Naomi Awuni, one of our coaches, told me during my recent visit to Ghana that a chief named Nana Kofi Yeboah (whom I met a couple of times, most recently in November of last year) had recently died… Earlier in his life Nana Kofi attended a church, but, still not knowing Christ, he married a second wife and sadly was no longer welcome at that church. Not a single person from the church ever visited or followed up with him after he left.
Over the past couple of months when Nana Kofi knew he was dying from diabetes, he told Naomi how lonely and brokenhearted he was. Neither his brother nor any of his children ever visited him, knowing how sick he was. In desperation, he asked a pastor to come and pray for him, but afterward the pastor charged him $50 for his “services”.
What Naomi told me next reminded me again of the power of Incarnational Evangelism, of the beauty in following Jesus’ example to reach out in love to lost, broken, and hurting people.
Through his illness, Naomi visited and cared for him, sometimes two or three times a day. He told her that he had never experienced and didn’t understand that kind of love. As he lay on his bed he would weep because of the love that Naomi showed him—especially unexpected because she is from a northern tribe.
Then Naomi taught Nana Kofi how to pray and express his pain to God. She led him to Christ and continued praying with him through his physical deterioration. She told me that his final words were happy ones: “Jesus, Jesus, receive my soul. Receive my soul.”
Naomi’s relationship with Nana Kofi opened the door to speak at his funeral. She spoke of God’s love for Nana Kofi and for those in attendance as well. She said that “it isn’t how you start, it’s how you end” and gave a clear presentation of the gospel.
Over the years, Naomi has taken in abandoned children and even a boy who had at one time attacked her daughter, so it didn’t surprise me that Nana Kofi’s youngest son is now living with Naomi. This young man stands no chance of avoiding Jesus for long!