Pastors’ Pearls – Rosemond Anaba (Part 3)

Gayla:  We so honor you for staying true and faithful to the Kingdom through this, because I’ve lived long enough and seen great sorrows, and many don’t make it. Many give it up when they encounter the trials of life. They give up serving and definitely preaching; they won’t press through because it is too hard. Eastwood was sharing with us that even through all this sorrow, you have continued to work and have never stopped.

RA:  Actually, it was therapeutic for me to work because it kept my mind occupied, even though many times I would be absent-minded. God’s grace has been very great in our lives. Many times I looked at myself and wondered how I have been able to pull through up to this point. I also continued working because I felt there were many more children out there that needed my services.

When I came to Bolgatanga, I realized that there were a lot of challenges, but at the same time, there were opportunities. Many children were out of school because the parents could not afford to pay the fees. This led to the inception of the HELP FOUNDATION, a not-for-profit organization that assists destitute and needy children. We began with 17 children in December 1996. Over 40 children have received assistance and moved from one level of education to the other. Today, many have passed as professional teachers, accountants, and community developers.

In September 1999, we started the Fountain Gate International School, which I superintend.  Currently, we have about 700 children from preschool to the ninth grade. We realized that our ministry is not only about preaching the Gospel, but also about building the capacity of the people, especially from childhood. These were the things that kept me going.

Gayla:  When Pastor Bagwell visited your wonderful school, he was very impressed with its quality and the amount of students you direct.

RA:  Somehow I feel that people spend a lot of money holding crusades to get adults born again, but it is easier to get a child converted than an adult. The Bible tells us to train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is grown he will not depart from it. I see the school as an educational and evangelism field; and at the end of every academic year, we make sure that every child has an opportunity to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Some of these children come from Muslim backgrounds, but they know that this is a Christian school.

SHINE:  So in addition to your roles at the school and at the foundation, you are also the pastor’s wife of one of the largest churches in your region. Tell us a little about Fountain Gate Chapel and how you and Eastwood started your ministry.

RA:  Eastwood worked as a pharmacist in the regional hospital and really felt God had called him to full-time ministry. So upon resigning from his position, we began a small fellowship with only seven people. A year later, it became a church, despite all the persecution from other religious bodies. It was really tough in the beginning. We felt a lot of resistance from the people in our area. Four of our members were thrown out of their schools because they belonged to our church. Some men even threatened to divorce their wives for attending our church. After being kicked out of multiple meeting places, we finally decided to meet under a tree.

Gayla:  You were meeting under a tree?! Like Deborah in the Bible?

RA:  Yes, we met under the tree for about three months – just long enough for us to be able to create a structure, a kind of swish (mud) house for ourselves. Members sold their bicycles, clothes, and other items in order to raise money for the roofing of the structure. Eastwood and I sold some of our wedding gifts to be able to make a contribution. Through it all, God has been good to us. We’ve seen Fountain Gate Chapel grow from one level to another. People who did not have anything now own hotels; many have their own businesses. In those days, if you had a bicycle, it was a miracle. It was the best transportation we had. We had no cars. But gradually we have seen our congregation developing. By the grace of God, we now have a lot of cars; some people even have three or four per household. God has really been good to us.

Be sure to read the conclusion of this four-part series of Pastor Rosemond’s incredible story next week on SHINE blog.

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