Where We Started
In July 1998, a team of 4 from CVC led by Rick Duncan visited Jim Haney, IMB missionary to Ghana (pictured below). We toured the central, northern, and western regions of the country, visited the hospital at Nalerigu, encouraged and trained pastors near the hospital, visited the Baptist Seminary in Kumasi, showed the Jesus film, and did personal evangelism. We also visited Cape Coast Castle. The purpose of the trip was to identify ongoing missional opportunities to reach an Unreached People Group in Ghana.
In 2000, a team of 5 was led by Rick Duncan to evangelize an Unreached People Group called the Nzema people, who lived on the southwest coast of Ghana. We evangelized using the Jesus film. The purpose of this trip was to see if God was calling CVC to adopt this people group. The clear answer was “yes.”
Nzema People Group
In January 2002, Frank Archer (below), a Ghanaian from Prestia was appointed by the Ghana Baptist Convention (GBC) to be a home missionary to the Nzema people group. CVC has been supporting Reverend Archer’s salary since that time while the GBC has been supplying additional funds for things such as housing allowance, travel expenses, etc.
When Rev. Archer began his work only three Baptist churches were in existence serving over 350,000 people in the region. After 15 years, there are now over 50 Baptist churches. To God alone be the glory!
These churches, as one can imagine, are at various states of health and growth. Some have pastors; some have leaders; and some are served by traveling pastors and evangelists like the early Methodist circuit riders in the US. Some churches have property. Only a few churches have buildings (Half Assini, Esiama (a structure), Edu, and Elubo). The churches range in size from 60 members (in Elubo, Half Assini, Esiama, Nkroful, and Ainyase) to as few as a handful. Well over 500 people have been baptized as member of Nzema Baptist churches.
CVC has also raised money to invest in the overall health and well-being of the region through the drilling of water wells. We raised money with our Advent Tree to fund the drilling of the wells. Eight wells have been drilled. One is in Nyamebekyere. CVC worked with the Ghanaian well-driller, Thomas Semenu, a Baptist deacon in Accra who owns Water Health Care Limited. We sent Josh Cleveland on a mission to finalize the process.
Since many churches have been planted in the Nzema region, the GBC has given the churches the permission to organize as a recognized association of the GBC. So, in July, 2009 the Nzema Baptist Association was formed with Emmanuel Ofori Teiko, pastor of the Esiama Church, serving as the chairman of the association.
The Nzema people are now no longer considered by missiologists an Unreached People Group which has less than 2% of the population as evangelical Christians. Instead, are now classified as and Under-evangelized People Group. It’s been fulfilling as a church to be used by God to help that transformation take place.
Building a Hospital
We have also aquired land near Nvelinu (10 acres) for a much-needed hospital. One of our past elders at CVC, Ron Cleveland (right), who used to run the pathology lab at Metro Hospital, has been to Ghana many, many times. And God gave him a vision to start a hospital there in Nzemaland. Construction has been completed on an ideal spot on the main highway near a fork in the road that leads to Cote d’Voire to the northwest and to main village, Half Assini, in the region to the southwest. Local chiefs donated the land. The GBC helped with legal documents and take ownership of the land. All will be welcome at this hospital. And we believe that the love of Christ will heal their bodies and their souls. We are currently still helping to raise the money for the equipment and the staffing of this hospital.
Soli Deo Gloria!