Open-air meetings are a vital part of AE’s stratified evangelism model. During the day, we reach out to people one on one in marketplaces, and businesses. In the evenings, we set up stages and preach loudly in neighbourhoods. These meetings gather crowds, peak the attention of passers-by and have proven very effective in bringing people to Jesus.
One evening, during the Kumasi Mission in Ghana, AE evangelist, and DRC Team Leader, Leonard Kiswangi went into suburb to preach with a local pastor named Joseph. They had been granted permission by the Local Chief to use a lot which was adjacent to the Chief’s palace.
In some parts of Ghana, local chiefs are more powerful than any politician. They have oversight of the community and the population looks to them for guidance. If anyone needs land or has a dispute, the local chief is the first place they go.
When I heard the preacher from my palace I thought, ‘I want what he is talking about.’ I really feel the peace of God in my heart now.
Pastor Joseph is passionate about reaching his community. “I’ve been to the palace several times to invite them to church,” he told us. “They gave me some land so I could build my church and I’ve spoken to them about Jesus, but despite my invitations, they’ve never come. And sadly, haven’t really shown any interest in the Gospel.”
As people started gathering, Leonard began speaking about how Jesus will fill the empty places of your heart. “Maybe even some of you are leaders but I want to ask you, who leads you?” Leonard said. “Jesus can be your king and lead you to freedom in Christ if you open your heart to Him.”
Chief Opoku was in the palace and heard Leonard preaching outside. The second in command, Opoku is well respected in his community. Opoku means peacemaker.” He told us later. “I oversee things and make sure they are as they should be.”
“I felt the message so strongly in my heart. I was compelled to come outside so hid at the back of the stage to stay out of sight. If I were to go take a seat with the crowd, they would have left out of respect for me. I didn’t want to interrupt, I just wanted to hear about Jesus.”
Unaware, Leonard continued to preach saying, “It’s impossible to hide from God. Jesus has come to you today and is offering salvation! Take hold of it!” He led those who responded in prayer and as they began to collect the decision cards Pastor Joseph saw Opoku at the back of the stage. “The Lord has come to my house today,” Opoku said. “and I’ve surrendered to him!”
Thrilled, Pastor Joseph prayed with Opoku who then asked that the pastor come to the palace the next day to tell him more about Jesus.
“I’ve been to church a few times,” Opoku shared, “but I always felt that the people there didn’t live out what they were saying. It discouraged me. When I heard the preacher from my palace I thought, ‘I want what he is talking about.’ I really feel the peace of God in my heart now. I used to think alcohol would make me feel better, and it did for a time… but then it just made things worse. I’m going to tell everyone to come to church and I hope they listen to me.”
Pastor Joseph was buzzing. “Before the mission,” he said, “I took part in all of the evangelism training but I didn’t really understand how to implement it. Now, having experienced it all during the mission, I can see how powerful it is. Thank you for coming to Kumasi! You’ve answered my prayers for my community and my church! We will be continuing this work long after you’ve gone.”
Pastor Joseph is now discipling Chief Opoku and he’s become a regular member at church! We are praising God for seeking out Opoku in his palace and showing him the true meaning of Peace.