“I Found More than I Hoped For”

March 11, 2024

“I Found More than I Hoped For”

When the Lord found me, my life was on course for disaster. I had been born into a nominally Christian home in Ghana, so we went to church for holidays and special occasions. However, we did not know God’s power to free a person from sin. As a youth, I easily succumbed to peer pressure to do sinful things because I wanted to be part of the group. I had a terrible, uncontrollable temper and my heart was full of hatred even for people I met for the first time. I was living in darkness and sliding fast into destruction.

Looking back, I can see ways that God was working in my life throughout my childhood. One of my aunts attended the Apostolic Faith Church and we would spend holidays with her during our school vacations. Whenever we went, she would take us to services with her. I did not know much about the church, but I loved the hymns so much that I would copy some of my favorites onto my handkerchief so I could sing them at home. God was planting His love in my heart little by little.

An opportunity greater than I realized

Around age twenty-two, I learned that a group from the Apostolic Faith was preparing to attend a camp meeting in Lagos, Nigeria. I had never left Ghana before and I thought it sounded like a nice opportunity for a tour of Lagos. Since I wasn’t a church member, a friend advised me to start attending a Bible class at a location near my home, just so the church would agree to take me to the camp meeting. I was full of excitement, looking to enjoy the world to the maximum. However, God was orchestrating a different plan. He was wooing me to Christ.

At the Bible classes, the Holy Spirit started convicting me of my sins. I saw happiness and contentment in the lives of the people at church, something I did not have. They did agree to take me to the camp meeting, but by that time my mind was far from going on a tour—I needed to receive what these believers had. It was at the Anthony Village camp meeting of 1982 when I asked for forgiveness of my sins and God saved me. Though I was looking for an adventure, instead I found something beautiful, something wonderful—I found a Friend in Jesus. I never left the campground during that trip, but stayed and prayed through to sanctification, and then was water baptized before I left. Back in Ghana, I continued seeking the Lord and after a couple of years, He gave me the mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit. Oh, what joy!

After I was saved, my life completely turned around. My family noticed the change and were amazed. I used to fight with my elder brother constantly; my heart was full of hate and I would stop at nothing to avenge myself when I felt he had mistreated me. But God took the hatred away and instead I had peace. Even if my brother intentionally provoked me, I did not respond in anger anymore.

Some of my friends noticed that I wouldn’t do the sinful things we used to do, and they thought I was no longer fun to be with. However, Jesus quickly brought me new friends in the Gospel who were likeminded Heaven-seekers. The year after I was saved, I was invited into one of the church choirs, and I so enjoyed that experience. I was able to bond with other young people as we prayed together, laughed together, and even cried together when necessary.

God’s choice is always best

As a young girl, I had a fairytale idea of marriage, expecting my prince charming to come riding on a horse with a rose in hand. Whenever I prayed about marriage, God pointed me to a certain man, but he seemed too serious to me and did not fit the romantic ideas I had in mind. I knew him well because we were both in the choir, at the weekly all-night prayer meetings, at midweek services—I saw him everywhere. Though he was not what I had imagined, God knew better than me. I followed His leading and married Joseph on December 26, 1992, and I can say that our life together has truly been blissful and joyful. God’s choice is always best.

My husband and I hoped for and expected children, but year after year we waited and no children came. Though we brought the matter to God in prayer, we received no answers from Him.

During that time, I developed very terrible and painful fibroid tumors. At times, I could hardly move. One evening when I was alone in the house, my condition took a turn for the worse. The pain became so intense that I barely managed to crawl to the entrance of the house and beckon a neighbor to call my husband, who came and rushed me to emergency. Once in a hospital bed, doctors and nurses evaluated me, and then a junior nurse entered and without uttering a word began to tend to me. Nobody asked her anything as she skillfully did her job, occasionally looking at me in a certain significant way. The next day, feeling better, I asked for the junior nurse so I could thank her, but was told there was nobody working there who matched that description. I tried again during the evening shift and again the next day but I received the same answer. I came to realize that in that agonizing situation, God had comforted me by sending help in the form of an unknown junior nurse.

In 1999, I underwent surgery to remove the fibroids, but the doctor was unable to remove them all and the pain persisted. Thank God, in His time, He did remove the fibroids and I was finally free from those excruciating pains. My miracle came in 2004, and I have never had a recurrence up until now. God brought the complete healing.

In our culture, people tend to pressure newly married couples when there are no babies after a year or two. Yet somehow, God helped us through and we continued being completely content. In God’s own special way and in His own good time, He blessed us with a set of twins. At long last, God did answer our prayers, and though we prayed for one, He gave us two! Our God is wonderful.

Even before we had our own children, I always loved working with little ones and especially enjoyed the children’s services. When I was first saved, I watched in wonder at the teachers who marched on the platform with the students for their performances. I thought I could never ever do that because I was too shy, but after my experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I found so much joy in leading and conducting them through their performances. All the shyness left me! I started teaching Sunday school in 1995 and eventually was asked to assist in the leadership of the youth department, where I am grateful to still be serving to this day.

Going through a fiery trial with Jesus

In 2017, I noticed a small rash on my husband’s back. It did not seem concerning at the time, but it turned out to be a skin disease which has no cure. It affected his whole body and seemed to make him age very fast. This was very distressing, and though we prayed earnestly, nothing changed.  

While dealing with that skin disease, his legs began to swell to almost double in size. I became so worried that I couldn’t sleep; I would wake in the middle of the night just to see if he was still breathing. Often, I sneaked out to our little family prayer room and read the Bible or songs about faith and healing, and then would pour out my heart to God in prayer. Though I was burdened, I didn’t want my husband to see me cry. I knew he needed encouragement and I wanted to be strong for him. The agony of seeing a loved one suffer is something only God can fully understand, and somehow He gave me the strength and the fortitude to withstand it. There was always a Presence whispering to me, “It shall be well.”

In the midst of that, one night my husband was struck by a terrible fever—it was typhoid. I never saw anybody shake as violently as he shook that night. “Prepare a funeral,” came thoughts from the devil, but just as surely, Jesus whispered, “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you.” In our fiery trial, Jesus was the “Fourth Man” in the furnace with us. He was always there to hold me fast, so much so that many people did not know the extent to which the fire was burning.

I sent urgent prayer requests to our churches and expected his condition to improve because the children of God were praying. However, the trial was not over. My husband woke up in the middle of the night with yet another sickness. I rushed him to the hospital and for almost two weeks sat by his bed, looking up to God. One night, his blood pressure suddenly dropped dramatically. His nurse looked panicked, and soon about six doctors were attending to him and whispering so I would not hear. Even so, the Friend who sticks closer than a brother was whispering to me once again, “It is well.”

On a day when all seemed dark, as I was walking across our bedroom wondering when all this would end, Jesus spoke to me: “I’ll heal him and his latter years will be better than his former.” From that time, I finally began to notice signs of healing. Slowly but steadily, the swollen legs began to reduce, the skin disease started clearing up, and the typhoid left. The day he finally stood in church to preach again, my eyes welled up with tears of gratitude to God, the God who heals and restores. Words fail to express my love for God, and I could never repay all He has done for me.

I thank God very much for bringing me into this wonderful Gospel. I did not come seeking Him. I came looking for adventure, but instead I found a Friend in Jesus. And what a Friend He has been! My path has not been easy, but Jesus has been with me every step of the way, and in the hardest times, He carried me. His love can never fail, and today I am still basking in His love.

apostolic faith magazine