It all began on a beach in Tema, Ghana in 1997.
David, an 18-year-old living far from his home village, was in the habit of going to the shore in the mornings to hear from God and reconcile incongruities in his Muslim faith.
As a child, David was raised in a Muslim home with a dad who was a leader in the town. “People looked up to him for his wisdom and advice. They even had him raise their kids.”
David’s home included siblings and many of these children, as well as teachings from the Koran. He studied the Koran so deeply that as a young child, David was considered a scholar in the town, even leading prayer at the young age of 14. He yearned to know even more, so he paid his own way to go to school, learning skills like brick paving to fund his tuition.
“The more I studied English and knew how to read, the more I read many books, and started to ask questions.”
Then David started to read the Bible. “The things I saw in the Bible, especially about God’s mercy, showed me differences between the two books. I started going to the beach to ponder it all.”
One morning, a man showed up at the beach.
“He looked like he was doing the same thing I was doing – talking to God in his heart,” David said. "After the third day of seeing him, I got boldness and walked up to him.”
That man was Michael Thompson, the founder of OneWay Ministries. At the time, Michael and his wife Rachel were serving as missionaries with Pioneers in West Africa. Over the course of the next few weeks and months, the Thompsons and their teammates invited David into their lives.
“They started to include me in everything they did like I was part of the family.”
David was impressed that they did not pressure him, did not want to debate with him and were patient. “After talking to them, things started to make more sense. I thought, ‘This Jesus is worth following.’”
Soon after that, David gave his life to Christ. “I felt like I had finally found a family,” David said.
It was difficult news for David’s family, but his father actually defended him and gave David his blessing to find peace with God. This attitude was rewarded. When Michael, David and a OneWay team traveled to David’s home village a few years later, David's aging father joyfully received Christ as well.
“This is the message I’ve been waiting to hear for my whole life,” shared the Muslim leader.
To this day, David thanks God for using that "chance" encounter on the beach to help him – and his father – find answers in their spiritual search.
UPDATE: David now lives in South Africa with his wife and son. In early 2021, he was invited to join the OneWay Studios team using the many audio and video skills he has acquired over the years. He is glad to be part of OneWay's mission, and also excited to serve again with "the man on the beach,” who became like a father to him 23 years ago.