GHANA - MAMPRUSI PEOPLE

The Lord blessed me with the privilege of going to the Mamprusi people of Ghana West Africa. I just returned on May 25th. This is the story of the adventure of the eight of us who went.

I want to show you what God showed me as an overall picture, something I knew mentally but God showed me physically.

A few years ago I came back from a survival trip in the deserts of Utah. I had a peaked interest in a multi-tool made by Leatherman called a Wave. The Wave is one of their top of the line multi-tool and therefore it is quite pricy. I didn’t want to spend the money so, over the next six months, I would look for the tool in each store we shopped at, hoping to find it on sale. I never did.

It was about six months after I returned from that Utah trip that Julia and I were walking through the wilderness in east Washington State. We were walking and I walked up on a multi-tool laying on the wilderness floor. I picked it up to discover that it was a Leatherman Wave. There was a little rust in the hinges so I took it back to the truck, oiled it, and worked out the kinks in the joints. I believe God provided me with that multi-tool. You know, the previous owner must not have seen enough value in that tool to notice that it jumped out of the pouch on his side, nor did he go back and look for it thoroughly to find it.

If we dwell on each trip we take, whether for God or for self, we can usually find something we come back with. Sometimes that something is very small and sometimes it’s big. What I came back with from Ghana is very big to me.

You know, God really does not need us. There are 340,000 Mamprusi people in Northern Ghana and God does not need us to go to them. He has the ability to write the gospel in the sky. There was a donkey in the run down church in Gaagbini that He could have used to share the Gospel. He spoke through a donkey before, He could easily have done it again.

Any good father desires to include their children in their work. A good father will allow his son to “mow” the grass with his Fisher Price pop-n-go lawnmower. The child doesn’t cut one blade of grass on his own; instead, the father runs over the same patch with the real lawn mower but then brags on the child on how good of a job he’s doing. The job takes longer to accomplish because of including his child but he sees a reward in it in the fact of a bond that is made between father and son. This is not unlike our Father, God in Heaven. God does not need us to do His work for Him. He is a good Father who can do this all on his own; but He chooses to include His children in His work.

Some have kinda looked at me as if I accomplished something here. The fact is, I accomplished nothing. If I chose not to go, that would rest on my shoulders - I would be responsible. The fact that I went does not make me responsible for going. There are so many things I could have done with $5,000. I use to have this long bucket list of things I wanted to do. I could have accomplished three for four of those items or at least one of the big ones. I could have gone to a place that was so much better than worrying about being bit by one mosquito, where the internet may or may not work, worrying about the water and food, where the electricity may or may not work, where the water may or may not work, where someone could get locked in the bathroom for over an hour because the doorknob fell off and they could not text because the internet was not working, where a person would return home and find themselves eating cigarettes and drinking warm salt water to try and rid themselves of parasites. Yeah, there’s a lot more appealing things I could have done with $5,000 so the fact that I went was a testament that the Spirit of God compelled me and showed me more value in going in the face of these dangers and difficulties than any value in fleshly activities I could have done. So, the fact that I went is still attributed to God.

Another thing that resonated through the week was that God is in control, not us. When we look at the story of the trip, and even within my own little circle in the trip, you see where our plans are nothing and God’s plan is everything.

Our purpose of going was to reach the Mamprusi people. Our original plan was to have a large three day crusade in Tamale, Ghana. Because of the terrorist threats, the plans got changed to eight small crusades in eight villages. The people of Tamale are not Mamprusi and they are not unreached. This put us back on track to what God wants. Each of the members were supposed to give a sermon at one village. I was sweating this because I did not know how to make a sermon without the Bible. There’s absolutely no need to use the Bible, in fact, the Bible is absolutely futile to use because they’ve never even heard of the book anyway. Once I was sure I had the sermon down, I practiced and practiced. We get over there and we don’t have eight villages set up, we have four. Which ended up being good anyway because if it were eight, four of the villages would not have had men at the crusade because it is farming season.

In the first village, we visited with the chief and was walking through the community. We walked up on some women sewing and our pastor looked at me and told me to share the Gospel with them. All that study I did on how to share the Gospel without the Bible and I completely flopped. I stumbled all over myself on talking to them. Despite the fact that I was “mowing” with a “pop-n-go mower”, the ladies showed up to the crusade that evening.

