The banging, yelling, dancing, chanting and really loud music folks from Friday night were blessedly absent last night, and I fell into a hard sleep just about the moment my head touched the pillow. I was so hard asleep that I apparently hit my snooze twice this morning before I even became aware of it. If this keeps up I'm going to have to put the alarm on the other side off the room someplace!
The meetings were to start promptly at 9am this morning, but things rarely start on time in Ghana
One of the areas that the Ghanaian ministry has shown themselves to be somewhat lacking in is an understanding of the resurrections, and so the second presentation covered this topic. Without a good understanding of what the Bible really does teach, it is easy to either avoid the topic, or start to venture off in ways that are doctrinally inaccurate
David Johnson gave a very good basic sermon on the topic some time back, so I was able to download the video, and rather than try to reinvent the wheel, I played his sermon for all the fellows. Because English isn't their first language, and because Mr. Johnson does tend at times to speak quickly, I put together and photocopied a sheet that had the scriptural references for every passage he would read or refer to. By following this sheet as the message went along, it seemed to help the fellows a great deal to keep up with and have notes on the message.
This led to a series of questions including how much time will there be between the second and third resurrections? We don't know for sure, but it doesn't appear to be very long. What will happen to babies who were aborted, miscarried or died at birth. Will they be resurrected? Every indication of scripture is that they will indeed. Will they be resurrected as babies or children or adults? We just don't know
As the questions began to roam a bit farther from the topic, I had to bring the session to a close because it was now 2pm., and most of the elders had to begin looking for a taxi or bus to make it back home for work tomorrow.
That was when we got our next surprise. The hotel where we met had given us access to their dining room for our meetings. It was arranged for all day meetings, however at 2pm they decided we had to vacate the room so they could get set up for dinner. But, they had a regular sleeping room we could use. So, the pastors and I relocated up to a very hot and stuffy room, and I had just gotten my projector set up for more powerpoint slides when were informed that the room rate we would be charged was 50 cedis for an hour!! The guys were absolutely indignant, telling me the manager was asking so much because he saw a white man among them, and assumed the white man has lots off money, so he wanted some of it. Not only did his ploy not work, but he has lost all future business from us, as we will not use the Achimfor hotel again.
Instead we all made the mile-long trek back to my hotel, and shoehorned everyone into my room (which does have working air conditioning) where we were able to complete the last session I had for the day - an overview and understanding of the nature of God and whether or not God is a trinity. It is interesting how a doctrine many churches hold to so fiercely cannot be found in scripture, did not exist until over 350 years after the death of Christ, and even by proponents is claimed to be beyond the understanding of human beings! We spent nearly two hours going through the scriptures that do describe who God the Father and Jesus Christ are, as well as what the Holy Spirit is. There were more very good questions on the topic, and then we ended for the evening. They will all return to my hotel room at 9am tomorrow to finish the last session and some final items I want to cover with them all.
About 30 minutes after they left Daniel Bottah called to ask if he and his wife could stop by. He has not been able to get his car repaired yet, but he has driven all over today, and my jury rigged side-of-the-road fix is still holding! A repair like that might never work at home, but here with faith, prayer and probably an angel holding those wires together, it will run until he is able to get a replacement cable from the "fitter" (what they call a mechanic here locally).
Daniel and his wife, Dorcas, are the young couple who lost a daughter a year and a half ago, just a few months after the little girl was born. Mary and I have done what we can while we were here, and then from afar to help them both deal with the overwhelming grief of their loss. However, now Dorcas is pregnant again - and I mean VERY pregnant! She is regularly having labor pains, and the baby is due officially in two weeks, and could honestly come at any time. But she really wanted to see me, so as uncomfortable as she is, she wanted to make the trip over to the hotel. We hugged, talked and took a couple of photos (having a passing fellow snap a couple of all of us). She even informed me that they intend to name the baby (they know it is a girl) after my wife, Mary, because of how much Mary's concern has touched them both. That's the kind of thing that really puts a lump in a guys throat...but its probably bad form for the white man to start tearing up in a car park, so you smile, swallow hard and don't say anything for just a moment.
After they left, and I received a couple more phone calls and one more visit here at my room, I was able to catch some dinner, and am now heading back to bed. We will end the classes tomorrow by noon and turn everyone loose to start back home. I have a couple of articles for the Life Hope and Truth website I need to edit, and am hoping to have some time to work on them tomorrow afternoon. I'll have another visit tomorrow evening, and then Reuel Dima, Eshun Plange and I will leave Tuesday morning to travel down to Elmina and start checking out potential sites where we can possibly build a permanent site for the Church for Feast, Summer Camp and so forth.
Sunday, January 26, 2014