Sunday, November 20, 2011

When the Spirit Comes

Bishop Eddy Addy
Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana, located in the Ashanti Region in the middle of the country.  It is located in the thick of the African rain forest and is bustling with activity and business.  Kumasi is the traditional centre of politics in Ghana in that it holds the seat of its most prominent chief, The Asantehene, chief of the Ashanti people.

Historically, the Asante people were the most dominant tribe in what is now Ghana.  They controlled the commerce, had the gold, the largest army and conquered many neighboring tribes and territories.  Unfortunately they were also instrumental in harboring the slave trade to the coast.  In the documentary, "Wonders of the African World", Dr. Henry Gates Jr, of Harvard University, interviewed the son of the current Asantehene of the time regarding their involvement in the Atlantic Slave Trade.  He claimed ignorance of the atrocities and treatment of the slaves on the coast by the European traders and also feigned ignorance of their treatment in North America.  He claimed that had they known of the treatment that they would've ceased their involvement.  As a student of African history and an observer of the interview, I don't understand how the Asantehene's son thought anyone could buy that explanation... neither Dr. Gates or I did.

The drive throughout the mountains and then forest in central Ghana was quite scenic.  Great views of the Accra plains as we climbed the mountains and beautiful landscapes of huge trees and other fauna.

As we travelled through and by several small villages and towns on our way to Kumasi I noticed that each community seemed to produce their own particular product.  For example, as we drove by one town I'd see a ton of palm oil for sale on the road, while others were selling yam, plantain, tomatoes and gari (dried and grated casava that is a staple in most of West Africa).  Interestingly, a number of others were selling HUGE snails that quite honestly looked quite disgusting!  I'm sure they're loaded with protein but I think I'll pass unless I'm really hungry.  The Ashanti Region was lush.  Plantain trees, papaya, palm, etc. all grew in a vastness that one doesn't see in Accra.  The papaya fruit was much more abundant on the trees and actually much larger.

LCI - Bantama
During this trip, I was accompanying Bishop Eddy Addy and the rest of his office, as he ministered during a special convention entitled, "When the Spirit Comes", invovlving the Lighthouse Chapel International churches in the Kumasi and Ashanti Region.  The services were great and the different congregations received Bishop Addy and his message with open hearts.  It's always nice to visit other LCI churches to see what they're doing successfully and to learn.  I believe that everyday is my classroom and everyone I meet a teacher.  Not everyone in this world is a good teacher per se, but one can even learn from poor examples...

Pastor Albert Laryea
Country Mission Overseer, Ivory Coast
The LCI churches in the Ashanti Region are very healthy and full of vibrant Christians willing to serve.  I enjoyed my time fellowshipping with the pastors there.  It was a great opportunity to visit the region and the churches.

Unfortunately we didn't have time to visit the city as our schedule was quite tight.  I look forward to returning to Kumasi to check out some of the sights, get some of the world famouse Kente cloth and to pick up some of their great artwork for my beloved mother. :)

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