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YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE FOR FAILURE

Testimony of Mr Isaac Hagan.

A Product of God’s Grace

Who could have fathomed that a boy born into a very poor family where what to eat and wear were a huge challenge, sacked from school on several occasions for non-payment of fees and had to rely on divine providence and the benevolence of individuals would turn out as a Chartered Accountant, responsibly married and working in a multinational company? Indeed I associate myself fully with Job 8:7

Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase”

As you read the account of my life, you will come to a firm conclusion that I am a product of God’s grace.

As the fourth child amongst a family of nine siblings, it was a sorry sight to see my sister drop out of Vocational school due to financial difficulties as my father was out of job. My mother had to single-handedly “squeeze water out of stone” as it were to cater for us and I always dreaded if I was going to suffer the fate of my sister in my education as I watched my mother routinely selling some of her clothes to support our upkeep. Things were so difficult that at times, all that my mother could offer was bread and sugar solution. Life was just a sad story!

Today, the script of my life has changed: I am by the grace of God a Chartered Accountant, responsibly married to an industrious lady, Mrs Gifty Hagan. By virtue of where the grace of God has placed me today, I have been able to assist most of my siblings to pursue higher education and my life is still a work in progress.

My parents professed to be Christians but I never saw them go to church. However, as a child, I just loved God and always wanted to learn the Bible and go to church. I followed my older brother to the Church of Pentecost (COP) where I started Sunday school. At age 15, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord & Personal Saviour and I was baptised into the Christian faith. Later that same year, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit as I earnestly yearned for it.

 

 

 

 

Life Is Not Fair

At the local public school (Cyto), I was sacked from school on several occasions for non-payment of school fees even though I was one of the most brilliant pupils in class who represented the school during quizzes and rose to become the boys’ prefect. My school bag was a 5kg rice bag and I used to wear slippers to school and had to hawk in the scorching sun selling fresh vegetables to supplement my mother’s meagre income.  To my class 5 teacher, it was a miracle seeing me carrying a brand new leather bag to school for the first time. She was more than happy for me. Could you imagine that she took my bag, hung it on her shoulder and announced to all the teachers and the whole school to join her thank God for my new bag?

At the Junior High School (JHS), I had to sew the unused pages of my older siblings’ books together, got them bound with old hard covers and there I had my note book. My favourite food at school was sugarcane and roasted groundnut with maize. With my few coins, I could buy enough to get my stomach full.

God being so good, irrespective of the financial challenges, I completed JHS as the Head Prefect and the overall best student. Following the footsteps of my sister, my older brother could not proceed to Senior High School (SHS) even though he had passed with flying colours as result of financial constraints. It therefore came as no surprise to me when a friend sought to find out how I was going to proceed to SHS considering the situation at home. I assured her that my God is able to do far more exceedingly and abundantly beyond that which we could think of or do.

It was a welcome news when my District Assembly announced a Scholarship Scheme for brilliant but needy students and I applied and was subsequently invited for an interview. It was a heart-breaking experience as I turned up for the interview without any escort as no one in the family cared about my future. As though that I was not enough, I turned up at the interview only to be greeted with the shocking news that they had already conducted the interview days earlier. How could this be? When was notice given about the change of date? My checks confirmed that I was indeed there at the advertised time but as it is said in the literal translation of one of our local proverbs, “the trees begin to dodge the monkey when it is in trouble”

The world can sometimes be unfair! Although it was one of my saddest moments in life, I learnt one of life’s lessons: “the world will not always be fair to you but you must move on and not be discouraged; continue to trust God, pray and work hard; for God is alive and will definitely show up!”

 

 

The Tables Begin To Turn

By divine wisdom, I was able to convince my mother to take a loan to pay my admission fees to SHS and by so doing, I became the first amongst my siblings to attain this feat. Unfortunately, I could not afford to buy a mattress at that time so my cousin who is a carpenter had to improvise and use appropriate technology to fabricate a home-made mattress for me. I guess you are interested to know what a home-made mattress is. He assembled together pieces of old sofa foams and joined them with glue into a single unit to form my mattress and I was ready to go. I was more interested in what I will be sleeping on in the future than what I was currently confronted with so I was unperturbed. In life, it is good to learn from the past, live the present with optimism and look into the future with great faith in God.

By what I will call “divine compensation”, God was gracious to me and I obtained a scholarship from my Political Constituency, proceeds from which was used to pay off my mother’s loan. By dint of hard work, I obtained a government scholarship in addition which covered my entire stay in SHS. The school then had to refund all fees I had personally paid prior to the scholarship but they could not refund all, so the school became indebted to me at the time of completion. The tables had turned: I started school as a debtor but completed as a creditor; that was incredible!

Once again, I completed SHS as the overall best student from my school and among the top 3 students in Western Region. Government of Ghana recognised my performance and awarded me accordingly on the Independence Day Parade.

God Will Take Care of You

Upon completion of SHS, I had to work as a sales boy and a private part time teacher handling SHS and JHS students. On one occasion, my supervisor who was a white man verbally abused me and referred to me as a useless boy! I was deeply hurt and wept inconsolably but I reassured myself that I was not useless but useful in the hands of my maker.

Although I knew I could not afford tertiary education, I managed to buy admission forms from the University of Cape Coast (UCC) from my meagre savings and duly applied. Like the Psalmist who said that “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence commeth my help?” I had no option but cry out to God to make a way where there seemed to be no way.

