REACH: Sahel in Ghana exists to inspire, disciple and equip participants to share the love of Christ with those who do now know Him yet. REACH walks with participants in their personal relationship with Christ, exposes them to cross-culturally work and equips them to work among the least reached –– especially throughout the Sahel. Ahmet* completed REACH: Sahel in 2023 and shares his journey to having a relationship with Christ.
How was your life before Christ?
I was born in a country in the Sahel. My father was a doctor and a teacher, and my mother was working with an NGO. Besides me, they have three other sons.
When I was six years old, my father passed away, and one year after his death, my mother sent me to a village eight hours away from our city. There I stayed with my grandfather so I could learn and memorise the Qur'an from the Iman.
After one year of studying, I became sick with malaria, so my family sent me back to the city since there wasn’t good medical treatment available in the village. I stayed there and went back to school. When I was 12 years old, my mother passed away as well after being attacked with witchcraft by the community. I then started living with my grandmother and my uncle. They took care of my small brother and I. At the age of 14, I started working at the market in a shop for embroidery.
How did you hear about Jesus?
In 2014, a friend and I had a shop together where we made beautiful clothes for men and attracted a lot of customers. One day, a man named Hamza* came into our shop, bought some clothes and started sharing the gospel with us. He wanted to teach me about Christianity, but I didn’t want to know anything about it. At that point, I thought that Christians worshipped three gods, that they distorted the Bible and the gospel and worshipped idols like the cross.
Whenever Hamza came to our shop, I didn’t want to listen. Since we were children, we had been taught that if we were to touch the walls of a church, we would have to fast for three days. There were many reasons like these that made me not want to learn anything about Christianity. At the time, I believed that Islam was the only religion.
Hamza took the time to explain things to me. He told me that they only worship one God and that the Bible is not distorted or changed. We started to debate about religions, and Hamza used a lot of verses from both the Bible and the Qur'an in his arguments. I didn’t know if the verses he was quoting were actually in the Bible or if he was just making them up, so I decided to take the Bible home with me and read it so I could challenge him. At that time, I shared a room, so I hid the Bible in my wardrobe. I didn’t want my friends to see it, because they would start asking a lot of questions the moment they saw it.
I started studying the Bible at night after my friend went to sleep. He knew I was studying but thought it was just homework from school. I started to see that the Jesus in the Bible was different from the one I had learnt about. In the Qur'an, Jesus did only small miracles; He did not die and was only a prophet. The Bible told me that Jesus is God Himself. I read the story of Lazarus and the story of Jairus’ daughter and how Jesus raised both of them from death.
I knew that no one but God could raise someone from the dead. I started to compare the Bible with the Qur'an in order to find out which one was real. The comparison took me about one year, and in the end, I found out that the Jesus of the Bible did many miracles, was humble and taught people good things. In the Qur'an, I only found that we should go and kill Christians and Jews. I was not fully convinced and very confused.
In 2015 I prayed, “God show me which one is the right way.” One night, I had a dream where I saw myself: I saw how I was in hell, crying until someone gave me His hand and pulled me out. I thought it was an ordinary dream, but I still went to ask a Christian about it, and he told me: “Only Jesus can reveal Himself to people like this.” This is the reason that I started to believe in Jesus as my Saviour and Lord.
How did your life change after that?
The biggest change I experienced was in my heart: before, I hated people, especially Jews and Christians, but now I started to love people. I started being happy and joyful and felt the presence of God. It was always with me. This was the biggest change I have received in my life.
I started having a few problems in the city because people said that I was a Christian. They started hating and discriminating against me. They wanted to do bad things to me. I even had problems with my family, especially with my brothers. Sometimes they didn’t even want to talk to me.
In the market, I started to experience difficulties. People found out that I had become a Christian and didn’t come to the shop anymore.
Why did you join REACH?
It has been my aspiration and dream to go deeper and learn more about practical missions and discipleship training. I look forward to equipping myself so I will be able to reach many unreached people groups in my country. Therefore it was a dream come true to be in Ghana.
I am in REACH to get the practical skills I need to multiply disciples who will multiply themselves. I also want to further my English so that I will be able to do translation and interpretation when I go home.
I chose REACH in Ghana because it focuses on the Sahel, which is where I live. I believe because of that, all the training content will help me more.
What are your expectations after REACH?
My expectations are to be able to have the hands-on skills I need to reach people in my country. I want to live in a community where I can learn and practise more. I also expect to be well-built and have a holistic build-up within and outside my scope of life.
I expect to be an international missionary.
REACH is a five to six-month missions experience. During this time, participants are trained and mentored while immersed in cross-cultural community and ministry. Each training programme has its own unique flavour, style, and focus and is unmistakably grounded in essential biblical values.
Join Jesus followers from other nations and backgrounds in a diverse international team at one of the many different REACH opportunities that are offered around the world. To find out more, visit