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May Highlight: Church Elder Becomes a Chief

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! We at GCM continually thank God for you for your support in our ministry to the people of Ghana.

This month we want to highlight Naaba Mahama Surana, a newly enstooled chief in the village of Sow, which is in a highly Muslim area in the Northern Region of Ghana.

Years ago, a church planter helped start more than a dozen churches among the Mamprusi people in that region. When the planter left, many of the churches struggled to continue, but Naaba was one of the elders who helped sustain his church until GCM and our church planter Paul Tevi began ministry in the area. Naaba’s leadership came despite ongoing Muslim opposition to Christians, who face ridicule and whose farming goods are shunned because their products are considered unclean. Still, his church has continued to worship God and tried their best to live in peace with the rest of the Sow community.

This has led to Naaba gaining a reputation as an honorable man, and recently he was enstooled as a chief in the community, where he will lead the same people who have discriminated against him and his church. The other 10 chiefs in his area are all Muslims, and so he will continue to face efforts to get him to leave his faith in Jesus. GCM staff visited and prayed for him to encourage him to endure this pressure, just as he has done in the past.

We thank God for this opportunity for Naaba to serve Him in this position of great influence. Would you join us in thanking God and in praying for Naaba? Pray for him to lead the church and community as Christ would, to be a great leader full of wisdom and vision, to make meaningful impacts on the church as well as the Muslims in his village so that his leadership will help draw them to know Christ, to have influence on the other 10 chiefs (which will affect the other villages), and to have good health and long life.

More: What does a chief do?

Chiefs represent the community in any official gathering, and they are the first point of contact when a government official and NGOs visit. They are the custodians of the land and lease it to people who are in need of it for development. They organize the community to embark on developmental projects. They arbitrate between people in times of internal conflicts. They defend the customs and traditions of the land as well as condemn any wrongdoing. In the case of Naaba, the chief needs to be strong and courageous to wisely and strategically replace some of the Islamic traditions in the community. Chiefs also defend the community against any external threat and have many more duties.


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