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A turnaround for Reagan

By Kate Azumah

Reagan had never left the town of Kumasi in his entire life. So the day he boarded a bus for the mission field far away from home was a big day. Upon arriving in Tamale, he discovered that the bus to Gbintre moved once a day. He didn’t miss it, but he wished he had. First, how badly the bus shook! Every part of his body vibrated. Then the rain came, and despite being in the bus, he got completely soaked.

The scheduled arrival time of 9pm became 12 midnight. He slept over at Gbintre, and continued the next day. He was expecting a nice car to transport him and his teammate, Joseph, who travelled with him from Kumasi, to their final destination. Instead, they shared a roofless tricycle with market women who spoke a strange language and stared at the two peculiar men. Reagan recounts, “When we finally landed in Tuna, the village had no electricity. At night, the darkness was so thick I hardly saw people’s faces. I couldn’t help but admit it—my Mum had been right. This is a place of suffering, and I never should have come.”

Reagan’s call

Reagan Opoku Agyeman graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. His decision to sign up as a missionary with Operation Serve had been influenced by his friend, Razak.  “When I was finishing school in 2019, Razak told me about an opportunity to do mission work for one year during my National Service. I decided to pray about it. I didn’t see any vision or hear the Lord speak, but I decided to go as an act of simple obedience. I also thought it would be fun; the idea of an adventure in a far land appealed to me.”

Family worries

“I tried to prepare my parents for what I had signed up for. I knew if I told them I was going to do missions, their response would be an outright ‘no.’ So, I planted the idea in their minds that since I had specialized in Agribusiness Management, serving in the North would be a professional advantage. My Mum said she would be okay with it—I had won her over.”

The posting came and Reagan was sent to the remote village of Tuna in the Bunkpurugu district in the North East Region. “Mum became angry; Dad, cousins, aunties, and grandmas protested. Mum’s younger sister fought me and said she wouldn’t let me go. A friend asked why I was being so foolish. ‘Are there no souls in Kumasi? Why must you go all the way up North to win souls for Christ?’ they queried. The hostility was real.  I told them it was only for a year, but they weren’t pacified.”

Mum became angry; Dad, cousins, aunties, and grandmas protested.

“For the first time in my life, I decided to stand up for myself. I told them I was old enough to make my own decisions.” Reagan left home for six weeks of mission training. His family didn’t stop him, but his troubles were not over. “While I was at mission school, Dad called me on the phone one dawn. He asked me to come home. He was very emotional, and I was too.” Reagan’s Mum, Mama Anna, explains, “None of us was happy with the news. We had heard rumors about the volatile North. We were afraid for his safety.” Reagan’s Dad also expected his firstborn to get a good job and support the family financially.

Missionary life

For Reagan, going to the North was partly about adventure, but God had serious business for this young man. Reagan taught in the elementary school at Tuna, ran a ministry for children, organized church services in other communities, and through sports ministry, discipled many boys who were initially hard to reach.

One day, Reagan and Joseph were enduring the distressing Northern heat at home when Elijah rushed in. His wife was having another episode of high fever. They followed him home and prayed for her. As they did, she fell under the power of God, and started sweating heavily. “Right before our eyes, she was instantly healed! I wasn’t an overly spiritual person, so I was shocked. It dawned on me that God didn’t bring me here for fun, but for real missions.” This was the beginning of many testimonies as people came with more problems  for prayer.

They see that something good has come out of it.

They prayed for Sala, a second wife who wanted a baby. When she delivered, she requested them to name him.  “We called him Miracle,” Reagan says. “Another woman with epilepsy came from the South to seek treatment from a fetish priest up North. We asked her to come to our village for prayer. On the appointed day, her whole village came with her. They wanted us to pray for them too. The woman is now completely well.”

Whenever he was home from the field, Reagan shared such stories with his family and showed them photos and videos of his missionary activities. They started easing up, but they reminded him of his promise that it was only for a year.

Reagan experienced hard times too. On his first birthday on the field, he took very ill. When he called his Mum, she said, “Come home. We’ll take care of you.” Reagan stayed. Communicating by phone was frustrating. “The only place I could access a network connection in the entire village was close to a particular tree. The slightest movement and the connection was lost.” Mama Anna laments this as another worry for the family. “We couldn’t call him at will. We had to wait for him to reach us.” Three months into their stay, Reagan’s teammate left the field and never came back.

Family support

Although he earned little, Reagan sent money to his parents and siblings often. They were pleased with his efforts. After completing one year with Operation Serve, he joined OneWay Africa as a full-time missionary. He is currently in his fourth year, and travels on his motorbike showing the Jesus Film among least-reached Gonja communities in northern Ghana.

Reagan enjoys greater support from his family now. They pray for him, and help his ministry financially. He organized a Christmas party for his village recently, and his aunties sent money and beautiful clothes for the children. “They see that something good has come out of it. By the time I signed up with OneWay, they allowed me to fulfill God’s call.”

A mother’s thoughts

Concern for Reagan’s safety had unsettled Mama Anna. Today, she reveals, “Later, I thought about it again and prayed. I realized God is the one who protects him, not us.  “We’re glad he’s earning enough to care for himself. There are many jobless graduates who still depend on parents for their upkeep. Besides, wealth is not everything. Missions is good work, so we are praying and supporting him.”

Mama Anna had eight miscarriages before Reagan. She acknowledges God’s hand upon him, and doesn’t stand in the way. She counsels parents: “Releasing your child into the unknown is not easy, but you don’t have the power to protect him or her. They could have chosen a path that would have brought you problems and heartache. If they choose missions, pray for and support them.”

Reagan concludes that the turnaround with his family was God’s intervention on his behalf.

Pray for

–Least-reached Gonja communities to know Christ.

–God to keep Reagan and all missionaries reaching out to the Gonjas.

–God’s special grace and peace for the parents of missionaries serving in distant fields.

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