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tCIje Cljarlotte ^osit
THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 1996
Vision from God leads a
Christian woman to Ghana
By Andrea R. Richards
THE CHARLOTTE POST
I magine seeing an African
man in prayer, crying to
God for help.
Trudy Hill, a member of
Nations Ford Baptist
Church, saw this in 1989.
Little did Hill know, she
would use her own ministry to
help African ministers in
"Every morning, real early,
the Lord would wake me up in
prayer, and I would see the
same man in a vision," Hill
said. "He was calling out to
God. God help me! God help
usl’ He was weeping and
sweating. He had a heart
The dream began shortly
after Hill returned from train
ing 200 Nigerian ministers’
wives and deaconesses in
Christian counseling tech
niques in 1989. Hill has
helped meet the needs of
struggling pastors in Ghana
through her foreign outreach
ministry. Preparing the Bride
The purpose of PTB is to
sponsor, transport and distrib
ute boxes of goods to African
pastors. Individuals, area
businesses and churches
donated enough Bibles, shoes,
rice, clothes and toys to fill 56
boxes. Hill collected the mate
rial within two weeks and
delivered the packages on a
trip to Ghana Dec. 23-Jan 6.
Ghana, located in west
Africa, is an agricultural coun
try about the size of Oregon.
Cocoa, coffee, kola nuts and
palm oil are the most impor
tant crops. The country is
noted for its rich mineral
deposits of gold, diamonds and
manganese. The official lan
guage is English, but many
Ghanaians speak traditional
A president, elected by the
people to a four-year term,
and a 140-member
Parliament, elected to a five-
year term, compose the gov
Hill said it was a painstak
ing process transporting the
donated items, but well worth
"Our boxes were first off all
late getting there," said Hill,
who completed the 25-hour
journey by herself. "The boxes
were supposed to arrive
Tuesday. The boxes did not
get there Tuesday. The boxes
did not arrive until that fol
lowing Sunday. So, it gave me
only one week to get the boxes
to Kumasi, which was four
"I had to find a truck. It took
us three days to finish the
paperwork because the gov
ernment moves so slowly. To
me, that was record time
because the last time I was
there it took me three weeks."
Hill is already making
preparations to return to the
tropical country in August.
She wants more African
American churches to sponsor
"We as a people fail to
remember that we came from
Africa," she said. "Our people
are in need, and we have the
provision but won't share
them. The question is when
was the last time you sent
something home? And some
time the answer is never."
How do Ghanaians feel
about African Americans?
"They have good feelings
about us but they feel that we
have forgotten about them,"
Hill said. "They are aware
that we have plenty. They are
aware that we should be help
ing them, and we are not.
"I think the most frequent
question that I hear is, 'Why
don't the black pastors come
over to help us?' And my
response is they are getting
If you would like your church
family to participate in
Preparing the Bride
Ministries, call Trudy Hill at
Trudy Hill (right), founder of Preparing the Bride Ministries, journeyed to Ghana Dec. 23-Jan 6 to
provide assistance for African ministers in need. PTB and Nations Ford Baptist Church collected
56 boxes of Bibles, shoes, rice, clothes and toys.
(PHOTOS PROVIDED BY TRUDY HILL.)
Sunday School Lesson
Lesson Scripture: Jonah 1, 2
During the depression of the
1930s a stuffed whale transported
by a freight car was exhibited in
many cities of the United States.
The man in charge of the exhibit
carefully pointed out that while
the mouth of the whale certainly
was large enough to envelop a
man, the opening in the whale’s
throat was not large enough to
allow the man to pass into the
whale's stomach. To that
exhibitor, the biblical account of
Jonah was a 'fish story" - unreli
To the discerning, however the
exhibitor's attempt to discredit
the biblical account of Jonah don’t
hold water. The book of Jonah
says that God prepared "a great
fish" to swallow Jonah in order to
preserve the prophet’s life. The
person who believes in the
Creator God has no difficulty
believing that He could accom
Instead of "a fish story," the
account of Jonah is a story God’s
love and human responsibility. It
has its miraculous element, and
in that regard it is no different
from many of the biblical
accounts of God's dealings with
His chosen people. The fact that
the book of Jonah is included in
the Bible gives it the full force of
a message that God wants us to
have. It speaks of his relation
ship to his chosen people and the
rest of the world. Specifically, it
emphasizes God’s love for all peo
ple and his desire for all to be
saved from the consequences of
wickedness. And, in a forceful
manner, it depicts the importance
of carrying out God’s assigned
task, even if the task has
unpleasant or difficult overtones.
