sunyani. The conference began on Tuesday morning and whilst the numbers were small, we quickly got up to a regular group of around 40. Many were back from previous years. They listened and engaged enthusiastically. This was the best of the three years conferences we have had in Sunyani. We were teaching the same material as week 1 in Ho, which made things slightly easier in the sense we had already been through it all the previous week. The workshops and seminars worked well and having slightly smaller numbers allowed a greater degree of interaction. A number of these were held outside in the courtyard of the school we were using under a tree. Having done this we feel we have now qualified as “proper African missionaries” – and we have the pictures to prove it! The conference ended on Friday lunchtime with the presentation of certificates and books to those who had attended. In return we were presented with gifts. Here we are wearing our new shirts with our host and fellow trainer MacDouglas Ampadu for the traditional picture in front of the banner. We left Sunyani Saturday morning, travelling to Kumasi by bus, and it was re-assuring to know we were on the “Psalm 23” bus. The Lord is indeed our Shepherd. We concluded our visit to Ghana by preaching at Shalom Baptist Church, in Teshie (about half an hour along the coast from Accra). This is Mac’s home church and they have been very proactive in sending out men to plant churches across Ghana.
It is always a great privilege to visit and serve Christ’s church in other parts of the world. We enjoyed teaching God’s word to those eager and hungry to learn. This year the pastoral stream was based on sections of 1 Corinthians. We had some fascinating discussion about ‘food sacrificed to idols’ and ‘marriage and singleness’. It was wonderful to see God’s Word having an immediate impact on people’s lives, setting them free and equipping them to help others. Spending time with others engaged in gospel ministry is always encouraging. Their situation is so different from ours. In Ghana around 70% of the population go to church regularly. One of the issues they face is that there are many adherents who are not necessarily truly converted. This has led to a strong emphasis on making sure your life shows forth the fruit of the gospel. Sometimes this inadvertently leads to preaching that is heavy on exhortation and weak on grace. It was good to be able to emphasise that our preaching needs to be expositional and Christ centred. Whilst in Ghana, we were made incredibly welcome, were looked after well and appreciated laughing with Ghanian brothers and sisters. May the Lord use our labours for his glory, and please continue to pray for these labourers in the gospel and their churches.