To download the original copy, please follow this link: News Update – November 2015
From this issue of News Update:
Over the years, not only has CIM sent many STM teams to Ghana, but we have also built many life-long relationships with the locals. They have become our friends whom we visit each time we go back. They are an encouragement to us and we are an encouragement to them.
Missions as a whole encompass many things. Not only are we to share the gospel message and lead people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but as the Great Commission states, we are to make disciples of all nations. This can be accomplished by building genuine relationships with locals and keeping in touch with them, not only when we are overseas, but when we are back in Canada as well.
In this newsletter update, I want to introduce you to Ruth Chamba. I first met Mama Ruth, as she is affectionately called, in 2007 during my first missions trip to Ghana in the village of Kpandai. She was married to the headmaster of the local school there and a mother of 3. I enjoyed spending time getting to know her family. As the years passed, our relationship continued to grow. Other team mates also got to know Mama Ruth very well. A few years later, her husband, passed away, fairly suddenly and she was devastated. Because of the relationship we had built with Mama Ruth and her family, CIM, working alongside ECG (Evangelical Church of Ghana) set up a foundation for her family. This deeply touched Mama Ruth and she continues to serve the Lord and has even enrolled in a degree program to help the disabled.
Mama Ruth has been deeply impacted by the work of the Lord through ECG and CIM and of the relationships we have built with her. She says, “Words can not describe what CIM means in the life of this family. After the death of my late husband, I cried to God to be the father of this family; my crying touch God’s heart and God touch the heart of CIM to adopt this family. Christ have been our pillar of hope through CIM both spiritually and physically . We appreciate the support of CIM especially in the education of this family and for that matter we say a big thank you and may God bless CIM . The children are still in school and I also study community based rehabilitation and disability studies at the University of Education Winneba. This study has made me understand that people with disabilities need to know about the love of God. I therefore have the desire to reach people with disabilities and let them know that Jesus loves them.”
Because of this relationship with Mama Ruth, CIM team members were also blessed by her. Some have lived with her for extended periods of time. All have kind words about Mama Ruth. The following excerpt is from Jason and Jackie: “Loving, caring, breadwinner, homemaker, nurse. “Mama Ruth”… that’s how we called her. It was like yesterday when we were still in Ghana. We were so blessed to have the opportunity to live with Mama Ruth during our short term mission trip in the village of Kpandai. Although it was only for 2 months from mid Jan to mid Mar of 2011, it was a very memorable time for us. One of the most distinct memory we had with Mama Ruth was when Jason contracted malaria one and a half month into our trip. Since Mama Ruth was a nurse at the clinic, she took care of Jason’s medication. One day when Jason was getting his medication through IV, she told me to let her know when the IV drop was complete. When it was finished, I called her and said “Mama Ruth, Jason’s done”. Next thing I hear was a dropped call and couple minutes later a panting Mama Ruth at the door. She was so nervous because she thought that I meant Jason died. With her motherly nature, Mama Ruth always took very good care of us. She cooked us fufu for dinner sometimes and always attended to our needs. It’s almost our 5 year anniversary since we left Ghana, but Mama Ruth will always have a special place in our hearts along with her children (Tabatha, Deborah & Precious). We hope to one day go back to Kpandai and visit her & her 3 children. May God bless them.”
Missions is about developing discipleships through relationships. It is so much more than sending a team to the village, sharing about Jesus and never to return again. During my years with CIM, I have witnessed the relationship building aspect of missions first hand. Not only has the Lord used CIM to bless the villagers, but I believe that we have been deeply blessed by people like Mama Ruth. When my brother passed away unexpectedly a few months ago, many of my friends in Ghana, including Mama Ruth, were the first to offer their condolences, see how I was doing and to pray for our family. With every STM team that I bring to Ghana, I encourage the team members to connect and build friendships not only within our own team, but especially with the locals. Foster those relationships, and continue to work on them, even after returning home and let God work through those relationships.
The Bible says in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone.” A lot of people have used this verse for the relationship within a marriage, but I also think it is even more basic than that. We were all made for relationships. We were created for connections.
It is great partnering with ECG, not only in terms of ministry, but also in being part of a family. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. I thank God for people like Mama Ruth. May we serve Him together.
Rev. Isaac Quan
Associate Executive Director