Monday, April 2, 2012

Ghana - March 2012, Chapter 3: My Old Friend

In my (Reid) "Chapter 1: My New Friend" post, I recounted the connection I have with one of my co-laborers, Wahab. That connection being the late Pastor William Lewis. (The memories I'm going to share here are quite personal but they have been stirred up on this most recent visit to our future home.)

I remember Pastor Lewis as big teddy-bear of a man. He had a deep confident voice and that confidence was especially resounding when he spoke of His Lord and His Lord's Word. He was gifted at encouraging others. I will never forget his words as he prepared me for my first trip to Ghana, "God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called!" I have borrowed those word on quite a few occasions.

There are two specific memories that I believe the Spirit has brought to mind during my time in Ghana as I heard about my old friend from my new friend (Wahab).

I remember driving home from the celebration of life service for my African-American brother, William Lewis. I was alone in the car and I started weeping uncontrollably. Waves of sobbing ebbed and flowed. I didn't understand it because, normally, I'm not that emotional. I have experienced the death of close family members and have never experience weeping like this. Why? In my analytical mind I needed an explanation but I couldn't find one.

My second flashback was also to William's funeral. He had recently been accepted to serve in Ghana with Pioneers Africa - a mission organization staffed by Ghanaians. William was preparing to move to Ghana to live and serve here.

This may sound sentimental you, but I'm growing to believe it - that the deep emotions I experienced at William's funeral was the work of the Holy Spirit preparing me (and my family) to follow the same wooing of the Lord and to have the same heart for the people and the country. The calling isn't to take William's place but to follow in his footsteps to serve the Lord in Ghana.

The future remains in the hands of our Lord, but He is graciously showing us glimpses of the past that make our steps into His future more steady.

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