Clear skies in the monsoon, a town’s power restored, markets come alive, healings during worship, crowds prayed for every day. We saw a touch of God’s glory in Ghana.
The co-operating pastors and churches in Suhum, Ghana, joined us, a small group of Australians, for my first teaching and evangelistic crusade in Africa in June, 1995, during our mid-year vacation at the Christian Heritage College in Brisbane.
We drove from the capital, Accra, for over an hour in torrential rain to our first evening open-air crusade meeting in Ghana, West Africa. Our hosts from a small independent church, co-operated with other local churches for these meetings. As the guest speaker, on my first visit to Africa, I wondered why the meetings had not been switched from the market area to a church building with a roof. They explained that they always held crusade meetings outside in the market area where the people gathered. But what about the rain? I wondered.
We arrived at the mountain town of Suhum in the dark. Torrential monsoon rain had cut off the town’s electricity supply. The rain eased off a bit, so we gathered in the market area and prayed.
“Lord God, you are mighty,” I prayed. “You take over and do what you alone can do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Soon the rain ceased completely. The town’s electricity came on. The host team began excitedly shouting that it was a big miracle, especially in the monsoon rains of June.
“We will talk about this for years,” they exclaimed with gleaming eyes. And we had not even started the first meeting yet! We had clear, cloudless skies all that week. The monsoon rains pelted down again from the day after the meetings finished.
I asked them again why they planned outdoor meetings in the monsoon season. They told me that if I could only come at that time, then they trusted God to work it all out. Soon the musicians from one of the local churches had plugged in their instruments to the sound system. The loudspeakers did not face the faithful Christians gathered in the fluorescent-lit open area, but pointed at the surrounding houses, the stores, and the hotel. Each night musicians and singers led us in hours of lively worship with clapping and dancing as people gathered, attracted by the singing and dancing.
My interpreter that first night, Pastor Nana Korankye the young pastor who had invited us, only knew English a little. He preached with fervour based on phrases of mine he understood or guessed, and apparently he did well. When we invited people to respond and give their lives to Christ, they came from the surrounding darkness into the light. Some wandered over from the pub, smelling of beer. They kept the ministry team busy praying and arranging follow-up with their churches.
I moved about laying hands on people’s heads and praying for them, as did many others. People reported various touches of God in their lives. Some were healed. Later that week an older man excitedly told how he had come to the meeting that night almost blind but during the worship he was healed and now he could see clearly. Each night different pastors shared in interpreting the message and calling people to give their lives to God and receive prayer for their many needs, especially healing. Every night crowds came for prayer and many gave testimonies of salvation and healing.
Each day we held morning worship and teaching sessions for Christians in a local church, hot under an iron roof on those clear, tropical sunny days. I challenged competing, independent pastors and leaders to repent, love one another, and pray for each other. They did. During the second morning I vividly ‘saw’ golden light fill the church and swallow up or remove blackness. At that point the African Christians became very noisy, vigorously celebrating and shouting praises to God. A fresh anointing seemed to fall on them just then. Later we realized that God had removed a powerful ruling demonic spirit from that area. Salvations and healings increased from that day. People at the markets later said that previously they could not make much money trying to sell produce at the market, but after the meetings everything changed and they all sold their produce.
Although it didn’t rain the whole time we held meetings there, the day after our meetings finished, the torrential rains began again. The following week we saw floods in Ghana reported on international television. Later on we received letters telling us how the church where we held our morning meetings had grown, expanded their building, and had sent out teams of committed young people in evangelism. Through that experience, God showed us a glimpse of what he is doing in a big way in the earth right now.
Adapted from chapter 8 of
Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival