Ghana Jesus Festival Welcomes You With a Smile
'Friendliest' African Nation to Host BGEA Outreach
April 2, 2012 - A country known for its warm hospitality, Ghana has fully embraced the upcoming April 28-29 Ghana Jesus Festival in Accra, with more than 16,000 already completing the Christian Life and Witness training.
“It’s a high percentage of Christians who have gotten involved. The pastors here are overjoyed.” — Bill Kennedy, Ghana Jesus Festival Director
By Trevor Freeze
It's perhaps the ultimate compliment to a country.
Ask anyone who has ever been to Ghana what the African country is like and without fail you'll likely hear the same response.
"The Ghanaian people are the friendliest people in Africa," said Bill Kennedy, director of the upcoming Ghana Jesus Festival. "It's true.
"They're always very cordial, very polite. Everyone will love to extend their hand to greet you. And on the street, you can talk to anybody."
And if the friendly, inclusive peaceful atmosphere that Ghana is known for permeates the Accra area, tens of thousands will hear the Gospel message at the two-day Ghana Jesus Festival on April 28-29.
Already, the amount of people jumping on board has been nothing short of phenomenal. More than 16,000 people have completed the Christian Life and Witness training classes from approximately 1,250 involved churches.
And some 5,500 people have signed up as counselors for the Festival that is targeting around 4 million people in the greater Accra area that includes Kasoa to the west and Tema to the east.
"It's a high percentage of Christians who have gotten involved," Kennedy said. "The pastors here are overjoyed."
Another indicator of how well the church has caught the vision of this evangelistic outreach is that a high percent of the pastors from the involved churches have been present for all of the Christian Life and Witness training.
"They've been working eight months for this. And they're praying for neighbors," Kennedy said. "The churches are getting on board."
Churches of all sizes, too. About 250 smaller churches (max 60 people), called public schoolroom churches, have joined the effort to spread the Gospel.
"If you get over 60 members, you get a facility of your own and move out," Kennedy said. "They are far and wide and we did a special training just for these pastors."
About 90 public school church pastors completed the training and took the tools back to train the classroom congregations.
And in many ways, bringing the Gospel message back to the school is very natural in Ghana, especially in the high schools where the Bible is esteemed.
"About 85 percent of the schools teach Scripture," Kennedy said. "The Scripture Union has had 90 years of influence. It's a very special atmosphere."
The Ghana Jesus Festival will have its own unique atmosphere, highlighted by a massive choir that will number 1,000 to 2,000 Ghanaians, much like the All Liberia Life Festival in March of 2011.
The Festival in Monrovia saw more than 91,000 people hear the Gospel over the three-day event, with more than 13,000 making decisions for Christ.
The two-day Jesus Festival will be held at Accra Sports Stadium, which has a capacity of 40,000, but will have a seating configuration of about 32,000, with the stage and choir on one end. If people want to sit behind the stage, it will hold a full 40,000. An overflow screen showing the Festival will be airing outside the stadium, but still inside the complex.
"The objective that I have given the choir director is to get the 40,000 people singing," said Kennedy, who doesn't think that will be much of a problem. "In general, all through Africa, singing is a very natural thing. They move to the music. Their whole body sings."
Dennis Agajanian, the Tommy Coomes Band and a half dozen local Christian musical acts will set the stage for Franklin Graham to deliver a Gospel message on both evenings. A dedication of prayer night will be held on April 27.
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