Our Outreach in Ghana, West Africa
KROBO-ODUMASE, Eastern Region, Ghana:
As early as 8am Sunday morning, February 5, they started pouring in. Two hundred and sixteen children, forty eight parents and a handful of the disabled, coming from various poor homes and communities, eagerly looking forward to a good, free meal.
The atmosphere was electrifying and heartrending - an entire community of children and parents showing up for a free meal.
Meals were served to the satisfaction of all. All had soda to drink and water to quench their thirsts.
Everyone participated in some sort of games and danced to popular local music. Joy, laughter, merry making and the spirit of love hung heavily in the air. This was heaven to many.
Then what we always dread at our feeding functions happened. It was time to say good bye and depart. A surprise announcement was made, that all the children and their parents, including the disabled, would be given free food to take home!
They were asked to line up for the extra food. Suddenly there was a stampede. Children and adults started fighting for first place in the queue to receive their free meals.
Tears rolled down the cheeks of volunteers, as they served in total silence.
Keeping the ministry going after major surgery
I have just had a major surgery - prostatectomy - involving radical removal of my enlarged prostate. I drove home from the hospital on my own after surgery; not a good idea though. I am recuperating very fine, even to the amazement of the doctors handling my case. Glory be to God. I feel ready to hit the road again, but I have been asked to rest for at least the next two weeks to fully recover, and I am going to do just that. Rest is a priority in life.
All these are happening at the time that ministry must go on. The lives of people depend somewhat on us, as God works through us.
Ministry, the work of God, must therefore go on, with or without me. That's why I am so happy God has surrounded our ministry with highly dependable volunteers and very committed partners, not to mention caring donors like you, who are readily available to continue serving God, come what may.
As Romans 8:35-39 put it: 35"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Since there is nothing that can stop us from doing good, let's keep giving selflessly. We are only tools in the administration of God's Grace. Let's not frustrate that Grace! Again, let's keep giving selflessly. And please continue to pray for me too.
Christmas always reminds us of the three gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus: Gold (signifying his Kingship), myrrh (pointing to the fact that his body will not decay in the grave) and frankincense (underscoring the fact that he is a Priest).
This Christmas, what gift(s) are you packaging for loved ones and those in need? And how significant are those gifts? We pray that your gift(s) to loved ones and the needy this yuletide will have significance to someone's life:
* To ignite the spirit of unity and togetherness.
* To send a clear message of love.
* To lighten up a gloomy heart.
* To touch and change a life.
* To bring smiles to a face.
* To infuse joy into a heart.
* To bring dancing to some feet.
* To release hope to the hopeless.
* To offer an answer to prayer.
* To repair a broken relationship.
As the wise men were led to Jesus by a star, which informed their decision on what gifts to send, may our ministry be a guiding light unto you, in your area of giving this Christmas. And may all your labor of love this whole year to the least that you have been supporting through our ministry, abound unto you as blessings from on high!
We are so grateful for your support and we seize this opportunity to wish you a very meaningful and blessed yuletide. May the good Lord protect you and yours, as well as your business and ministry, throughout 2017, in Jesus' name!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The other side of miracles
In the Redeem West Africa Ministry, miracles happen everyday in our operations.
We are not referring to super miracles like raising the dead, healing the terminally sick, giving sight to the blind, defying the laws of nature and the like, brought about through the operations of great prophets, evangelists, apostles, pastors and teachers and other highly acclaimed men and women of God.
No. We are referring to simple but powerful miracles wrought by disregarded, ordinary and common items like used dresses, a plate of food, a cup of water, a hug, a smile, a simple Hello or Hi. These unpretentious things, presented to the poor and needy, from the depths of a loving heart, with care and concern about their plight, have caused numerous miracles to happen to individuals, families, households, communities and groups of people in our ministry.
