Sunday, May 31, 2015

Last day at church in Ghana. Rising and prep are normal. We have one with a minor problem that keeps her home from church, so the rest of us can all fit into Timothy’s car, with Ivey driving. We actually arrive a little early; hardly anybody’s here, and the church building is still locked, so we sit in the shade in the gazebo until it’s time to go to our regular Sunday school class. He’s been doing a series on James, and this morning’s lesson is from 4:6, on grace. There’s some good discussion.

This is my last time to preach—there’s a children’s program tonight—so I preach on the most important thing, loving God, from Matt 22. I have to say that my interpreter for these 3 weeks has been extraordinarily good. He’s right on top of things without getting in your way; if he doesn’t understand something he asks quickly for clarification and then plows ahead. A joy to work with.

Before the sermon I have the team come forward, and we sing Chris Anderson’s “I Run to Christ.” It occurs to me as we’re singing that Chris has been here on a mission trip, so I ask them if they recognize the song. Nope. I tell them the author’s been to Wa, and that seems to make an impression on them. Not a lot of nasala come to Wa.

After church Timothy picks up take-away (what the colonies call take-out) at Mummy’s, and we eat our fill at the kitchen table, with leftovers for later. We are certainly not suffering on the quantity of food.

I take my usual Sunday afternoon nap, though the heat makes it a bit restless. When I wake up Charity tells me that some of them got to ride Timothy’s motorbike a little bit on the compound. He knows they’ve been wanting to get to ride, and he’s trying to give them a good time. A good man.

As I mentioned before, evening church is a children’s program; they have a Scripture memory program on Sunday afternoons, and it’s the annual day to show what they can do. In short, it’s amazing. They have several kids recite—some of them look about 4, though I’m sure they’re just small—and there are some contests as well. Prizes for the winners, and a good time was had by all.

As we’re leaving church, we see all the motorbikes parked out front, and the agitation starts again. Charity asks Timothy for some help, and soon he has all the motorbike owners paired up with the girls. I end up holding a purse, 2 Bibles, a cell phone, and 2 water bottles as each of the girls heads for home on the back of a bike. I console myself by noting that it’s basically stop-and-go traffic, with lots of speed bumps, and they’ll never get over 30 mph. And they all really, really, really want to do it.

Gershon and I take the bus home, each of us carrying at least 1 purse. What a contrast. Bikers always get the girls.

When the bus arrives at the house, not all of the girls are there yet. I can see lights moving around the compound, so I know they’re just extending their rides. Eventually all the bikes pull up in front of the house, and the girls laugh at me when I count them. Whew.

We sit around the dinner table listening to the girls talk excitedly about the experience. That’s a memory they’ll keep for a while.

We finally get to devos after 11, and to bed not long after that.

 

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Dan Olinger

Chair, Division of Bible in the BJU School of Religion.

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