A short-term trip blossoms to a ministry calling for one woman.

By October 19, 2005

Ghana (MNN)–The question plaguing many human rights watchers about Ghana is that of the plight of modern day slaves.

Trokosi slaves–a prevalent problem throughout the country that, although outlawed–exists in pervasiveness. The question has been asked are they then culturally relevant or are they merely that: modern day slaves?

The women are taken into bondage usually as young girls. Often they are traded to atone for one family member’s wrongdoing in the social structure. Then, they are forgotten.

The young girls must fend for themselves to eat. They get no education, and have no vocational skills. But they do reproduce–and their burden then becomes born on the shoulders of their children.

A hard life with no hope. Then came Every Child Ministries. Their heart groaned under the weight of seeing the burden and oppression. ECM teams began working to free the slaves, train them, and teach them the atoning grace of Christ…and it worked. The women responded, much to the ire of the fetish priests.

The struggle has been ongoing since 1998, when Ghana officially put an end to the practice. But, old ways die hard.

Fortunately, there are people like Linda McCollough who heard the call for help and responded. She recently returned from a trip to Ghana with Every Child Ministries.

What started as a short-term visit has grown into a ministry passion for the women known as the ‘wives of the gods.’ “Two years ago, I was involved in their school ministry, which is a great ministry. But, my heart is tender toward healing ministries and really, [towards] women who have come out of some sort of bondage like that.”

McCollough visited several trokosi shrines with an ECM partner. Her mission was to encourage the trokosi slaves and share the hope of Christ with them.
Encouragement goes a long way in this kind of ministry. “There’s not a lot of hope and opportunity when they are in the shrine. So, being liberated from the shrine is a tremendous change in their lives. Being able to sit down and talk to them about the system and why it doesn’t work and really have the opportunity to share how much Christ loves them.”

The work done in Christ’s name today amongst the trokosi and their children will plant future generations of believers who will give thanks for those who helped. If you’d like to respond, go to: http://www.ecmafrica.org.

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