What Houston Texas and Ghana West Africa have in Common.



From Urban planner in Houston, TX to WorldVenture Missionary partnering with the African church, Lloyd and Jan, Missionaries to Ghana West Africa share their ministry and love for the people of Ghana.




HANS FINZEL: Hi, this is Hans Finzel, president of World Venture based here in Littleton, Colorado. Our website is WorldVenture.com. Welcome to our radio program, Missions on the Frontline. This radio program is part of our new initiative to make you aware of new and exciting ways you can be involved in missions. WorldVenture supports over 1,000 mission projects and missionaries in over 65 countries. We’ve been sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ around the world since 1943. Today I have in my studio with me Lloyd Chinn. Welcome Lloyd.

LLOYD CHINN: Thank you, Hans.

HANS FINZEL: Lloyd is a missionary with WorldVenture in the country of Ghana and you have been with WorldVenture in that country for five years.

LLOYD CHINN: Five years.

HANS FINZEL: Now let’s begin by telling folks where Ghana is because I… Until you went there, frankly, I wasn’t exactly sure where Ghana is.

LLOYD CHINN: Ghana is on the west coast of Africa. Uh, it’s a coastal country. It is between Cote d’Ivoire and Togo.

HANS FINZEL: You’re on the Atlantic Ocean but the ocean is south of you.

LLOYD CHINN: South of me.

HANS FINZEL: And right there next to the Ivory Coast [Cote d’Ivoire]. And you are the first WorldVenture missionaries to go to Ghana. Where are you from, by the way? You and Jan.

LLOYD CHINN: Houston, Texas.

HANS FINZEL: Houston, Texas. So you guys have been married for how many years?

LLOYD CHINN: Seventeen years.

HANS FINZEL: And children?

LLOYD CHINN: We have two kids.

HANS FINZEL: Okay. And you’ve taken… What’s it been like for them to go to Africa?

LLOYD CHINN: Oh they loved it.


LLOYD CHINN: They loved it.

HANS FINZEL: Now did they love it - the idea before they went?

LLOYD CHINN: Well they went several times on short-term so they had an idea of what it was like, uh, being there.

HANS FINZEL: Sometimes people are afraid to get into missions because they are afraid to take their kids overseas but you probably have seen that it’s such an enriching experience for your children.

LLOYD CHINN: It was absolutely enriching for them.

HANS FINZEL: Tell us a little bit about how? In what ways it has really developed them.

LLOYD CHINN: Well they’ve grown in their relationship with people. Uh, they connected with a lot of nationals and they are more independent than they were before they left and they are international kids to the core now.

HANS FINZEL: Hmm. What’s the national language there?

LLOYD CHINN: Uh, it’s English.

HANS FINZEL: Okay, so they didn’t have to learn a foreign language?

LLOYD CHINN: Well they didn’t have to but they did.

HANS FINZEL: Oh. What did they learn?

LLOYD CHINN: Twi. The trade language of Ghana.

HANS FINZEL: Uh, so they are actually bi-lingual now?

LLOYD CHINN: Yeah. Well especially my older son. He loved it.

HANS FINZEL: Yeah. That’s exciting. You were in Houston, Texas. What were you doing there in Houston before you joined WorldVenture?

LLOYD CHINN: Before WorldVenture I was an urban planner there in Houston.

HANS FINZEL: A church planter you mean?

LLOYD CHINN: An urban planner.

HANS FINZEL: Oh, an urban planner! Okay, what does that mean?

LLOYD CHINN: Well we worked with local communities developing strategic plans in planning neighborhoods who received federal funds from the government and then after that I went on to go to seminary. That is when I really got God’s call for missions.

HANS FINZEL: And you went to Dallas Seminary?


HANS FINZEL: You and I are both grads of Dallas Seminary. A great school.

LLOYD CHINN: A great school.

HANS FINZEL: And what happened to you there at Dallas Seminary that really opened your eyes to the world of missions?

