My Journey to Formal Training at CLI
My name is John Kofi Williams of Ghana. Here is my journey to formal training at CLI. I heard stories of men whose beginnings were awkward, and it didn’t seem like they would end up in life as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet they turned out to be zealous men of the gospel. While I saw such a story as the irony of other people’s lives, the trajectory applies to me too. When I reflect on what I wanted to be in terms of career, being a minister of the gospel was not in my plans. But I am, today, a fulfillment of the infallible word of God in Jeremiah 1:5, that says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart as a prophet to the nations.”
In this bio of mine, therefore, I share the journey of my transition as an unbeliever to a believer. Then, ultimately into my current state as a minister of the gospel. I caption my story as being saved from being “religious to Christian.” This caption is essential to me and many out there. I have come to know that many people are stuck in religion and fail to progress to have a full life in Christ.
Life as a Child
I was born in 1981 in Ghana, West Africa. My early years were in Apam, a coastal town situated in the central region of Ghana. My family was myself, my two brothers, and my parents. Father was a member of the Roman Catholic Church while my mum was a member of the International Church of Pentecost. However, though both parents were Christians, we did not grow up with any strict demand on us to attend church or even be Christian. Unlike other families around us, we had the choice to decide our religious belonging.
I had my primary, elementary, and junior high school education in Apam. The main occupation in Apam is fishing, and the standard of life was quite low. Growing up, therefore, I always challenged myself to be different and have a better life. Consequently, I took my school life very seriously. The hardship, however, was a real threat to my vision and that of my family. So my mum determined to ensure that her children grew up different from what was prevalent in the town. She decided to relocate to Côte D’Ivoire with us children to pursue greener pastures.
Life in Cote D’Ivoire
We moved in 1989. Life in Côte d’Ivoire initially began well, but suddenly took a steep downward turn when I was struck by an unknown sickness. This experience was so severe for me and my mum, and the outcome was miraculous. My mum took me everywhere possible for a cure but to no avail. One day, she took me to the hospital of Kumasi, Abidjan. There the doctor reviewed the many laboratory investigations done on me. He advised my mum not to waste any more resources on searching for a cure because I was not going to survive. My mum listened to the advice of the doctor but refused to agree that I wouldn’t survive the sickness. Therefore, my mum turned toward prayer. Praise Jesus, my healing was miraculous, and I remain healthy.
After my healing, my mum had had enough in Côte d’Ivoire. She decided that it was time to return to Apam in Ghana. So in 1992, we headed back to Ghana.
On our return to Ghana, we found ourselves among Christian families who were relentless in encouraging us to attend church and live godly lives. Every week, our neighbors invited us to attend church with them. My two siblings regularly went, but I refused and remained home alone until they return from church. This pattern continued for some time.
Then, one day after everyone left for church, I began to feel intense emptiness, loneliness, and sadness within myself. This feeling was so intense that I immediately dressed and went to the church by myself. The message preached that day touched me so much that I decided to give my life wholly to Jesus Christ the following week. Eventually, I had my baptism in water.
After I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, I lived a life as a Christian. I had no thought of being a minister of the gospel despite some previous experiences which pointed to the fact that I was to be a minister of the gospel.
Called by God
One night in 1995, I had a dream where I saw myself surrounded by about six elderly people. One of the people who surrounded me took a clerical collar and put it around my neck. Afterward, they all began to sing a song whose lyrics were, “your life is dedicated now.” This singing continued until I woke.
I felt confused after that dream despite the message being seemingly clear. I decided to seek an interpretation of the dream since they mostly do not have literal meanings. So I went to speak to a senior man of God who confirmed to me that I have not only been called but have been ordained in the spiritual realm to proclaim the gospel. My perspective changed from that day forward. My love for the things of God increased, and my utmost joy is to preach the word to people.
Since 2016, I have been ministering the word of God to people. I preach in churches and schools, visit people at home and in public places. As I stand now, I am being prepared for great things in the kingdom of God.
Formal Training at CLI
Despite my knowledge in the word of God by the grace and teaching of the Holy Spirit, I felt inadequate and felt the need to bring myself under some kind of formal training system. I discussed this feeling with a friend I met through the Facebook platform, and she introduced me to Christian Leaders Institute (CLI). The formal training at CLI has been a great blessing to me, and I never cease to thank God for this answered prayer!