We are not told of the manner
in which God communicated with
Jonah, whether audibly or by
means of a dream or vision. But
there was no question in Jonah's
mind that God was the one giving
him the commission.
Most of God’s prophets deliv
ered his messages to the people of
Israel. Jonah, however, was
directed to go to Nineveh,
Assyria's capitol city which was
about 750 miles east of Israel.
Nineveh was called the great, it
seems because of its size and the
influential place it held as the
capitol of the dominant nation in
the regions east of Israel. Jonah
4:11 tells us that Nineveh was
home to 120,000 young children.
The entire population may have
been was large as 600,000.
God was fully aware of the
wicked lifestyle of the Ninevites,
and Jonah himself was not
unaware of their reputation.
Unpleasant as the task may have
seemed to Jonah, he knew he was
to be God's agent to help the
Ninevites change - for the good.
We today who have been com
missioned to take the Gospel of
God's grace to the world may at
times be hesitant to warn people
of the danger that awaits them if
they live wicked lives. Perhaps
we are afraid of offending them;
or perhaps we fear an unpleasant
response from them. Whatever,
God’s message of warning is
always for man’s ultimate good,
and that should spur us on to do
the work he has commissioned.
Jonah tried to run away from
God to avoid the distasteful task
of preaching to the Ninevites.
Like a teen fleeing the control
and discipline of parents, Jonah
tried to hide from the chief
authority figure of life, the
Jonah's case was a unique situ
ation. Many sailors' lives were at
risk due to his disobedience.
Apparently he experienced great
remorse for his sin, for he peni
tently confessed it to the sailors;
and he actually requested that he
be thrown overboard.
Despite his disobedience, Jonah
had not lost his prophetic percep
tion: he knew he was responsible
for the life threatening storm,
and he knew it would cease if he
were sacrificed to the sea. The
gambling guesses of the crew
were confirmed by Jonah's admis
sion of guilt. Even so, the sailor
were reluctant to harm him and
made valiant efforts to bring the.
ship to shore. Finally, however,
they were forced to admit that
fighting against Jehovah to their
own potential destruction. So
after a brief invocation, they
threw Jonah in the brink without
From childhood up, people who
attend Bible study classes are
taught the story of Jonah and the
whale. The emphasis is normally
on God's power, evidenced in
Jonah’s miraculous preservation
in and rescue from the belly of
Eye on Gospel
Higher gloryi S'red
Hammond may have coma aji :
em|>IY ■ ' aiinitSl;;*
; StdilaYAj^aii^k; allc^r'hay!i^';|
Ms plats is more than fall.
Witii ih( r.iusiii,; 'Ikcs^' of
ensemble. Radical for Christ,
and their first offing "The ;
Inner Court" (on Benson), ^
llamruoiid i., working on
"Inner Court 11," his sopho
more effort. He designed"
"Inner Court” as a concept
series of three recordings "'to
bring people into praise and
worship with songs of jubilee i
Hammond, who is one of
gospel’s most sought after pro
ducers, also produced the
Tis, Ironically, despite his
his success with Radical for
;y6u've''^|: to bejidydi’’ heoaidiy
''’''Tva;he'eh thtbu^h;- this; ;w|t|j':'
'Commissioned. People told: us
we wetiidh't he 'anything,: thai'.
■the Winahs: We*8:;alreadYhfr;;
top: and thatYhere were'sdi; '
many! otheh m^dd'gioupSiheii:^^^
ter than ua. But ’when God
wants somethihji; to happeW;;::
there’s nothing that can stop:
:it;' fe:^ ;swrpris^
that it’s worlring this fast, hut;,
r haye':a g(kid:girrtip:of peoplfe;:.!.