In the second village, after the group met with the chief, we were walking around (another American and two interpreters from our Tamale church) and we went into a family dwelling. I was talking to an elderly woman and inviting her to the crusade. She said she would like to come but she was having to take care of her husband who was sick; and the sickness did something to his hip and he was not able to walk. I asked if we could pray for him then wondered why I said that. I’ve always believed in the power of God and I believe in prayer but I’ve seen so much fake stuff in America that I’m skeptical anyway. We did go in a pray for him, Matt and I laying hands on that man. I did not know what to say and how to pray. I wasn’t sure anything would happen anyway. While praying I was thinking, if it be Your will, now would be a really good time to show up and show yourself. All of a sudden the man stood up. Even in my doubt and issues, God was working.

One of my favorite stories is from the last night we were there. We split up into three different groups to do three different crusades at the same time. I was suppose to preach at one of them. I wanted to preach at the village that worshiped pagan gods with graven images. I studied to prepare a good sermon for them. As we pull up to that village another man wanted to preach in that village because they were elderly and the man felt he could reach them. So, I moved onto the last village.

When I arrived at the village there was a young American girl with me, name Kara. By the time we got there it was dark. We were really far out into the bush and there was no power, not even power lines. They dropped some equipment off the bus (generator and lights, along with PA system) and the bus left to head back to the first crew. You could not see the moon or stars because there was clouds in sky; and to make things worse, there was lightning in the distance.

So it’s pitch black, no bus, no lights, lightning, in another country, being surrounded by natives we could barely see and Kara was very scared. I tried to comfort her, and loosen her up, but she would not have it. Every move I made, she made it with me - as if she was attached to my hip. Along with us was the pastor of the Tamale church (Joseph) along with his daughter (Charity). There were about a half dozen other members of the Tamale church, none of whom I know there names.

When they tried to fire up the generator the fuel valve broke. So, it was completely dark, barely being able to see our hand in front of our face. Three of the men, including Joseph, worked on the generator to try and get it going. Charity was with Kara and I and the rest were walking on the outer boarder of the crusade grounds praying for God to show and binding satan from hindering. They believed it was satan who messed up the generator. I knew the truth. While it may have been satan, it was God’s will.

I tried to get Kara to play with the village children but she was too scared to do anything. So, I had her shine a flashlight on me and I started to play a form of simon says. The children were mimicking every move I made, including every word I said. I pulled Kara in who started teaching them Christian rhymes with sign language. Shortly later, she taught them one of the rhythm claps between two people and taught them the song “Jesus loves me”. With Charity as her interpreter, she shared the Gospel with the children in their mothers and they came forward to accept Christ. I tried to explain to Joseph what was going on but they were so busy trying to get the generator going. I tried to pull some people in who were praying for God to show up and only one listened. While they were trying to rebuke satan and praying for God to show, God was already there. All those people missed out on a wonderful experience of sharing the good news of the Gospel via two flashlights because they were so busy in the mechanics of the service. It was like the story of Martha and Mary with Jesus.

So, the deal is, that multi-tool is a very versatile tool. It has many different things it can do. It has pliers, knives, saw, screw driver, scissors, etc. Yet, if that tool lays on the wilderness floor, it’s good for nothing. The church is like that multi-tool. Each person is a tool within that kit. Some go, some sow, some pray. It does not matter which a person is doing, the whole tool is involved. You were praying for me… you were there just as much as I was. Like that multi-tool, if we try to do it on our own, we are useless. If we do not put ourselves in the hands of God we are useless. So, it’s a wonderful thing that God seen more value in us than to leave us on the wilderness floor when we jumped out of His pouch.

I’m going to back up and tell you a little more about the week. The total number of people that went were eight. There was Pastor Lance, the pastor of our church and head of the Lions Gate Missions Training Academy (Been to Ghana many times). Chris Schanter, once the right hand of Sam Childers and now the right hand of Lance (Africa is his second home). Jim Karl, a company owner who is accustomed to travel in missions but never been to Ghana. Rodney Milner, a new Christian (within the past year) and owner of a multi-million dollar company but has never been out of the country. Jennifer Davis, the daughter of one of the elders in the church (this is her second trip to Ghana). Matthew Mathias, a new Christian around 20 years old and member of Lions Gate (never been on a plane, never out of the country). Kara Floyd, a 20 year old girl who was babied most of her life but is just as sweet as sweet can be (never been on a plane, never out of the country). And then there was me, a owner operator of a small trucking company who has never been on missions outside of the country.

