fbpx
Whose Bible?

Last-Minute Packing and a Divine Nudge

There are two kinds of people: those who pack a month before their trip and those who pack the night before. Much to my wife’s dismay, I fall into the latter category. No matter how much excitement or anticipation I have about a trip, I can’t seem to bring myself to do more early preparation than to make a “mental list.” This trip to Ghana was no different. Despite looking forward to facilitating this Forward Edge team to Ghana for months, I found myself, the night before my flight, carrying out my pre-trip ritual of throwing clothes in a bag and feeling like I was forgetting something critically important.

The next morning, that feeling of having forgotten something lingered. With extra time at the airport, I decided to walk through one of the shops, hoping to remember what I might have missed. As I glanced over the rows of snacks, packs of gum, sunscreen, and magazines, I suddenly felt compelled to buy a Bible.  I believed someone in Ghana needed a Bible, and God wanted me to bring one to them.

My rational side thought, “Of course, someone in Ghana needs a Bible; that is always a need, everywhere. Is God really asking you to bring a Bible to Ghana, or are you making this up in your head?” I debated within myself and wondered if the shop even sold Bibles. After a fruitless search, I was about to leave when I spotted a display of Bibles in the corner of the shop. Though still uncertain that this was from God, I purchased the Bible, thinking if nothing else, our program director Jonathan Haruna would find a use for it.

Journey to Ghana: Joining Forces with Smithtown Christian School

I joined a team of high school students and their two chaperones from Smithtown Christian School in New York before flying to Accra, Ghana. The students had spent a year preparing dances, skits, and performances that shared the love of Jesus in culturally contextual ways. Once we landed in Accra, we took an hour-long flight north to Tamale, where Forward Edge’s program, Create Hope Ghana is located. Upon our arrival in Tamale, we shared a meal with Jonathan and his family, had one last practice of the students’ performances, and then retired to our hotel, exhausted but eager for the next day.

Our first day of ministry began with visits to two schools in the morning and a village in the afternoon where the students would share what they had put so much work into preparing. Watching them shake their nerves and truly lean into worshiping God through their performances was inspiring. I couldn’t have been prouder to be part of the team as they shared God’s love. Seeing the people of Tamale appreciate and receive that love brought me great joy.

The first community we visited was home to five Christian widows who faced persecution but maintained deep joy in the Lord. During our visit, two men accepted Christ, and many received prayer. Some girls from our team met a local girl named Talata Lamisi who had never heard of Jesus. They shared during our debrief that evening, how moved they were to have been given the opportunity to be the first to share with Talata who Jesus is and the great love He has for her.

Add Your Heading Text Here

Whose Bible is This?

Throughout the week, I kept looking and listening for God to show me who this Bible was meant for. Days passed with no clear sign. During another of our debriefs, we discussed “hearing from God.” I felt God nudging me to invite the students into the search, but I hesitated. I did not want to divert attention from what the students were doing and “make the trip about this ‘thing’ God shared with me,” nor did I want to appear overly spiritual or elevated (and at this point I still was uncertain if God was directing this). But God kept pressing me to share so the next night, again, during debrief, I prayed for a sign. If the word “acceptance” came up in our discussion, I would share about this Bible with the team. Miraculously, at that exact moment, Nancy said “acceptance” right as someone’s phone dinged. I felt confirmed to bring the students into the hunt.

I explained to the team how the Bible came to be and why I had been carrying it around. I told them that God would lead us to the person he intends, we just have to listen to His Spirit. We had two rules: we couldn’t ask people if they needed a Bible, and God was to be glorified through this, not us, meaning if we didn’t hear from Him, we would leave the Bible with Jonathan. I was confident that God would come through (that God would use this Bible, even if it was long after we were gone, acknowledging we may not see the ‘who’ or ‘why’ this bible was intended for, but praying we would).

