Update #4 from West Africa

Whoever said "getting there is half the fun" wasn't traveling from Lagos, Nigeria to Accra, Ghana with me yesterday.

2015 04 13 image1

After preaching at one of our most influential partner churches, Francis dropped me off at the airport for my 4:15 pm flight. When we arrived at the airport we learned that my flight time had been changed to 6:30 pm.

After a chaotic check-in process that included long lines, thorough inspections of every bag, and multiple opportunities to pay a bribe to expedite the process, I eventually found gate D-33.

To call the concourse "hot" would be an insulting understatement. No problem, 6:30 will be here soon and the flight to Accra is only 50 minutes.

Not so fast. 6:30 came and went with no plane at the gate. There were no updates over the speaker system. No sign of our flight on the departure boards. When we would occasionally corner an airline employee to request an update, the response was always, "Later. Your plane will come later."

"Later" turned out to be about 11:00 pm.

Thanks to the one hour time change, our old-fashioned prop plane landed in Accra about the same time we took off. Our national director, Philip Tutu, had been waiting for me for seven hours.

After settling in to yet another hotel, I got a solid six hours sleep and woke up eager to teach but drained from a day spent in the heat and humidity.

My pity party took a serious hit on the way to our conference when Philip Tutu casually mentioned that he had only slept three hours. Because of the traffic, he had to leave his home at 5:00 am to pick me up at 8:30 am.

2015 04 13 image2When we arrived at the conference location, the first three groups of people I met described their travel adventures. Most had preached at their own churches and then driven all night so they could be equipped to teach a course on the life of Joseph, ironically named Detour!

And so I need to come clean and confess that I am officially a wimp. Like most Americans, I am spoiled and soft. My travel struggles were nothing compared to so many of our delegates.

The good news is that their hunger and gratitude, along with fresh filling by the Holy Spirit, pulled the very best out of Philip Tutu and me. We both taught with great freedom and energy. The connection was immediate, and nobody even came close to dozing off.

We taught the first three sessions today and will teach the final three tomorrow.

Once again we have a room full of influencers. The training director from Ghana's largest denomination is loving it and plans to take 500 teachers through Detour at their denominational conference later this year. Also with us is the pastor of the church where Ghana's President and Chief Justice attend. He believes this course can have a huge impact in Ghana's fight against corruption.

Philip Tutu is an amazing communicator and it was thrilling to realize how much closer African culture is to Bible times than ours is. Such powerful illustrations and applications! But more about that tomorrow after I guzzle some more water and get some sleep. Please keep praying. This trip is a marathon not a sprint.

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Don & Diana 27.09.2016 10:36  
Seeds flourishing Yes No   Phil, How exciting to see seeds flourishing that were planted over 20 years ago with students from Ghana in Norway. Cliff Keyes presented the first walk thru with University students from Ghana & a couple of other African nations represented, as well as from the Lutheran church there. We are so blessed to have witnessed how God has used this ministry world-wide to spread His love. Thank you for your commitment to share the Good News! May God surround you with protection & good health,blessing s  
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Rob & Susan 13.04.2016 13:21  
"Later" Yes No   Wonderful reports Phil! Thanks for sharing the trials and triumph's......and the "detours" along the way as you have opportunity to minister with Francis and now Phillip. Our daily prayers are for your strength and spirit to equip those that come for the teaching and encouragement.  
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