Legon International Church (LIC) was where we worshipped with hundreds of our brothers and sisters in Christ from Ghana. Located right on the campus of the University of Ghana, LIC has excellent worship – a blend of hymns and praise choruses. Some of the songs were in English; some were in Twi (pronounced “tree”- the area trade language); many were sung in both languages. The prayer time was very well done and the message was excellent. Most North Americans would’ve felt right at home.
My heart was moved during the open prayer time as so many prayed for peace, their country, and those in need. I was reminded that many of our prayer times are full of requests for physical health – and many of the Ghanaians have physical needs, too, but their prayer concerns focused on corporate needs for the Body of Christ both in Ghana and around the world.
After the 95 minute service we had a wonderful lunch at a Turkish restaurant outside, under a canopy. The heat and humidity didn’t make being outside too uncomfortable.
Lee took us on a driving tour of Accra. The mixture of wealth and abject poverty is difficult to describe. Many of us will be posting pictures, but even they do not adequately portray the desperate conditions on one side of a wall, while on the other side wealth is provocatively ostentatious. We are all gaining a fresh understanding of God’s great concern for justice in our world and asking questions of each other and ourselves for how that will impact what we do with this revelation.
On the tour, Lee stopped at a casket maker and we saw the primitive workshop in which this craftsman produces some amazing works of art. We were all stunned at the number of people living in a very small area. Children, adults and animals were all together in a space smaller than most two car garages. But even though they have so little, they smile, laugh and enjoy each other.
All of us continue to be impressed with the Ghanaian people and have concluded that a major difference is that theirs is not a culture of entitlement. No one expects something for nothing; what they have – and that is very little – is actually an exception in a culture where there isn’t a system of providing shelter, food, etc., for everyone.
We saw the new presidential palace which is unoccupied since it was built by the former president who was a member of what is now seen as the opposition party. We drove past acres of sprawling living quarters made of corrugated metal, cardboard, and pallets where there are no real streets, or running water and most of the sewage runs in an open gutter but where there is some electricity so there are hundreds of bamboo poles sticking up in the air with TV antennas. A few blocks away we passed the new U.S. Embassy with scores of security cameras, guards, walls, iron bars and huge satellite dishes.
Spiritually, two things stand out:
1. There are church signs all over. One would expect to find a lot of churches in a metro area of 3 million people but we are learning that most of these churches are teaching a gospel of prosperity not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is discouraging.
2. Among the many churches, the best looking facilities are Mormon. Perfectly maintained buildings and green, manicured lawns. Frustrating.
The day ended with Michelle’s version of tacos and wonderful conversation around the tables.
Thanks for praying for us.