Our free meals have caused revivals in villages, bringing families and village elders together to unite. Our free water has brought hope to families, doing away with imminent death caused by water-borne diseases. Our free clothing have brought joy to numerous people living lives of melancholy, releasing them to dance for the first time in many years.
Our interaction with marginalized rural folks, hugging them, encouraging them to smile and saying something as simple as Hi or Hello to them, becomes a balm, spreading healing to the heart.
Yes. That is the other side of miracles. These take place everyday when we minister to rural dwellers.
So anytime God lays on your heart to give something to the poor, be rest assured that he will surely use what you have given, whatever it may be, to cause another kind of miracle, the unseen, the unknown, silent miracle, to happen in hearts, homes, families, communities and nations.
And by extension, you the giver, becomes a vehicle for God to use and cause the other side of miracle to happen. As in Exodus 4:2, "Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"" Please join us to spread the other side of miracles that create rippling effects across communities, with anything that you have in your hand.
Brief Thanksgiving Message From Africa
As the nation and people of America prepare to celebrate this year's Thanksgiving, we at the Redeem West Africa ministry wish to join in on this solemn occasion.
Besides giving thanks to Yahweh, the Holy One to whom all glory belong, we also wish to bring special thanks from Ghana, West Africa, to all of our faithful supporters, ministry partners, prayer intercessors, well-wishers and all of you good saints out there, organized by or reached out to by our ministry partners, the Daily Jot.
Throughout this year, you have all been divinely handpicked to serve Christ, through our ministry.
This service of yours made it possible for us to put food in the mouths of needy children, quench the thirst of families, clothe shabbily dressed adults, bring hope to the persecuted in hostile environments, encourage many to love God and their neighbors, and start a water project to continue sending safe water to those who need it most, in the name of Jesus Christ.
In a nutshell, we see your support as a remarkable labor of love and wish to thank you from the depths of our hearts for caring, sharing and serving.
Finally, we now remind you to do one more thing. On this Thanksgiving Day, please offer this simple prayer to God, saying: "Father, thank you for using me to touch and impact the needy in Africa." Amen.
A GREAT, PROFOUND LESSON FROM AFAR
By Pastor William Agbeti
We invited 80 beneficiaries to our Sunday free feeding program at Krobo-Odumase, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. 110 children and young adults showed up at the beginning of the program.
This was expected and planned for. Those who came early had enough food, drink, water, candies and other goodies. Another small, uninvited batch came later and these could not have food to eat. Besides, the number was too much on the high side, so not all could benefit from the free clothing.
Confession upon confession came from the church leadership and members that such a program had never been held before in their town. They enjoyed every bit of it, basking in an atmosphere of Christian love. As a result, they requested for a repeat and the establishment of a permanent free feeding program.
To express their thanks to the organizers of the program and the providers of the free stuffs, the invited children were organized and taught (earlier on) to sing "Jesus loves me, this I know." It was so touching! The local church that partnered with us, operates out of the forecourt of someone's house, under canopies. We were fortunate it didn't rain and that the weather was a bit cool, about 70 degrees.Many shortcomings did not deter anyone from enjoying every bit of the occasion.
We came away with a great, profound lesson, as we saw real joy on the faces of the children: A little of what we all take for granted - food, used dress, soda, candy, water, and a hug - means the world to someone somewhere. The hugging part of the program was deeply enjoyed by all, as we taught and encouraged everyone to hug us and each other. They just loved it. We did too. It was life transforming.
This whole thing could not have been made possible without the support of caring hearts. 1 Peter 4:10 says: "As everyman hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." Yes. Your gift ministers the manifold grace of God to the least, the littlest, the lost and the lonely that we serve in Ghana, West Africa.
Krobo-Odumase, Eastern Region, GHANA: October 25, 2016
By Pastor William Agbeti
The word is out: "Redeem West Africa is coming to our village!" The buzz word is free meals!
