Unfortunately, the hotel also sponsors some kind of a nightclub in one of their large meeting rooms, and I guess Friday night was the night for that. As I guess one would expect, the nightclub involves large speakers playing very loud music with a heavy base. Since our new room is at the far end of the hall (closest to the nightclub), so while we couldn’t hear the melody (if there was one), we definitely could hear the heavy thump of the base – until sometime after 2:30 am.
All of us met in the restaurant at 8:00 for breakfast, and then went to the lobby to wait for our van at 9. He was a little late, but we still made it to the church building with plenty of time to spare.
We had 212 in attendance today. With the overcast skies it was really pretty comfortable inside. Cliff Demarest gave the first split sermon talking about a beautiful church. He mentioned a few church buildings in the world that are considered beautiful or grand. Then he showed how the Church of God is not a building, it is the people God has called and is working with. It is the humble, repentant and spiritually growing heart of God’s people that is truly beautiful. I think the point was very well made.
For special music I had asked the group if they felt they could do anything. The girls worked on “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken”, and had the soprano and alto parts, but none of the guys said they could sing. So to fill it out a little I joined in with the bass part, and of course we did it acapella. It is always a treat for the members when some of the western visitors bring special music.
For the second split sermon Cody Kitts talked about US football great Gale Sayers. He mentioned all his achievements, but how that in stark contrast to many of today’s sports figures, he was humble and honorable. How when his good friend and teammate was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Gale stayed with him until he died. He was that kind of a friend.
Later on Gale wrote his autobiography and titled it “I Am Third”. In the book he said that his priorities in life were God first, his friends and family second and he came third. Cody took that description and then went on to show how this is a good perspective for us as Christians. If we always put God first, that makes so many of the decision we may face in life clear. Putting our neighbor above ourselves gives us a proper perspective in life, and one that our Creator honors and respects. While I really doubt any of the Ghanaians had a clue who Gale Sayers is, and they have little knowledge or understanding of American football, the point he made transcended all of that. Two very well done split sermons!
After services we came back to the hotel for a relaxing Sabbath afternoon. I think virtually all of us took a nap at least a little while, and we rested and enjoyed the time. Then we met downstairs at 5:30 for the van that was to take us to the Coconut Grove hotel for dinner. Being able to sit down on the beach at sunset is a wonderful experience. The Coconut Grove is also the only place I know of that serves coconut chips – strips of the meat of a coconut that are cut like French fries and fried. They are amazing, and quite addictive! I’d bragged them all up to the group, and we were expecting the best!
However, the van didn’t show. I finally called Mr. Sake to find out what happened. Unfortunately our driver got so ill after he brought us back to the hotel (from malaria) that he spend the rest of the afternoon in the hospital. But he was on his way to get us anyway! We felt badly, but he was already coming. So we went on. We missed sunset on the beach, but they all still enjoyed a wonderful atmosphere, shortly after the end of the Sabbath.
However, the waitress who came to take our order began telling us the things they didn’t have any more of – and on that list was coconut chips!! Of all things for me to brag up and then not have! But they didn’t lynch me, so I hope all is forgiven J!
Our driver just waited for us, sleeping near the van. I asked him if he was going to feel like driving us to Kumasi tomorrow morning, and he assured me he would be fine. So we’ll see.
So one more night’s sleep in Elmina before we head north away from the coast. Tomorrow we’ll check into the Rexmar hotel, which is very near the camp site. And we are planning to visit the palace museum of the Asantihene, the Ashante king. That is a neat cultural and historical visit.