Over the past six days the team and I have logged an average of six hours each day in the car traveling from Kumasi to Sunyani, Kumasi to Essem, Essem to Kumasi, Kumasi to Accra. Being the rainy season we have dealt with some very bad roads and have made some very out of the way detours. The Essem follow-up conference was nearly cancelled when the road to Essem was blocked by two trucks and one car that were stuck in three feet of mud thus blocking the entire road.
In Sunyani we met with Pastor Bossman who is being discipled by our coach Naomi Wuni. Bossman is enthusiastically living the truths that he has learned from Naomi and YLI conferences. It has been a year since I have seen him and it was a fun reunion. He shared with us a story that I think will shine some light on the world in which our YLI coaches are ministering.
On a Friday night in May of this year, Bossman sent his 12 year old daughter to a shop to buy candles for church and she didn’t return. They searched and prayed for her that night, and the following morning had a radio broadcast issued of her disappearance. They prayed more. No one in Sunyani responded. Sunday passed and she still didn’t return and everyone kept praying. Finally, on Monday they got a call from her. She was in Techiman which is a three hour drive away. She was tired and hadn’t eaten in three days. When Bossman picked her up the story unfolded.
She had been chloroformed and abducted that Friday night and driven a long distance where she was kept in captivity. She learned that she had been kidnapped in order to be given to a witch doctor and was to be used in a sacrifice of some sort. However, when they presented her to the witch doctor she was rejected as unusable. The reason? The witch doctor said that there were many people praying for her and she was unfit. Her abductors took her away and left her along side of the road near Techiman.
It is hard to write stories like this because it sounds like a movie…not an experience of one of our leaders in Ghana. The life challenges that are faced here are so different than what we face; sometimes almost unbelievably different, and I want to say “Oh, come on… that can’t be true” (I sometimes have an embarrassing amount of skepticism). But no matter how different the culture and context, the “answer” is the same: the love of God in them, expressed as an offering to others through Christ. What we teach here is eagerly accepted and integrated into their world; and then it then becomes their ministry and it is expressed in their world.
Young Leaders International is a US based ministry, but in Ghana YLI is becoming very Ghanaian. God is working, meeting them “where they are”, and doing His work through them and their world.