Ghana 2012 Tour News

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghana 2012 News Post

 

 

 

For those of you who read our US tour Newsletter you will have read about our stay in Houston, Texas where we were hosted by Dr. Kwaku and Alice Temeng. Whilst there they asked where we would be going next and we explained that after a brief stay in England we would be ministering in Ghana for one month. They asked what our plans were for accommodation and we told them that we were praying about it and still in the process of sorting it out.

 

Straightaway Dr. Temeng told us about the house that they had in Accra which was vacant and that if it would be alright by us, they would love to invite us to use it for the duration of our stay, free of charge. We couldn’t believe that there we were in America and God was providing for us in Ghana!

 

Also one of the major issues that we had to deal with was that of transport. The Ridge Church in Accra stepped up to offer us their own mini-bus, but when they realised that it had no air conditioning, they found another van complete with driver and blessed us with finances to cover the majority of the rental cost for the duration our stay. So with transport and accommodation taken care of, we set off on the tour with full assurance, that God was definitely with us and in control.

 

When we arrived at the airport in Accra, we were met by two of our faithful team members from the previous tour David Amoafo and John Madjitey. Dr. Temeng, was also in the country at the same time, by some miracle as due to the passing of the President, he had to be in Ghana for business purposes. Along with the team were Sammy, our mini-bus and driver and Diana, Reuben’s Nanny during our time in Ghana.

 

When we arrived at the house, we couldn’t believe it. It was amazing, better than anywhere we had previously stayed and better than anywhere that we could have afforded. A wonderful house with a guard on the gate 24 hours a day and the property care takers Alex and his wife Vera who lived in a separate building on the grounds with their 3 year old daughter. We couldn’t believe that we were staying in such a wonderful property with so much room and also space for us to set up our own office. Dr. Temeng also personally made sure that the house was well supplied with everything we would need during our stay there.

 

Reuben and Dr. Temeng getting reacquainted over a meal

 

Reuben held by David; left John; Far left Diana, Reuben’s Nanny

 

Sammy our Driver with the mini-bus

 

A TOUR WITHIN A TOUR

Whilst we were in Dallas during the RCCG North America Annual Convention, we were invited by the General Overseer, Pastor E.A. Adeboye (Daddy G.O.) to minister at the Convention in Nigeria. As we had already booked tickets for our Ghana Tour we decided it would be easier to fly into Ghana and then fly out the next day to Nigeria for the Redeemed Christian Church of God 60th Annual Convention “Come up Higher”, staying for a total of 5 days.

 

God always gives us the grace and the strength to do what we do, and we give Him all the glory for what He allows us to achieve in a very short space of time. On Tuesday morning, we repacked everything taking only the necessary items to Nigeria and flew out to Lagos that afternoon.

 

 

 

THE BIGGEST CHRISTIAN GATHERING IN THE WORLD

We arrived on the Tuesday night of the Convention and ministered from Wednesday to Friday night and it was an amazing experience. On Thursday night Daddy G.O. declared that the 1.8km long by up to 1km wide, auditorium was full. There were people as far as the eye could see and even people standing outside of the auditorium. The meetings here at this auditorium are easily the biggest Christian gatherings in the world, with a reported 2 – 3 million people present!

 

The Convention, it was explained to us is a more in-house event than the Congress in December, which has a more international and pan-denominational focus. The Convention in August is primarily for the RCCG denomination worldwide, even though there are some visitors from other denominations and nations.

 

The last time we were the RCCG Redemption campground was during the December 2010 convention and on New Year’s day 2011 during our 6 week tour of Nigeria. This was Reuben’s first ever visit.

 

CAMPGROUND TOUR

The campground is as busy and packed during the Convention as it is during congress, but there was a slightly more relaxed air about it. We do not usually get the opportunity to take a tour of the campground during the Congress, but during the Convention we went out to visit the bakery and the kitchens. What we saw was unbelievable. In RCCG churches are called parishes and each parish belongs to a zone and each zone belongs to a province. During the convention, everyone who is registered is fed which is generally over 1 million people!

First we visited the bakery to see where and by whom the bread is prepared on a daily basis.

Workers kneading the dough and shaping it to go into tins ready for the oven

 

Bread going into the ovens and then packaged;

 The team with the Manager and her daughter

 

Then we went to visit the kitchens. The huge kitchens are split up into provinces and each province has huge flask like food containers assigned to it. Each day two meals are prepared, breakfast and dinner. We were taken on a tour of the kitchens and slaughter area by one of the designated chaplains, who himself is a pastor. He told us that to feed everyone, they slaughter up to 120 cows per day! That is not including fish, chicken, goat or lamb, which is also prepared for meals. As the week goes on and especially at the weekend, the number of delegates increases, which sees an increase in the amounts of food prepared by each province. Strict controls are placed on the stock to ensure that there is enough and that there will be no food wasted by the end of the Convention. In addition to the kitchens for the provinces, there are kitchens at each of the residential halls and resorts where international guests are housed.

