With a note book in hand, one is expected to utilise all pages when one pays a visit to Ghana during the christmas period through to the new year. Ghana is a country in West Africa with lots of history. A country characterised by the giving of gifts where one is not expected to reject any gift given to hm or her, people share gifts ranging from live goats through to a plate of rice with one wing of a fowl.
It is also a time for most media houses to harvest all that eluded them during the year besause advertising shall be on the increase with companies selling chicken and even churches advertising for what I call "floating christians". Listen to a radio station, watch a television station or walk through a busy street in Ghana and you will either hear churches saying the things you should expect in the coming year when one worships with them on the new year eve.
This is the time the " big english" lovers come to town. Banners fly with insciptions such as " 2010 my year of blessings, Enter your blessings in 2010, Crossover 2010, etc.
On the 31st of December, popularly reffered to as "31st watch night service' one is expected to attend church service. Service start from 7:30 pm and is expected to come to an end on the 1st of January the following day around 2:00am at dawn. Unlike other countries where people stand on the street to watch fire works ect to welcome the new year, Ghanaians are well noted for attending church service on this day. Prayers are said with all seriousness and I think even though God sees what we do everyday, this is the time He gets a second chance to listen to all the sins one commited during the year.
When you visit Ghana and you found yourself at a church service, just moniter the following especially during prayers. Prayers are said aloud when the prayer topic is pray for your country, your work, friend etc. Immediately the prayer topic changes to pray and ask for forgiveness of sins or pray and bring your needs before the Lord, the room dies out quietly. People pray at a low tone now and make sure one standing or sitting by does not hear the list of sins as that are being rolled out.
Back to the 31st wacth night service, ghanaians attach a lot of seriousness to this service. As for new year resolutions, only God can tell. People who did not attend church service through-out the passing year found themselves at church praying to God. Thank God He is ever welcoming or else............. Like a guy making promises to his newly found girlfriend, ghanaians make a lot of promises to God especially regarding their sins. Smokers promise to stop smoking, armed robbers promises to lay down their working tools, as for those who rape innocent victims, one cant find any other source of happiness when they declare a new attitute to have their pants on at all times. As for politicians, we leave that to God because..................
Pastors and Ministers of God are always busy on such important nights. Those who find themselves in churches expect men of God or leaders of the service to pour prophecies upon prophecies on them. People expect to hear things such as " on the coming year, you will buy a car, build a house, get a promotion at work, get money and when I say money, I mean money and the last but not the least, if you are a ghanaian having a relative abroad but do not hear from him or her, if the man of God prophesy that your relative will come and take you away with him or her or you will travel overseeas in the coming year, you are the king of the service even when the country is Togo that can be entered into from Ghana even on foot.
Life in the morning of the 1st of January every year is interesting. People meet each other on the street and great " Afehyia pa" meaning happy new year and the response is usually "Afe nko mbra mb) to yen" meaning the year should go and come back meeting us alive.
Do you want to know what happens a month or two after all those brisk prayers are said in Ghana and after all those promises of good behaviour are made to God, meet me in my next blog.