:“\Slh're uhilieAand I.gUesS::;'
Most; of Mij: liammond hopes;:;
his success with Radical for
Christ lets the industry know
that he's a survivor. Cdd
words since little has been',
heard from Commissioned
since. Hammond's departure^
last January after 10 years,
nine albums and two Grammy'
nominations. Hammond has
no explaination for the gronp’s;;
”1 hope the best .for them,";
ill' said, but they need ,i plan
and they need ,i leader, .uid I
hiipi' soini-biidy hli-os up I
don't helii*\id we '.a-,
(.’ommi'.Miouedi liiiished the
work lliat we .-tarted out to tl.i
lint I hall thai but you ve got
to go on .-md Im not alr.aid to
try differuni thms’s I boliovo
God and ilial.“ why you ran
-ei. mi: switch streams, and
Im gomg to be m thi^ „tri-..itn
for a nice little ■wWie.” _ , -
Hainm.nid rom.ains do-:®
wiih .M.trvin Happ, wbo.se
ri cetitly roleasod solf-titled
album he pniducod for Word
Ri:i'iird« Hammond .s curri.-til-
ly working on Keith .St.itons
next ri corded (.ft'ort for
Integrity ami has taken
Proclaim recording artist Kim
Kulhorford under his wing.
As if th.it weren't enough, he's
i’nter1.airung olTers for .t label; :
deal of lu. own
Briefly: The -Mighty Cloud,
111 ,Ioy an: preparing to tour
Boulh Africa at the invitation
of Prciileni Nelson M.uidela.
Wlien I hey rolitrit. thoy wilt
record tlieir second live .ilbiim
for Intersiuind. Titeir debut
effort for the label, "Power,"
earned them a Grammy nomi-
Finally, Kirk Franklin and
about 2,000 that included
Hesikiah Walker, Byrou Cage,;
GMWA chair Al Hobbs. The
as the newlyweds jetted to ;
Detroit where Fraridin will:
:'dhriiea f ^';say,:; 0%;
kicked off at the Music Hall. ;
' FTanklin'Vriit ireport^^Tbiir;:;'
With the show through May i
’This week scripture: "But!
my'toherim.HeaVem;:);;::; ;;•) T
■ MetthewT&ssi ■
Knowledge is power
PHOTO/ JAMES BROWN
By Andrea R. Richards
THE CHARLOTTE POST
T he Bible states "My people perish for a lack of knowledge."
The Rev. Sheldon R. Shipman, pastor of Walls
Memorial AME Zion Church, is doing his best to inform
his congregation of their Biblical lineage.
The church, 2722 Bancroft St., co-sponsored a traveling
exhibition with Johnson C. Smith University and The KNOW
Bookstore Jan. 27-28. It explores the African presence in Biblical
The African/ Edenic Heritage Museum includes two northeast
African landmarks, the Great African-Syrian Rift Eind the Suez
Canal, the African diaspora and the relevance of ancient Biblical
stories for persons of African descent.
The Rev. Sheldon R. Shipman, pastor of Walls Memorial AME
Zion Church, was delighted to have the learning tool on site.
"It is my hope and my prayer that not only the congregation but
anybody that came, especially the young people, will get a clear,
true image of the heritage in the Bible that is us," he said. "If we
have a better understanding and can see ourselves in the scrip
ture, then we'll not only want to read them more but we'll also
want to apply what the prophets, Jesus and everybody in the
Bible talked about. It's a connection of cultural heritage as well
as the resurrection of spiritual heritage."
The exhibit opened two years ago, and it's on tour 11 months of
the year. It features informative maps, detailed explanations
and photograghs of African people in Israel.
Ahmadial Ben-Yehuda, the executive director of the heritage
museum, said the objective of the museum is to allow African
American Christians to identify with the Biblical lineage.
"We hope that people understand that Israel is in northeastern
Africa, that the Bible is the history of a particular African people,
that the conditions that affect us here in our communities in the
United States are Biblically related," Ben-Ye’nuda said. "I hope
that they would see themselves in some of these photographs and
understand that there has been a great, great conspiracy to
detach that part of the world from our own historical identifica
"Somebody has been telling us (African Americans) lies, and we
hope to set the record straight."
(Above) Walls Memorial AME Zion
Church, co-sponsored a traveling exhibition Jan. 27-28.
Ahmadial Ben-Yehuda (right), executive director of the Heritage
Museum, shows visitor pictures. The exhibit explores the
African presence In Biblical Eden.