To Quit Or To Stay: A missionary’s Dilemma

NOTE: I received a call on Sunday, July 11, from a Ghanian number unknown to me. I cautiously answered and it was my brother in the Lord, William Agbeti, on the other end of the line. He was calling from his daughter’s phone. His family had been robbed, beaten, and he was lacerated with a machete that just missed his head. We talked for a long time, even struggling with some questions about why these things happen to servants of the Lord. Here is his story. Please keep William and his family in prayer.—Bill Wilson

As a ministry, we reach out to some of the most woefully underserved rural children in Ghana. In serving these poor children and their households with free meals, essential foodstuffs, nutritious drinks, potable water, clothing, toys, Bibles, medical aid and education about child trafficking, we most times travel through hostile environments and attract anger from persons opposed to our activities on religious grounds. As a result, one is always on the alert against any possible physical attacks, either on the mission field or at home.

Such reasoning is not farfetched. We have cases on record involving riotous attacks against our church services during two programs, an attempt at beating up a cooperating village pastor at home, forced harvesting of topsoil in villages we support, harassment against builders of homes in our target areas, and destruction of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen. Viewed against this backdrop, one is at a loss as to the motive behind the armed robbery attack against me and my family at home last Saturday at dawn. Four men armed with a machete, a club, a knife and a garden spade managed to cut through the burglary proof of a window in my house with an instrument.

They entered the building and subjected my family to a traumatic shake up. They collected three phones, a laptop and our local money equivalent of $25 from the three of us in our home. They then proceeded to my room and got hold of me and my wife, and attempted to slash me with a machete. In my bid to avoid my head being cut open, I covered my face and head with my arms. As a result, I received deep cuts on my right hand and the middle right finger, sustaining lacerations also on my right knee. I bled profusely because the machete cut a vein on my hand.

They took away my phone and that of my wife’s. They also asked us to give them all our monies. My wife gave them what we had on us –about $7, and they took it. The robbers then escaped through the same window they came in. Thereafter, there was nothing I could do but to thank God for saving our lives, rush to hospital to have my wounds sutured and to report to the police. As I look back on all the challenges we face on the mission field and this recent attack, one question comes to mind: Is it an attack with a specific motive more than robbery? Also, I’m asking myself:  Should I Quit Ministry or Continue to Stay In it?

Roman’s 8:35-37 gives me the answer: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” As you support our ministry, remember to pray for us also. For we are like sitting ducks out there!

Bill Wilson