On March 15, due to the COVID-19 situation, Ghana banned all public gatherings until at least Monday, April 13, the day after Easter. Shockingly, bars could remain open, but not churches. Still, we were visiting our church members and soul winning; but then on March 27, the president of Ghana put our city of Kumasi and the capital city of Accra on lockdown. As in all ministries worldwide, these challenging times have necessitated much frugality, wisdom, innovation, and prayer. Allow me to share with you how our church is still reaching out:
• Television: For two years now, we have been on the air every Sunday morning from 6:00 – 6:30. We thank the Lord we are number one in our time slot, with hundreds of thousands listening each week. We are expecting even more to be listening during these weeks when churches are not allowed to assemble.
• Radio: Very soon after the edict, we secured the premium time slots of 11:00 on Sunday mornings and 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. I am preaching live each Sunday morning, and several of our staff men are teaching on salvation on Wednesdays. The response has been great. Nearly all of our church people are able to tune in. Our prayer is that God would open the door for us to stay on the radio even after things get back to normal.
• Information Centers: Our update last month was about this unique ministry where we can rent airtime on community loudspeakers. We secured additional time slots on Sunday mornings in 12 communities. Our staff men and Bible college students are preaching and reaching thousands with the truth every week. Here is a video that we put together recently about our television, radio, and information center outreaches: tinyurl.com/TeamGhanaMar2020.
• Facebook: Our ministry has only made limited use of Facebook Live in the past, but now we are streaming several times a week. This has been a learning experience for us. We are striving to get more of our church members connected to our social media platforms. Just today, we posted a salvation testimony, and we are boosting it so that many in Ghana will watch and hear the Gospel!
• Phone: Social distancing has made the classic phone call the key way to maintain that personal contact with our church members. Our Sunday school classes are organized to contact nearly all of our church members by phone.
• Rice Distribution: As in the rest of the world, social distancing and lockdowns are causing the loss of income and even jobs for many. This past week, distributing rice and oil to our poorest members was a great opportunity to visit our people and show our love to them.
Pray that God would continue to give us men and women to train for the ministry. Pray also for our team families during this time. This month, we are highlighting the Sarver family. Brother Sarver and I have been blessed to serve together for about 25 years now. You can read their most recent prayer letter here: fbmi.org/missionary/sarver#updates
Yours for souls,