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Special Report: International Rhema Bible
//Daniel & Kauren Ndede
Unlike beachfront property in the U.S., many beaches in Ghana, West Africa, are part of fishing villages. Instead of multimillion-dollar condominiums, pristine sand, and upscale restaurants, Ghana’s fishing communities are filled with brightly colored vessels, somewhat ragtag equipment, and the stench of fish lingering in the hot, humid air.
Against this backdrop, 8-year-old Daniel Ndede did whatever was needed to survive. “We would go to the beach when people would bring in the fish,” recalls Ndede, an ’05–’06 Rhema USA grad. “Sometimes we would steal some fish. If they caught you, you’re in trouble. But most of the time they didn’t.”
Children usually focus on having fun while growing up. They never dream that their parents will abandon them. But the unthinkable happened to Daniel. While many kids complain about school and doing their homework, Daniel had to drop out of regular classroom studies to enroll in the school of survival. Forget reading, writing, and arithmetic. He had to figure out how to find food and shelter.
You see, Daniel’s father followed in the footsteps of far too many men who don’t want to accept the responsibility of a family—he left. Unable to bear the financial strain, Daniel’s mother packed her bags and left too. She thought Daniel’s dad would come back for him, and his dad assumed that his mother was taking care of him.
Of course, Daniel didn’t have any money and was quickly thrown out of the apartment he once called home. At first he stayed with friends, but their parents soon tired of having him around and made him leave. So at a tender, young age, Daniel had nowhere to go but the streets and alleyways. Once there, he joined a gang.
While Daniel was on the streets, a man approached him and began sharing the Lord with him. “I wasn’t interested in Jesus,” he says. “I thought that maybe if I listened to him, he would give me something to eat.”
For a time Daniel pretended to be a Christian. Whenever the doors of a particular church were open, he was there listening to the preacher. Not that he believed anything the minister said. He found that by doing this, he could get off the streets and have a safe place to sleep for the night.
One day Daniel stumbled across Kenneth E. Hagin’s minibook “You Can Have What You Say!”. “The book changed my life,” he says. “I didn’t have a good education, and Brother Hagin didn’t use big words. Some of the words, I didn’t understand. But the ones I did are what changed my life.”
“We don’t just preach The Gospel,”
“We try to act The Gospel.”
Daniel began putting into practice the principles he read in the book. Eventually he met a Rhema missionary who was doing street evangelism and began translating for her. The missionary saw Daniel’s heart and knew that he needed to come to Rhema. She found sponsors who made it possible for him to attend Rhema USA.
It took several years to work out visa issues, but the day came in 2003 when Daniel finally boarded a plane bound for Tulsa, Oklahoma. To Daniel, coming to Rhema was like going to Heaven. “They flew me first class to come to Rhema,” he says. “They bought me a laptop computer. I’d never even used a desk computer before! The first time I had my own place to stay was in Rhema Student Housing!”
Along with soaking in the Word, Daniel met his wife, Kauren, while in school. They married in 2004, and they both graduated from Rhema’s third-year program in 2006—Daniel, from the School of Pastoral Ministry and Kauren, from the School of World Missions. After graduation, they left for Ghana.
With their feet firmly planted on Ghanaian soil, the Ndedes immediately started Power of Faith Bible Training College in Takoradi. Right from the start, they patterned all of their classes after Rhema. Twenty-eight eager students hungry to learn enrolled that first year. Today Power of Faith has come under the Rhema Bible Training College umbrella. Currently 27 students are enrolled in first- and second-year classes, and Rhema Ghana will graduate its first round of students in 2014.
“I’m not saying it was the will of God that I went through what I went through,” says Daniel. “But because of that, I have a heart for my people. I reach out to the people who are what I used to be.”
One day while Daniel and Kauren were driving in their car, they saw a woman lying on the side of the road. They pulled over to help. She looked as though she had been beaten, and it was obvious that she needed hospital care. They helped her into their car and drove to the local hospital.
The hospital staff wouldn’t treat the woman because she was unable to pay for her medical care, which cost less than $200. Without hesitation, the Ndedes paid for everything the woman needed. They then left her in the hospital’s care. Some time later they were walking on the street when this woman saw them. She fell at their feet, grabbed hold of their ankles and, through her sobs, thanked them again and again. Because of this one act of kindness, this woman and her entire family were born again and Spirit-filled!
“We don’t just preach the Gospel,” says Daniel. “We try to act the Gospel.” The Ndedes are committed to bringing the Gospel to Africa in practical ways. In addition to teaching full-time at Rhema Ghana, they feed the poor and help new moms. Because the child mortality rate is high in this West African nation, Kauren visits maternity wards to pray with the new moms and bring them supplies for their babies.
Hepatitis B is Ghana’s number one killer disease. The Ndedes have become relentless in creating awareness about the simple ways to prevent Hepatitis B. They also vaccinate as many people as finances permit.
Daniel can’t remember how he happened on Brother Hagin’s minibook so long ago. Who would have thought that finding such a small book would make such a big impact? Not only did it transform Daniel’s life—it transformed the lives of his family members. His mother, father, brother, and sister are all born again and Spirit-filled. His father is currently enrolled in Rhema Ghana.
The impact did not stop with the Ndede family. It’s spilled over to the students of Rhema Ghana and the thousands of people the Ndedes minister to in their outreaches. Daniel and Kauren want to see all of Ghana come to the Lord. It’s fitting then that their ministry motto is, “It’s not over until all the souls are saved.”
» Being Led By The Spirit
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