God indeed heard my cry and miraculously reconnected me to Madam Genevieve Mensah, a former English tutor of mine at SHS. She asked of my SHS WASSCE exams results and my plans for university education. I responded with a gentle smile and informed her that I had obtained 6 As and 2 Bs and was looking forward to read a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com), Accounting in the University of Cape Coast. I was quick to add that I was looking up to God to provide because my parents could not afford the bill. This lady became my angel as she introduced me to one Mr Joe Ocloo Nyamadi who happened to be an old student of my alma mater, Fijai SHS. He was touched by God and motivated by my excellent results to help me. He gave me money to buy the University of Ghana application forms as well and assured me of his assistance in my tertiary education.

I gained admission to UCC to study BCom-Accounting and true to his word, Mr Ocloo Nyamadi who had promised to  finance my education topped up my savings to enable me pay for my admission fees of Gh ₵700.00 and sponsored my entire studies in the University. God bless this man! I will not wait for him to die before I eulogize him.

At the university, I remained focused on my education and was committed to God and His work. By God’s grace, I won the Dean’s award from level 100 to 400. This was a special award given to students who distinguished themselves academically at each level of the academic ladder. I completed UCC with First Class Honours. Glory to God!

While on campus, I served as a leader in the following associations:

  • Pentecost Students & Associates (Financial Secretary)
  • Leadership Empowerment Consult (Prayer Director)
  • UCC Association of Business Students (Finance Committee Member)

Today, by God’s grace, I am an ordained Elder of my church (COP) serving and having served in various capacities some of which include:

  • Current Financial Secretary
  • Current Missions Committee Chairman
  • Former Youth Secretary
  • Former Financial Secretary of Pensa-UCC
  • Former Prayer Director
  • Former Welfare Committee Chairman

In Search of Healing

Growing up as a young boy, it was always a routine nightmarish experience for my parents to look on helpless and hapless as their son experienced recurrent episodes of convulsion which always rendered me unconscious, stiff and partially dead. This is a common condition which according to research affects about 4% of children aged between six months and six years with 3-10% of such children going ahead to develop epilepsy in adult life. The myth associated with this condition has undoubtedly found expression in the phraseology used to describe this disease in our local Fante language: “sor atƆ no do” which literally translated means “the sky has fallen upon him”. Traditionally it is believed that the disease is of demonic origin and the devil uses it as a tool to destroy the lives of children who have a bright future.

It was therefore not surprising that my parents in their perplexity and quest to find a solution to this dreaded condition that was threatening the life of their handsome son would go to any extent to seek a remedy for this puzzle. The hospital was certainly not their first point of call. On the contrary, they usually took me to an old lady who was a traditional healer. She gave me a cut on my left cheek and a herbal concoction was applied into it. It took some time for the wound to heal. The evidence of this cut is the tribal mark on my cheek. I am not sure whether the herbal concoction healed or exposed me to further childhood medical complications. One thing I believe and know is that the Lord God Almighty healed me of the febrile convulsion and its subsequent possible epilepsy. At least, I know that since the age of 3 years, I have never experienced this condition again.

In another twist of the bizarre circumstances that came our way, myself and three other siblings were taken ill at different times in the same year with symptoms ranging from headaches, fever, abdominal distension etc. My youngest brother died after several days in hospital. Since the hospital had failed us, my mother had to resort to hopping from one spiritualist to the other until we were detained for one and a half years at one of these prayer camps. They propounded all sorts of unconvincing reasons for our predicament and gave us a serial cocktail of awful concoctions to drink. At least my little exposure to the scriptures at Sunday school was enough to tell me that these interventions were all fake. Eventually, we were healed but I attribute it to the healing power of our God solely and not from the work of these charlatans.

The Sky Cannot Be A Limit

Like many final year students, my headache was how to get employment after school. I had a blessed assurance that the God who had brought me thus far in life was more than able to see me through this one too.

I was privileged to have done my National Service as a Teaching Assistant at UCC. I taught Accounting in levels 100 and 400. At the tail end of my National Service, I had an opportunity to do an internship with the German Investment and Development Bank (DEG). I worked on short term basis with DEG after my internship. At DEG, I served meritoriously and God crowned my hard work with success. Immediately after my work at DEG, I was employed permanently by the German Development Bank (KfW), the parent company of DEG. Today, if I sit in meetings with colleagues from Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, and top executives of other banks, I look back and give all the glory to Jesus, the author and the finisher of my faith. I’m convinced that even the sky cannot be a limit to what God can do in my life.

 

The Happiest People On Earth.

At KfW, one of my colleagues, Mr Kofi Atta-Agyapong who was a former President of the Beautiful Gate chapter of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International (FGBMFI) introduced me to this fellowship. At FGBMFI, I came into contact with successful business men and Christian professionals who were joyfully serving the lord with their gifts and talents. I learnt a lot from the various educative seminars, counselling from mature Christians and the warmth of fellowship and love amongst the brethren. I have drawn many lessons and inspiration to impact my life, friends, relatives and church members.

I joined FGBMFI in April 2016 and by the grace of God, I am the current Secretary and Former Director for Voice & Literature of the Floodgate Chapter. FGBMFI is a place to be! I urge you therefore that if you hear the voice of God calling you now, do not hesitate: accept Him as your Lord & Personal Saviour. What He has done and continues to do for me, He is far more than able to do it for you.

Given the plethora of difficult circumstances that came my way, many would have made a genuine excuse out of it to have resigned themselves to a life of failure and non-achievement, but my story is a clear case in point that YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE for failure. God is faithful and He is ever committed to bring you to an expected end. You have to trust in the lord and lean not on your own understanding. Work hard and do your bit and your story will also turn out to be an all-time best seller.

In 1 Corinthians 2:9, the Bible says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” The word of God is true, sure and Amen! This scripture is demonstrated in my own life.

