Going far in Africa demands a commitment to faithfulness. A faithfulness of vision and relationship focused in a singular direction under the leading of the Holy Spirit to build the church and disciple people.
The work in West Africa has for the last seventeen years been an effort of men from various parts of the globe that have been committed to work together to build the church and raise leaders. When Pastor Rich Chafin and Pastor Jim Gallagher originally came alongside local leaders in Ghana they could not necessarily understand what God may have in mind years ahead. It was through their commitment to evangelism and discipleship of local leaders that one man arose to carry the torch.
Through a leadership course taught by Gary Grace a young man named Donne Pouguini sensed the call to come alongside the work these men were engaged in. Through time he not only became an integral part of the work he rose to lead the charge to train and raise local leaders through the establishment of Calvary Chapel Bible Training Centre.
It is apparent that from that time the work began to explode. On one of the outreach trips to Northern Ghana Pastor Rich had sensed the Lord speaking to him that the Lord was going to raise up shepherds from all over West Africa, and today the evidence of that promise is more than clear.
This last pastors conference in Ghana at the centre saw over 300 men from 8 different West African nations all coming together to reunite, grow and worship together. Pastor Jim and a team from UK and South Africa came to serve, and there were also men from Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria and Burkino Faso that taught. The collaborative effort for ministry was powerful.
With testimony of more churches being planted and the training centre being duplicated in other areas it was an exciting time on ground. Worship from the Ghanaian team was amazing, fellowship deepened, plans for future ministry prayed through, and a few Skype calls from Pastor Rich and Gary Grace seemed to develop the time into such a celebration.
With the conference theme “having been with Jesus” from Acts 4:13 the group went through many passages through the Gospels and there was an evident sense that God was investing great truths in these men. These pastors and leaders were going away with new vision and refreshment. They were leaving as different men.
Through a few men working together and a commitment to serving and discipling a people, faithfully following the book of Acts and the philosophy of Calvary Chapel, God is transforming a region. Men are being trained to teach the Word, serve the church and are given a clear vision to plant new works.
Though there has not been a specific strategy we can see the unfolding of the book of Acts as God is moving through servant leaders working hand in hand, who deeply love Africa and believe God for great things!