Surely, we can do more together than we can do on our own. As we met with Sam Dunya, a Bethany missionary on Bethany campus last fall, it was clear God was overlapping our lives to do something more than we could imagine again… something God has been doing in Sam’s life in Ghana for 19 years now.
Sam, who grew up in Ghana, West Africa, shared with me his first experience of traveling with his father into a village with no church, who worshipped idols and offered sacrifices to false gods. He recalled his burden to share Christ, and his father interrupting him to say, “One day when you are older, you can return.” And, he did
After completing his undergraduate degree at Bethany Global University in 1997, and meeting and marrying his wonderful wife, Jonhild, they returned to Ghana with Bethany, and the church planting began. For years they led initiatives planting 34 churches in the south. However, after visiting the northern region, which is predominantly Muslim, and seeking God for an open door, they got one.
Sam recounts his encounter with a Muslim businessman in Northern Ghana two years ago. They were buying materials to build a church–nails, metal sheets for roofing, etc. In Sam’s words, “The businessman was shocked, surprised; he asked me ‘Guys, this is $3000 of materials! What are you going to use all this for?’ I replied, ‘We are going to build a church in the town of Katekrachi in northern Volta.’ The businessman stayed quiet for around five minute, then he said, ‘Can I make a contribution?’ He gave us $10, and said he wanted to be a part of it. ‘Would you come to my village to start a church for us?’” From here the news spread, and they have been building ever since. Last year alone their team planted over 100 churches. Today they have more than 50 invitations from Muslim chiefs to come and erect a church in their villages (some unreached)
Today, Sam is working with Bethany on employing the GAP Strategy, which stands for Gateway Access Platforms. The GAP strategy is intended to bring intentional collaboration and networking into strategic regions bordering or in the midst of unreached people groups, to work together with local churches for the cause of the unreached.
Over the coming year, Sam is preparing to consolidate much of his training from the six training bases in the south, which are today primarily Christian, into a single major training facility in the northern capital city, Tamale. Tamale provides a strategic position to reach out into Muslim tribes and unreached people groups, and is a place to bring Muslim background believers after conversion to be trained to go further with the gospel.
Their current goal is 400 new churches in the northern region. As Sam said so fondly when we were together collaborating on our partnership, “Surely we can do so much more together than we could do on our own.” Without all of us working together, without you, none of this possible.
We all have a role to play: whether raising awareness, petitioning in the place of prayer, or financially partnering. Join us! If you would like more information on GAP Ghana or Engage 500, please visit us online at BethanyInternational.org/GAP.