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Opinions of Friday, 24 December 2004

Columnist: Adu-Gyamfi, Kwaku

I also have a dream for Ghana

I have a dream that one day Ghana would be able to find its bearings on the world?s scene. But, for that to happen Ghanaian religious groups?especially ,the churches?will have to play their meaningful roles seriously.

It?s a well- know fact that instilling values in people and group cohesiveness in most cultures fall upon the shoulders of basic institutions: the families, religious groups, and schools. But, since our schools are academically hemorrhaging poorly and producing unmarketable labor force.. And, the family system is under attack by poverty and divorce rate? which have diminished the parental roles to a mere ?care takers.? So the religious groups?especially, the churches ?would have to pick up the slack; if we want to reverse the moral decay we?re experiencing in Ghana now.

But, for churches and religious groups to be effective in shaping the minds of our population, the churches need to be wealthy and economically well- organized .Unfortunately ,more too often some congregations go to church to seek pleasure and walk away feeling? good.? The congregations have been bombarded with a daily dose of the belief that ?money is evil, and the rich man can?t go to heaven? mumbo-jumbo. That?s sad.

These and other biblical verses relating to money are taken out of context. In fact, maybe, your church doesn?t do that but, some churches use the verse in Mark to suggest that being financially successful makes you unworthy or dishonest. In short, money is getting a bad rap among some churches in Ghana. But, I strongly believe that the best way for your churches to help the poor and the youth is to prevent them from being poor?by any means necessary . Because ?poverty? is a disease , which can also attack one?s mind-set and self-esteem. With that point in mind, I would like to suggest that church that your church should start teaching the congregation the knowledgeable skills ,which can allow it to understand and withstand the economic turbulent which is affecting Ghana and the rest of the world. In fact, teaching the congregation about the need to prevent preventable diseases and deaths ,as well as understanding the value of ?time?, money and health as wealth generating vehicles will give the church a long dividend. After all ,a financially secured and a healthy congregation would be beneficial to the church and the nation tremendously, Hallelujah !

Not only that, the churches can also to teach the congregation real skills like: entrepreneurship, money management, good parenting, small business management, creating and building of wealth and how our towns and villages can be transformed from a mere geographical grouping into functional communities and repository of ideas, where real wealth is generated and accumulated. Oh, how nice it would be for the churches and religious groups to sponsor a kid or two a year, in an apprenticeship program .. Or what about the church providing free breakfast(from the church?s own farm) for the congregation every Sunday before service? While we?re at it what about having a visiting nurse who sees the congregation every Sunday ,after service? What about having a program at the church to help the kids with their school assignments? The list is long, but that?s another matter.

The point is ,using religious organizations? resources to enhance the earthly quality of life for the people of Ghana is not only a noble endeavor, but it makes economic sense .Because spiritual uplifting is as important as economically helping the congregation to lift itself up ,so as to enable it to fulfill its God given potentials on this troubled planet. As a friend of mine puts it?, we shouldn?t ask God to do for us what we?re capable of doing ourselves?. Let me hear ?Amen? to that.

I could be wrong of my assessment, but what I?m not wrong about is that the more decent ,trustworthy, dependable and reliable citizenry we have the better for Ghana ?and its quest to break away from socioeconomic shackles .

In fact, I?m on my knees, day and night praying that Ghana?s deflated reputation and self-esteem ---which were badly affected by decades of political and economic abuses---would given the chance to redeem itself and heal its own wounds. I believe, once that?s done we may be able to join hands with our vibrant country one day, and borrow a song from the old African-American?s freedom hymns , and sing along:?????..free at last, free at last????thank God Almighty, we?re free at last??..?

I wish you all a joyful holiday and a hopeful new year. Let?s keep hope alive.

Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi
USA.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.