We left out on Tuesday morning flying from Atlanta to NYC. We had a five hour layover and then flew just under ten hours to Accra, Ghana. The total travel time was just under 24 hours. Not many people slept on the flight over the Atlantic. We were all exhausted but one who took a sleep aid - yeah, I’m remembering that next time.

In Accra, we were met by our Accra pastor, Pastor Wisdom, and his wife. We went to a hotel by the airport and rented one room that each could freshen up, in turn. We relaxed by the pool and talked while we waited for time to travel back to the airport to catch the plane to Tamale.

Pastor Wisdom traveled with us to Tamale. He’s our “go-to” guy that makes sure our in country tickets are purchased, bags checked properly, no one tries to mess us over, and that our travel goes well. When we arrived in Tamale we were met by Pastor Joseph and his family. They picked us up in two vans and we traveled to the hotel we would be staying at for the week.

Once checked in, we grabbed some food at the hotel restaurant while Pastor Joseph purchased us some cases of bottled water and exchanged our currency. Currency exchange is based on the exchange rate, of course, but also on the condition of the money and the size of the denomination. So, they will not exchange anything under a $50 and prefer $100’s. Yet, the hundreds must be the new bills, they will not exchange the old, and they need to be in good condition. If the money is not in good condition, you will not get the full exchange rate. It’s crazy.

We stayed the night and got some well needed rest. Early in the morning on Thursday we awoke and had some breakfast. We left out, the eight Americans and several members of the church in Tamale, and headed to the small village of Zugu.

The people in this area are amazing. There are those who will scam you so they can get something, but all in all…. these are the friendliest people I’ve ever met. You don’t have to worry about breaking down, they will take you into their home and kill their only chicken that they were saving for the holiday so you can eat. Ghana is also more of a free country than the U.S. They may not have the comforts and luxuries that we do but they also have very little regulation. There’s a road block every 15 miles, just to make sure no criminals are moving around, and that’s all you see. People’s goats are running everywhere and no one kills them and eat’s them out of respect. People are out until the midnight hours, sitting and talking along the road, without worry of crime.

I’ve heard the claim that the regulations we have allow us to live longer healthier lives. I often use the bald eagle as a thought of logic in determining what we want. In the wild, the bald eagle lives 20-25 years. In captivity the bald eagle lives 40-45 years. I wonder if the eagle finds it more rewarding to live an extra 15-20 years as a captive, in a cage, rather than to die after 20-25 years soaring free in the wild.

So we visited Zugu in the morning and met with the chief. The chief is like the president of the village. The entire village is related to the chief in some form or fashion. What happens is, we pull up to the village in the van and park under a shade tree. We wait while an elder meets with the chief and gains permission for us to meet with him. Once we are given permission, the elder leads us to the chief. Once inside his hut, we talk to him about the Gospel and our desire with his village. Communication goes like this. The leader of our group talks to the chief. The chief may or may not speak english. Either way, our translator then translates what we said to the chief. Even though the translator talks the Mampruli language, and the chief hears him, the chief’s linguist then organizes the communication to make it acceptable to the chief.

There is actually a picture of the trinity in the view of the chief. If the chief were God, then the elder would be Christ. He is the one who leads us to the chief (John 14:6). Even though God (the chief) hears our prayers, the Spirit of God (linguist of the chief) makes those prayers acceptable to God (Rom 8:26-27).

Once we are given permission to go to the people of the village, the chief gives us a cola nut. The cola nut acts like a ticket that says we are allowed to walk the village and talk to the people. It reminds me of the white stone in Rev 2:17. The nut, like the stone, is a ticket of approval.

We had something new on this trip. I believe I told you about Chris Schanter. He was the right hand guy to Sam Childers, also known as “Machine Gun Preacher”. He came to rise in South Sudan during the civil war. He is an American from PA who would rob drug dealers and was strung out on drugs all the time. He got saved and ended up doing a two week missions in South Sudan where he saw a little boy blown up by a land mine. During the civil war, the rebels would go into a village and kill the little girls. They would put a gun to the heads of the little boys and order them to kill their parents. The parents, not wanting to see their child shot in the head, would tell their son to go ahead and kill them. Once the parents and daughters were dead, the rebels would take the boys and use them as soldiers on the front line. Sam Childers ended up staying long amounts of time in South Sudan and worked to rescue those boys. He built some shelters and cared for the orphan children. The locals gave him the name “Machine Gun Preacher” because, at the hot of the day, he would lay in the shade with a Bible on one side and a machine gun on the other.

