I’ve been in Africa now for a year and it has been a learning curve to say the least! I came here in December 2012 and have literally had to build my life from scratch out here. Ghana to be precise. I had to find a place to live, find a job, build a marriage, etc. What a wonderful to-do list!
Whilst in London, I could often cushion myself with the phrase ‘All in God’s timing’ and life ran on in the same routine. I was comfortable. I had a good career with money coming in every 4 weeks, I had a roof over my head, I had a wonderful support network at church with leaders and counsellors who cared so much about me – I was covered. My routine was set.
In my first year of marriage and of Africa, I found myself with a big white canvas that I now had to paint – I had to create a life from scratch! After the wedding, I left Ghana to stay with my husband in the North of Nigeria whilst he worked. At first it was bliss! No job, a roof over my head, no bills to worry about, I was a lady of leisure. Whilst it was lovely to begin with, the fighter within me started to get bored, that still voice within was saying it was time to get painting, my life was on hold! It was both my husband and I’s vision to move back to Ghana to get things moving – our life was our ministry. After 3 months, we had to make the painful decision to move back, but I had to go first and prepare the way for my husband and me while he finished his contract. I was going to be alone in Africa for 3 months! I couldn’t bear the thought. However, the faith I learnt never allowed me to back down from a challenge. God gave us a vision and we had to get moving.
I arrived back in Ghana and was yet to find a property. Anyone in Ghana can tell you that it is not an easy task to get a good place with good landlords! Anyhoo, the challenge began and the fraudsters came up trying to steal money from me by any means necessary. People were telling me ‘all in God’s time’ and I would go back to a relative’s house to start the search again. In the midst of this happening I couldn’t get hold of my husband, a day passed and the night turned into day, his number wasn’t working! I later found out that the Nigerian Government had turned off all telephone and internet services in the North of Nigeria due to terrorist activities – what a nightmare!! Was he ok? How was I going to let him know that someone had robbed me of my phone in broad daylight! Money was running low, I still hadn’t gotten a place, I couldn’t get hold of my husband to send me more money and I still hadn’t found a job!
The time is now, I need that wine now!!
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘“They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”’ John 2.1-5
No matter the circumstance, even when the situation offers no solution, the power is within you to get things moving. I had to wake up to this realisation. Mary knew the embarrassment of there not being wine at the wedding, this was simply unacceptable. They needed wine and they needed it now. The Blesser was in their midst, how could she allow that to happen?! She refused to accept that He wasn’t going to do anything about it. Now, it wasn’t a case of Him being unable, it was a case of her faith not allowing Him to say no.
What gets my attention is the fact that Mary didn’t beg Jesus, she just said to the servants to do whatever He said to do. She put God in a corner – “Oh there will be wine at this wedding, no matter what!” For some prudish Christians, that action of faith could be seen as the highest level of disrespect. For us who know that our God is King of Kings, know that He can! Oh, we will be blessed, no matter what!
With a faith ignited I started to ignore all the voices of doubt and the stories of what normally happens in Ghana, I wanted a place and I was going to get it! The funny thing is this…
‘Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”’John 2:6-10
You have what it takes to get the blessing you want. You have the tools, Jesus has the miracle. You have it, we have it! I started to use my own resources, my own faith. I put the word out, I wanted property by a certain time. Out of the blue I got a call from a special someone I knew. They had a place available for me to rent in an upscale private neighbourhood with 24 hour security. That’s what I’m talking about. It was newly built. God had now placed us with the affluent of Ghana. Yes, we will be blessed no matter what! Our situation cannot wait. Yet, in saying this, whilst our situation cannot wait, we must not either, and it is not enough to rely on God alone, He needs us to get active. Get up and demand for your wine – the key word being ‘get up!’
Three months later, yes three months later, the phone lines returned to normal in the North of Nigeria and I could once again communicate with my husband. We immediately planned for him to return, return to a place we would now call home. Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise, my husband came home to meet a determined wife who was no longer a stranger in Africa. God provided and I received thousands of pounds unexpectedly from a tax rebate! I was able to furnish the house with new furniture and appliances. I am here for a purpose and wherever I go, my life is my ministry.
This lesson spurred me on to other things; next mission was to find work. People once again said I couldn’t get the wage I wanted here in Ghana. I had been here before and God turned my water in wine, so it would happen again! Long story short, I landed my dream job with an international company here in Ghana who offered to pay me more than I expected. I’m now a career woman in Ghana. Oh yes! The best is yet to come. Nexxxxxt!