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His family motto—“To see the things of God prosper wherever He leads us,”—spurred Patrick Oduro and his wife, Vivian, to open a seven-bedroom retreat facility, Hephzibah Christian Centre, in Ghana that hosts Christian conferences, events, missionary stays and even FCA Africa’s Capacity Conference. In his words, “We just simply obeyed.”
With a passion to see God prosper in his community, Oduro has seen and experienced the unique impact of sports when it comes to sharing the Gospel, and he has recognized the great potential in sports ministry. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit his home country, the challenges of the hospitality world had a ripple-effect on his business and personal life. He had to temporarily lay off much of his staff, and his guest occupancy was under 10%. Yet, in all this, Oduro continued to be faithful, listening to the voice of God and supporting FCA’s ministry in Ghana by faith.
How has God provided for you in light of the dramatic hit to the hospitality industry this year? What daily practices help you maintain hope and keep the faith?
God continues to show up for us in many ways. I generate a bit of income through a little business and housing consultancy for limited clients. We are basically taking it one day at a time. Prayer, reading God’s Word and serving in various Christian ministries and at church keeps me very hopeful.
Has COVID-19 changed the way you engage with FCA?
I think this pandemic has brought our team at FCA even closer since we seem to have had far more Zoom meetings and board member interactions. FCA is needed now more than ever, as it can offer people hope by the Gospel of Jesus Christ through sports. Sports is such an amazing unifier that brings people together more than any other discipline I can think of.
Describe the importance of sports ministry, particularly in light of the adversity of 2020.
I was instantly attracted to the sports ministry of Vincent Asamoah, FCA Divisional Vice President, South Global, when I met him for the first time with Shoot 4 Life Ministries. His ministry passion and focus were absolutely infectious. My family and I feel very blessed to have come alongside him on this journey. It is such an unspeakable joy to see so many people in my community turned around for the Lord through FCA.
How has God’s faithfulness helped you stay hopeful in uncertainty?
The Lord generously gave my wife and me our piece of land, and He put a calling on our hearts to use it for His worship. We really didn’t know exactly how that was going to play out, but we built Hephzibah Christian Centre on the land, and it is a place for Christian retreats, conferences and other events. An interdenominational church also meets on it, and it serves the immediate community and internationals living within the neighborhood.
I stay absolutely hopeful because I trust and serve the Most High God who is sovereign over every situation in this life. Indeed, it is in Him that I move and have my being. We should continue to hope in God and not in ourselves. He knows the end from the very beginning, and His love for us endures forever.
What do you see in the ministry of FCA in Ghana that encourages you?
The unflinching desire and real action to reach out to more people across the African continent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God is teaching me about His absolute sovereignty over all nations. People desperately need the Lord and to rest in Him.
How have you witnessed the impact of FCA?
Through FCA, lives are transformed for Christ through sports. The discipline that sports provide in general help build a total man. I have witnessed firsthand that evangelism through sports works. I love to see people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I believe it is the only real hope for mankind here on Earth.
Written with support from Sarah Freymuth
Photo courtesy of Patrick Oduro