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120 Ghanaians come to Christ at hospital’s anniversary party

NALERIGU, Ghana (BP)–The first baby born in the Baptist Medical Center of Nalerigu, Ghana, was named John the Baptist — a prophetic name, one synonymous with preparing the way for Jesus.
At the hospital’s recent 40th anniversary celebration, the prophecy clearly has become reality. More than 4,000 people attended an all-night celebration for a ministry that has helped start three dozen churches in the area. More than 120 decisions for Christ were registered during the event.
“I was surprised at the numbers that came forward,” said Diane Lay, an International Mission Board missionary who has served at the hospital since 1961.
She shouldn’t have been surprised, though, knowing that all of the 36 or more Baptist churches in the area have been started because of the ministry of the hospital.
“Either someone from a village has been a patient and shown interest in becoming a Christian, or someone from the hospital has gone to the village to preach the Good News,” she said. “The chiefs always tell me, ‘I know you. You are at the hospital and you have helped my people.'”
More than 4,000 people covered the football field next to the hospital for a crusade that lasted throughout the night and into the next day. The “Jesus” film kicked off the event. Speeches by Baptist leaders and government dignitaries began at 1 a.m. Performances by local groups kept things lively between addresses.
The crusade lit up the night, and the next morning several local congregations gathered for a combined service.
Lay said local churches now face the challenge of following up those who made decisions.
“Pray that those who made decisions will be encouraged and their lives will be a celebration of that new faith,” she said.

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  • Heidi Soderstrom