The Seventh Annual Deaf Camp Meeting held from December 26 to 31 at the Seventh-day Adventist Senior High School in Agona, Ghana, marked a milestone in the efforts of the Northern Ghana Union Conference of the Adventist Church (NGUC) to foster inclusivity and spiritual growth within the hearing-impaired community.
This event, a continuation of a tradition that began in 2014, has become a beacon of hope and unity in the region, demonstrating the NGUC’s commitment to embracing diversity within its congregations, regional church leaders said.
The event took place under the leadership of Paul T. Danquah, Adventist Possibility Ministries (APM) director of NGUC, and Henry B. Afoakwa, APM director of the Mountain View Ghana Conference. It also enlisted the support of Obed Osei-Ajema of the Mid-Central Ghana Conference for a camp meeting that brought together 93 representatives from six deaf churches across the Ashanti Region. They included 20 from Atimatim, 28 from Kwadaso, 15 from Bekwai, nine from Sekyedumasai, 12 from Atwima Koforidua and nine from the host Agona company.
Jallah S. Karbah Sr., the West-Central Africa Division APM director, was the guest speaker. The theme for this year was “Love Begetting Love.” Drawing from biblical texts, Karbah emphasized the virtues of pure love and true faith in Christ, using analogies that highlighted the importance of each individual within the Christian community.
The camp meeting’s impact became even clearer thanks to the baptism of 14 individuals, something that, leaders believe, showcased “the event’s inclusive and transformative nature.” Additionally, the presence of members from the hearing community, including educators from the host school, further enriched the event’s diverse atmosphere, they said.
This year’s program included performances by a deaf mass choir and a drama team, who utilized sign language to deliver captivating messages about love and acceptance. The performances were a poignant display of the joy and energy inherent in the deaf community’s expression of faith and fellowship.
The event also offered much-needed counseling sessions for deaf married couples, addressing unique challenges and providing guidance. It was something that helped strengthen family bonds within the community, organizers said. They plan to host another camp meeting in 2024, this time in Bekwai.
Afoakwa has been instrumental in the ongoing development of Deaf Ministries in the region. According to regional leaders, the collaborative efforts of the union and various conferences in mobilizing resources have been crucial in ensuring the participation of the hearing-impaired in Adventist meetings. It is part of a broader trend toward inclusivity within religious communities, they explained.
As the NGUC looks to expand the ministry into more conferences and regions, the support from the division, union, and individual conferences remains pivotal, ministry leaders emphasized. The 2023 camp meeting “stands as a testament to the power of faith in bridging divides, uniting a diverse community under the banner of shared beliefs and aspirations,” they said.