|Journal Of My First Trip To Ghana|
|Written by Vernon Johnson|
|Wednesday, 19 May 2010 00:00|
Elder Vernon Johnson shares his experiences during a recent trip to Ghana.
In July of 2008 I made a trip to Kenya with Elder Sam Bryant and Elder Paul Blair for the purpose of assisting Elder Obey Ndalima in the ordination of Bro. Martin Onyoni to the office of elder. After we had arrived in Nairobi and while we were awaiting transportation Elders Bryant, Blair, Ndalima, and myself along with Bro. Martin were sitting in an airport café discussing the agenda for this trip. Sitting at a table next to us was a young man who was reading his well-worn King James Bible. While we were talking I notice the young man glancing over at us as though he was interested in what we were doing. I felt impressed to go over and speak to the young man. Elder Blair joined me in speaking to the young man. After we introduced ourselves the young man whose name is Aikins Doh asked us what we were doing and we explained to him our purpose for coming to Kenya. He indicated he would be interested in receiving the essays and study materials I had furnished to Bro. Martin and the brethren in Kenya. We exchanged email addresses and phone numbers. During the 18 months since this initial meeting I have furnished numerous essays, writings, study materials and MP3-CDs of preaching to this young man and the study group that he was blessed to start.
Monday, January 18, 2010 Elder Tim McCool and I met at the DFW airport in Dallas and began our journey to Ghana to preach the gospel. We were to be met at the Accra airport in Ghana by Elder Martin Onyoni. Our flight took us from DFW to Amsterdam, the Netherlands after 10.5 hours in flight. We had a six hour layover in Amsterdam and then flew from Amsterdam to Accra, Ghana (a six hour flight) and arrived in Accra, Ghana about 8 P.M. Tuesday, January 19th. After checking through customs we were met by Elder Martin Onyoni, who had arrived just a little earlier than we had, Bro. Aikins Doh, and three members of the fellowship and the van driver. Elder Tim and I exchanged currency at the airport and we loaded our bags in the van and began our journey to HO, Ghana. After traveling approximately an hour the van overheated because of a loose radiator cap and had to be filled up with water. The driver stuffed a rag in the opening to the radiator and we continued our journey and arrived at the Hotel a little after midnight.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 Elders Tim, Martin, myself and Bro. Aikins arose and went to breakfast at the hotel around 7 A.M. Around 9:30 A.M. we took our journey to the village where the fellowship is located. We began our morning session around 10 A.M. I began after prayer by asking the members of the fellowship several questions to determine their level of knowledge. My first set of questions concerned the scriptures in general. The questions I asked are attached as Exhibit A. Elders Martin, McCool and myself were very pleasantly surprised with the answers as members of the fellowship answered nearly all the questions correctly. During the afternoon session I asked questions concerning the attributes of God to the fellowship. These questions are attached as Exhibit B. Again, we were very pleasantly surprised in the answers by members of the fellowship as they answered once again nearly all the questions correctly. Also, in the afternoon session I spoke to the fellowship concerning the sovereignty of God. We were scheduled to have an evening worship service, but this was cancelled as the attempts to get the lighting to work were unsuccessful.
Thursday, January 21, 2010 On Thursday morning we started out early so that we could view some land that had been donated to the members of the fellowship for them to raise crops and help their economic well being. Afterwards we met briefly with the village chief of the village. In the AM session I spoke to the fellowship about the total depravity of man. Afterwards I asked them a series of questions to gauge how much they had gotten from the instruction. The questions are attached as Exhibit C. Again, we were very surprised in the understanding of the members of the congregation as they answered the questions correctly. In the afternoon, we had a worship service including singing a few hymns, prayer and Elders Martin and McCool preaching to the congregation. Elder Martin spoke from Romans 8:2 "The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." This was followed by Elder Tim McCool preaching from Col. 1:23 "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;" The messages were well received with much rejoicing.
Friday, January 22, 2010 We left the hotel early and met the relatives of Bro. Aikins Doh's wife Eugenia. They were very nice and greeted us warmly. In the morning session I spoke concerning the Covenant of Redemption. Afterwards, we entertained questions from the congregation. In the afternoon session I spoke concerning the subjects of Election and Predestination. Again, we entertained questions from the congregation. In all our sessions where I took the lead, Elders McCool and Martin contributed many good lessons and thoughts to the subject matter and the congregation was very receptive to what was being taught. Also, Elder Tim opened each session by teaching the congregation how to sing various songs from the hymn book. Both Elders Martin and Tim were very warmly received by the congregation and I could see a strong bond being formed between the congregation and these two elders. When we weren't in session, Elder Tim royally entertained the young children and they warmed up to him in a hurry.
