Sweating Our Way Through Ghana

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016

Sweating Our Way Through Ghana

I stumbled out of the van and planted one foot shakily onto the dirt, releasing a small puff of reddish dust, which skittered and swirled across the surface of the courtyard.

I breathed in deeply, enjoying of moment of relief from the still, sweltering air of the vehicle I had just left.

And then the sun hit me… and the relief was gone.

It was still several hours before noon in Accra, Ghana, but It was hot – deeply, unrelentingly hot.

“Hey man,” my friend Rick Willison, a strength athlete and gifted communicator, was already out of the vehicle and taking stock of the large school we had just reached, “You wanna preach this one?”

I shook my head to clear it, pulled at my already sweat-soaked black t-shirt, and looked up at the school.  It was tall, with three stories of long balconies that were already packed with at least 300 young people.  A half-dozen young men were surrounding a dusty soundboard near the wall, attempting to figure out how to turn on a single rusty, dented microphone.

This was going to be a challenge.

But it was also going to be fun.

I looked up at Rick and smiled.

“I’ll take it!”

BlogPic82c

We were a few days into our trip to Ghana with On the Go Ministries and we had settled into a sort of routine: we would wake up at 5 AM, grab a protein bar, and stumble out of our mercifully air-conditioned hotel rooms and into the wet pre-dawn heat of the city of Accra.  From there, our five-person team would load ourselves into a dusty un-air-conditioned mini-van and pull out onto the lone highway which stretched across the city.

Then we would spend several hours alternating between sitting in traffic and bouncing aggressively over deeply potholed dirt back-roads in order to get to the schools where we were to perform.

It had taken us an entire day to figure out that it was possible to roll down one of our four back windows – a possibly life-saving development – and now we were usually able to feel a breeze while driving.  It was an impossibly hot, wet breeze that smelled strongly of burning diesel, but at least it was a breeze.

Our driver had been patient and skilled, the people of Ghana had been gracious and wonderful, but this was proving to be one of our most physically demanding trips to date.

And now we were standing in front of our largest school so far.

I turned to one of the young men at the soundboard and pointed at the microphone.

“Does it work yet?”

He nodded skeptically and handed the mic to me.

I tapped it.

Nothing.

I shook my head at the young man and tapped it again.

“It doesn’t work yet.”

He frowned and turned back to the board.

Several of his friends pointed at different knobs and sliders. He shook his head and tried twisting several of them, and then he looked back at me.

I tapped it again.

The peeling speaker cabinet thumped and squealed with feedback.

Success.

I faced the crowd and smiled.

“Hello everyone!!! It is so good to be in Ghana!!!”

BlogPic82a

We sang, the young people responded well, we laughed together, and then…

I broke a guitar string.

Grrr.

I ended the song we were playing and handed the guitar to my daughter, taking the microphone.

“In just a minute I’m going to introduce you to my friend Rick, and he’s going to amaze you with what he can do, but first, do you mind if I tell you a story?”

The crowd cheered and I began.

“Several years ago…”

And then the microphone stopped working.

You can’t make this stuff up.

I turned to the young men at the soundboard.  They were frantically twisting knobs and pushing sliders.

So I made a decision.

I handed the mic back to them, turned to face the crowd, and began to tell my story – this time at the top of my lungs.

I told them about Jesus – about the life He lived and the price He paid for our freedom.  I told them about the way He had rescued me, forgiven me, and changed me forever.  I told them that He could change them too.

Then I invited them to respond.

And all across the schoolyard, a small sea of hands went up – hundreds responded, saying “yes” to Jesus – some from Christian backgrounds, and some wearing the head-coverings of other religions.

And suddenly, it was all worth it.  All the heat and the dust and the struggle to stay strong – all the technical challenges and exhaustion – it was all worth it to see lives changed forever by the unfathomable love of Jesus.

And this is why we do what we do.

Two days ago we returned from Ghana after sharing the love of Jesus with more than 1500 people in schools, churches and street meetings and watching hundreds respond, and two weeks ago, we celebrated the worldwide release of our new CD, LOVE IS WIDE.

You can sample the CD on ITUNES or listen on SPOTIFY or wherever music can be downloaded or streamed – we are hoping and praying that the music is a blessing to you, and we’d love to hear what you think!

BlogPic82b

Over the next few months, we are scheduled to travel throughout the US sharing the incredible love of Jesus, and then to the countries of Malawi, Myanmar, and Costa Rica to participate in large-scale evangelistic festivals.

Please pray for us as we go, and follow us on Facebook for daily updates from overseas, and click HERE if you’d like to partner with us financially in our mission to reach multitudes in every nation with the incredible love of Jesus!

Thanks so much for your love and friendship, and God bless you, dear friends!

In Jesus,

Zach Blickens and White Ribbon Day

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>