 

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Creating Clean Wealth

Testimony of Mr. Graham Power

Hard Work Pays

My name is Graham Power. I am a Christian Businessman. We are into Civil Engineering, Highway Construction and Real Estate Development building thousands of homes for the populace.

I was born in Cape Town and I live there. I was the fourth out of the five children of our amazing hard working parents in Cape Town-South Africa. Music and laughter kept our family together. We lived in a modest home and had limited resources, so my two oldest siblings had to leave school at 15 to go and work so that the rest of us could complete High School. It was here that I learnt the value of hard work and perseverance.

I started my career as a Trainee Construction Surveyor at 18 years and progressed to be involved in Quantity Surveying and later Project Management. It was an exciting ten years working with the Company and I did what I could to climb the Corporate ladder and was privileged to manage large construction projects at pretty young age. I decided to give my children more than I had as a child, so I started chasing success and climbed the corporate ladder rather rapidly and the desire for more just kept coming; more cars, more farms, more boats and a comfortable and luxurious lifestyle.

Creating Wealth and Chasing Success

In 1983 at the age of 28 my wife Lauren and I ventured out to start our own Construction Company. It was a tough and difficult time leaving the security of a good job; selling a home and two plots of land we owned and with the help and encouragement of my father in law we purchased a farm which we used as collateral for our business.

We lived in the old farm house and our first office was a converted stable. We had accommodation for a small team of staff also on the farm.                                                                             

At that time our primary focus was creating wealth and chasing success. We were not afraid to work 14 hours a day, 7days in a week doing whatever it took that the business would grow at a rapid rate.

My Company soon became one of the largest Construction Companies in South Africa. I thought I was Successful and had fulfilled my purpose for living. Money was no longer a concern. I could buy whatever I wanted. My family of course refused to be bought. I searched for meaning and hungered for inner peace and no matter how I tried and grew the business that eluded me. Up to that stage in my life I had no interest in spirituality or faith. I seldom attended church; I only went there for weddings and funerals but all these changed rapidly at the age of 43.

The Turning Point

At the age of 43, I made a public commitment to Christ and soon after that I had a personal encounter with God alone, one night in my study. That was when I realized that the success I had been chasing brought me no inner peace; and after I had turned off the light in my study and quietly moved into my bedroom, I knew I was a changed person and little did I dream of the new direction God would take my life.

It was during my second encounter with God that He gave me a clear vision, so clear that I deemed it an instruction instead of a vision. It was so large that it would consume my life.                                         

The instruction was to rent the fifty thousand Newlands Rugby Stadium and invite all Christians from all denominations to join together as a day of repentance and prayer.

Even though there were many obstacles and frustrations, the meeting was very alive. On the 21st of March 2001, every seat was taken. Together we became a united church in the city of Cape Town. I would have been content to stop it then, but God had shown me clearly how it was going to be rolled out and in three waves.

The Three Fold Vision

The first one is to humble ourselves and pray seeking His face. The second one is involved in turning from our wicked ways, which is what we call Unashamedly Ethical Movement. The third one to come is Healing of our land. From one stadium in Cape Town, this vision had grown up throughout the world. I was amazed that regardless of my flaws and imperfections, God was able to grow this prayer movement from one country to the whole world involving 220 countries and islands making it the largest prayer meeting in all recorded history. The words of 2 Chronicles 7:14 has become the driving force of my life.

Unashamedly Ethical Movement

Unashamedly Ethical Movement is involved with men and women who live in dirty politics, underhanded business dealings who need to sign up and make a pledge to live and practice good ethics in all professions to get rid of corruption and dirty living and help turn the tide around.                                                                     

Unashamedly Ethical movement has reached over hundred countries involving Government Officials, Business leaders and other private professionals. These are committed to good values, ethics and clean living.                                             

In the Business front in 1999, I had some extremely challenging decisions. After my conversion I had to deal with major skeletons and other challenges I had to face. Ten years earlier in 1988, as part of the Construction Industry Club, we had met as an industry trying to find solutions to our challenges. However, it soon became a clandestine club, which had been manipulating tenders and bid for work along with major prominent Construction Companies in our city – Cape Town. We would prearrange who would do the work and how the cover pricing would be fixed and later loser fees would be paid to those who provided the cover prices. This went on for some time.

Parting With The Past

In 1999 when we were having our annual strategic planning with our leadership team we invited a Professor of one of the leading universities in Cape Town to address the team. This gentleman spoke on ethics in Business, challenging us on honesty in business. He told us several stories to buttress his point. Among other things he quoted Proverbs 11:1, which states that,

A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but an accurate weight is His delight”.

Knowing the collusions, corruption manipulations, fixing of bids etc that we were engaged in, I could not sleep that night, so I took my bible and began to read Proverbs 11:1. As I kept on reading I came across other challenging verses;

  • When the righteous prosper the city rejoices,
  • Dishonest money dwindles away but he who gathers money little by little helps it grow,
  • The eyes of the Lord are everywhere keeping watch over the wicked and the good,
  • A greedy man brings trouble to his family but he who hates bribe will live,
  • Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed,
  • Before his downfall, a man’s heart is proud but humility comes before honor;

The last straw of these quotes was Proverbs 20:17.

Food gained by fraud tasted sweet to man but ends up with a mouth full of gravels”.

