NORTHERN OUTREACH MINISTRY (NOM)
The Northern Outreach Ministry (NOM) is one of the numerous evangelism programmes of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. The focus is on the Northern migrants to the south either in search of greener pastures or to settlement. These migrants, before the programme commenced, were less than 1% in the church.
SURVEY OF LANGUAGE GROUP
In 1994, the leadership of the Madina NOM Congregation made a survey of the major language groups within the La township. This was done because the language barrier among the migrant did not permit the various languages to be reached out to at the same time. The Bulsas came out as the majority group within the La township among all the tribes, so this group was chosen and evangelized to.
PLANTING NOM IN THE NATIVITY CONGREGATION
The La Nativity NOM was planted in 1994 after the evangelism of the Bulsas proved successful. It was started with ten (10) members of whom six (6) were entirely new converts. The leadership of the Madina NOM met La Nativity Session to handover the planted congregation to the church. This occurred in July 1994. The Session accepted the programme and quickly gave them a place of worship, one of the classrooms in the Nativity basic school.
Prior to the first meeting of the Northern congregation, five members from the Bible Study and Prayer Group were selected to run the affairs of the group. They were in the persons of Mrs. Ethel Lartey, Ms. Mercy Joe-Appiah, Mr. David Annang Botchway, Mr. Ebenezer Akpor Sowah and Mr. Samuel Adjei Sowah. The leadership in question has run the NOM Congregation since its inception. One of the indigenous people in the person of Mr. Peter Akannik was co-opted into the leadership. He is dedicated and hardworking and has remained in the church till today.
The initial problem encountered in running this Northern Outreach Ministry Congregation is communication. The leadership chosen from the Bible Study and Prayer Group (BSPG) could only speak Ga and Twi. Fortunately, there were members of the group who had stayed in the South for years and therefore could speak the Ga and Twi dialect. These people were used as language translators. They were translating Ga/Twi to Buli and vice versa.
Again, reading of the scriptures has been another stumbling block in view of the high degree of illiteracy among the membership. Literacy programmes are being organized to address the issue and this is yielding positive returns.
The group is grateful to God for how far he has brought them and confident that God will enable them reach out to the rest of the sheep who are out there, especially through its programme: Operation Go Back Home and Tell (OGBHAT) where members travel back home to proclaim what the Lord has done for them.