In her role as Associate Pastor at Wesley Cathedral in Ghana, Clara Danquah organizes programs for the church’s regular services and serves as a pre-marriage counselor. Clara delights in helping people see that God’s salvation isn’t just for eternity; it’s for the here and now.
“I feel the most satisfied in my role as a pastor when I help people gain satisfaction, receive an answer, or gain a new understanding in their faith,” Clara said. “When you receive that response to your ministry, it gives you a satisfaction to know that the service you’ve rendered is being received.”
Wesley Cathedral averages 1500 attendees per week with two services. Clara and her church seek to provide individuals with a permanent solution to their problems through Jesus Christ. For example, if someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, Clara believes they are seeking and receiving a non-permanent solution.
“It’s only when you drink or take the drugs that the satisfaction comes,” Clara said. “There can be a way out besides the drugs. If the church doesn’t give spiritual realities to them, they will find harmful alternatives.”
Clara also works with engaged couples to prepare them for their lifelong commitment to each other. In Ghana, church marriages have a 25-30 percent divorce rate. Clara helps couples work through the big issues of communication, finances and sex prior to saying “I do.”
“I try to help them know themselves and to give them a biblical understanding of what marriage is and the biblical values of marriage,” Clara said. “Sometimes a couple may have a wild imagination of marriage and think that marriage may be only like friendship, but it’s the commitment aspect that you engage in. It’s binding.”
Through counseling others, Clara has experienced the closeness of God and His prevenient grace in our daily lives. One night, Clara had a dream. In the dream, she saw a woman she knew and her husband. The woman had packed her things and left the house. The man had married someone else. The next morning she called the woman, inviting her to come over.
“I shared my dream. The woman began to cry,” Clara said. “She told me that they were on the verge of divorcing.”
Clara counseled the woman and her husband, who was indeed about to marry someone else. In Ghana, couples are either married customarily or through the church. According to national law, in a customary marriage, couples can marry and divorce as many times as they choose. This couple had been married customarily seven years prior and was childless, the main point of contention.
“The three of us prayed together, believing God for something,” Clara said. “Two months later, the woman was pregnant with a daughter, who is now one and a half.”
For Clara, incidents such as this provide confirmation that she is representing Jesus to her community. She referenced the story of Joseph and how his dream saved his family from starvation during the famine.
“But for these experiences, it would just be stories we read from the Bible, and that’s the case almost all the time in our ministry,” she said. “The acts we experience as we serve the people confirm the stories in the Bible as we read them.”
Clara is currently pursuing a D.Min. at Asbury Seminary and expects to graduate in 2019. As part of her dissertation project, she is organizing leadership training and discipleship for college students.
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