Diasporian News of Wednesday, 2 July 2014
Source: Joe Kingsley Eyiah
“African Governments Must Stop Begging and Use Their Resources to Develop Their Countries”-Pastor Dr. Barak Muganda
From Joe Kingsley Eyiah, OCT, Toronto-Canada
A minister of the gospel, Pastor Dr. Baraka Muganda, who was the World Youth Director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from June 1995 to June 2010, and at present, a Professor at the Washington Adventist University in the US, has called on governments of African nations to manage their countries’ resources well for development. Pastor Muganda, an African by birth, lamented that many African governments over the years have failed to ‘use what they have-natural resources and God-given opportunities-to bring development to their peoples. He specifically cited the failure of the government of the Republic of Congo to bring development to its people though it was richer than Malaysia (a country in Asia) many years back! Malaysia is at present is more prosperous than Congo due to proper development of its (Malaysia) own resources to improve the living conditions in that country! Pastor Dr. Baraka Muganda made these remarks at an All African Day organized by African Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Toronto on June 14, 2014.
The churches included the Toronto Ghanaian Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Heritage Ghanaian S.D.A. Church, the All Nations S.D.A. Church, the Nigerian S.D.A. Fellowship and the Zimbabwean (GTA) Fellowship Group. The attendance was about five hundred.
Speaking on the theme for the occasion: ‘Sustained by Hope’, Dr. Muganda admonished Christians to stop sitting on the sideline and do something to the glory of God. He said, “If you want to go to school, go! If you want to start a business, start! If you want to offer a service, offer! Let no one stop you from doing what God wants you to do!”
Dwelling on the story of blind Bartimaeus as told in Mark 10:46-52, Pastor Dr. Muganda encouraged all Christians to live in hope and be sustained by hope in Jesus Christ during these last days of our world. He drew the attention of his listeners to some lessons which could be learned from Bartimaeus. These included:
1. That Bartimaeus was a blind man. His situation was different from many other people so he chose to sit on the sideline each day begging for alms.
2. He heard about Jesus and hoped to ‘see’ Him one day.
3. One day as Jesus and His disciples with a multitude of people were leaving the city of Jericho, his hope came alive! Thus, he had been sustained by hope till that fateful day.
4. Bartimaeus could not see but he HEARD Jesus passing and he used his voice to draw Jesus’ attention to his plight. Thus, he used what he had at that time hopefully to get what he needed most from Jesus. He shouted till he was heard!
5. As Bartimaeus used the only means he had to reach Jesus, he was shouted down by those who could see and were following Jesus by sight! However, he was not discouraged by the actions of those people. He kept his hope and shouted more for Jesus: “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
6. Jesus stood still and instructed the same people who were rebuking Bartimaeus to call him for Jesus. Thus, if one is sustained by hope God uses his/her obstacles as ways and means to the one’s advantage!
Bartimaeus then threw aside his cloak (the most precious property of a poor person at that time) and came to Jesus. Thus, hope led him to Jesus by discarding any personal or cherished thing that would trip or bring him down on his way to the Saviour!
7. When Jesus asked Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man who sat by roadside asking for money, did not ask Jesus for money! He no longer wished to remain on the sideline so he requested for his sight so that he could do something different henceforth. He got it and followed Jesus, witnessing for the Saviour.
Pastor Muganda’s message for the day was so powerful and inspired by the Holy Spirit that his listeners were moved! He even had a word for African leaders, that they should use the resources they have to build their countries and stop going around the world with calabash in hand begging for help.
Earlier during the divine service, Pastor Damson Oppong, the senior pastor of Ghanaian Churches in Toronto, had welcomed all and sundry to the special gathering of African Adventists in Toronto and their friends. Pastor Dr. Mansfield Edwards who is the President of the Ontario Conference of SDA brought greetings from the Conference. He challenged African Adventists in the Conference to embark on evangelistic series to bring souls to Christ.
The day began with song service by the praise team led by Pastor Joseph Amankwah. The afternoon was devoted to music and cultural presentations by the various African groups.
Side attraction of the function was the “Parade of Nations” during which the Fa Nyame Pathfinders of the Toronto Ghanaian SDA Church paraded the flag of Canada and those of most African countries.