Chris was not what was new but rather a device that Pastor Lance found in Chris’ truck. There was a little solar player sitting on the seat that Lance found to be the Bible in the language of the South Sudan people. It would play the New Testament and the story of the Gospel. Since it was solar power, it will work until the unit breaks all together.

Lance called the company that made the ones for Childers and found that they also had them in the Mampruli language. It was now days before we were leaving and Lance requested ten units to be sent next day. This unit is a game changer. These people can not read so a Bible in their language is still worthless. But with this device, they can listen to the Gospel any time.

At the first village, Lance pulled the player out and showed it to our team from Ghana. One of the members, Pastor David (a new pastor to us who is going through the missions training in Ghana) started to smile and said, “I understand it” - and then he started to cry.

We did not have much time at this village so we invited the people, most of who were at the watering hole, to come to the crusade that evening. The chief helped pick the spot where the crusade would be held. It was a stones throw from the muslim mosque. We left and went back to the hotel to have lunch and take a nap.

Right before we left an elder came to Kara and was trying to put a bracelet in her hand, a bracelet with a key on it. She was a little confused and I heard one of our Ghana members say the man was asking to marry her. She looked at me and I told her, “He want’s to marry you”. She immediately says, “ok”. But she was still in a daze and not knowing what was happening. The man took her by the arm and started to lead her away. She looked back at me and I told her again and she said “no” and came back to me. There was a little confusion going on at that point and then the elders other wife showed up (polygamy is practiced here). He told her he was going to marry Kara and she said “no” and started to walk toward Kara. The elder jumped in front of Kara and threatened his wife with a stick. We get in the van and pull away.

Upon returning that evening, we set up instruments, lights, sound system, etc. Music was played and the Ghana church did one thing they do best… they praised God with all their might. They don’t do some kind of showy dance, vibration, whatever you see in holy roller churches, they just praise God with all their being and they dance before God. As reserved as I usually am, Chris and I ended up joining them.

While the crusade was going, the muslims were in the shadows praying against us. One of the imams came to Pastor Joseph and said, “Did you not see the mosque? Why did you have this so close?”. Pastor Joseph looked at him and said, “Because we bring life, we bring Christ”. And the conversation was over.

Lance preached and many came to the front to accept Christ and then we prayed over them. The first crusade was complete and we headed home with promises to the people that there will be church each Sunday starting the next.

Our intentions, before leaving for Ghana, was to do the crusades but then set up where four pastors would travel to each village and minister the Word of God each Sunday. We had four to five pastors from Lions Gate Missions Training Academy Ghana ready to do the task. All we needed was their monthly salary and a motorcycle for each. The motorcycles are off brand bikes with alarms and remote starts. They are little 125’s and brand new cost about $700 USD. The average pay in Ghana is about $10 USD per week and we are looking at paying $60 USD a month to each pastor. With Western Union fees, that comes out to $70 USD a month to cover one pastor. Before we left for Ghana, all the money for the motorcycles had already been donated and a years salary for three of the four pastors was already promised. God is mighty and working wonders.

Nearing the end of prayer in that first village, I was standing with Matt when Kara came up behind, and between us quickly. She was ducking down as if to be hiding. I look over and here comes that elder that proposed to her. He come up and reached out for her. I looked at her and said, “Pretend we are married”. She scooted a little closer and as he hand got close to her, I stopped his hand. She had a key to her luggage around her neck so I pointed to the key and pointed back at me and then squeezed her in close to me. After that, the elders advances were finished.

After a meal and a nights sleep, early the next morning we have breakfast and then head to the village of Kpalan. We parked under the tree and, as usual, children start to come out. The children love the attention. Usually they are working, from all ages up, so positive, loving, playful attention is literally absorbed by them.

Some of the crew met the chief where Lance gave him one of the Bible players. When they left, the chief was still in his hut listening. His son came out and was standing with another local while I shared the Gospel with them and led them to prayer. We then broke up into small groups and headed to different areas of the village to share the Gospel and invite people to the crusade that evening.

My group was Matt Mathias and “mama” (Pastor Joseph’s wife), along with two others from the Ghana church. We walked around from family unit to family unit sharing the Gospel of Christ and inviting them to the crusade.

