The following post is written by Electa Sutton who will be serving in Ghana December 2019/January 2020. Read her reflection on God’s missionary heart and how that has shaped her.
What is the world to you?
For God so loved the world, he gave his one and only Son… John 3:16
When you think of the world, what first comes to your mind? A vast globe covered in landscapes and creatures – stunningly beautiful? Architecture and history towering over years of civilizations? Places to go, travel, and explore? Or do you think of the people you may meet? Children running around on streets or new friends next to you in an airplane? Crowded pathways or people socializing in bars late at night? What is the world to you?
Recently, I have been asking myself this question. When I think of the world, I tend to imagine vast landscapes and endless mountains. When I look at stretches of trail in front of me, I think “there is a whole world waiting to be explored!” But what if that isn’t what the world is? What about the times I sit across from someone for a meal, or I bump into someone in the hallway, or I sit next to someone on a plane – what if that is the world to be explored? What if each person is a world in and of themselves, waiting to be explored and loved and cherished?
This, I believe, is the world that God gave his Son for. While God loves his creation, his vision of the world isn’t limited to mountains and deserts, rivers and valleys. The world that God so loved is a world of people, each one of us with our own stories and hopes and futures. The world that God gave his Son for is every human being he has created, every one of us who he has called his children.
This verse in John, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son”, is a tiny microcosm of the story of God taking in the whole world to be his children. This comes up in the middle of the story of Nicodemus, where Jesus is telling the religious scholar that he must be “born again” or “born from above”. The story of Jesus told in the Gospel of John is just that – the story of all of us being able to be “born again” by the power of God giving his Son. God gives his one and only Son in order to show his love to all of his children.
God’s love for Ghana
This is the aim of what we are doing in Ghana. We are going across the world to show God’s love to the world – God’s love to his children, his daughters. While we are in Ghana, our team will be partnering with Action Child Mobilization (ACM), a long-term ministry working with children in the Northern part of the country. ACM is run by Pastor Francis Opoku-Nyarko, the father of Evangelina, one of our trip leaders. When Evangelina first told me about her dream to put on a camp for girls being reached by ACM, I wondered why it was important that Gordon students need travel thousands of miles to serve the ministry. Now, I know. It is to be a part of God so loving the world.
Our team will be working with ACM to kick-start an annual camp for girls in the Upper East region of Ghana. This camp is called Nabia Happening. Nabia means “royalty”: the aim of our camp is to show girls that they are loved by a Father who has given his Son for them such that they may be adopted as his daughters. They are loved by a Heavenly Father who is establishing his Kingdom. By his love, they are royalty. Each of the girls coming to the camp are connected to ACM’s ministry. They have gone through an application process to come be a part of the camp, seeking to deepen their faith. Many of these girls are affected by poverty and parental neglect, and they desire to know God the Father who lavishes love upon them. As a part of this camp, they will have opportunities for deep fellowship, play, and spiritual growth. This camp will begin a year-long fellows program where each girl will be mentored by a Godly woman who has herself broken out of the poverty cycle. On the last night of the camp, we will be hosting a formal banquet for the girls to dress up and be welcomed at God’s table, treated like royalty with all the love that God pours out onto them.
We are very excited to go to the world that God so loved and love his children, and I believe that this ministry will make a lasting impact not only on the girls, but on each person involved in bringing about the camp. God is giving us all the opportunity to know so much more about being born again into his Kingdom as his royal sons and daughters. I, personally, am continually excited to learn what it means that “God so loved the world, he gave his one and only Son” – seeing the world in every girl that we serve and delighting to let them know that they are God’s beloved daughters.
Signing off with love,
Electa Sutton is a Junior at Gordon College and has attended NSCBC since her Freshman year.
As we continue to prepare for our trip, please keep us in your prayers! You can be specifically praying for:
The girls who are applying and who will be the first cohort of Fellows – that God may prepare their hearts to receive his good and true love
Our team – that we may bond and continue being obedient to God’s will in joy and care for one another
Our fundraising – that God will provide for us to get to Ghana and abundantly love the people we are working with while also receiving his abundant love