Excitement is building up in the village of Krobo-Odumase, a typical rural community in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Inhabitants here are peasant farmers, petty traders, unemployed folks, with a high rate of illiteracy. Many are students and youth struggling with various challenges.
Any event or happening akin to free meals is more than welcome news. George Bernard Shaw has always been right: "There is no love greater than the love for food."
Christ knew this much better and earlier when he offered himself to us as food: " I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger..." John 6:35. Again He declares in Matthew 4:4: "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
In cooperation with a local church and some local volunteers, Redeem West Africa will on Sunday, November 6, 2016 operate a soup kitchen to freely share food and the precious word of God to needy children and their parents. All of the beneficiaries, totalling some 80 selected children and their parents, have been invited to church service.
Perhaps, some would be hearing of Christ for the first time. Hopefully all or some would give their lives to Christ and lives would be touched and changed forever! May be, many would be eating a good meal and enjoy a salivating drink for the first time in many months.
Besides, there is a little surprise for everyone. Free used dresses. This information has not gone out to them yet. We are keeping it up our sleeves. Why must you care about this event taking place half way around the world, in an obscure corner of the globe?
Philippians 2:4 says: "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." All we are asking is: Please remember the poor and needy in your days of plenty and send a little support to make the event even grander than we have planned. Our focus is to win some or all into Christendom, using free meals. Please join us on this mission.
October 18, 2016
Practicing Isaiah 58:10 in West Africa
By Pastor William Agbeti
In Ghana, we have a saying that "men don't weep"; but I did weep in public when we recently gave out free clothes and meals to some of the less privileged at Lagos Town (also known as Accra New Town) a poverty-stricken suburb of Accra.
On that occasion I saw entire families rejoicing over "used" clothing they have received.
What touched my heart most was a mother and her 10year-old child who viciously devoured their free meal, totally oblivious to onlookers. It was heart-rending.
They must be very hungry, I thought. Perhaps that was their first meal in a long while. I reasoned. It was evident they needed clothes! I couldn't control myself as tears welled up in my eyes and freely rolled down my cheeks.
According to Pastors Akilakpa and Kojo, leaders of the Kingdom View Ministry that we teamed up with to provide the free meals and clothes, "about 40% of children in their community do not attend school, 93% do not attend church, not a single church runs a Sunday School, and parents live perverse lifestyles involving drinking, smoking, promiscuity, witchcraft and superstition."
Providing free meals and clothes to these impoverished ones is actually like scratching the tip of an iceberg. Their needs are overwhelming!
As Christians and children of light, it is incumbent upon all of us who are a little or more blessed to reach out to touch and change a life, one at a time. There is tremendous blessings bestowed on those who "cover the naked" and "feed the hungry" as presented in Isaiah 58:10: "... if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:"
Every month, depending on the availability of resources, our ministry reaches out to the poor right in their own communities to bring them free food, clothes and other goodies or freebies we can find. There hasn't yet been any community or person that has said no to our free offers. They eagerly look forward to our visits when announcements are made.
To assist us in this worthy work, all it takes is a little commitment of, say $25 a month, to provide a family with at least one square meal. A satisfied soul will then belch and open his or her mouth to bless you from the depths of the heart! That alone, should be fulfilling!
October 13, 2016 Kofi's Water Experience
By Pastor William Agbeti
Every day of the week, for several months, teen-ager Kofi woke up at 4am, held a plastic bowl under his armpit and began a 10-minutes journey by foot, to fetch water from a nearby hand-dug well.
On reaching the well, the first thing he always noticed floating on top of the water was debris.
Often, he would spend a while scooping the debris prior to fetching water.
As he did so, he would notice frogs diving smartly into the well. The frogs lived in the water. Unperturbed, Kofi would draw a few buckets of surface water (which flows underground from houses and the community) into the well to fill his plastic bowl.
One would think this kind of unwholesome water would be free. No, sir! Kofi would pay a small sum for it and begin his return journey, carrying water that has likely been the cause of illness in his family.