A family unit is several tuku’s (round hut) that are positioned in a circle with a wall between them and a fence at one end. Everyone within the immediate family lives in the unit, each couple with their own tuku. In the center is a open pit fire pit where everyone cooks together and eats together. Despite their poverty, they seem to be a clean people; within their unit anyway.

Bathrooms are somewhat of a challenge for most Americans. At the hotel there was a regular bathroom like we have in the states. Yet, outside that, if there’s a toilet area, it’s three walls about four feet tall. Some are right next to the road and the sewage drains into the ditches. There’s not even walls in the villages. If you have to use the restroom, you just walk to a tree or bush and use it. It does not matter who’s standing around.

We arrive at our third village and Matt and I had to use the restroom - “Nature’s Calling” they call it. One of the church members led us to three trees and a couple small bushes that were located right in the middle of the community. I started to pee and Matt moved to a tree. Before he opened his zipper he looks and see’s a woman standing right there. He says, “Crap! There’s women and children everywhere”. He moves to another area where no one can see him. As he started to pee, a woman and her daughter walk right by him and he says “Crap! They’re everywhere” and he shuffles to try and hide while he was peeing. I was done and started walking away when I hear “Crap!” and more shuffling while peeing. The Ghana church member was laughing hard.

It was while in this second village, walking from family unit to family unit, that we seen the man stand who could not walk. Another team prayed for a woman with a fever and the fever was gone. Before we left Lance went back by the chief’s hut where he saw the chief still listening to the Bible.

When we returned that evening the place was packed. The elderly woman, who’s husband was sick, was there along with many others. The chief and his family showed. The chief received Christ and so did his son; along with, what appeared to be, most of the village. People were coming for prayer and a woman brought her son who was deaf. Several years ago, he had gotten a sickness that caused him to loose his hearing. As Pastor Joseph started to pray, the whole village pressed in from every side. It reminded me of where the people would press in on Christ (Luke 5). As Joseph prayed the little boy got his hearing back. Joseph would say something to the boy and the boy would either repeat what Joseph said or answer a question he had. God was really moving in that village.

As Saturday came on we found out that our Ghana crew was not taking us to Mamprusi people; which upset Lance greatly. It was good to reach the unreached but we feel drawn to the Mamprusi people. Lance was afraid that people who donated to the Mamprusi would be upset if they found out it was not Mamprusi. After a meeting we decided that the two villages we already visited would still be provided a pastor with a motorcycle. One of the people who donated a salary for a pastor said to put that money towards the pastor of those two villages so that others may not have an issue.

It was that day that Lance, Rodney, and a couple people from Ghana went to purchase the bikes while the rest of us went to a village to share the Gospel. This is a third village, though no crusade was done here. I was walking around with Pastor Wisdom and Charity.

In Ghana, and many countries of Africa, when a person becomes a Christian they change their name. I found this out after the fact, while listening to an interview I did with a local. In our Ghana crew I met Wisdom, Joseph, Charity, Salvation, and Lazarus. When I found out about the name change, I thought, “How cool. In the Bible a name change means ownership or loyalty”. According to Chris, the name change means the same in Africa. I got to thinking about Lazarus. I’m not sure the meaning of the name during Biblical times but to me it means “Raised from the dead”; which is really cool when you think about the fact we were once dead and now we are alive.

While walking through that village we were approached by a woman who said she wished we would have come the next day. There was a new family unit built and they were going to work on the floor of the courtyard the next day. The floor is like a concrete but they make it by grinding up a hull of a wild food into water, sprinkling the water in the soil, and and pounding the soil until its like powder. When the powder dries, it’s concrete. When they pound the soil with their tools, three or four do it in unison and in a rhythm while the others around clap and sing. They make a party of their work. Since they wanted me to film this, we followed her to the family unit where many other met us. They put on a short demonstration for me to film.

It was in this village that the chief placed a stone in Kara’s hand and a woman quickly snatched it out. The chief was asking Kara to marry him and his other wife refused to let him. He demanded that he wanted a white wife.

That evening we visited the church in Tamale. We built this church last year. The muslims told us we could not build it next to the road but we built it right on main street anyway. The building is nicely built of concrete bricks; where most buildings are mud bricks.

In Ghana, time is relative. There was one day we were going to leave out at 2pm. I asked if we could leave at around 12 or 12:30 so that I could get some shots on the way to the villages. Pastor Joseph said he would let the van driver know. We ended up leaving at 3 pm.