 

 

Cooking in the large kitchens;

Empty palm oil barrels stacked at the kitchen entrance 

 

RESPONSES TO MINISTRY

During the convention we ministered on three nights and the response to the ministry was amazing. It is very difficult to describe what it feels like to hear and see over a million people singing along and standing to declare the truth of God in worship. We are blessed and honoured at the favour we have received in Nigeria and to see the way God uses the songs to enable people to lift up His name and to make His name known.

One night shortly after our time of ministry, Daddy G.O. said as one of his opening statements “It is good to see that Vinesong are still singing true hymns to the Living God”

Many people stopped us to say hello, to thank us for being at the convention and to tell us how blessed they were by the ministry. We are thankful for the awesome privilege of ministering at such a unique gathering.

 

Pastor John with Daddy G.O.

 

Full auditorium: 1.5 sections out of a total of 12

 

THE ONITA FAMILY

In the US Tour News, we wrote about how two young women we knew were on the DANA aircraft that crashed in Lagos in June leaving no survivors. Pastor Solomon Onita, their father heads up Live Way, the company that streams RCCG events live over the Internet. Pastor John and Pastor Solomon are good friends and have known each other for a long time. We were blessed to be able to spend some time with him and we know that God ministered to all of us as we shared and prayed together.

 

RETURN TO GHANA

Following our few days in Nigeria, we headed back to Ghana to begin our tour. Just two weeks before the beginning of our tour in Ghana, we heard the sad news that the President, John Atta Mills had passed away suddenly on July 24th.

Due to our ministry time in Nigeria, we arrived back in Ghana on 11th August, the day after the state funeral. Dr. Temeng was due to leave for the US shortly after our arrival but he insisted on meeting us back at the house so that we could say farewells. At the house, he had brought along his cousin Linda and her husband Carl to meet us. We quickly exchanged details and they made it clear that they intended to invite us to minister at their church for the one remaining date that we had left on our Tour Schedule. Dr. Temeng promptly left for the airport to return to the US and we left to go and set-up our equipment for our first meeting of the tour the following day.

Billboards commemorating the late President

 

MINISTRY

The message that Pastor John preached during our time in Ghana was for people to “Get back into the race”. Many people have been pushed down through incidents and circumstances in their lives and they feel as if they have been disqualified. As this was the Olympics season, people could relate to the message of the Brazilian marathon runner, Vanderlei de Lima, who was pushed down by an Irish Spectator in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

 

So many people feel as if they have been disqualified from the race but God has said that they must get back up and finish the race. God is also watching our attitude. Many people look as if they’re coming first, but they have trampled on people along the way to reach their goal. God is not interested in our positioning in the race, even though we run to win. No matter what happens, God wants us, just like the Brazilian marathon runner demonstrated, to get up and ‘Finish the Race’. We can neither run the race nor finish the race without Him. He doesn’t want us to be spectators and watch others, He wants us not only to take part, but to “Finish the race”

 

 

Hebrews 12: 1 (International Standard Version)

Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us,

 

Hebrews 12:2. (The Message Bible)

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God

 

Many people were encouraged and responded to the call to get back in the race laying down everything that had stopped them from making progress.

 

 

THE TOUR BEGINS

 

Flyers and banners produced by the churches to advertise the tour

Our first meeting couldn’t have been better. Harvest Chapel international in Tesano was packed and the congregation was ready to worship. It was an awesome introduction to Ghana as we had almost forgotten how powerful and tangible the worship is. There was such an air of excitement and expectancy and we thank God that needs were met that Sunday morning. We were excited to see people respond to the call for salvation. We were also blessed to meet up with old friends and renew relationships. During our last visit, there was a couple who were also expecting their first child whom Charlene and Daniel had met. A year on, it was a blessing to see Reuben and the couple’s son, who are both the same age, play together.

It was such a blessing to us to see people come out to church not only on Sundays but also during the week to worship. We sensed such a hunger and a genuine desire for people to meet with God from all age groups.

 

Congregations of all sizes

 

CHANGE & IMPROVEMENT

During our first week we were blessed to return to a few churches from the previous tour. At one of the churches, we had experienced such a problem with the power. The screens they were using to display the words to our songs during worship, distorted so badly that they had to switch them off. At another the power problem had affected the sound. A year on as a result of the problems those churches had experienced, they had invested in more stable power sources and we were all able to enjoy the benefits during our meetings.

