Dan and Susan Steere - Feb 1, 2020
In past field reports, I have described some of the beauty of Ghana – the long beaches the color of light brown sugar, the swaying coconut palms, the mysterious rain forest. During this trip, we were able to experience a couple other features of the country.
Geography and Ministry
Sometimes Ministry Takes You To Beautiful Places
Our first conference took place in the town of Sogakope on the Volta River. The Volta is one of the major river systems in West Africa and provides much of the water for the eastern portion of the country of Ghana, as well as a good portion of the country’s hydroelectric power. We were in Sogakope to do a conference on Biblical Leadership under the auspices of the Ghana Baptist Convention. In God’s kindness, the hotel where we stayed was directly on the riverside. Mornings there were idyllic: mist rising from the massive river, boats sliding past, tropical foliage on every side, and strange (to Americans) bird calls floating on the air. Evenings were, if anything, even more stunning with the sun setting over the river – its burnt orange light suffused by the mist and spilling out across the water.
But the greatest beauty in Sogakope was the response of God’s people to His Word. A group of about 30 pastors and church leaders had gathered to hear Paul’s perspectives on church leadership as written to his son, Timothy. We gathered at the Denver Baptist Church in Sogakope and spent Monday and Tuesday going through the epistle with illustrations and applications. It was a very encouraging time for me and profitable for them as well.
On Wednesday, we left the Volta Region and drove up the serpentine highway into the Akuwapem Mountains northeast of Accra. Although it’s a bit hazy at this time of year, the dramatic change in elevation provides sweeping vistas of the coastal plain to the south and the surrounding mountains to the north and east. These mountains are Presbyterian territory since this is where the missionaries located when they arrived in Ghana. But scattered among the permeating Presbyterian presence are some Baptist churches and leaders eager to hear from God’s Word. We stayed at the Bedtime Hotel in Koforidua and enjoyed the good, if rather spartan, accommodations.
Our teaching venue was New Creation Baptist Church and over 40 church leaders came on Thursday and Friday to attend a seminar on Biblical Church Leadership. (The picture above is of some of the attendees.) Once again, we looked at 1 Timothy and considered what the Apostle wrote about this topic. Pastor Timothy and his wife, out hosts, were very hospitable and they fed us ENORMOUS amounts of food! I hope they weren’t offended, but I honestly reached a point where I could not eat any more. From the questions and comments during the conference, it was clear that the leaders also believed they were being well fed from God’s Word. We thank the Lord for their teachable hearts.
This morning, we drove back down to Accra after stopping briefly to greet one of Sam’s many “adopted daughters” who teaches at a high school near Akuwapem. I remember meeting her years ago at Sam and Margaret’s house in Sunyani. The other four members of our teaching team all arrived today and we will rest and then fly up country to Kumasi in preparation for our next week of teaching. The four will be teaching MINTS courses while I teach 1 Timothy again to the students at Shiloh Bible Training Centre for Pastors, now renamed Archbishop Addae Theological School.
Thank you for your prayers this past week; I believe the Lord heard and answered. Please continue praying as we go into this next week of instruction. I’ll write again at the end of the week.
For Christ’s Kingdom,
ELI - West Africa