Everything is so relaxed in Ghana and punctuality is not a big deal there. Also, church does not last for two hours; it actually last for more like six or eight hours, sometimes ten. These facts led me to talk to “mama” and confirm these truths. She said they were true. Once she confirmed I asked, “Why is there a clock on the church wall?”.

Before heading to the Tamale church, the crew was waiting in the hotel parking lot. Everyone was there but Matt. Matt and Chris were rooming together but Matt was still in the room. Kara had went up and check on him and upon returning said he was in the bathroom putting on his pants. We waited for a little while longer and finally Lance went to go see what was keeping him. Lance ended up having to get a key to the room and upon entry found that Matt was locked in the bathroom. When he had entered the bathroom and shut the door the door knob fell off and he was unable to open the bathroom door. He had been locked in there for over an hour, beating on the door and yelling. He tried to text but this was one of those times that the internet was not working and he could not get a text out. When Kara checked on him, he must have been yelling that he’s locked in the bathroom but she misunderstood and just thought he was telling her he was in the bathroom. He beat for so long and so hard that he put four holes in the bathroom door.

After the visit to the church, the crew met together and we regrouped and decided what we were going to do from this point.

Years earlier, Pastor Lance was pastor of a church called “World Harvest”. While he was pastor of world harvest he had a crusade in Accra, Ghana; which is where Pastor Wisdom’s church came from. He held a crusade in Tamale; which is where Pastor Joseph’s church came from. He then held a crusade in Walewale which is where the church in Walewale, Gaagbini, and a third location came from.

Pastor Lance was a mega church pastor while at World Harvest. He had his own helicopter and flew from church to church; and rubbed shoulders with many of the TBN pastors. In 2000, he sat at his desk with a TBN contract; he was going to be the next big thing in mega-church super evangelism. He told me that he read the contract and was convicted by God. The contract, according to Lance, was a selling of your soul for money. He showed me how TBN is nothing but a christian infomercial channel. They show a small portion of a sermon in order to sell a full copy of the sermon, sermon series, books, etc. When God convicted him, he even left World Harvest and lost everything. When he left, the council of World Harvest gave the churches in Ghana to him also, they did not want to be a part of those churches. Due to that fact, they all fell but Accra, which is a wealthy tourist cities that was able to self-sustain.

While the buildings fell, the churches in Tamale and Walewale were still meeting; praying and hoping that support from America and Lance would return; 2015 was our return and the rebuilding of Tamale. Walewale, Gaagbini, and the third location are still in ruins to this day.

The crew decided we were going to go north from Tamale to those three churches.

We arrived in Walewale and the only parts of the church building standing were concrete columns and the edge roof frames. While we were there looking, about a half-dozen of the members showed up. Even though the building was gone, they were still meeting. Lance explained the circumstances and assured them that the building will be rebuilt and the church supported.

We left Walewale and went to Gaagbini. The church in Gaagbini was intact minus doors and windows. Someone had been using it as a school and there was writing on the wall for lessons. When we arrived, there was a donkey and several goats inside; the donkey ready to die at any time.

People from that village remembered Lance and were happy to see him back. One was telling us how he was in the picture that was taken when the building was built.

We traveled to the third location, a village I don’t know the name of, and found that there was a church that built next to ours. At the moment, we were not sure what organization built there. We had a quick meeting where we determined that we are called to the unreached and now these people are reached. Without Christ they were headed to hell. Now that they know Christ, they are only accountable for what they know. While in America, we can read and have access to the Bible yet refuse to study it, these people can not read and do not have access to the Bible. Therefore, we do not feel God will hold it against them if they follow a false teaching when they are not capable of searching the Scriptures to see if what they are being taught is so (Acts 17:11). Once our discussion was complete, we found out it was the Baptist organization and we determined to give our property to them as we are not in competition with another Bible believing organization.

We then moved to Mimima and Dimia. These two villages are side by side, separated only by a creek. Many of the members of Mimima was at the watering hole where we parked the van. The water looked milky as it was loaded with garbage. They were drawing the water, washing their clothes, etc. Several of us went to meet with the chief and then returned to find out Kara accepted another marriage proposal. On this one a man walks up and pats himself on the chest saying a word. Kara was with Jennifer and they looked at each other. The man did it again and Jennifer said the man was telling her his name. Kara patted herself on the chest and said “Kara”. Immediately, the man took her by the arm and started to lead her away. She pulled back and returned to the van.