Sunday, January 24, 2010 After song service and prayer we entered into the morning preaching service. Elder Martin spoke first from 1 Tim. 6:20, 21 "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen." This was followed by Elder Tim preaching from Eph. 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" and 1 Pet. 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," I followed by speaking on the subject of water baptism. An opportunity was given for receipt of members through repentance and water baptism and 31 came forward requesting a home in the church. It had been explained to the congregation that those who joined would be members of the First Primitive Baptist Church of Kisii, Kenya where Elder Martin is pastor until such time as someone is ordained in Ghana and a church constituted.
Following worship services we journeyed down to the Tsawe River where Elders Martin and Tim McCool baptized the 31 amidst much rejoicing. It was indeed a beautiful service.
Monday, 25 January, 2010 During the morning session I spoke concerning the subject of Justification by the blood of Christ. During the afternoon we had a preaching service and Elder Martin spoke on Matt. 1:21 "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." This was followed with Elder Tim McCool speaking from 1 Thes. 1:4 "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God." Both messages were well received amidst much rejoicing. This would be our last session with Elder Martin Onyoni in attendance as he had to leave the next day and begin his journey back to Kenya.
Tuesday, 26 January, 2010 In the morning I spoke on the subject of Glorification. In the afternoon I spoke on the subject of Eternal and Time or Temporal Salvation. Elder McCool and I both pointed out that dividing this subject was one of the keys in understanding the difference between Primitive Baptists and nearly every other denomination. The people seemed to readily grasp the distinction between the two types of salvation.
Wednesday, 27 January, 2010 In the morning session I tried to teach the difference between the three types of justification taught in the scriptures. I did this using the three courtroom concept to distinguish the fact that we are justified by blood in the courtroom of glory, by faith in the courtroom of our heart and mind, and by works in the courtroom of men's opinions.
In the afternoon I spoke concerning the four different types of callings taught in the scriptures. Both the morning and afternoon sessions seemed to be readily understood by the people in the fellowship.
Thursday, 28 January, 2010 In the morning and our last session I spoke concerning the different elections or choosing taught in the scriptures. This again seemed to be readily received and understood by the congregation.
In the afternoon, Elder Tim and I along with Bro. Aikins, his wife Eugenia, and the driver began our journey back to Accra to the airport. This was a three and one half hour journey. Our flight left at 8:00 P.M. and was a six hour flight to the airport in Amsterdam. After a four hour layover in Amsterdam we began our flight to DFW. We arrived in DFW around 2:45 on Friday, 29 January, 2010. Elder Tim McCool had an additional wait at DFW to catch his flight to Birmingham. I believe it was about 10 P.M. before he arrived at Birmingham.
The fellowship – Brother Aikins Doh has done an admiral job in receiving the teachings sent to him and digesting them and teaching the fellowship. The level of understanding of our doctrines was much more than any of us elders expected. The people in the fellowship and in the village of the fellowship are generally very poor. Part of this may be due to a lack of training and part of it may be due to a general slothfulness observed in the population around the HO area. The people need to be taught in their responsibilities towards their families and toward one another.
The country – Ghana is in some ways quite economically advanced over Kenya. There is a very large part of the city of Accra that could be described as middle to upper income. There is however, a sizeable slum area. Most of the streets of Ghana appear to be paved. Throughout the country most people have electricity. The roads in Ghana are much better than the roads in Kenya. Outside of Accra the population was much more impoverished although not to the degree of that found in Kenya. We found few signs of an overpopulation problem in the part of Ghana that we visited.
The country around HO was mostly farm land with a sizeable amount and varieties of fruit trees. The country appears to be very fertile. We visited during the dry season and it was very hot. Highs probably in the 90s and the humidity was high. It was difficult for me personally to stay hydrated in those conditions.
The hotel we stayed at in HO (Freedom Hotel) was a good hotel even by American standards. The rooms were air conditioned, tight, and clean. The security was very good although the population around HO were very friendly towards visitors. The food in the restaurant was good although you have to wait quite long for it to be prepared. There was free internet service for the hotel residents.
Possible door opened – On the flight to Accra Elder Martin sat next to a business man from Accra. In their discussions the man asked Elder Martin as to his reason for coming to Ghana and when he found out he asked Elder Martin if he would have me send him the essays and study materials that I have been sending to others. This I will do in the next few days. I continue to be amazed at how the Lord is opening doors in Africa for the gospel to be preached there.
The work in HO, Ghana – I believe the Lord has blessed us with a good start to the work in Ghana. There is, however, much work to be done. Elder Martin is planning on having Bro. Aikins Doh travel to Kenya and stay with him for a couple of weeks where he can have intensive studies and training with this young brother. Also, Elder Martin will return to Ghana sometime in the next few months to assist the brethren there. Elder Tim McCool has indicated to me that he has a burden for the people there and hopes to be able to return there in about a year. I am not sure as to when I might return to Ghana as there is so much work opening up in Southern Africa that needs attending to. Please pray that the Lord will send forth laborers into the harvest in Africa.
1. Is God eternal? In what way is God eternal that we will never be?
1. What is the law of sin and death?
|Last Updated on Sunday, 18 July 2010 14:23|