 As a Road Contractor, I was shocked with those words. It was a two-day retreat so on the second day I confessed to the leaders who were all aware of our unethical dealings –the corruption, manipulations, collusions, tender fixing, putting in inflated claims and paying minimum taxes where possible etc. I told them that we had to clean up our Company and do things ethically honestly and cleanly. The team asked whether we could survive if we stopped. But they also complained that I was the ring leader who had taught them those unethical ways so they couldn’t fathom why they had to stop immediately. I made it known to them that if we did not change and mend our ways I would exit the Company even though I had 80% shares in it.

A few weeks later we put an Ethics Committee together with a mandate to interrogate every one of our methods and actions and to transform them ethically and come out with a code of ethics that would govern the company. I am happy to report that it was done and we still use that code to govern our Company. Now I had to contact each member of the construction club in the city, CEOs and Managing Directors to inform them that we were exiting the group and would not subscribe to the clandestine negotiations, tender manipulations and prize fixing.

 

Walking The Talk

It was a tough and rough call I had to make and it of course came along with abusive verbal remarks and heart breaking messages. I was accused of being a bible puncture, a hypocrite, a traitor and described with many other words which are unprintable in this forum. Now that we were no longer part of this club, our bids for government projects came under intense scrutiny as our previous partners were keenly watching to see if we were walking the talk. However whenever we were invited to tender, the club could not operate. We managed to survive the onslaught and managed to grow despite lack of these easy profits. We were regularly invited by large clients to do their key projects without calling for tenders as such. I think this was due to the reputation of being honest, fair and ethical in our dealings. We assumed that these Companies continued to manipulate tenders when they knew we were not in their midst.

 Eventually, the unethical dealings of the Construction Club were exposed in 2011 with headlines in the National Dailies and Television about their clandestine behaviors during the world cup. Lots of Stadia and other infrastructure were built involving billions of dollars. Most of their leaders were sacked and hefty fines imposed on them. I sent a mail to all my directors thanking them and God for helping us clean our Company and saved us from that embarrassment and the huge fines.

We can only free Africa of sustaining poverty if we can get rid of sustaining corruption. This has changed the way I see my role in business and subsequently our purpose as a Power Group has been amended. We now strife to improve the quality of life in Africa. It is simple yet very complex. I realize, it is only by God’s grace and His mercy that we can dream of God restoring dignity to our Africa continent. Today my greatest joy is the joy of living in a restored and a renewed family with my wife, children and grandchildren as we laugh and live together worshiping Jesus Christ. This is a reflection of Psalms 133 and wherever there is Unity, God will command His blessing. I thank God for His blessings upon my family, our beautiful country of South Africa and the global community as a whole.

 

 

 

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Bouncing Back From Grace To Grass

Bouncing Back From Grace To Grass

Testimony of Mr. Enoch Dzah

From Grace To Grass

Until my 5th birthday, life was really good growing up as a child in Accra. All was rosy and smooth for my parents who being devoted members in a charismatic church raised us up with Christian values. My parents lost everything including their jobs and property and we had to settle for very difficult choices which were unbearable coming from the background I have painted above.

My mum with two of my siblings and I had to move to the village leaving only my dad and sister here in the city of Accra. Life in the village was tough as we had to adapt to the new environment. I have vivid memories of the countless occasions when we fell sick. For the next 10 years of my life, I ended up farming and schooling at the same.

It wasn’t surprising therefore that I made a mess of my BECE coming up with aggregate 25. I couldn’t proceed to the school of my choice.  Staying at home and watching my friends trooping to Senior High School was a humiliating ordeal of my life.

In Church But Not In Christ

I relocated to the Accra with my siblings and went to Senior High School a year later where I joined the Scripture Union (SU). Here, I met a gentleman by name John who led me to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal savior. Mind you, I had always been in the church doing church related stuff but had not surrendered my life to Jesus as my lord and personal saviour. I then noticed a change in my Christian life with consistency in my prayer life. I remember waking up to pray each night at 11:30pm.

The Tables Begin To Turn

All of a sudden, my academic performance started to improve and I started getting excellent results. It was second term in Form 2 when I received my end of term results and to my amazement, I had 8A’s, a B and a C. This could only be God looking back to my four-four-four-four-four-five-five-six-six (4-4-4-4-4-5-5-6-6) from Junior High School.

Miraculously, people I didn’t know started paying for my fees through some of my teachers. I was awarded a PTA half scholarship in Form 2 and someway somehow, I was also awarded a CHESED Foundation Scholarship which was to cater for both my School fees and books at High School and tuition and hostel fees including stipends for my University education.

I am now done with University, currently working with one of Ghana’s leading indigenous banks, a pastor and a member of the Full Gospel Business Men Fellowship International which has been very instrumental in my making.

This is what God has done for me and I want to encourage you as you read this testimony that God can do just that and even more for you.

Enoch Dzah

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TO DIE OR GO MAD?

TO DIE OR GO MAD?

Testimony of Dr. Alex Adom

John 10:10

The thief does not come except to steal, to kill and to destroy but I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly

Baby Smoker

On the 1st of February, 1979, a young boy was born at Bodada Buem, a small village near Jasikan in the Volta region to Mr. &Mrs. Adom. This was a village that was well noted for idolatry and the entrance, midpoints and exits of the village were openly decorated with notable shrines which people consulted from time to time to unravel mysteries. This baby would neither eat nor sleep giving the parents sleepless nights. They therefore consulted the shrine and the verdict was that he was a reincarnated child who had come back angry, hungry and dissatisfied because he did not have a peaceful death during his previous lifetime. In order to pacify and sooth his spirit, the oracles prescribed that he should be given some cigarettes and alcohol to calm him down. I was that baby who at that tender age,  had his first dose of alcohol and cigarette and this was a seed which was later to mature and bear fruits which will become evident as you read along.

