10 days as a guest of the Presbytery of Kwahu in Ghana.
The presbytery of Kwahu in Ghana and the Presbytery of Hamilton have had a twining arrangement for some years now, where friendships have been made and opportunities to visit each other have been available. As moderator of Hamilton Presbytery I had the privilege to join with four other members of Hamilton Presbytery on this years visit.
The purpose of these twinning’s is primarily to build on our fellowship with each other, and of course to support each other in prayer and in other practical ways in our work for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
By European standards most of the people of Ghana are very poor. And many of the what we would consider the basics in life just aren’t possible for most. For example, we visited communities where not only was there no water on tap, but the “well” water was of very poor quality. We visited schools where they had no paper or pencils or books, and some had no desks or chairs or toilet facilities. We visited a hospital where all the equipment in the operating theatre was “ancient” and some of it did not work at all.
While there were no major signs of people being undernourished, it became obvious very quickly that for many food was in short supply.
I had the privilege of giving to several schools and one orphanage the gifts of art work and toys that we purchased from the retiral offering that we had at Crosshill and St Margaret’s. I cannot describe the joy on the teachers and children’s faces when they received these gifts!
And without fail, every teacher said the same thing, “give your people our thanks, God bless them and we will be praying for them”.
Everywhere we went the same sentiment was expressed… “Thank you…God bless you…We will pray for you.” At first I thought that the Kwahu ministers had coached the teachers on how to respond to the visitors from Scotland, but no! that was not the case.
The truth is that when it comes to matters of thanksgiving, faith and prayer, the people we met are leagues ahead of us.
I must confess I found it difficult to understand how people with so little could be so thankful for what they have, but they are.
When it comes to God they speak about God being in everything, “God talk” enters into everything.
For example, they pray before they go on a journey for “travelling mercies”; they welcome each other with a word that translates as the “peace of God be with you”; one local asked me if I had slept well the night before, when I told him that I had, his response was, “Wonderful, by the Grace of God!”
And when it comes to worship services, well that was a whole new experience for me.
Two main services on a Sunday, the first starts at 7am and lasts till 930am. The second starts at 10am till 2.30pm. Yes, this was not a typo a 4 ½ worship service! …filled with Hymns, prayers, dancing, bible study, sermons, scripture reading, dancing, dancing, oh, have I mentioned dancing.
please go to the galleries page on the web site to see some of the pictures of the visit…also if you go to the videos page you will see some recordings of the visit.