Dan and Susan Steere - July 2018
Marriage is Hard
Conferences on Biblical Marriage in Ghana
The quotations cited above are just a few of the many questions raised at the conclusion of this week’s Biblical Marriage conference in Aflao: tough questions in response to learning Biblical truth. Marriage is difficult because it involves two sinners under the same roof. It is especially hard in Ghana due to some of the challenges presented by the culture.
I spent Monday – Wednesday this past week teaching some of the basic Biblical principles of marriage to a group of nearly 100 drawn from the Baptist churches in town. Nearly half of those were pastors, pastor’s wives, and church leaders.
The conference began with a discussion of the Genesis account of the first marriage, looking at God’s plan and purpose for marriage and then considering how man’s fall into sin impacted both husbands and wives and their relationship. We then moved on to Ephesians 5 and Paul’s explanation of the roles of husbands and wives and then concluded with some time in Ephesians 4 discussing Biblical principles for communication. Throughout the three days, the attendance continued to grow by word of mouth as those attending realized this conference was providing both Biblical principles and practical application of those principles. It was a joy to see their thoughtful responses to the truths of God’s Word!
I taught two conferences in Aflao over six years ago. However, the door for further ministry appeared closed and ELI moved on to other locations. But our contact with the Ghana Baptist Convention this past February reopened the door to this city. Aflao is a poor town that sits directly on Ghana’s border with Togo and is the sister city of Lomé, Togo’s capital. It also fronts directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Our little hotel was on the beach – literally! We had to drive onto the beach to enter the hotel compound. But in Ghana, it is the poor who live on the beach, not the rich. So it was a setting that combined beautiful surf and beach with the dugout canoes and the run-down homes of the local fishermen.
As picturesque as the setting was, I did not get to enjoy it much. I came down with a mystery bug on Monday and I have spent much of this week recovering from the fever and other symptoms. Many of you prayed for me – Thank you! – and, as a result of those prayers, the Lord graciously enabled me to teach each day. We returned to Accra on Wednesday afternoon and I spent Thursday and Friday resting and preparing.
Yesterday, I taught a one-day Marriage conference in Accra. It was a smaller, but very interested group of young married couples. When I told them that Susan and I have been married for almost 44 years, that seemed difficult for them to imagine! Once again, the power and intense practicality of God’s Word impressed them. You see, the Bible not only exposes the reality of our struggles but it also displays the joy and beauty of a life lived according to God’s principles. The result is a combination of conviction and aspiration: we are sinners but we are forgiven and the Spirit enables us grow in obedience. Although we had only a brief time together, God blessed the instruction.
It has been a good week of ministry. I’m thankful for the privilege of teaching on marriage and I ask you to join me in praying for those who attended the conferences, that God will use His truth to transform their marriages. I am now headed for Kumasi where this week I will teach a MINTS course on the Doctrine of the Church. Look for another field report at the end of this week. Thank you for your faithful prayer support!
For Christ’s Kingdom,
Dan and Susan Steere, ELI West Africa