A lesson from Ghana – the life of a believer

I have a friend who is a math tutor.  Several years ago she tutored a high school girl named Canita.  Canita not only learned math from my friend, but she also learned Christ.  Canita entered college as a strong believer.  Her studies in International Health included a research project in Ghana.  This is a portion of one of the emails Canita sent during her four month stay in Ghana.  It has affected me so deeply that I wanted to share it.

“Waiting is definitely something I’ve gotten a stronger appreciation for since being here. My prayer life has catapulted to new heights, causing my craving for the Father to become so much deeper. Given my surroundings, I’ve had no other choice but to grow. See, the believers I hang out with in Ghana aren’t your typical Christians. They give the word “radical” new meaning and truly embody our old school description of a “Jesus freak.” I have friends here whose daily routines look something like this (look closely): 8:00am-4pm: work, 6:30pm-8:30pm: church, 12am-3am: personal prayer time, 3am-5am: personal bible study, 5am-6:30am: morning physical exercise. No, this is not an embellishment! When do they sleep you ask?! My friend, they don’t. Aside from the couple of hours they are able to squeeze in here or there, rarely do they sleep. When I first discovered this, I was astonished. As a student of International Health, I was initially very concerned for their physical well-being. This, I thought, can not be healthy. Yet, when I see each of them every day they always seem to have three times more energy than I do. They’re never tired, never irritable, and never ill. Like Paul, these men and women literally put their bodies under the subjection of the Holy Spirit daily (2 Corinthians 9:27). They fast weekly, pray constantly, and truly re-present Christ in this part of the world. As you could imagine, there’s no way I can live among such a humble, surrendered group of believers and not be moved. More than anything, they’ve taught me the art of sacrificial waiting. I’ve found that something happens in the spirit when we sacrificially give of our time, our sleep, our food, and our comfort to seek the heartbeat of God.”

4 thoughts on “A lesson from Ghana – the life of a believer

  1. melodymilbrandt January 29, 2009 / 10:50 am

    Amen Eirene! This moved me to tears. Thanks so much for posting it. I have been feeling like this alot lately. Wanting, neeeding to commune with my Jesus so much that sleep seems secondary. This is very powerful and uplifting!!!

    I am continuing to speak out your name, to cry it out before the Lord each day. I have not forgotten.

  2. Linda Born January 31, 2009 / 8:34 am

    “I’ve found that something happens in the spirit when we sacrificially give of our time, our sleep, our food, and our comfort to seek the heartbeat of God.”

    This has touched my heart today like a fragrance that revives a memory…I remember this kind of intimacy with our Lord and I want it back! Thank you for this post.
    From Melody’s Aunt Linda

  3. Canita March 6, 2009 / 8:44 pm

    I’ve read this email excerpt several times since you posted it and each time I have to remind myself that I am the author. When I was in Ghana, I gained such an incredible passion for the Lord…the kind of passion that doesn’t just burn flames, but sets fires. How did that fire for sacrificial intimacy with the Father grow so dim? How did I lose the excitement and urgency to seek God no matter the cost? I could blame it on a more busy schedule or a more comfortable culture, but instead I’m going to point to the real villain: a more complacent heart. Lord, forgive me for not giving of myself as freely as I once did. Forgive me for acting as if your Presence is something I pursue as casually and infrequently as I choose.

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