Induction Into Ancestral Worship

My grandfather was an ex-military officer who had been conscripted into the British Army to fight in the Second World War. I was never fine and happy with my parents until class 2 when I packed bag and baggage out of my parents’ home and relocated to my maternal grandparents’ home. When I got there, they sought to find out why I had come and I told them I had come to stay. They thought I was joking but I stayed with them up to class 6.

 Whilst serving with the British army, all the military men from my village were receiving divine protection from the gods of my village so my grandfather didn’t know any other God apart from his traditional idols.  It might interest you to know surprisingly that he was a church elder who also doubled as the Chief Executioner in the Buem traditional area. In the traditional parlance, the Chief Executioner is such a powerful and dreadful office. He had in his possessions all manner of knives which were deployed in making executions for sacrifices on behalf of the chief. They worshipped the knives and the spirit of the knives could at times possess them and use them for all manner of demonic operations. So I grew up developing a keen interest in ancestral worship under the tutelage of my grandfather.

One day my grandfather took me to his room and told me that there was going to be a big gathering of all the elders and power brokers of the Buem traditional area during which he wanted me to sit in front of him. He therefore opened a trunk and showed me a big golden idol. He told me that I was going to carry the idol in front of him during the gathering so he gave specific instructions to my teachers to release me to come home at 10am.

When God is ahead of you, no matter where you find yourself, He protects you. Unfortunately on that day, my teachers forgot and kept me in school till 1pm. By the time I came home, the ceremony had started and someone else had been assigned the responsibility of carrying the golden idol. I wept inconsolably and cursed my stars but I didn’t know that God had a different agenda and purpose for my life. Today the man who held the idol before him is alive back at home and he can’t define his bearing in life but God saved me and preserved my life for such a time as this.

Street Life

When I was going to JHS, I had to leave my grandparents to stay with my parents at a village near Kedjebi. From there I passed the BECE and gained admission to the Senior High School. All this while, I still stood staunchly by my traditional religion because even though my father went to church and sometimes preached on Sundays, he would come back home and treat himself to a good bout of alcoholic beverages. For us, Christianity was more of a comic relief than a way of life. I failed one of my subjects in the SSCE so I had to come to Accra and here I sunk into moral decadence and street life became a better of me. I was staying in uncompleted structures and became an affairs boy at Abosokai and at the same time shuttled from one construction site to the other to win bread when business was not brisk. I graciously became a factory hand at Letap Pharmaceuticals and it was during this period that I came to the rude awakening that the graduates who got employed with the company were treated differently: they were given a well-furnished office, car and decent accommodation those who were employed .

Aborted Occultism

Spurred on by this observation, I decided to quit the job and go back to SHS to rewrite the entire exams. In that secondary school I met a friend who promised to initiate me into a secret to passing the exams with ease. He said he was going to introduce me to a certain society where I would be endowed with supernatural powers that could make me invincible and enable me to see all exam questions far ahead of the exam. He took me to the dormitory one night when all our friends were at prep and asked me to lie on the bed. Before he could dish out any further instructions, the priests descended on the dormitory and raided the place and I was spotted and accosted but the guy had mysteriously vanished from the scene. I had to lie and put up a defence upon interrogation that I was not feeling well and therefore decided to come over to the dormitory to sleep. I was warned and left to go scot free. I managed to pass the SSCE without the guy’s assistance.

To Die or Go Mad?

There was something that was curiously a bother to me: my father’s junior brother, a graduate of the University of Ghana in the 1970s who was an ordained minister of the gospel became mentally challenged and to date, he is yet to recover. My grandfather was constantly warning me not to meddle myself in Christianity using the sad case of my uncle as a classic case study. He was always quick to remind me that if I became a Christian, I was likely to suffer the fate that had befallen him.  I believed him as the evidence was clearly staring at me in the face.

In my village, anyone who tried to go the University either died or became mad. Mindful of this situation, my parents cautiously encouraged me to go the Teacher Training College even though I had passed very well. I gained admission to Jasikan Training College, and whilst there, I applied to the University of Cape Coast and got a positive response. My best friend arranged for the most powerful of all the jujumen in our village to bath and fortify me with all manner of concoctions before I could be released to go to UCC. Knowing the circumstances surrounding my admission, I decided to add religion to my studies even though I wasn’t required to do so. I became so excited with African Traditional Religion and delved deeper and deeper because I wanted to challenge Christianity. I also joined the Profane Association of West Africa (PAWA), a deeply occultic choral group whose specialty was singing profane songs. I became a drunkard and had to skip lectures most of the time.

Healed From Liver Cancer

By the time I got to final year, the waywardness was beginning to tell on me and I started falling sick. I was finally handed a death sentence when I was diagnosed with a cancer of the liver. This was an incurable terminal illness and the drugs that were being administered on me were just palliative and not curative. I had an imminent and inevitable appointment with death but I couldn’t do anything about it. A lady friend of mine by name Lydia Boateng who happened to be my course mate invited me for a prayer meeting held on campus by a colleague student and I honoured the invitation.

During ministration the man of God who didn’t know me mentioned my name surprisingly. He went further to describe my village and said that the people in my village had ganged up to terminate my life that week. At that point I became scared and had no option but to step forward because I knew what was in store for me. I finally surrendered and gave my life to Christ Jesus as my lord and personal savior. They laid hands on me and prayed for me. I was asked to do three days fasting and afterwards, I recovered and was able to go for lectures and go about my schedules normally. God had healed me. Then I got to know that there is a power that is above all powers and this drove me to show a lot of interest in the things of God. Today, that lady who invited me to the prayer meeting is my wife and we are happily married with four lovely kids.