LLOYD CHINN: Well, I got invited by a Haitian to go to West Africa on a mission trip and I realized that going to West Africa to do a ministry would be beneficial for me. I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about missions but going there really opened my eyes to what God was doing overseas. Seeing national leaders who were… who had the passion for ministry but needed people to walk alongside them, to equip them for the work.

HANS FINZEL: So would you say that vision – those visions trips – are what really sold you on getting involved?

LLOYD CHINN: Oh, it sold me.


LLOYD CHINN: It sold me hands down.

HANS FINZEL: Because I believe that vision trips are so important – short-term trips. I believe it’s the modern Macedonian call, the way God calls people into missions and I always like to encourage our listeners if you’re thinking about going on a short-term mission trip – do it!

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely!

HANS FINZEL: It’s amazing what God will do. I mean He’ll mess with your life and He’ll change your life, won’t He?

LLOYD CHINN: He will change it. I’m a witness to that.

HANS FINZEL: Now you are an urban planner then you went to Dallas Seminary. You probably weren’t planning on being a missionary when you went to Dallas, were you?

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely not.

HANS FINZEL: What was your intention?

LLOYD CHINN: My intention was to go back to my home church in Houston to do Christian Education and Curriculum Development.

HANS FINZEL: Well I’m so excited that God got a hold of your life and expanded your horizons.


HANS FINZEL: Not that we don’t need Christian Education folks in Houston, Texas but I always believe that the harvest is so plentiful and the laborers are so few overseas. For example, you’re the only WorldVenture missionary we have in Ghana and we are so thankful for that. So let’s fast-forward. So you finished Dallas Seminary. You raised your support and you landed in Ghana. And your wife, Jan, let’s just talk about her for just a minute. I heard her speak not long ago and I just loved it because she was saying, “I thought I was just going to be the wife and the appendage and that Lloyd is the missionary.” But what happened to that?

LLOYD CHINN: Well, we were on a short-term mission trip and Jan taught a class on the role of the woman in the home. One of the women came to Jan after class, asking her to come to her house. She said her husband had somebody living in the home with her – another woman actually. After she [Jan] started talking to the woman, the husband came and to make a long story short, Jan shared through scripture how that wasn’t right and it wasn’t his responsibility as a husband – from Ephesians 5. And the bottom line was, the gentleman had no idea that that was not right.


LLOYD CHINN: Because nobody had ever told him it was wrong.

HANS FINZEL: Because he was a follower of Christ but he just didn’t understand the word of God.

LLOYD CHINN: He didn’t know. He didn’t understand the word of God. No one ever sat down to teach him the word of God.


LLOYD CHINN: And that was a light for Jan to realize that she could be used in ministry as well.

HANS FINZEL: That’s precious. That’s great because we like to… We really believe in sending couples out. Both to do ministry so that is so exciting. Okay, so you’ve been there five years now. What are some of the things that you are involved in. Let’s talk about some of the exciting… In fact, let me begin by asking, what is the spiritual need in Ghana? Why did you pick Ghana?

LLOYD CHINN: Well, I picked Ghana because of the need for training leaders.

HANS FINZEL: For training leaders. That’s the passion that you had.

LLOYD CHINN: For training leaders. The passion that I originally had was training leaders because Ghana, like many African countries, they have churches being planted. A lot of churches but few shepherds. The shepherds that they have don’t have the skills or tools they need to be equipped for ministry so I had talked to one of my Profs at Dallas [Seminary] and he said, “If you don’t go, who will go?” God just impressed upon my heart that it was the necessary thing to do.

HANS FINZEL: Well we’re thankful that you did. Okay, so now what is your strategy to equip leaders? I know you’ve got some ambitious dreams and some big things you are involved in. How are you approaching this tremendous need of training more leaders in Ghana?

