Student ID: JOHN HAYFORD DUAH-DARKWAH, 24 FEB. 2020
JOHN HAYFORD DUAH-DARKWAH, KUMASI, HANTI REGION, GHANA, MY CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY
There is no shred of doubt per circumstances surrounding my redemption that the turn of events were by divine orchestration with the finger of God directing affairs toward a predestinated assignment ordained to be accomplished in due time. It can never be by chance for a young boy initiated into idol worship in his early childhood life to experience a 360 degrees back-turn and remain sustained and relevant in the Christian faith for about 36 good years. This, surely is exclusively the hand work of God. My grandparents who were so fond of me were idol worshippers. Incapable of reasoning, giving considerations and making decisions relevant to impact my life in my early childhood I was helplessly initiated and nurtured deeply into idol worship. Grandma was under the illusion that I was a gift from the gods after waiting for quite a long time to have a male grandchild. Her intent was unambiguous; be dedicated to serve them. I remember special occasions especially days set aside to appease the gods, I would wake up early in the morning to be prepared by my grandmother for worship. I used to wear pure white calico to the shrine. I became the favourite child at the shrine. I tasted meat dedicated to the gods before other children were made to eat of it. There were times I would be in the shrine alone with the chief fetish priest when he administered all kinds of things to his clients. It so happened that one day my mum told me about something she incomprehensibly did the very day she gave birth to me; “she put a BIBLE under my pillow”. I am sure God knew me from my mother’s womb.As destiny will have it, I came into contact with a relatively young man of God who had come to my hometown purposely to start a Christian fellowship. This fine young pastor started preaching Christ Jesus the savior and sharing his Christian faith with me. Initially I took the whole attempt for a joke. He would search and find me playing table tennis, my favourite game, on Sunday morning. I must say that I was quite stubborn but for his persistence I decided to visit him at one of his fellowship meetings which I did. I had no clue where this step was leading to. But I must confess that I really enjoyed the brethren who proved to be nice guys. One thing led to another and I more or less became a member of the fellowship. This was in 1984. I was going to church but did not have a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. To the amazement of everybody the idol worshipper has become a church guy. How did it happen and this won’t last a month were some of the usual statements. I still had not experienced Jesus. I became a regular member of the Church. As enthused as Pastor Obeng, the young man of God who managed to take me to church was, he decided to organize a gospel crusade to win souls for Christ. I was part of the said programme. Little did I know that God had a plan for me! Pastor Sammy, the main speaker, stormed Foase with his high-spirited team of young enthusiastic ladies and gents. On the third day he preached from Hebrews 13:14. His expository sermon on the ‘there is no permanent place in this world’ pierced into my heart and that was the pivotal point of my Christian life. The message was like dynamite in my spirit. I just couldn’t resist giving my life to Jesus Christ that day. My decision to remain a child of God was sealed. My life took a different turn. The Lord actually helped me to learn the things of God very fast with the help of the Holy Spirit through the wonderful brethren in the church. Soon I became a Sunday school teacher and a preacher in the local church. The Great Commission was a super burden on my heart. I joined hands with some brothers in the church who were equally enthusiastic to start dawn gospel broadcast. I was growing so fast and enjoying my Christian life very much. Much later on in ministry I became a missionary sent by the Lord to the northern part of Ghana to minister the gospel among the poor and destitute. It was a great fun preaching the good news to change lives and helping the poor in diverse ways.However, this was not without opposition and attacks both spiritual and physical. The chief priest of the shrine where I used to worship together with the gods were angry with me. They started issuing death threats. I remember a word was sent to me through my family seeking to stop me from preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They insisted I either stopped preaching or lost my life because the gods had said so. Upon hearing this I responded with making worst pronouncements. With a strong desire to prove to them that my God is superior, I sent a message to tell them that if their gods were powerful they shouldn’t let me live three more days. It’s been over 30 years and I am very much alive and serving my maker. This short write up definitely won’t have enough space to contain the spiritual battles I had to win to live. God has been very faithful. He has protected and preserved me. In 1994 I was prayed for to minister to God by serving as a pastor in my church. In 1996 I enrolled in a bible college to train for the ministry. I have been serving the Lord in various capacities since then. Currently He tells me He has an assignment for me in the end time church. I am still waiting for Him to give me specific instructions. I love my God. He is good!