Posts in Ghana 2018
Ghana #6: Identity in Christ

by Rafael de Castro Guedes, Member and worship leader of the Central Independent Presbyterian Church of Presidente Prude nte (Sao Paulo State) and Lawyer.

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26)

This section reveals that the Son of God in intimacy with the Father, prays for all believers, conferring the identity of the children of God to all who believe in Him.

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Ghana #5: It's All About Jesus! 

Reflection by Rev. Fabio Quintanilha, Pastor at Thomaz Coelho Presbyterian Church in Rio de Janeiro 

All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. (John 17:10)  

During these days in Ghana we have been faced with a lot of poverty, and so we often refer to the Ghanaians as those having very little, and indeed many do. On the other hand, we realize that our “little” is very much in the face of such difficult situations. But the question that catches my attention in the words of Jesus is not knowing how much we have but saying that everything belongs the Father. They may have little, but if everything belongs to the Father, it will be very much. On the other hand, we can have a lot, but if everything is ours alone, it will not be worth anything! Father, that all I have, whether little or too much, may all be really yours in my life! So, I put myself in your hands, Amen! 

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Ghana #4: We Are One

by Rafael Guedes, Worship and Small Group leader. Independent Presbyterian Church of Presidente Prudente, São Paulo State.

During our journey throughout Ghana we have been meditating on Jesus’ prayer in John chapter 17. The verse that spoke most to my heart on this day was, "I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves" (John 17:13). During the time I have been in Christ, I had never had the privilege of seeing joy as pure and genuine as I have seen in the life of the brothers in this place. Joy that I could not only see, but also feel! An incredible feeling that began at 7am during the praises sung by young people who in the early hours of the day displayed smiles that penetrate right into our souls. It was impossible not to surrender in worship to God and the presence of the Holy Spirit in that place. Another great source of joy I felt today was to see during Bible school how these brothers are spiritually mature, convicted in faith in Jesus Christ, firm in the word of God with a strong desire to proclaim the gospel. Finally, in the rural church I saw what God really meant to say to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, when he said, "My grace is sufficient for you," Jesus is enough for the brethren in that village, the Grace of our Salvador does who materially has absolutely nothing, to have absolutely everything! What is the "fullness of joy" that belongs and comes only from Jesus Christ!

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Ghana #3: Reflections from Ghana

by José Pezini, Coordinator for Portuguese Language Ministries, The Outreach Foundation

And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3

My mind wanders from one thing to another. Not because of questions, but rather reflection about everything I have seen and felt in the midst of this people.

Maybe this verse makes more sense today than it did before. The people we saw today have absolutely no material wealth at all. They live in very simple homes, including the pastor. In their homes there is no furniture, no electronics etc. They have no cars or possessions that we would consider essential. The lunch they graciously shared with us did not come from the supermarket, but from something harvested right there.

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Ghana #2: Reflections on the First Day

Reflection by Rev. Fabio Quintanilha, Pastor at Thomaz Coelho Presbyterian Church in Rio de Janeiro

More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8)

What does Jesus mean to me? This question cannot be answered from a theological concept, but from a relationship. Attending a youth service today in Ghana made me think of Paul's words. To the Ghanaians, Jesus is pure joy! The passion in each gesture made me think of how passionate Jesus is! It is possible to have everything and not have the joy of those young people. The joy of Jesus has nothing to do with what we have, but to know who he is for us. It is possible to have that joy and I want to have that joy!

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Ghana #1: Giving thanks with the Church across continents 

 by Juan Sarmiento

“To those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom  of God” 1 Corinthians 1:24 (New Living Translation) 

The word “mission” often brings up a set of negative connotations and assumptions. There is no doubt that missionary work has all too often been done as the attempt of the powerful and wise by the standards of this world to come to the rescue of those seen as weak and foolish. It is no wonder that mission, undertaken in that attitude of implicit superiority, can evoke adverse reactions.  

But what if we begin to see mission less as the initiative of benefactors and more as the grateful response to the amazing grace of God manifested in Christ.

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