Unfortunately, I graduated, left UCC and didn’t have the opportunity to go through discipleship to become thoroughly grounded in the things of God. I found myself in South Africa (SA) by God’s grace on a scholarship to pursue my first Master’s degree after which I got another scholarship to do my PHD. In SA, it was the norm for the young men to gather in drinking spots and restaurants to make merry and to indulge in drinking, womanizing, smoking and what have you. Even though by then I had married and given birth to a child back home, it got to a point that I started drifting away from the things of God because the environment was so polluted but I thank God that in the midst of all the chaos I still hanged on to Him.

In Search Of Greener Pastures

Whilst working with the Eastern Cape Department of Education, I decided to take an MBA which normally does not attract any scholarship and I went on my knees seeking the face of God for a breakthrough. Graciously around the same time, I got an appointment with the South African Local Government as a Strategic and Integrated Development Planner. I therefore wrote to the department of education for my appointment to be terminated but surprisingly, they kept paying my salary until I completed the MBA. The salary stopped hitting my account immediately after I had completed the MBA. This was indeed the finger of God at work.

After acquiring all the certificates and securing a good job, I realized that my commitment to the things of God was dwindling and I prayed to God to bring me back to Ghana so that I would have a closer walk with Him. I told my colleagues of my plans to relocate to Ghana and they all advised against it. Without doubt, the job was an attractive one that came along with lots of opportunities and I was comfortable and solidly well positioned. Almost every week we slept in the best of hotels holding seminars and workshops and as strategic planners we met with all the people of influence and power in SA.

The Saga of The Returnee

 Back home, my parents vehemently opposed the idea and cited the election petition of 2012 as an index case to buttress the uncertainty and insecurity in the Ghanaian political terrain but I was not the least perturbed and was just focused on coming back home to have a deeper and closer walk with the lord. The truth of the matter is that in this world, you can pursue all your dreams and desires but if Christ is not in the center of your choices you will run into crisis and misery, die and end up in hell.

I came to Ghana for holidays and tendered in my resignation. My employers followed up to Ghana to convince me to rescind my decision but I cited grounds of insecurity for my actions. They promised to give me 24hour body guards but I declined. Life was very tough back home as I had to start from ground zero. My first appointment was with a private University and my first salary was a cheque of a meagre amount of ₵800.00 which couldn’t even buy me fuel. It was an insult compared to what I was earning in SA but I was adamant and wanted to stay on to serve my God. The land I had bought on which I was developing a project became a subject of litigation and land guards took over the place. The land owners took me to a jujuman and half of my body was almost rotten and for one month I couldn’t even wear a singlet. The scars from those wounds are still present on my body today. Then it dawned on me that I had to hold on firmly to God and not give up. I started praying and fasting and patronizing any Christian programme that came my way just to make sure that I was fully grounded and saturated with the word of God.

Take The Key

From 2013-2015, life had come to a standstill for me and nothing seemed to be moving on well. One day whilst I was fasting and praying, I fell into a trance where I saw myself coming from Jasikan to my village. When I got to the cemetery, I saw a hand sprouting from one of the graves holding an old rotten key. Then I heard a voice say: “take the key”. I took the key from the sprouting hand and in the vision I saw myself in my father’s bedroom. My grandfather was a very wealthy person who kept a safe in his bedroom. I was instructed to open the safe and in it I saw four aloe Vera plants tied with a rubber band in a bag of sachet water appearing as though they were dead. I received further directions to go and plant and water the aloe vera and when I did, they sprouted and grew rapidly into matured plants.

Until then, I had written numerous applications to several places in search of a job but I didn’t get a single response. I continued praying, fasting and fellowshipping and barely a week after this dream, I received a call from the department of Development Studies –University of Cape Coast (UCC). In that same week, I received another call this time from the Department of Management studies-UCC to come for an interview. As if that was not enough, I got another call from UNICEF for yet another interview. With all these options stirring at me, I decided to join UCC.

No Weapon

I thought my woes were over but I started my job at UCC with a scandal which had serious implications on my integrity. The very first examination I conducted with my head of department got compromised and the questions were leaked. An investigation was set up to unravel the culprits and my testimony was crucial to uncovering the faces behind this shameful act. Dreading what was in store for them, the perpetrators went to the extent of consulting the powers of darkness to kill me in a road traffic accident so that I wouldn’t be able to testify against them. The accident indeed happened as orchestrated but God delivered me. I was driving to Takoradi when I came across a tipper truck abandoned in the middle of the road. In an attempt to swerve the abandoned truck, I moved to the opposite lane only to be greeted with an onrushing articulator truck. It ran into my car and I found myself summersaulting several times. My car which was Takoradi bound found itself heading towards Cape Coast. It had been shattered beyond recognition but I was spared. I’m able to say this because later on, the people behind the accident came confessing and apologizing to me for what they had taken me through.

They thought they were out there to take my life but God revealed Himself to me in the course of the accident. I heard a clear instruction to go and join the University Interdenominational Church (UIC) to manifest His power. I battled with the idea but I finally yielded and went to UIC where I met men and women worshiping God. One of the people I met at UIC introduced me to the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. At my very first meeting at the FGBMFI, the main speaker called me and in a word of prophecy cautioned me to be very careful with my life because God was going to use me and take me round the world. Right after the meeting, I had an appointment with the United States Embassy and straightaway I was given a 5 year visa. Since then, I have been globetrotting on business trips and seminars spanning across several continents in the world. Admittedly, I’m tired of travelling around the world and will want a break. The bare truth is that our God is a God of all creation and if you don’t take a stance, the opportunities in life will overtake you. Don’t allow anything to take you away from the things of God for there is nothing that is more valuable than knowing Jesus and making Him known.

