Rev. Moore is foreign missionary of the Protestant Reformed Churches.
I was asked to write some Standard Bearer articles on the work that we are doing in Ghana, West Africa. I am now fulfilling a part of this request. As I take up the writing of this article, it is rather difficult to know where to start and what to include. The reason for this is that so much has transpired since we took the call to be missionary in Ghana, and also because the Lord has so richly blessed us in this labor to the present time. That means that there are so many aspects of the work on the field about which we could write, that we hardly know where to begin. We shall attempt to use this as an introductory article, to be followed by others on the different aspects of our labors here on the field.
When one comes to a field of labor such as that found here in Ghana, everything is new. It is new for this missionary from more than one point of view. In the first place, it is the first missionary labor that I personally have undertaken — although when I served in Isabel, South Dakota and in Edmonton, Alberta, I found that both churches had many aspects of true missionary work about them. They have therefore served to prepare us for this labor that we now undertake. In Isabel we did much work with the people of the community, also the native Indian people there. And in Edmonton we started with five families in a city of over 600,000 people, and much of our labor was of the same type that we must do here, in order to bring the gospel to others, so that the church could grow.
And yet, to go to a foreign land, outside of the United States and Canada, and to bring the gospel of Christ there, is in many ways altogether different. The reason for this is that one must enter a country that is in a real sense very different from the one in which he has lived his entire life. The environment is very different, the climate is very different, and the people have a distinct and different culture. All of these factors become a part of beginning the labors here in Ghana. Even though we had visited here for seven weeks in 1994, and this was a great help, there were still many things to become accustomed to as we began the work in this beautiful land of very friendly people.
The Lord has given us the strength to face this change and to proceed with the labors without hesitation. We are thankful for the assurance of the care of a sovereign God, who also is our faithful covenant Father in Christ. This has meant for us that we may take up the labor without worrying about how that labor may be perceived before the face of man, whether Ghanaians or our people in the States. What we have had to do is be faithful to our calling before God in all the labors that we have performed. Then we have the confidence also that God will prosper that labor according to His purpose, and that will be sufficient for us. The Lord has blessed us as He has given us a place in the midst of the people of Ghana.
One thing that your missionary and the Foreign Mission Committee and the calling church of Hull, Iowa were convinced of as we came to undertake this labor was that we have the calling simply to preach the Word faithfully and that God would give the increase. This is exactly the way we have come to Ghana and the way that we have begun the labor here.
I understand that there were many in our fellowship back home who wondered, even questioned, how we could go to any field, especially a field in a country such as Ghana, without having a so-called “core group” with which to begin our labors. But had Paul waited to find a core group in every city he brought the gospel, the gospel would never have been preached throughout Asia Minor, Macedonia, and in Europe (Rome), etc. We were determined that, in order to begin a work in Ghana that would have the firm foundation of the unadulterated truth, it was necessary to come and let the preaching of the gospel gather the people and prepare them, by God’s grace, to stand in that truth as a faithful manifestation of the body of Christ, if the Lord wills. By this we do not mean that if there is a group of believers that desires the preaching of the Word we will not go to them and help them. Of course we will. And we have already done so to some extent. About that we will elaborate in the future. But we have begun the labors here in Ghana without any such connection.
When we arrived in Ghana there were several things we had to do in order to accomplish this purpose. First, we had to meet with the Ghana Attorney General’s office to become incorporated as a non-profit church organization. This was granted us, and we are thankful for the help of Rev. Gabriel Anyigba, a long-time friend, for his help in these things. He was willing to be an advisor to us regarding our labors before the eyes of the government.
Second, we had to locate an area where we could labor in Greater Accra, a place where we could find a home located near the people of the area, so that it could also serve as a place of temporary worship. We accomplished this after a couple of weeks of intensive searching. We now have a nice home in North Legon, with a large sitting room that can be used for our worship services during the beginning stages of our labor. This place has proved to be well-suited for this purpose.
Third, we would have to advertise our location and begin worship services. We accomplished this by God’s grace in several ways. We had a sign painted on our “car,” a four-door Mitsubishi pickup. We had signs made and we planted them on prime corners of the roads in our area, announcing the worship services and where we meet.
Fourth, and probably the most important, we prepared pamphlets that give a small history of who we are, where we are located, what we believe, and again announcing the times of our worship and Bible Study. These we handed out to whomever we came into contact with. We also walked the area streets and handed out the pamphlets. Whenever someone would stop us to ask about the meaning of the name on our car, we handed out pamphlets. As of the present, we have handed out over 1000 pamphlets that we have prepared for the field here.
In the fifth place, after a short while we were able also to get a prime time radio program started over Radio Universe, which is the Ghana Universities radio station. This program airs at 8:30 on Thursday evenings. The first week we delivered messages on the sovereignty of God, the Fall of man, and election and reprobation. Next we moved to the order of salvation, beginning with regeneration and ending with the preservation of the saints. During the last programs we have been speaking on sovereign and particular grace. We also have the lines opened for callers, as this is a live program, and the last four weeks we have been averaging about three callers per program. The program lasts one half hour. We have also had people come and visit us and worship with us as a fruit of this radio work.
Finally, once people started to come and worship with us and to study the Bible with us they began inviting others to come and hear “the sound doctrine of the Scriptures as it is proclaimed by our Missionary.”
Through all of these means, God has been pleased to cause us to grow from three people who heard our preaching on the first Sunday to an average now of twenty-five at each service. We have had over 100 different people come to worship with us or study the Bible with us. Many have been to many of our activities, and repeatedly come to worship with us. We are very grateful to God for this positive fruit upon the preaching. Others come, and we do not hear from them again. But so far these have been few. Also, we believe that, because this is the Lord’s work through the preaching, not all who have come will remain. But from this beginning we believe the Lord will continue to build and provide for the labor here.