Saturday, May 17, 2008

Next to Each Open Door by John

1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
Unlike any other time in the history of Africa, Africa is ready for workers. With the advancement of most countries in Africa and the fear of early death caused by disease decreasing everyday, the fields are prepared as never before. A great door is open here and in other parts of Africa. An opportunity is truly waiting, but like all times that the door is open, there are adversaries.
This week the Lord gave us two reminders of these adversaries and the importance of constant prayer. During the last few months, a man by the name of Kwaku Bonsam (the most powerful witch doctor in the country) has been coming on national radio and television and telling people that most Christians are fakes and that the biggest-named pastors in Ghana have all come to him to be blessed by his gods so that they can do miracles and wonders. This I do not doubt, knowing that most do not preach a saving gospel. The real problem arose about a week ago, when one of the pastors that Mr. Bonsam had spoken about on national radio said that Mr. Bonsom was a liar. This pastor then challenged him to a battle of powers at a park in Kumasi. He told everyone to come and watch him prove that he was a man of God and that God’s power was greater.
Well, to make a long story short, Kwaku Bonsam came. Thousands of people came to Jackson Park to see the event and many more thousands (if not millions) listened by radio. Once there, he (Kwaku Bonsam) berated pastors and fake Christians freely for almost two hours. Now, you may wonder why he had so much freedom-- it is because the pastor that challenged him did not even show up! Yep, that is right, the pastor did not even come.

I will say that the saddest part about this whole thing has been the effect that it has had on the average person in Kumasi. The next morning the radios were all talking about Bonsam, and the event was all that people could talk about. To quote one woman I heard on the tro-tro radio, “God bless Kwaku Bonsam!” That one hit me like a ton of bricks. All I could think was what Nathan the prophet said, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme…”
The other adversary was one much more personal and one that has shown us the daily need of prayer. We have been witnessing to a young Muslim man named Inusha. Just this week he asked me, “How can I become a Christian?” Yesterday we were on our third salvation Bible study when something interesting happened. I was almost finished when there was a knock at the door. A man came and greeted Inusha by name, and at once I knew that he was a Jehovah’s Witness. When he saw us he left quickly, but about 5 minutes later he was back with another man. Well, Inusha greeted them politely and they joined the Bible study. At first they just sat there, much like two vultures waiting for the man in the desert to die, but after about ten minutes the silence broke. John Dogby and I knew that it was going to be a battle for the soul of this man. The publisher (that is what JWs call their soul-winners) had called his overseer (a JW pastor) to come so that they could show Inusha that the missionary and his friend were fools and to prove to him how much they knew about the Bible. Well, I asked Inusha if he wanted to hear what they had to say and what the Bible had to say about Jesus. Remember, this man is a Muslim and already struggles with the Deity of Christ, which the Koran says is blasphemy. I told him that we were not going to fight with these people, but they wanted to talk so if he wanted he could hear both sides so that he would know the truth. (I found out later that they have been coming to his house and having ‘Bible studies’ with him) One thing about Ghana - when someone is seeking, most times they are converted to cults before we even know they exist. But, I will leave that idea for the end. Anyway, back to the Bible study, after this we proceeded to talk about the Deity of Christ for 2½ hours. It went rather well. The Jehovah’s Witnesses just left angry and annoyed because they could not make us look like fools but were ready to come back when we were not around. After they left, I just told Inusha that we were praying for him, and that we would pray that God would give him the wisdom to trust in the truth. Today we went back just to check on him and to give answers to the last few references the JWs used before they left. When we got there Inusha was watching a movie. It was the Gospel of Luke translated into Twi. Inusha had gone out yesterday after the long talk and bought it. He reads, but not very fast, and he wanted something to help him understand the truth about Jesus. Needless to say, that was encouraging. We just watched for about an hour with him. It was exciting to see how intensely he was watching. Every once in a while we made some points about things that proved the deity of Jesus. Overall, it was a good visit. We left him the paper with the answers and verses, prayed and left. We are praying for his salvation; I hope you will, too.
You know, there are people all over Ghana and the world like Inusha. They are looking for something. Their doors are open. The question is, will we pray and go to these doors despite the adversaries?

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