Before I joined FGBMFI, I was suffering from persistent chronic headaches and I had to subsist on pain killers at all times but now the healing power of Jesus has touched me and the headache is no more. I don’t have to rely on pain killers any longer. In this fellowship you will meet men and women who have the heart for God and they will show you how to serve God better. If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your lord and personal savior, I invite you to do so now and your life will never be the same again.

Editor’s Note:

Dr. Alex Adom is a lecturer at the School of Business-UCC. He is a member of the UCC chapter of the FGBMFI where he serves as the Business Development Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Treading On Snakes

Testimony of Mr. Joachim Kobina Sekyi Achenie

As I look forward to my 70th birthday on July 12th, 2020, I can’t overemphasize how gracious God has been to me through the changing scenes of a life that began at Breman Brakwa where I was born to Opanyin Kweku Prah and Maame Adwoa Yeboah all of whom were staunch Catholics who have been called home to be with the lord. I had an eventful early life which was characterized by three main periods:

The Period Of Snakes

The Period of Goats and

The Period of general problems

Multiple Encounters With Snakes

In class 4, I was bitten by a snake and in class 6 whilst looking for an avocado pear fruit in the afternoon, a huge snake coiled around my leg up to the knee level and miraculously disentangled itself without harming me.

My third encounter with snakes was on a Good Friday when most Christians go to chuch on this day to commemorate the death of Jesus on the cross. I was by then in middle school form 1 and quite strangely, I served notice at home that I was going to church but mischievously  sneaked out with two of my brothers and a couple of friends to go hunting for grass cutters and rats. Armed with three dogs, we set off and unleashed the dogs to go ahead of us with the hope that a retreating grass cutter escaping the threat of the dogs would ran in our direction and we would in turn capture it. This was an old hunting tactic that had paid dividends on many occasions.

Not too far away from where I was standing, I could see the grass shaking violently and as an experienced hunter, I knew that our game plan had worked and stretched out my hand and held the cutlass high in readiness to strike the approaching game. Contrary to my expectation, the sight that greeted me was shocking: I saw the head of a huge python making its way towards my direction. I was so startled that I froze like a statue from head to toe with the cutlass raised up in my hand and stack in the air whilst my eyes were fixed on this monster of a creature. I stood in that position till the snake passed me by, then the cutlass fell from my hand and I started running towards home calling on my brothers.

The farm was not too far from our house and they came to find me panting, speechless, shaking and pointing to the farm. When my parents were told of the episode, they were very angry with me for not going to church. In her anger, my mother retorted that “you are lucky Jesus loves you”. I took that statement for granted because at the Breman Brakwa Roman Catholic Primary School where I started my education, I was very good in class, came out top of the class and had to be promoted from class 1 to 3. Incidentally, I was enrolled in class 1 at the age of 8 and rightfully earned the derogatory nick name “class 1 Papa”.  I had erroneously presumed that it was by my own might that I had accomplished all these feats but little did I know that there was an unseen hand ordering my footsteps every step along the way.

Mysterious Serial Goat Deaths

I sat for the Common Entrance examination and gained admission to St Augustines College-Cape Coast in 1965. For six consecutive terms, anytime I went home for holidays, a goat or sheep from my mother’s pen would be knocked down by a vehicle. On one occasion when I returned home from school and greeted my mother, she angrily responded that I had come home again and one her goats was going to die.  She barely finished speaking when a bus knocked down her favourite goat.

 For me, it was a joyous occasion because it was an opportunity to feast on the meat. My mother’s reaction coming on the heels of the 6th animal dying under circumstances which were very similar with the previous ones set me pondering over what I could no longer treat as a mere coincidence.

I expressed my fears to my mum and after confiding in a friend he directed me to a fetish priest at Akroso near Akim Oda. After throwing some cowries on the floor, he asked me to submit some old clothes of mine for further investigations. I promised to come back the following week with the requested items but I never showed up again because I was really frightened with what he was doing. The killings however stopped after this encounter.

Even though I considered myself very religious and was a regular church attendant, I was seriously indulging in drinking akpeteshie “local gin”, smoking cigarette, chasing girls and stealing farm products with reckless abandon.

Finding My Feet

After completion of my A’levels in 1972, I applied to join the Ghana Armed Forces together with a close friend of mine. Unfortunately, my friend was selected and I was left out. I was very upset with the turnout of events but unfortunately this friend of mine was killed in one of the numerous coups in Ghana. At that point, I realized that God had His hands firmly established in my life and God started catching my attention.

I gained admission to the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to read science in 1973 and was posted to a school at Saltpond where I taught for three years after my graduation in 1976. In one of the mock examinations, I set questions from three different text books and surprisingly all the questions appeared in the GCE exams in the same order that I had presented them. At that time I thought all these achievements were solely credited to my abilities but today with the benefit of hindsight, I know that God has been leading me all the way and I regret my ingratitude to Him at that time.

From Saltpond I went to Nigeria  for six years and returned to Ghana in 1986 to teach at Swedru Secondary after which I had the chance to travel to Zambia to teach.

Mercy Ofori Boakye, a lady I dated during my national service later became my wife and we have been married since 1981 with four beautiful daughters.

