Diasporian News of Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Source: Martin Kwakwa Sannah

The Ghana Presbyterian Church in Sydney, Australia

The Ghana Presbyterian Church in Sydney, Australia, has welcomed its first resident minister from Ghana. Rev Godfried & Mrs Elizabeth Bamfo arrived in Sydney on Saturday, 19 January 2013 for a minimum two-year pastoral tour of duty.

The pair was met at Sydney airport by several members of the congregation who could not hide their delight in hosting the renowned minister and his wife.

Despite severe jet-lag brought on by the 30-hour flight from Accra to Sydney via Dubai, the pair enthusiastically joined the congregation for worship the following day. Delivering the sermon, Rev Bamfo paid homage to Ghanaians overseas who had the foresight and a sense of duty to worship God in the tradition in which they had been brought up in far away Ghana.

He urged Ghanaians in foreign lands to strive to live in unity, adding that "where unity and love dwells, there is abundance of God's grace and favour.

"One of the more popular Presbyterian hymns drawn from Psalm 133 puts it so beautifully. 'Hwe yiye a eye pii' (Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in unity ….. For there, the Lord commands his blessing to pour"). Rev Bamfo is an ex-District Minister of the Koforidua Presbyterian Church, and an ex-Director of Mission and Evangelism at PCG head office in Accra. He is a renowned author of the "Mr Mee" series of religious books that were very popular all over Africa in the 1960s. Books like "Mr Mee runs a race", "Mr Mee escapes" and ”Mr Mee meets a girl” are still selling on Amazon.com. His more recent book (jointly authored with Elizabeth) "Termites in your marriage", a handbook on how to reap the best out of your marriage has been translated into French, Portuguese, Hindi and many African languages. The book has won acclaim from many reviewers, and it is referenced by marriage counsellors in many countries.

Rev Bamfo retired from active PCG ministry in 2011. He is also a very experienced marriage counsellor, and until his arrival in Australia he, together with Elizabeth, ran the community organisation Family Impact Ghana, which is committed to building stable, Christ-centred marriages in the community. His work will see him play a very important role as PCG Sydney prepares to host a delegates' conference of all PCG congregations from around the world. About 100 delegates from all PCG overseas congregations will be in Sydney in March 2013 for a one-week conference. The conference is held every two years. London hosted the last one in June 2012.

Leader of PCG Sydney, Mr Isaac Osei-Kumah, on behalf of PCG Sydney thanked the Moderator and the General Assembly of PCG for their help in securing for Sydney the highly experienced hands of Rev & Mrs Bamfo. Mr Osei-Kumah urged all congregants to work together in unity, love and with deep abiding faith in God to lift up Prebyterianism and Christianity in Australia and in Ghana. PCG Sydney held its first service in October 2000.