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Charles Nii Odoi, a Church of Christ minister and a trainer with Gospel Chariot Missions, draws circles in the dirt to teach Jesus in the village of Nasuwani.
Photo by Jerry Mitchell

‘Grace chased me’

An award-winning journalist shares his encounter with the divine after he delivered a gospel message and invitation in a rural African village.

KASSAPUE, Ghana I never had the experience of looking for God,” C.S. Lewis once wrote. “It was the other way round; He was the hunter (or so it seemed to me) and I was the deer. He stalked me like a (hunter), took unerring aim, and fired. … It is significant that this long-evaded encounter happened at a time when I was making a serious effort to obey my conscience.”

I didn’t come to Ghana on my own. God chased me.

Perhaps that was why I was so disappointed when none of the 50 gathered in the village of Kassapue responded to the gospel message.

Grace speaks with Jerry Mitchell after her baptism.

Grace speaks with Jerry Mitchell after her baptism.

Afterward, we drove several miles down a narrowing dirt path until we reached the next village, Sasamango.

While talking to villagers there, a woman named Grace arrived. She had run all the way from Kassapue. 

She said she and others had wanted to be baptized, but pastors stood in their way.

She asked us to return to her village, saying she would gather everyone in a new place. She promised this time, people would listen.

Dozens of people sat in rapt attention as we shared the story of Jesus. Grace and 17 others, young and old, walked to a nearby stream, where she and others were baptized.

While walking from the water, she beamed with unmistakable joy and insisted on having her photograph taken with me.

Grace chased me. Again.

JERRY MITCHELL is a journalist and the author of “Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era.” He participates in mission trips to West Africa and worships with the Skyway Hills Church of Christ in Pearl, Miss. 

Filed under: Africa missions baptism C.S. Lewis Ghana Gospel Opinion Perspective Top Stories

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