Then there was a turning-around. One day, Kofi saw treated, running water flowing from a stand pipe at our ministry's Redeemer House. Highly excited with total disbelief written all over his face, he inquired if he could please fetch water from the standpipe. His request was immediately granted. Oh my! Was he elated or what?
Now Kofi and his entire household fetch water from our rural Ministry water project, free of charge.
This humanitarian gesture, giving free water to the needy and poorest of the poor, is one of the our ministry's objectives for rural folks in Ghana.
The direct benefits of the water project are enormous and life saving, with the key benefit being the prevention of death from water-borne diseases.
October 11, 2016, Amrahia, Ghana
By Pastor William Agbeti
Our rural water project is scaling up from meeting the water needs of individuals to supplying water for several families and communities at a time.
This is made possible with the development of the long-awaited mass water supply system.
The system comprises water drilled from a 100 meter-deep well, pumped into an underground storage, channeled through a mini treatment plant and made ready for supplies into water tanks, drums and other vessels for rural families and communities.
The next stage in the development of the our ministry mass water project is to make available a water truck to deliver water freely to homes and families.
The project requires the support and goodwill of individuals like you and institutions like yours, to finally take off. Meanwhile, the water needs of families and whole communities are met with the provision of water from a stand pipe. The needy come there to fetch water.
In Zechariah 14:8, we read: "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be."
Yes, water is life. Would you please help us present ourselves as living water spiritually and physically to those who need him most? Your support will assist us in meaningful, life-changing outreach to those in need of both physical and spiritual water!
Bringing Clean Water to Rural Areas
Two years ago, The Daily Jot along with our brother ministry in Ghana, West Africa, Redeem West Africa, developed a rural Ebola prevention program that was commended by the Ghana government. We assembled and distributed portable water sanitation systems in rural areas, and taught the village folks how to prevent Ebola by washing their hands in clean water before and after food preparation. We were not only successful in preventing Ebola, but also in identifying a tremendous need to prevent many diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Our approach has been to drill a well that serves a broad rural area and utilize it as a sustainable Christian outreach.
Our ministry partner pastor William Agbeti writes: “Due to drinking contaminated water, diarrheal disease is the third most commonly reported illness at health centers across the country and 25% of all deaths in children under the age of five are attributed to diarrhea. Ghana's rural communities, comprising some 70% of the population, bear the brunt of the nation's water crisis.” These are areas ripe for Christian outreach as Christians are being persecuted by advancing numbers of Islamists and the mainline churches in Ghana refuse to venture into these dangerous areas. The Daily Jot and Redeem West Africa are utilizing our clean water project to bring living water in the name of Jesus to all who thirst.
William reports, “The model project, which at this stage provides filtered water, is serving the clean water needs of many households in rural Medina. Those mothers, and especially children, who walk a few minutes to fetch the clean water we freely provide, are spared the ordeal of whole-day journeys in search of contaminated water, dropping out of school, catching water-borne diseases, and succumbing to preventable deaths. The next stage of our model rural water project is to process and package treated water in sachets for rural folks, so they can keep packaged water for safe drinking and cooking. We are also embarking on a first of a kind water emergency service to bring water to desperate rural areas.”
The most heart-rending case is Nsawam, a large community of some 44,250 folks in Southern Ghana. The people of Nsawam are sending SOS messages to Government and other philanthropic organizations for immediate help. They, like most rural areas, are in urgent need of clean water. As William writes: “Thus, with our main project and the emergency service, we will be carrying out God's own desire, as expressed in Isaiah 41:17: "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them."” Our need is to finish up our filtration system and to purchase a truck for clean water delivery.
Pastor William Agbeti has been my ministry partner since 1992. Together, we have been through dictatorships, storms, hostile Islamic environments, people trying to undermine us, ministries refusing to help us in dire rural areas, and a host of other challenges. By the Lord's grace, we are still able to do His work.