My one Moderator task for August was to spend six days in Ghana, representing the United Reformed Church at the assemblies of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana and the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. Over the next few days I will post a number of reports of my visit.
On Tuesday 16th August I left a grey and wet Heathrow to arrive six hours later into pouring rain in Accra. However I was told that this was the best time to visit Ghana, not the rainy season but a lot of drizzle and cloud and therefore cooler than at other times of year – though cooler is a relative term and the temperature was in no way cool by our standards! I was met by representatives of both churches and immediately felt welcomed – a feeling which never left me throughout my stay.
After a night in Accra I was driven to Ho where the headquarters of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana is located. The three hour journey gave me a picture of one aspect of this democratic African country where many people live in a poverty which we can barely imagine.
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church has a huge role in education (primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational) as well as health care and environmental projects. We heard something of this work during the Assembly. On the site of their headquarters in Ho they have a commercially run hotel, a primary and secondary school and a centre providing vocational training and basic education for teen-age mothers.
After settling in, I was measured for a Ghanaian dress (more of that later) and sat in on a discussion about finance – the desire to be able to do more being dependent on the giving from church members had a familiar ring to it.
In the evening I had my first experience of Ghanaian worship with all its exuberance and joy in worshipping a loving Lord and Saviour.