There were a couple of computer issues as well – which I’m way out of my depth with! Reuel Dima had his apartment broken in to a few months ago, and one of the things stolen was his computer. It had the forms he uses to make monthly church reports and accounting reports. He asked if I can send those to him. OK, that one I can handle!
We discussed the needs for the Feast of Tabernacles this year. It is not going to work for anyone to come to Ghana this year, so we will need to arrange for the services schedule as we did last year. We will have some pre-recorded sermons from Headquarters that can be played, but this creates a problem. The comprehension of English among the members is rising – approximately 2/3 can understand English by the pastor’s estimates. That means 1/3 would get nothing out of a pre-recorded sermon in English.
But they have a solution. There are services available for a nominal fee where they can take a recording to one of the local TV stations, and their personnel will listen through the message, translate it into Twi, and record that over the video. So it apparently can be played with English in the background, and Twi being dubbed over the top. We are going to try it and see how well this works.
There were some immediate needs of members that we discussed. I’ve done what I can to provide assistance, which hopefully will make the difference needed.
I had several presentations prepared, but since some of our discussions have taken longer than anticipated, I’ve time left for only one. I chose to address the subject of the Antichrist with them.
My reasoning for doing so is that prophecy in general is not something that is well understood in Ghana, and not something that is addressed much, if ever. So I decided to take this topic and go through it carefully, to help these men see and understand the subject, and thereby help equip them to begin discussing aspects of this with their congregations.
For example, we are told in scripture several times that the Antichrist (also known as the man of sin, son of perdition, lawless one and the False Prophet) will be able to do miraculous things, even calling down fire from heaven. These acts are going to be very convincing to most of mankind, and we are told the deceit will be so strong that it can affect God’s people too. So one point we talked about is that performing miracles alone is not a proof that God is involved (think of the magicians around Pharaoh when Moses and Aaron were before him). It is important that we don’t allow supernatural things to sway us, because it isn’t what he can DO that is most important – it is what he TEACHES that is.
We had some final discussions, they wanted a couple of photos, and then I said goodby to Reuel Dima and Joseph Baah. Adonijah Blay stayed for a while so I could have some individual time with him too.
We discussed in more detail his areas of responsibility, and also his family. It is traditional in Ghana when a sibling dies that another sibling will take the responsibility of raising his children. That means paying for schooling, clothes, food, etc. He is the only remaining sibling of his family, and so he is helping to raise 7 nieces and nephews in addition to his own children! At times it can be a heavy burden, but he is happy to be able to help his family. I’m sure they appreciate it!
His area is fairly well spread out from Kumasi up to Yeji and across lake Volta (which is up to 7 miles across at this point) to Makango. And the area has become more dangerous. It is not advisable to travel the road from Kumasi to Yeji after dark without a heavy police escort. Taxi’s and busses will not travel the roads without police in front and behind. This impacts how the brethren manage their work and travels. It has become, at least for the time being, a sad fact of life in this area. So we discussed some possible changes and plans for the future and the best way to manage his area.
After he departed, I decided to go over to the hotel gym again and spend a little time on the treadmill and a few weights. A lot of sitting tends to make one feel a bit sluggish. Some exercise and a good sweat was in order!
After showering and changing I went down to the front desk to see if I could reach the director of group sales for the hotel. I’ve still not been able to reach her, and I need to begin making arrangements for the next installment of the International Leadership Program this coming January.
I was introduced to a distinguished looking fellow named William. I discovered why I’d been unable to reach the lady whose name I’d been given before – she has left the employ of the hotel. But he has replaced her, and we had a good conversation. I’ve not met him before, but he said he has seen and heard my name (hopefully not on any “most wanted” posters…) because I’ve been a guest at this hotel many times over the last 15+ years. He was very friendly, and seemed more than willing to help us get he conference set up. We exchanged emails and phone numbers, so we’ll be able to continue to communicate and work out the details even after I leave Ghana.
As it is now evening, I’ll shortly head to the restaurant for my last dinner here for this trip. I hope it will be less crowded than this morning. There is a conference of some sort here today, and the parking lot was completely filled with vehicles. Every table in the restaurant was full, so I went through the buffet line, got some food and simply brought it back to my room to eat. Perhaps there will be a little more room this evening!Tomorrow morning I’ll take care of a couple of things, settle my bill and my driver should be here by 11 am for me to travel back to Accra for the final parts of this trip to Ghana.