Friday, April 25, 2014

Don’t give up − keep on sowing and be a reformer and difference maker

I have been to Ghana five times, namely in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and now 2014. I was invited by Crown Financial Ministies and visited Ghana together with Jan Strydom during my first visits. In 2011 I said to Rev Sam Oppong that I was not coming back again unless I saw some results. At that stage I had provided Rev Sam Oppong with all the relevant material and I waited to see what would happen. Late in 2013 I received an email from Rev Sam, saying that was the right time to come and that they would print the relevant material on their side.

So we departed for Ghana on Sunday, 9 March, and flew to Sunyani on the Monday.
At our first stop we trained some pastors in Character First in how to implement it in their own families and what their role is in taking these principles further in their communities. The photo below tells the story.

We covered the following topics during those sessions:
·         Why build character in the family: Learn and discuss why building character is important for your family.
·         How to build character: Discover the secrets to building a culture of character in your family.
·         Building character with praise: Learn how to emphasise character in your family.
·         How to make an appeal: Work through the differences of opinion by making an effective appeal.
·         Character-based correction: Get to the heart of problems instead of dealing with surface issues.
·         How to teach a character quality: Familiarise yourself with tools and resources for studying character.
During my previous trip to Ghana I was moved by the desperate need for entrepreneurship and together with Rev Sam developed a conceptual Beehive model. I developed the material and when Rev Sam asked me whether I was available to talk to final-year students at Kumasi University I seized the opportunity and during a 4-hour session I took the students through the nuts and bolts of those seven sessions. Somebody will now take if further.

After a wonderful day of training students I got up early the next day to train another group of pastors in how to implement the Character First principles. 
 My first training session was back in Kumasi where I had to contend with the African sun and sometimes even short power failures. But the groups were so enthusiastic and keen to absorb the wonderful information.
I still believe solutions to family struggles come as family members develop character qualities such as obedience, sensitivity and forgiveness. By emphasising, requiring and recognising positive character qualities you can help your children reach their full potential. This training covered very practical insights into how character relates to family relationships, child developments, praise and correction

My last trip was very special. I trained about 100 employees from one organisation who want their organisation to be a benchmark in Ghana. I spent a lot of time on character-based appointments, as well as correction and what to do be to be fully engaged and an energy giver versus an energy waster or taker.

My special thanks to:
·         The Father, Son and Holy spirit − To God all the glory;
·         my wife who supports me and prays for me during these special trips;
·         Rev Sam Oppong for his hospitality;
·         all the delegates who challenged me to bring out the best in them, and
·         for Character First material.
Do I want to do it again? Yes, yes, yes! I love it. It is a pleasure to serve sincere friends like Rev Sam Oppong and his wife.The same evening I arrived back in Cape Town I received the following note from Rev Sam:

Hello Mario, Good to know that you are back home safely. I am also back in Sunyani. We thank the Lord for the past week. Thank you also for your commitment to help equip our leaders. Will try to stay in touch and keep you updated. Grace and Peace. Sam Oppong.

For more Details Contact Dr Mario Denton at

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