General News of Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Source: N. Kwaku Solomon
A former minister of state and founder and leader of Salt and Light Ministries Dr. Joyce Rosalind Aryee has called on Christians in the country to help support the ministers of the gospel and government to fight drug abuse among Ghanaian youths.
According to Dr. Joyce Aryee, who is a board member of ‘Teen Challenge’ said hard drugs have had negative impact on the youth of the country and has become issues of great concern to the ministers of the gospel, hence the need for every Christian to help in combating the menace by preaching the word of God to them in their various ‘ghettos’ in the country.
“Never treat those who have seen the light and change the habit of smoking or dealing in drugs as such again, but treat them well as any other person who love so much so as not to let them go back to practice the drugs again” She said.
Speaking at the launch of the ‘Teen Challenge Ghana’ of the Assemblies of God Church in the Eastern Region, she said majority of the youth were involved in various ways of drug abuses in recent times which is gradually taken control in the second cycle schools in the country and even some students in JHS are practicing hard drugs with the excuse of helping them to learn.
“Quite a number of our teens are hooked up on drugs these days. Some of us are happy to partner Teen Challenge to help the children out of this problem because they are the same people who grow up to become harden criminals,” she added.
She added that drug abuse was a major threat to the development of youth in the country and advised the youth to turn to Jesus Christ for help when they find themselves in such act, saying “Jesus Christ is bigger than any problem. Jesus came so that we have life.”
Dr. Joyce Aryee, who likened drug addicts to the prodigal son in the Holy Bible, said there was still hope for people who were still in drugs, and stated that “God takes what the public rejects and threats them well.” Also at the launch, the deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Mavis Ama Frimpong, urged Christians to reach out to the social misfits in order to lead them to Christ.
She further lauded the initiative by the Assemblies of God Church to set up such an institution to help the youth in the country and pledged government’s support to ensure that their effort sees the light of day in the region. The minister said majority of the youth were involved in various ways of drug abuses and pledged government’s commitment in finding solution to it.
The National Director of Teen Challenge Ghana, Rev. David Kofi Owusu-Boateng said Teens Challenge Ghana will help reduce crime and violence and help habilitate drug addicts.
He added that they had preventive measures that will ensure that the youth in the country avoid the use of hard drugs, adding that the church is ready to visit the various ghettos and schools to educate them on the dangers of drug abuse.
Rev. David Kofi Owusu-Boateng, who was once a victim of drug abuse, cautioned the youth to stay away from hard drugs and called on them to make good use of their time, stating that “When you lose time, it is difficult to make up.
The launching was also used to swear in the ten (10) member regional board members to the ‘Teen Challenge Ghana’ in eastern region by the Regional Superintendent of the church, Rev. Dr. Stephen O. Narh, they are; Area Apostle J. K. Ansah from the Apostolic Church, Rev. Prince Adu-Gyamfi (Assemblies of God, K’dua Central), Ms. Akosua Serwah Bonsu, Dr. Isaac Sarfo Acheampong.
The rest are; Mr. Bismarck Akoi, Mr. Shadrach (NACOB), A. S. P. Akowuah (Deputy Eastern Regional Crime Officer), Mrs. Bridget Boham Addey (Ghana Health Service), Mr. Sarpong Boakye Yiadom and Evelyn Yawa Bansah.
Later in an interview, Rev. Alex Ofori Amankwaa, head Pastor of Koforidua Central of the Assemblies of God Church said they were targeting the youth, but were ready to help adults who had been into the abusing of drugs.
He further said currently his church has started housing about 15 street children who they have enrolled them into school and has again through the mission work have converted some of the ‘ghetto’ people who have given their lives to God and now fellowship with his church. He however, appeals to the general public to help them financially and in kind.
The ministry that would later become Teen Challenge was founded in 1958 by David Wilkerson, an Assemblies of God pastor who left a rural Pennsylvania church to work on the street among teenage gang members and socially marginalized people in New York City and who, perhaps, is best known for later authoring the cross and the switchblade and founding Times Square Church.