Friday, December 31, 2010

Jake's journal - Day 2 in Ghana

Here's what went down yesterday via Jake:

Day number two began with a bang! I was up at 5:00am preparing to go on the morning show for Ghana television. The only way to accurately describe the show would be to compare it to The Today Show in the United States. When we arrived at the TV station we were whisked away to the make-up room where Nana and I were doused in make-up. Please note my make-up was quite fashionable with my two day old clothes since my luggage is still nowhere to be found. Not many people have the opportunity to go on the Ghana Today Show in shorts and a dirty T-shirt but I got to and I will have to include this adventure in my book someday.

Following the appearance on Ghana TV we returned back to the hotel to pick up the rest of the crew for the big launching event of the Isaiah 1:17 Foundation and the Isaiah 1:17 basketball tournament. I was not fully prepared for what this event would entail. The best way to describe it would be a ceremony/banquet/celebration all wrapped up into one spectacular event.

The first two and half hours were dedicated to speakers such as the minister for social welfare, the minister for youth sports administration, various pastors, a couple of us from the Isaiah 1:17 Foundation and the event was centered around some cultural dancing and music. There had to be between 300-400 people at the launching including every possible news media source in Ghana.

The most incredible part of the event was after I had the chance to speak and share my vision for raising money in Africa with the crowd! I encouraged them to stop waiting on others to help because many are blind to what is going on in Africa! Instead I encouraged them to begin to rely on God’s strength and blessing that the African people would look at each other and believe through a heart of giving they could create change. Soon after I finished, an offering was taken for the Foundation and I don’t yet know the totals that were raised but I would guess it was over a few thousand dollars. We had young men in the crowd who were 15-16 years old waiting for the basketball tournament to begin that live on less than a dollar a day pull out whatever money they could find and gave it away. I felt like I was in the Bible with the lady that gave the least in monetary value, but gave the most according to God because she gave everything she had. I saw prominent chiefs, beautifully dressed women, ordinary men, and young children giving. I have had a lot of incredible moments in my life but this by far was the single greatest moment. I got to see all that God commands through a heart of love displayed so fruitfully.

After the launching of the Isaiah 1:17 Foundation concluded it was on to a fun-filled afternoon as the Isaiah 1:17 Foundation hosted its first ever basketball tournament in Ghana. We had four teams at the event (Kingdom Hoops, Galaxy Academy, Cape Coast Hoopers, and Dynasty Basketball). There was music, hundreds of people, contests, and great basketball. Kingdom Hoops fell short in the championship game and lost 39-38 to the Galaxy Academy, but like I told all the boys, at the end of the day this event was not about winning a championship. Instead it was a simple step to make Christ known through the country by using the game of basketball. The atmosphere at the event was special and you could feel the Lord’s hand in it all.

By the time we wrapped up for the night it was 8pm and we headed back to the hotel for a quick bite to eat and now off to bed. When I am here in Ghana I feel so much closer to God and I feel like every step I take here was purposely designed for me by the Lord. I guess my prayer for the day is how can I have this type of relationship with the Lord when I return to the United States where everything is dictated by the bottom line and the stresses of the world? Why do I get so distracted by the things that just don’t really matter? I know my life is so backwards from anything God had intended and when you are working with blind faith for him in a place that is not your home it is like everything is clear and God directed. God, how can I have that same purpose and feeling when I return home? I pray he will provide me answers for all these prayers as the week goes on!

Good Night from Africa!!


1 comment:

Jody said...

Love what Jake said about "making Christ known in this country through the game of basketball..." there's your bottom line no matter what country you are in. Praying for all of you.