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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

The Name is Jesus

By Hal Lehmann
Jan. 5, 2014

During my early years in Ghana, West Africa, I was learning Dagbani, a language spoken by about a half million people. My instructor was a fellow believer who taught at a training college near where my family and I lived.

One year during Christmas vacation, my teacher agreed to accompany me on an extensive bicycle trip across a portion of Ghana where, so far as I know, no missionary had ever traveled.

On the ninth day of our trip, we arrived at the last village we had planned to visit. As the elders welcomed us, they told us the chief was bedfast with a long illness. We expressed our sympathy and offered to go on home.

“Oh, no!” the elders replied. “The chief knows you are here. He desires that you come to his bedside.”

The chief greeted us, but he was unable to rise. He inquired as to who we were and why we had come. I replied that I had come to Africa to tell people about Jesus.

“Who is Jesus?” the chief asked. “What does He do?”

I started with the story of Jesus’ birth. Then I told how the disciples prayed, using that Name, and how the apostles’ prayers were answered by faith in His name. As I spoke, I prayed the chief could understand my message.

We did not want to tire the chief, so we proposed to cut our visit short.

“No,” the chief protested. “The people know you have come but do not know why. You must have a service and tell them what you have told me. You must give them that Name!”

The public service was held that night in front of the chief’s compound. A large crowd gathered under a full moon. We taught the people simple gospel songs, and soon they were singing joyfully.

When the tribe’s elders arrived, we hushed. Their spokesman apologized for the chief’s inability to be present. Then, turning to me, he relayed a personal message from the chief.

“Tell that man I still remember the Name he brought,” the chief had said. “The Name is Jesus. I will always remember the Name and will say it again and again.”

I was very happy to tell the crowd the story of “the Name.” We finished about 9 p.m., and since we were near home, we decided to complete our journey that night.

We were only about a mile away when the stillness was broken by terrible shouting and screaming coming from the village.

My companion stopped. “The chief has just died,” he said slowly.

Peace filled my heart as I thought of the message the chief had sent to me: “I still remember the Name. The Name is Jesus. I will always remember.”

Hal Lehmann and his wife, Naomi, served as missionaries to Ghana from 1944 to 1978.


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