 

MINISTRY AT THE LATE PRESIDENT’S CHURCH

We were invited to minister at the late President John Atta-Mills church, Legon Interdenominational based at the University of Ghana. The music director there TVO Lamptey has been involved in itinerant worship ministry for many years and has produced many albums.

Despite this meeting being held during the week outside of term time, the church was packed. The ministry was very well received and we thank God for all that He accomplished that night.

The venue was very close to where we were staying. We found out at the end of the meeting that the couple that looked after our house Alex and Vera had attended the meeting along with their daughter. The following day, Vera said, “Oh, I didn’t realise that you were Vinesong, in the early 90’s I had a cassette that I loved to play, I really didn’t know it was you.”

 

FROM CITY TO COUNTRY

We were invited to minister at Sege Central Assemblies of God Church on the outskirts of Accra.

We had a blessed time there in the small rural church and again we were blessed to see people respond positively to the call for salvation and re-commitment. Following the meeting we were invited for dinner at the Pastor’s house. During conversation, Pastor John discovered that whilst the Pastor and his wife have 5 children, but that there had been a 6th. Their 12-year-old son had passed away suddenly last year and the cause of death had not been able to be determined. The whole family was hurting and we realised that God had used us to minister to them in their time of need. 

 

The church in Sege

 

 

TAKORADI

Though many of our meetings this year were based in and around Accra, we did travel to Takoradi for a few days of ministry. Takoradi is a city in the Western Region of Ghana about 5 hours by car from Accra. Takoradi is undergoing rapid expansion due to the recent discovery of oil with an influx of many people both from Ghana and other countries.

We enjoyed a blessed time of ministry in Takoradi and we pray that as people move to the city, that the churches would grow to accommodate the newcomers and that many would come to know Jesus.

A radio interview with Henry Boachi in Takoradi

 

ON THE FRONTLINE

We are reminded very often that what we are doing causes real offence to Satan, because his lies are being exposed and people are being set free from lies that they have believed about themselves and others. During the tour there were a few occasions where we were reminded that Satan does not like what we are doing and we found that our technical equipment was on the front line of the attack. At one church we plugged the cable from their projector in to our computer. Unknown to us it was carrying 240 volts power due to a fault in the cable. It burned out a sound module box and the connector we used to connect their cable to the computer to display the song words, which meant that we were unable to project the song words from our computer. We were also not entirely sure whether the computer had also been damaged. Thankfully the venue was literally around the corner from our house and we were able to use another computer to display the song words. Later on we found out that the computer itself had not been damaged. We know that no matter what, God is for us and if we are prepared to do what we know God has sent us to do, then nothing can stand in God’s way.

 

VICE-PRESIDENT

Following our meeting at Asbury Dunwell, we had a time of fellowship with Dr. Temeng’s relative, Carl. This was the meeting that was booked for the last remaining date in our tour calendar once we had arrived in Ghana. We talked about many things and he mentioned that the Vice-President’s wife was the senior elder in their church. Unfortunately she had been unable to make it to the meeting. Some how the conversation took a turn and he said that maybe it could be arranged for us to meet the Vice President.

The current Vice President Mr. Ammissah-Arthur is the former Governor of the bank of Ghana. Following the sudden death of the President John Atta-Mills on 24th July 2012, he was nominated by the current President John Dramani Mahama and sworn in on August 6th 2012.

We were subsequently invited to meet with the Vice President and his wife at their home. It was clear that everything had happened very quickly and Mr. Ammissah-Arthur was now adjusting to his new role.

We ate dinner together and we held a mini-concert on the veranda. As we stood there ministering, we were overawed by the fact that God had appointed us to declare His name over the nation of Ghana. We believe that all of our meetings were strategic and God allowed to minister in seemingly insignificant places as well as this seemingly significant place.

 

Carl and family at the Vice-President’s house

 

 

Ministry with the Vice President and his wife

 

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Many people wonder how it is to travel with a baby and how he copes with all the travel and the changes. We thank God for his protection over this young life that He has entrusted us with, which we do not take for granted. During our time in Ghana, Reuben started to crawl for the very first time ending weeks of frustration for him. He also learned to clap his hands and lift his hands to Praise God. He made so many friends and loved the extended Ghana team.

 

TESTIMONIES

One man told us of how when he became a Christian all that he could find was his mother’s Vinesong Cassette. He said that he continued to play that cassette and it helped him to grow in the early days of his Christian walk.

This testimony mirrors so many and we heard countless stories of how the songs had a major impact on the lives of many Christians both established and new in the faith. We are humbled that God has used this ministry to impact lives for the Kingdom. These lives were impacted through the use of pirated cassettes (illegally manufactured copies), without which many lives would not have been touched and affected by God. The glory truly belongs to God. It really leads us to remember the scripture in Romans 8:28, which paraphrased, says “All things come together for the good of those who love Him (God) and are called according to His purpose.” It also reminds us that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. He will use whatever is at his disposal to reach people for His glory.