For the rest of the trip, the students took turns carrying the Bible and praying for guidance. They truly took ownership of the search. Days passed still without any answer or clarity on who we were to give this Bible to. I began to think that God may not give us answer and we would leave the bible with Jonathan. At our last lunch in Tamale, before heading to the airport, one student suggested everyone highlight their favorite verses in the bible. When sharing the idea, another student felt a clear message from the Spirit. She was one of the girls who talked to Talata on our first day and she knew that God wanted this Bible to go to Talata. She excitedly shared with the group what God had shown her. 

We asked Jonathan if he could deliver the Bible to Talata and he said he would go to her the next day. The students finished highlighting their favorite verses, now with a recipient in mind, and then we left for the airport.

A Gift for Talata

On the plane ride home, Jonathan sent me a photo of Talata with her new Bible, saying she was very grateful. He told me that when he arrived, the girl asked, “Did my mother tell you to bring this?” but Jonathan explained it was from the team. Talata’s mother had not spoken to Jonathan, but Talata had asked her mother to request a Bible from him just the day before. Jonathan then shared how Jesus sees us, knows our needs, and loves us deeply.

As I continued home, I reflected. I believe that God would have got a Bible to Talata without us, however, we serve a God with us. God is on a mission of transformation and salvation for the world and He wants to partner with His people to accomplish that mission. God was at work in Talata’s life, pursuing her and drawing her to Him, long before we arrived and He invited us to be a part of what He was doing, we simply had to trust and obey. When God’s people look for where God is working and respond to Him with trust and obedience, sometimes in small ways—and even when we are uncertain—He is faithful and answers our prayers better than we can imagine.

God met me in my uncertainty and helped me to trust Him enough to share about the Bible with the students. He then used that opportunity to demonstrate to all of us—the team, Talata, Jonathan, and myself—more about who He is, how He works, and how He shows His love for us. Words can’t express the gratitude I feel for having been a part of the team and witnessing the way that God showed up during that week but it is something I will never forget and something I can’t help but share.

events

Why I Went Over The Edge

A Birthday with a Purpose Rappel down the side of a building to raise money for children?! I’d never heard of such an idea, but it sounded great to me! I’d get to challenge myself, do something fun, and help children all at the same time.   My fundraising goal was

Go to Blog »
community

Jollof Rice Recipe from Ghana

Jollof rice is THE signature meal of Ghana. The classic Jollof recipe varies a bit region to region (in fact, Ghana and Nigeria have a friendly ‘rivalry’ over whose jollof is better). It is made using tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices from the region and is often served alongside fish or fufu. In

Go to Blog »
child sponsor

A Future Rewritten Through Education: Berenice Graduates!

Berenice was used to seeing the same narrative play out around her growing up: a life marked by poverty, wealth inequality, and barriers to education. Most families in her area in Oaxaca, Mexico have traditionally come from smaller villages in search of a better life and are facing severe unemployment

Go to Blog »
christian

Christmas and Salvation

Our children’s programs had wonderful Christmas programs full of food, music, celebration, and the true meaning of Christmas – in fact at least 13 people were saved through these programs! Oaxaca Haiti Kenya Uganda Ghana Cuba Oaxaca Haiti Kenya Uganda Ghana Cuba In Oaxaca, families were invited for a delicious

Go to Blog »
Transform a Child's Life Through Sponsorship

Ka wula (hello), my name is Abdul Fahad Diguliba

  • location

    Ghana

  • 10 yrs. old

    06-30-2014

Entered the program: March 2023

Abdul Fahad (who goes by Fahad) lives with his parents and four sisters in a two bedroom mud house, with a thatch roof. They have no access to electricity or potable drinking water. There is no latrine and the village residents fetch water from a local dam until it dries up and then travel long distances to find more.

Fahad’s family is Muslim. Both of his parents are unemployed and have no reliable source of income. His mother is disabled and cannot walk; his father sometimes does small-scale farming but not on regular basis as he owns no land. Fahad often goes to school with an empty stomach.

Sponsorship Level What's this?

Three $38 sponsorships are needed to cover the complete holistic care of one child. Cover one, two, or three sponsorships.