Attending Church in Ghana

I’ve been waiting a while to post this since we attended church on Sunday. The line to use the internet is always long, but I finally found a time when the computer was free!

On Sunday we went to a Ghanian church which was an interesting and cultural experience. Let’s just say church here is nothing like the church I attend in the U.S. There’s a lot more movement and singing and dancing. The church began with a lecture from the Bible. They were speaking in Fanti, which is the language mostly spoken in this area, but we had a translator who was translating everything said to us.

Then after the lecture there was some singing with a live band (by live band I mean a keyboard and some beat up drums). Two ladies began to sing and we all sort of swayed to the beat and clapped our hands in the beginning. By the end of the song, everyone was out of their seats forming a sort of congo line in the front of the tiny church. They were all dancing with every part of their body and singing along with every word while feeling the spirit. We stuck out like sore thumbs as we stood there in front of our seats just trying to absorb everything that was happening.

Then after the 15 minute song ended everyone returned to their seats as if nothing had just happened. The lecture continued and then another song began. The same thing happened again, but this time everyone was out of their seats much earlier than the last song. After the song ended I looked over and there were some people lying on the floor chanting to themselves. They were so focused on whatever they were doing that they seemed to be disengaged from everything else happening around them. One lady looked like she was trying to communicate with the floor because her lips were maybe a centimeter from the ground. Another lady joined her after a while and they both lied on the ground for about 20 minutes chanting and completely engaged.

About halfway through we were invited up to each introduce ourselves and what we were teaching. When I announced that I was teaching choir I was asked to come up and sing a song for them. I was super nervous to be put on the spot like that but luckily Mayu who is also in choir agreed to go up with me and we sang a song from choir we knew called Walk in Jerusalem. They were clapping a swaying along and as I returned to my seat I had a bunch of people grab me and thank me. So I realized that even though I was so nervous I knew I had made a lot of people smile which made it worth it.

I think the most important thing that I learned from church was that the people here seem to be so much more emotionally invested in what is happening than in church in the United States. The Ghanians nod their head and shout amen and begin clapping as if they completely agree with every word that was just said. In the U.S. people just kind of stand there and all together in a monotone voice say amen because that’s what we’re supposed to do.

The people at church in Ghana seemed to be so grateful for God and Jesus and everything they thought they were blessed with. The pastor was saying that everything we do should be for God and Jesus which they all seemed to agree with. For the Ghanian people church isn’t just a place to go (for three hours…yes we were there for three hours) because you have to or because it’s part of your religion. Church is a place you go to give you the boost of motivation and energy you need to stay strong and keep going. For them, it’s a reminder of why we’re here and why we should be grateful for what we have.

So if you take anything away from this blog post just remember that if people in Ghana can be so grateful for what they have to the extent where they are lying on the floor chanting to Jesus than I think we can all appreciate what we are given. Because let’s face it, if you are able to take time out of your day to read this blog post right now then youi life must not be that bad.

Well until next time…!


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