One Pastor said that he cannot remember being present during a move of the Holy Spirit in a church service where one of Vinesong’s songs have not been sung.

One young woman said that there are very few groups who do not entertain, but minister and you feel like you are worshiping along with them. Vinesong is one of them.

One man told us that he has been a missionary in Ghana from the UK for the past 8 years. He told us that when he became a Christian in 1991, someone gave him a Vinesong cassette and that is how he grew up in the faith. His wife expressed how grateful she was for the ministry and the refreshing. She said it was exactly what she had needed and expressed how grateful she was that someone had invited her along to the meeting.

Following one meeting a young woman, told of how she had been in her room worshiping with a Vinesong CD. He prayed that she would be able to meet Vinesong in person, not knowing that we were going to be on tour on Ghana. The church she attended was Asbury Dunwell who took the last remaining date whilst we were in Ghana. She said that she couldn’t believe that God had answered her prayer so quickly when she saw a poster advertising that we would be attending her church.

In Takoradi, one woman told of how she had had a very religious upbringing, but found no relationship with Jesus in her church, just rules and regulations. When she was in her early teens she became a Christian and somehow was introduced to Vinesong by a cassette that someone had given her, which helped her to grow and understand that God was her Father and that she could have a relationship with him through Jesus Christ. When she entered High School at the age of 14, she started going to another church as well as her traditional religious one without her father’s knowledge. She knew that if her father found out she would be in big trouble. One day some one saw her going to the charismatic church and told her father. He gave her an ultimatum, either stop going to that church, or pay her own school fees. She said that she valued her relationship with God more and found a job, which paid her enough to buy things to sell and raise enough funds for her schooling. She said that the worship music that she got from her friends on cassette sustained her during that time.

 

IN CLOSING

We were so encouraged during our tour in Ghana. We saw many people giving their lives to Jesus for the first time and many Christians enthused and encouraged in their faith. We are so grateful for everyone that helped to make the Tour successful. During our visit to Ghana in 2010 we met Mrs. Florence Chuku who helped us so much during our tour in 2011. It was after our final meeting of 2011 that we met her friend whom she had invited along to the meeting, Mrs. Alice Temeng. Through the Temeng’s we were blessed with accommodation in the US and with our accommodation in Ghana. Through the Temeng’s, we were invited to meet with and minister to the Vice President. We cannot underestimate how God uses people to bless other people.

We were also so encouraged by the standard of worship in Ghana. We were so blessed and so uplifted during times of worship lead by local worship teams as they ministered and as congregation after congregation danced before the Lord. We sensed a real spirit of excellence in worship and we pray that this excellence would continually work its way into every aspect of everyday life in Ghana.

We thank God for all of you who continually pray for us as we travel and minister the Good News that Jesus is alive.

 

Please thank God for:

·      Our safe passage to and from Ghana

·      The lives of those who became Christians during this tour

·      God’s provision and favour throughout the tour

o   Accommodation supplied by Dr. & Mrs. Temeng

·      Samuel Duwuona and David Amoafo who organised the tour

·      John Madjitey who came alongside and assisted us during the tour

·      Diana who was Reuben’s nanny during the tour

·      All the healing that took place during and after our times of ministry

 

Please pray for:

·      Protection for the Vinesong team from all forms of sickness and disease

·      The Vinesong team as we travel to the nations

·      A greater desire to see God revealed in our communities and nations

·      Our Ghana team Samuel Duwuona, David Amoafo, John Madjitey, Diana (the nanny) and Sammy  the driver who gave of their lives and their time

·      That God would lead and direct this nation during their election in December this year (2012)

4 Comments

  1. May God richly bless you (vinesong) for being a channel of blessing and for touching so many lives thru your music ministry. My 11-year-old daughter told me about your Legon Interdenominational Church (LIC) visit in Ghana, she was present and she was blessed.

    • Dear Nana,

      Thank you for your taking the time out to send this message to us. We are encouraged that God ministers to all regardless of age or gender and we are specifically encouraged by this message. May God continue to bless you and your whole family.

  2. Hi Team Vinesong,
    We just want to say we were blessed to be part of what God used you to do in Ghana, especially in Takoradi.
    May God reveal the fulness of his glory over you, as you continue to obey.
    Remember, God pays well!
    From Team Paragon99.9

    • Thank you for your message. ALL the glory belongs to God wand we thank Him for the opportunity to serve Takoradi through worship and the Word of God. We appreciate your support. God bless you.