LLOYD CHINN: Well our approach is through character formation. We believe that unless God calls leaders of integrity the church cannot grow. We are involved with Bible training – Old Testament and New Testament. We really feel that the real issue is leaders with character and spiritual formation and having them understand who they are as leaders and their DNA and equipping them and unleashing them to the church in Ghana to motivate them, to impact the world. Because many leaders in Ghana, they are in this vacuum and they don’t understand the mission of calling themselves. We want to paint a picture for the church in Ghana and that the missionary from outside is not the missionary but they are themselves. To equip them…

HANS FINZEL: To equip the saints for the work of the ministry.

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely.

HANS FINZEL: Now when you got there, are you starting this from the ground up by yourself or did you join a group that’s already doing this?

LLOYD CHINN: Ground, ground, ground floor ministry.

HANS FINZEL: Really? No kidding.

LLOYD CHINN: Ground floor.

HANS FINZEL: So what you’re doing you have started and when you say “we” have you been able to attract some colleagues there? Some Ghanaians or…

LLOYD CHINN: Well we do use national leaders in some of our equipping modules and I believe that we want to partner with the church in Ghana.


LLOYD CHINN: Part of our strategy is even moving away from Western models of delivery and understanding what the Gospel looks like to them.

HANS FINZEL: Praise God.

LLOYD CHINN: And we invite leaders of character from Ghana to come in and assist us in that ministry.

HANS FINZEL: I’m real glad to hear that. You’re not just exporting the American model.


HANS FINZEL: But you’re really indigenizing it.

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely.

HANS FINZEL: If that’s a word. Well, in case you are just joining us, this is Hans Finzel. You’re listening to Missions on the Frontline. Our website is WorldVenture.com and I have in my studio today Lloyd Chinn who is a missionary with WorldVenture in the country of Ghana which is in West Africa. You have a leadership training center in Nkwanta. Is that what it is called?

LLOYD CHINN: It’s called the Nkwanta Leadership Equipping Center.

HANS FINZEL: And what is the vision with that?

LLOYD CHINN: The vision for that is the multiplication of trained leaders for West Africa. Nkwanta is the Antioch of West Africa.

HANS FINZEL: Really? So not just for Ghana but for that whole region?

LLOYD CHINN: We want to equip leaders from there to impact the world.


LLOYD CHINN: And we believe that through a powerful formations small group ministry is the way to go about that.

HANS FINZEL: If you’re just listening and you want to learn more about the Chinn’s, you can go to WorldVenture.com and under our missionaries you can either look for Ghana or you can look for their name -- C-h-i-n-n -- and you can learn more about Lloyd and Jan. You’re probably always looking for more ministry partners to join your support team, right?

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely.

HANS FINZEL: And also, you have a special project. How much money are you trying to raise to build this brick and mortar training center?

LLOYD CHINN: We’re trying to raise about $250,000.

HANS FINZEL: And what would that go toward; that money?

LLOYD CHINN: It will go towards…the uh….we’re trying to develop and build a Christian Education Resource Center on our property. We realize that a lot of leaders in that area have no resources at all – commentaries, Bible, any … books and we want to help them and their literacy to be more value added for the church.

HANS FINZEL: Have you had a chance to go over to Rwanda and see what Tim Brubaker is doing there?

LLOYD CHINN: Aw, not yet. We have a lot of conversations about that but I have not been there myself.

HANS FINZEL: They are doing the same thing there with the New Creation Ministries and creating a university and the largest library so that’s a great vision. The name of that project [for Chinns in Ghana] is Nkwanta Leadership Training Center. That’s N-k-w-a-n-t-a and if any of you listening would like to give to that project again, go to WorldVenture.com under “giving”. That’s a special project – Nkwanta Leadership Training Center. Do you have property already?

LLOYD CHINN: We do have property.

HANS FINZEL: And what kind of property do you have?

LLOYD CHINN: We have about five acres on the site. We just about finished the mission house…


LLOYD CHINN:…for WorldVenture there.

HANS FINZEL: Is that where you live?

LLOYD CHINN: That’s where we live.


