by Nikole Hahn
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” – Psalm 95:1-2
Jan’et and Lloyd Chinn met Peter in 2010 when they returned to Ghana after their first Home Assignment. The mission house and leadership center were under construction. Peter approached the Chinn’s about a job.
“We hired him to maintain the property, to use his machete to keep things from growing too tall. His job was to make sure the things that had been planted would be healthy.” Peter was a member of a church that taught an obruni (foreigner) who hired him would also take care of him. That church embraced the Prosperity Gospel.
The Prosperity Gospel is prominent in Africa flavored by African spirituality, including Animism. Animism is, “[the] belief that personal spiritual beings and impersonal spiritual forces have power over human affairs and, consequently, that human beings must discover what beings and forces are influencing them in order to determine future action and, frequently, to manipulate their power.” According to this article, the Prosperity Gospel is Animism with a few Bible verses and a mention of Jesus mixed in.
The Gospel Coalition also shared six ways the Prosperity Gospel can be identified. The last key is the most important: “A prominence of self and a marginalization of the greatness of God.”
You reap what you sow in the Prosperity Gospel. Peter attended a church that taught this and often came to the Chinn’s asking for money beyond his salary.
“We started teaching him the truth of God’s Word…that Jehovah Jireh was his provider. But even with his very wonderful personality, he wasn’t hearing us.” Jan’et explained. The Chinn’s built a poultry farm. Peter wanted to run it. He had the skills and passion to manage the birds and they sent him to a poultry institute to be trained.
“When we went on our second Home Assignment, the missionary in our home told us he had become a thief. It broke our hearts. We just kept teaching him the Word every time we saw him.” Jan’et and Lloyd returned to Ghana to visit the team again. Peter met them with his pregnant bride. Once more, he asked them for money.
Disappointed, the Chinn’s conversed with Peter about Jehovah Jireh and the responsibility of a Christian husband. Peter didn’t respond, but seeds were planted.
“When we were there this summer (2019), people kept telling us he graduated from something, but we were not understanding or receiving what they were saying,” said Jan’et.
Peter connected with me through WorldVenture’s Facebook page. He couldn’t contain his enthusiasm as he shared his story. He had graduated from his training to become a correctional officer. He expressed his gratitude and enthusiasm towards God and the Chinn’s by sharing a picture of himself in uniform. He said this is because of, “…the effects of WorldVenture empowerment in my life…Thanks to the Almighty God and Lloyd Chinn and his wife.”
Jan’et expressed her joy at seeing Peter’s transformation. “Seeing his new life coming to reality brings great blessing to our hearts and tremendous praise to the Almighty God!”
- Africa, Animism, and the Dangers of the Prosperity Gospel by IMB
- Prosperity Gospel by Christianity Today
- The Prosperity Gospel in Africa by World
Would you take the time to write out a prayer for Peter and his family? All messages will be sent to him.