September 2012 Update
Benjamin Ward (2008)
Dear Prayer Partners,
This past Wednesday marked two weeks of me being in Ghana. It has been a world wind with trying to learn as much as I can about our Bible College Property as I am the new future property administrator. I have about four more weeks to learn as much as I can from the present administrator before he retires and heads back home. I appreciate all of your prayers as there is quite a bit to talk about, plus helping them pack some stuff, move some stuff, and get rid of some stuff (which is my favorite part because I am finding all kinds of future ministry supplies at GREAT discounts! ha ha, i.e. free). But all learning aside, I have been able to settle in as much as you can when you move into a 15 foot by 14 foot 10 inch room that has become my office, sitting room, kitchen, bedroom, garage, storage room, etc. Actually, it sounds really bad, but it is quite spacious comparatively, especially concerning that I just got here from Togo where I lived in an 8 foot by 12 foot room which I shared with my10 year old “brother.” There is a picture here of my spacious room, it still has a little bit or work to go, but I have been able to build a couple of shelves out of plywood that have helped significantly with organization. What also is really funny is that you could walk in my room, and except for my kitchen table, office table, and storage shelves, it is totally African! I have a curtain in front of my door that I just leave when I am home, it allows people to know I am home, helps with air flow, and yet keeps the flies out! Then when you come into my room, I have a couple of spare bedsheets strung across a rope that is at the mid point of the room. This acts as a divider when I have company so that people can join me in my “sitting room,” but not be in my “kitchen or bedroom.” Then if you come to my “kitchen,” you will notice that every single one of my pots, pans, dishes, cups, coffee mugs, pretty much every kitchen utensil or dish is in one large basket and I just pull out what I need, and put it back after I wash it! Definitely cultural! Ha ha ha.
It seems that every couple of weeks I am writing about how God is my Provider, however it just seems that every week is a testament to that and I see God providing and working in my life in so many ways! It isn’t even that is He just my Provider, He works all things out for His glory. Here are two examples.
My first story is about some plane tickets. Some of you may know that I was planning to go home for Christmas this year. I have already booked my tickets but we have been in the process of working some things out for all of our Ghana Team missionaries to have some meetings together in Pennsylvania this December. With all of us traveling back and forth on furlough and such, it is really hard sometimes to get every single team member together, and yet it just so happened that by this December everyone on our team was going to be in the USA (except of course this Canadian from the great white north... we all know where I was going...), and then one other couple was still going to be in Ghana. With this being the case, we just decided that we would ask them to also fly home and have some meetings over the span of a week. This is a great opportunity for us and I am really excited about it; however it posed a problem for me because it meant I had to rebook my outbound flight to get to the meetings, which the travel agent told me also meant I had to in essence rebook my entire itinerary, which at this time in the year was going to cost $2600, which is more than my original tickets cost a couple months ago! I have been praying that the Lord would please provide something for less than $500, and just last night I received an email from the travel agent that she found some tickets for me and they were going to cost $420! Of course I asked her to book them immediately, and I am still praising God for not just providing, but totally answering my prayer! God, Thank You Again!
My second story is going to be another go at my hand in narrating/story writing. Here it goes!
It all began a couple weeks ago, before Benjamin... (really Benjamin? You are going to write this in the third person? I’m gonna try!), ok... before Benjamin made his journey to Ghana. His Togolese father had told him about how there is a church plant in a Ghana/Togo border town under ABWE Mission’s name, but not a single pastor or missionary with the mission, in Ghana or in Togo, knew anything about it. Benjamin and his father agreed that two weeks after Benjamin arrived in Ghana, they would meet in the border town and figure out what was going on with this “church” and who was leading it. The day arrived (which was this past Sunday by the way), and Benjamin woke up extra early, put on his new outfit and set out with his motorcycle on the one hour journey to meet up with his pop. After they met and embraced, they sat down to enjoy some breakfast, and then headed out to accomplish their “task” for the morning. It wouldn’t be long before they would realize that their “task” for that God given morning was nothing they ever imagined. After just a few minutes they discovered that the church in question had been established for many years, and belongs completely to another denomination. Why they heard these rumors was nothing more than the plan of God. When these two laborers for the Lord made this discovery, they decided together that they would go visit another church in a very remote area that belongs to the mission and encourage the pastor and the congregation. As Benjamin was following his father, Pastor Boniface’s moto slowed to a stop. Wondering what was wrong, Benjamin pulled up next to him and asked what happened. Boniface went on to explain that the chain on his moto had snapped and looking down, Benjamin could see that they were going to be in trouble! The two of them hopped down and searched up and down the gravel path in the middle of nowhere to try and locate the missing link in the chain. Finally Benjamin blurted out, “Egbe mazu Togoto nyatefe!” Translated that means, “Today I am going to become a real Togolese!” Both of them getting on their motorcycles, Benjamin stuck out his foot placing it on Boniface’s moto, and driving his own moto pushed his father all the way back to the town where they thought there was an ABWE church. Finding a mechanic was strangely easy, not to mention that he had everything he needed to make the repair, despite the fact that his shop was situated under a grass roof and tools were limited to a handful of wrenches. In a matter of minutes the chain was in working order, but their work there was not yet complete. God opened wide a great door of opportunity and Pastor Boniface, with the prayer support of Benjamin, shared the saving gospel of Jesus Christ with the five people just standing around the shop. When those who were there heard the truth, these two sojourners again went on their way, meanwhile the people on the road were wondering what was wrong with these two strangers and why they were traveling back and forth so much. As they arrived at the church, they praised the Lord that Sunday School had not yet finished, and they made it for the entire morning service. However then something unexpected happened! The pastor asked Benjamin to come and preach in his place! What!? What was Benjamin supposed to say when he hadn’t prepared a single message for these people!? That was not his plan! But as surely as the Holy Spirit is alive, He prompted Benjamin to share a word from his devotions from the previous Friday. This servant of the Lord opened The Book to Proverbs 24:11-12 which says, “Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back. If you say, “See, we did not know this,” Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?” As Benjamin expounded upon this passage, there in the front of that little village church filled with 40 of God’s patrons, his own heart learned more from this passage then when he had read it on Friday. Truly the Holy Spirit was speaking to him and through him in one swift movement. Who stumbles? He who is deathly ill, he who is drunk, he who is blind, he who is lame, and those who are without God are in darkness, they are blind, lame, and going to death. Will we not deliver them by begging them to accept the reconciliation of Christ? That is our ministry (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). And what excuses can we make before God for our neglect to this task? As Job responded, likewise will we, putting our hands to our mouth, and speaking no words at all (Job 40:4), for any one word would but condemn us. And will not God reward those according to their work? Thus we should not lose heart in doing good (Galatians 6:9).
God was so good and did so much last Sunday, and it was obvious it was His hand that did it. Had there been another church in the area where we were, we would not have traveled to this remote village to visit this other church. Had Pastor’s moto chain not broke, we would not have shared the gospel with those guys. Has it broke before we met we would not likely have seen each other that day as we were coming together from two different directions. God is good, and He is worthy of all praise, honor, glory, and majesty.
Thank you so much for your prayers! And please continue to pray! It is awesome to see His hand at work, and YOU are a part of this ministry through your support and your prayers! LORD bless!
Born to be a slave of Jesus Christ,
Isaiah 6:8; John 4:35
Colossians 3:2; Philippians 4:19
Return to the Prayer & Praise List