Monday, June 25, 2018

"Do You Want Gold?"

Writing from Ghana airport this past Friday, waiting for our cancelled flight to Nigeria to be rescheduled, I felt tired yet energized.  It was a long week with teaching from Monday-Friday, 9 am-4pm.  We had two different groups of pastors and church leaders, about 80 in all:  one group came on Monday-Tuesday; one group came on Thursday-Friday.  Wednesday was a workshop with the Ghana Christian University faculty and staff, doing some dialogue about opportunities and challenges, including the opportunity to engage the concept of “Work as Worship” in their Development Management programs, Nursing programs, Theology programs, and others.

While we were praying together on Tuesday morning, Fanny (Founder and Director of Hopeline Institute) shared that she felt she heard God’s voice asking, “Do you want gold?  You have gold before you.”  She believed this was referring to the message of Discipling Marketplace Leaders and the very real need and opportunity to reach the Marketplace for Christ through the Church.  By Friday afternoon, Fanny had organized what she is calling the “DML Movement” made up of twelve key strategic leaders.  They will have their first meeting in a few weeks to strategize how to make this call to reclaim the redeemed Marketplace, through DML, a National Movement in Ghana.

As a Director of Hopeline Institute, Fanny oversees 44 staff persons in three different units:  Training, Projects, and Microfinance.  They are a great team of men and women who are striving to do their work as an act of worship unto the Lord.  God is using them to bless and encourage so many.  How does one start a movement?  There are probably many ways, but I believe that the Holy Spirit and Fanny are a good mix to do it!

As you may remember, DML started working with Hopeline in Ghana in 2016 in Tamale,  This past week, while I was teaching, my colleague Barbie Odom had the opportunity to travel to Tamale to visit some of the businesses who went through the DML business training and some of the pastors who have been guiding the DML ministry in their church. She was very encouraged by what she saw.  One of the business women who produces a local juice from beesap (hibiscus) shared with Barbie how her business has been growing over time and how DML has helped.  In the picture you see a coin balanced on her finger, and she shared that when she started, she was able to put one coin aside after another to save and increase the business; she has now risen to the level where she has labelled her bottles and has had good growth.
the Northern Region of Ghana.

Pastor Adams oversees a total of five churches in this rural area and is also a maize farmer and pig farmer.  He is pictured here with his five-year-old son in their maize field (which is struggling with the army worm), and that is one of his delightful pigs in the picture below.

Five more churches are about to begin the training for their business people in the northern part of Ghana, and now we pray this movement of God will pick up in Accra as well through this new team of people.
This week will have two days of training in Lagos (Monday-Tuesday), and then three days of training in Ibadan (Thursday-Saturday).  Please pray for strength and health for us (last week had a few health challenges), that the word of God may go out and that people may be inspired, through the Holy Spirit, to reclaim our relationship to creation and to work.
The second group of Pastors and Church leaders at GCU

Isn't this just the cutest picture?