On the last day of the trip, Lance, Jim, Kara, and Jennifer; along with Joseph and mama, went to the market and we bought their children some bikes and book bags for school. While at the market, a man comes up to Kara and asks her to marry him. She quickly tells him “no”. The man then looks at Jennifer and asks if she was married and she said “yes”. She is not technically but she considers herself to be married to Christ.

The evening of the last day was when we broke up into three groups and did three crusades in the villages of Gaagbini, Mimima, and Dimia. You heard my story of our time in Mimima where Kara taught the Gospel to a group of children and their mothers.

On Tuesday morning we wake up and head to the Tamale airport. We land in Accra and were going to stay there for the night, ready to catch the plane to America early the next morning. While in Accra, we had a bite to eat at the hotel restaurant and then headed down to the market. At the market we would purchase some souvenir’s for family and friends back home. I purchased a shirt, a bowl with Ghana’s symbol on it (the symbol means “Trust God”), and a couple key chains. We then went back to the hotel to relax.

While we were eating our last dinner in Ghana, Chris remembered that we had not picked up any medications. On every trip we purchase enough meds for two cases of Malaria and two cases of parasites. The pharmacies in Ghana are quite different. All medications are prescription medications. Yet, you don’t have to go see a doctor to get a prescription. We just walked in and said we need meds for Malaria. They asked if we were preventing or treating and we told them treating. They gave us what we needed and we told them we need enough for two people. We said the same thing about “bugs” in the stomach and they pulled those from the shelf also. They wrote the prescription and then sold us the meds.

The next day we returned home, arriving to the church at about 11pm.

While in Accra, my stomach started feeling bad. I had bad gas and bad diarrhea. Unless the diarrhea is uncontrollable, I don’t like to take meds for it. I believe the body is trying to get something out and I don’t want to stop the process. The diarrhea was not interfering with the needed activities. I would just go each time I get settled in. This continued for a few days after arriving in the states. I looked at my stomach and it was swollen out pretty bad. I was cramping and my stomach was sore to the touch. I contacted Chris and he was sure I had a parasite.

The evening I contacted Chris I had just ate at a truck stop in Ohio. He told me that a field treatment was to eat two cigarettes. The nicotine in the cigarettes would stun the parasites and give the body some time to pass them. I don’t smoke so I looked at my waitress and asked, “Do you have two cigarettes I can eat?”. The look was priceless. I explained what was happening and she gave me two Marlboro blacks. Yeah… stun the parasites? How about stun me? My eating the cigarettes is on video but after the video was shot, I had to stand there for a little while longer because I was now high. A non-smoker EATING two full flavor cigarettes sends that stuff straight to the blood stream. After a little while I was able to move. My stomach churned for about thirty minutes and then was better than it was before. It seemed to have worked but my body did not pass them. At this point I set war against them. I drank two bottles of water with about 1/4 cup of diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous Earth is a soft siliceous rock that is easily ground. The powder can be used for many things. It’s a non-chemical pesticide that can be sprinkled behind the stove, fridge, under the sink, etc. It’s good to use when you have pets or kids because it’s not poisonous. In fact, it’s beneficial to drink a tablespoon in a glass of water in the morning. DE acts like a lubricant for our joints and it cleans the walls of our stomach and colon. The way DE works on bugs and parasites is that the powder, while not harmful to us, has microscopic sharp edges that are like razors to insects and parasites. The DE passes by the parasite, or insect walks through the powder on the floor, and the microscopic edges cut the outer skin of the insect or parasite. This does not kill the insect but actually causes it to dehydrate and die.

So, I’m drinking this stuff every morning then chasing that with 100% cranberry juice (not diluted and not sweetened). The DE cuts the skin of the parasite open and the acid from the cranberry juice burns them. I then follow up with aloe to coat the stomach and then take garlic sometime in the day. Every other weekend I’m drinking 32oz of warm water with two teaspoons of non-processes sea salt dissolved in it. That’s an experience. If drinking 32oz of warm salt water was not enough, try the experience of peeing out the wrong hole for the next two hours.

I did not use the meds from Ghana at first because I wanted to see if I could do this naturally. I think I may have but I’m not sure. No one else needed the meds so I’m taking one dosage now.