I Was Blind

On a visit to a Deeper Life Church in 1995 in Botswana one Sunday at the invitation of my sister in-law who was a chorister in that church, I was confronted with an incident that really baffled me. As the choir sang that famous hymn “Amazing Grace”, the ambience in the church changed and the presence of God was so powerful and tangible and people could not control themselves but fall and roll under the anointing. On the contrary, I was very uncomfortable because I had a strong aversion for some of these spiritual gimmickries. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the secretary to the Attorney General also falling and rolling. I said to myself that “how can such a dignified person disgrace herself like that?” As they sang the line which says that “I once was BLIND…” I blacked out and in order not to “disgrace myself”, I reached for my chair and sat down. In the next five minutes that followed, my whole life in Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia was played to me in a movie where I saw myself as a blind man being led around by somebody. From that day in 1995, I abandoned my skepticism and doubts about speaking in tongues, falling under the anointing and other spiritual events that I foolishly considered as gimmickry. 

Upon my return to Ghana in 1996, I noticed that I never slept well in the afternoon because each time I slept blindness engulfed me. On three occasions, a colleague tutor of mine at Swedru Secondary School by name Mr. E.K.T Osam invited me to the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International meetings but I always turned down the invitations. Upon receipt of the third card, my wife encouraged me to honour the invitation just to see what goes on there and most importantly to avoid another card.

Lord Here I Stand

Mindful of the experience I had had in Botswana, I closed my eyes during the praise and worship sessions. As the main speaker shared his testimony, I could identify myself with most of the issues he was raising and during ministration when an invitation was made for people to come forward and accept Jesus, I stepped forward as if I had been pushed by an unseen hand to receive Christ Jesus as my lord and personal saviour. That decision marked the end of my afternoon sleep crisis.

My teaching improved, I ran extra classes for free for weak non science students and during the Speech Day I won the Most Hard Working Teacher’s award at Swesco. That same year, I was nominated for the National Best Teacher Award. I was the second best in the 2nd Cycle Schools category and my award was a 6 weeks educational tour to the USA on a 5 year visa.

Declared Unfit To Work

 I needed to raise an amount $6000 to sponsor my daughter who was reading French at the University to go a year abroad in France in as part of her academic program. Tried as I did to raise the money, I could only come by $600. Under the circumstance therefore, I resigned my job in Ghana left for the USA to work in order to raise the needed amount. Graciously, a relative of mine bought a ticket for me and I went to USA for a second time in February, 2004. The easiest job I could secure was Home Care. I therefore enrolled at a Home Care school for 10 days after which I submitted myself for a medical examination. I received a crude shock when the result of the medical exams indicated that my blood pressure was 210/110! This was a severe case of hypertension and for that reason I declared unfit to work. I prayed for God’s intervention and by divine providence I met a Ghanaian medical officer who was of immense help to me. He put me on medication and gave me a complimentary card to procure medicines. When I went to do the medical exams for a second time, I was declared fit and received the nod to go ahead and work. I got my first employment in April 2004 and as soon as I was able to raise the $6000, I lost the job. I took some time off to recuperate and sent the money to my daughter to pursue her dream.

Having seen the completion of my first three girls through University, I came back to Ghana in April 2010 with a slightly used Toyota Camry. On a test drive to Winneba to secure her driver’s license in June 2010, my wife was driving the car when we heard a big bang on the rear of the car. We had been hit by an SUV. My wife sustained some injuries and was admitted at the Winneba hospital. The case went to court and the driver of the SUV was declared guilty.

We were to go to a civil court for him to repair the damaged car. My wife refused to testify after the pleading of the young driver that  he was newly married, not yet settled and pushing him to court would force him to commit suicide.

We paid for the repair of the car. It was a fortune. I sold the car and bought an older car which served me well.

Picking Up The Pieces

Meanwhile I had always yearned to fellowship with the FGBMFI. I managed to locate the meeting place of the Swedru chapter and the membership turnout was very poor. I met four men and a lady. Many of the members were not attending meetings. I joined the fellowship and immediately became the Secretary not knowing my left from my right. Upon the admonition of the incumbent President, I became his immediate successor with a firm assurance from him that he was going to support me fully but unfortunately he left the fellowship shortly after the mantle had fallen on. I accepted the challenge and together with the support of dedicated brethren like Mr. Teddy Klu, Mr. Adjagrah, Rev. Amo Nkrumah and Favour Aflakpue we accepted the challenge and started rebuilding the fellowship depending on the grace and enablement of the Holy Spirit. We relocated our meetings venue to the Humility Lodge which offered us a decent place worthy of our stature.

Floodgate Of Testimonies

My association with the FGBMFI has helped me build a closer walk with Jesus and I can testify of numerous things that the lord has done in my life.

  • On a number of occasions when I fell sick, I called on the Lord and being my healer he healed and restored my health.
  • I had my own doubts and skepticism about the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues but today, I’m fully baptized with the Holy Spirit and is actively at the forefront of helping others to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  • Whilst driving at Kasoa one day in the company of my wife, my car ran over a three year old child without crushing him. “Machomen” in the vicinity came and surrounded the car and ensured that nobody touched us. They escorted us to hospital with the child and he was declared absolutely fit and was handed over to the parents.
  • On one occasion whilst we were all out of the house, fire from outside crossed my fence wall guttering my compound, a heap of firewood and a plantain plantation but miraculously, the house was spared.
  • At a prayer meeting, I was led to minister to my brother who had been declared hopeless because of a chronic illness. I took him through the six steps to salvation and after prayer, he recovered and is still doing very well today.
  • Beyond the confines of the FGBMFI, the lord has used me to revive the men’s fellowship in my local Catholic church which collapsed for over a year due to leadership problems.

It has been an exciting experience walking with the lord and ministering on the platform of the FGBMFI. If God can use me to do all these things, I can assure you that He will do greater things with you if only you give Him a chance to rule and reign in your life.

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