Well, I'm back! Sorry it's still without pictures, but at least it is me writing the posts. I'm feeling fine and things have calmed down just a bit so I decided to take a few minutes and catch up on the blog!
For about two months we have been praying for Martha's health. She is a young lady from the north (for those of you who've been here, this is Michael's (the bus mate's) ex-girlfirend) that has been attending the Bible studies for about nine months and has been doing a salvation Bible study with us for a while. Her symptoms finally got so bad that she had to be hospitalized for a procedure. I quickly agreed to help her with whatever she needed. Little did I know.......
Here in Ghana the hospitals are a bit different than the States. One of the most notable differences here is that they don't feed the patients. Not only do they not feed the patients, but the nurses are so understaffed and the wards are so overstuffed that they don't do much to help the patients either. Since Martha is from the north, she has very little family here to help her. Gifty and I said that we would bring her food on Friday after her procedure and planned on her going home on Saturday morning. Well, to make a long story short, she ended up being in the hospital from Thursday night until the following Monday night. She had no one to help her but us, so that meant two trips a day to the hospital 30 minutes from our house. Did I mention that morning visiting hours are from 5:30 am - 7:00 am??????
Let's just say that it was a tiring couple of days! But, it was a wonderful opportunity to practice my Ghanaian-food-cooking skills, it was a wonderful opportunity to be a servant (which is a big cultural no-no as a white person), and a wonderful opportunity to show Martha the love of Christ.
John's just glad that I'm done cooking fish soup at 4:30 every morning!!!
We have been hard at work with some new salvation Bible studies the last few months, and the Lord has been working! Doing salvation Bible studies is a bit like farming -- you dig the field, you plant the seeds, and then you pray for rain. Two weeks ago, the Lord sent some much anticipated rain! Within a one week period, we saw three people saved!
At this point, I'll just copy from John's blog....
Pastor Andrew and I have been having salvation Bilbe studies with a young community college guy named Fred. He has been attending all the Sunday services for the last few weeks. Saturday we went to his house and had a three hour study. At the end, all the pieces seemed to just fall into place, and we had the wonderful pleasure of hearing him ask God to save him. It was great!
For the last few months we have also been progressing through our salvation Bible studies with our Thursday night group. We have been praying for God to touch hearts. Last week on Thursday, I preached about the resurrection power of Christ over death. The people really seemed to listen. Martha (the young lady that Patty helped out last week) asked how a person can enter into this resurrecion power. I very clearly and plainly told her how a person receives Christ as Savior. I told everyone that if they wanted to speak to someone about trusting Christ, that they needed to speak with one of the leaders after we closed. After the meeting a young man named David that has been attending for about 6 months came up and told me that he wanted to get saved. I had the wonderful opportunity to lead him to Christ.
After the Bible study on Thursday, my wife was on the lookout for any ladies that seemed to want to talk, especially Martha, but none approached her. The good thing is that God knows what is going on even when we do not. The next day came and went and it was now Saturday. Patty was a little nervous. She had been working so long with Martha, it seemed like the truth was never going to break through. Saturday afternoon, her group headed off for witnessing. At this point I will relate the story the way that it was told to me...
"We came to Martha's house for our final visit," Patty said. "We greeted her and started our Bible study by reviewing our earlier studies. After that I asked Martha a few questions." "I asked Martha, 'Are you a sinner?' to which she said "Yes", and then I asked her, 'What is the punishment for sin?', to which she said "Hell", so then I asked her, "Martha, if you died where will you go?" Martha then said, "I will go to heaven!" I was so shocked and frustrated that she did not understand, I just asked in Twi, "Aden?" which means why???? Even Gifty was frustrated and asked her why she thought that she would go to heaven, if she was a sinner and should be punished. Then Martha gave this answer. She said, "Well, Thursday night Pastor John said that if a person knew that they were a sinner, and should go to hell, but believed that Christ shed his blood for them on the cross, they could be saved. You said that I could pray anytime. I did not have to be with anyone, so Thursday night I asked God to forgive my sins. I asked God to cover me with Christ's righteousness and to place Jesus blood over my heart, and to forgive my sins. So I am saved now, and will not go to hell, I will go to heaven!"
Patty said, "Gifty and I were shocked! After all this time, it had finally clicked." Gifty grilled her a little, but after a few moments Marhta said, 'Look, I understand everything. I am saved. I am a child of God. I understand.' So Gifty and I finished the Bible study and told her that we would be back next week to start to talk to her about growing in Christ."
Sorry if that's a little confusing in the third person....or second person....or whatever! It was a bit easier to just copy it than to try to rewrite it!
So, that's life from the last few weeks!
Please pray for the ongoing salvation Bible studies with Jerry and Dora, the new salvation studies we will be starting in the next few weeks with Richard, Joyce, Emmanuella, Constance, and Rose, and the follow-up on Fred, Martha, and David. We are planning for a baptismal service the beginning of May!