For four years, Esther Enwezor had a vision to serve God in West Africa.
“I couldn’t go immediately for work reasons and then when I was ready, Covid-19 came and put my plans on hold,” she recalls.
“But I believe that was the way God wanted it, as I ended up staying a year longer than originally planned!”
Esther arrived in Accra in February 2022: “When I left the UK it was winter and when I arrived in Ghana it was 40 degrees, which was a little bit of a challenge, but with the support of the SIM team there, I was able to get through it!
“I didn’t speak the language, but I learned a few phrases, such as how to greet people and ask how they were, so I could communicate a little bit and whenever I was witnessing, I always had an interpreter to help.”
Then aged 68, Esther served at ‘King’s Village’, based in Tamale in northern Ghana – a missionary project that provides healthcare, education, and community development to the country’s poorest communities.
“With my background as a nurse, I easily adapted to working in the hospital there and could also use my managerial experience to help the team look at different ways to do things,” she says.
“But I had a special interest in working with children rescued from child trafficking or abuse and so mainly worked in the nutrition centre, which over the years, has saved the lives of hundreds of children with severe malnutrition.
“Although it was difficult, the SIM vision is to ensure that no one dies without knowing Christ and without knowing the gospel, so I held onto that vision and drew on God’s energy within me as much as I could during that period.
“When you’re in your comfort zone, you don’t really know how much people are going through in remote places such as Ghana, but God gave me complete peace as I provided for people’s physical needs, as well as giving them spiritual support.
“The people I met in Ghana were very open-minded to hearing about the gospel and as long as you have permission from the chief of that particular community, they will create space for you and invite families to come and listen to the gospel!”
Supported by Community Church, Chafford Hundred in Essex, Esther says she was grateful for their ‘huge’ support during her time serving in Ghana: “Some supported me financially and others regularly called me to check how I was doing, which I really appreciated.
“I’m also grateful for the support of the mission workers on the ground. I got on well with everybody and they were always ready to help me, even without asking them.
“I was given a wonderful send-off and was emotional about leaving everyone, but I’m still in contact with the team and they send me updates about the children who’ve been reunited with their families. I’m now looking forward to going back next year for a short visit and spending time with them again.
“I’ve returned with a wealth of experience and am so grateful that God helped me to fulfil my desire and to use me to reach out to people I didn’t know before.”
By Kerry Allan
Find out more about serving with SIM UK by contacting us at [email protected]
- Give thanks Esther relied on God while waiting to fulfil her desire to serve him in Ghana.
- For children with malnutrition to respond well to treatments.
- That others would be inspired to use their skills and gifts for short-term mission with SIM UK.