Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Latest Dery Update

Yesterday, I had some visitors...a lot of them, actually. But, the visitors I want to talk about are Rev. Raymond Dery and his wife, Vida. On Sunday, March 16, 2014, Dery was in a very serious motorcycle accident. He was fighting for his life. Vida and I cried on each others shoulders at the Tamale Teaching Hospital. Now look at him! Now, 14 months later, he is visiting me in Lawra, where his family house is located.

Dery attended the annual Synod of the Northern Ghana Diocese of the Methodist Church Ghana. So, I wasn't surprised to see him doing so well at my house. We had a lovely conversation while he was here. He is able to do many of the things that he did before his accident. He has many of the same mannerisms that he had before the accident. He still has a strong faith in God and is grateful for his life. Yet, you only have to spend a couple of minutes with him to know that he is still not the same as he was before the accident. Oh, the conversation was good, please don't get me wrong. But,there is still healing to take place. Even though, we are all grateful to God for Dery's healing up to this point, we continue to pray that God will touch him even more and restore Dery to the place where he will once again be preaching and teaching the Word of God, traveling to the villages where people are hungering for God's Words. We pray that he will be restored to the place where he is the husband and father he used to be. We pray that his brain will be fully recovered from the intense injury it suffered. Won't you pray with us?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Hunger and a Thirst

October 2014 was a very special month for the Dagaaba people of Ghana. Why? Because it is the month that the Dagaare New Testament was published by the Bible Society of Ghana. Up to this point, there was no printed Bible in the language of the people with whom I work. The Bible was read in English and then interpreted into Dagaare. Many of the people of my church are illiterate. Some are not. There is a hunger and a thirst for God's Word, especially among the younger people of the church. Josbeth, pictured above is a quiet person, not loud spoken at all. A year ago, when asked to read English in church, he would read haltingly, not sure of himself at all. He would read the shorter passages for the worship services. Now, Josbeth comes to church and volunteers to read even the long passages in Dagaare, reading with conviction, as if he really believes what he reads. 

This is Comfort and Samuel. Samuel has been teaching all those who want to learn to read Dagaare and those who can read, but want to read better. Samuel is a church leader and Comfort herself will be a leader some day. Comfort attends Bible study and our English/Dagaare reading classes. She, too, has a hunger and thirst for God's Word. Samuel is hesitant to assign people to read during the services because he wants people to volunteer to read because they have a desire in their heart to serve God in this way.

These two boys are Wisdom (grade 5) and Godfred (grade 6). They walk from their village about a half hour away to attend worship services and when they are able, English/Dagaare reading classes. Wisdom often leads devotions at his school, giving the message. He wants to be a pastor when he grows up. They both have shown that they are hungering and thirsting for the Word of God. The day this picture was taken, they sat under the nymn tree and read the Scriptures aloud for 20 minutes before the service started.

It has been such a blessing to watch these young people grow not only in their ability to read, but in their desire to know the Word of God. New Testaments are made available to those who attend classes and take their turn reading in church during the services. For others of the church, they are made available at a reduced cost. Pray that God's Word would be planted in hearts and that someday, these young people would make a difference in their community and beyond!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Market Sunday Thoughts

Last Sunday was Market Day in Lawra. On Market Day, we worship at 7:00 am instead at 9:30 am. This gives the women time to go to church and then walk into Lawra to buy and sell. We have been doing this for two years now. I am hoping people realize that this is what happens every Sunday Market day.
Recently, I read a quote that said that God isn't interested in quantity, He is interested in quality. I was reminded of that on Sunday. I was sitting there, in church, wondering, "Where is everyone?" There were two funerals that day and it was market day, but, it was still early. And, I was a bit disappointed that only 25 people came to worship. But, then, I began to look around....
The two boys pictured above are in their early 20s, Samuel on the left and Josbeth on the right. A year ago, Josbeth would barely speak aloud. He had a hard time reading both English and Dagaare. And now, he jumps at every chance he has to read the scripture in Dagaare during the service. He leads the Dagaare responses and even preached a week ago! I am so proud of him and the way he has been open to God's leading.

Then, I looked to my right to Ernestina. Oh, how she loves the Lord! She is so passionate when she gives testimony of what God has done. She prays and praises with her whole being! Wisdom, a boy in grade five, stood up and testified that the day before, he almost didn't come to church for our Bible class because his friend, Godfred wasn't able to come. But, he came anyway. Wisdom reads Dagaare very well. And, because he has been coming to classes and reads the scripture in church for all to hear, he was given a Dagaare New Testament. He said that receiving that Book was the best day ever!
So, what do I have to worry about? Nothing! God has it all under control. I think I will trust Him. He has used these people who came to worship that numbers aren't everything, He is!