LLOYD CHINN: And we’ll have a hostel for the pastors themselves to live while they are in our training center. Our model is having leaders coming in every quarter for three weeks at a time to our place. To be booked for three weeks then go back to their ministry context because we don’t want to take them out of their ministry context.

HANS FINZEL: Absolutely. That’s the best way to do it.

LLOYD CHINN: We want to keep them as close as possible to what they do.

HANS FINZEL: Yeah. Another thing that you are involved in that’s pretty exciting is what we call B.A.M. (Business as Mission), creating some sustainable businesses.

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely.

HANS FINZEL: Job creation. How did you get into that world?

LLOYD CHINN: Well, um, I realized that unless we leave sustainable ministry on the ground for the church in Ghana we have failed. Many leaders and missionaries have come into Ghana and evangelized. Churches are there but the national leaders do need to pay the kid’s school fees. There are still felt needs on the ground and we feel that showing the love of Christ to them looks like helping them meet those physical needs and we want a sustainable ministry on the ground. We feel that’s very important to leave that behind for the church there. So we have come up with some business models we’ll be searching now to put in practice.

HANS FINZEL: And what are some of the possibilities? You haven’t actually started yet…

LLOYD CHINN: We haven’t started. We’re still in the concept and research phase.

HANS FINZEL: What are some of your ideas?

LLOYD CHINN: One idea is poultry. We are in a rural area there about six hours north of the capital Our initial research is there is no poultry business anywhere near us and if you go about two degrees north, it is heavily Islamic and we could have inroads into that area in Ghana and that really excites us.

HANS FINZEL: Yeah, that’s neat. So how long are you going to be in the U.S. now?

LLOYD CHINN: We’ll be here about six months.

HANS FINZEL: And then back to Mozambique. Do you have any… Excuse me. I was thinking Mozambique because…

LLOYD CHINN: …chickens…

HANS FINZEL: …because of chickens. Because that’s where we have that great poultry ministry of eggs…

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely.

HANS FINZEL: …and so you’re looking at that as a model…

LLOYD CHINN: As a model.

HANS FINZEL: …and that’s one of the cool things in missions. WorldVenture has missions and missionaries in over 65 countries and I love to see it when our missionaries from one country, like Ghana, go and study what’s happening in another country like Mozambique or Rwanda and see what’s working so we don’t have to completely re-invent the wheel.

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely.

HANS FINZEL: So, uh, how can we pray for you as you… Well, what are you – right now in the States – what are you doing?

LLOYD CHINN: Well, we are moving around the country visiting our partner churches. That’s where most of our time has been spent – reconnecting with those churches, trying to get relationships established; partner development.

HANS FINZEL: Right. And WorldVenture is a faith-mission so our missionaries have to raise their own [financial] support and so every so often you have to come back and keep those relationships strong and look for new partners.

LLOYD CHINN: And one thing we are doing, Hans, I would say is that we are assisting the church to be the church as it relates to missions and offering ourselves to them as far as teaching on missions, stepping into the Sunday School class and just really helping them see God for who He is in the world.

HANS FINZEL: Hmm. And how is that going?

LLOYD CHINN: It’s going very well.

HANS FINZEL: Are most of your churches in Texas?

LLOYD CHINN: Most of them are in Texas.

HANS FINZEL: Houston/ Dallas area.

LLOYD CHINN: Houston/Dallas.

HANS FINZEL: Yeah, great. So as you go back, what’s your check-list of the first things you’re going to be doing when you go back [to Ghana] in six months?

LLOYD CHINN: The first thing is reconnecting with the guys who we have been discipling and mentoring and really forming a… Reconnecting with those relationships.

HANS FINZEL: Could you give me a… I always like to ask our missionaries some real-life examples of changed lives or people that you’ve had an impact on. Can you think of somebody who you can tell me a story of? Somebody you’ve been mentoring or discipling or training and you said, “Whoa, God thank you because I’ve really seen some transformation?”

LLOYD CHINN: Well I can think of two. One is not a pastor. One is a from a Muslim family and we met and we started talking and we started inviting him to our house just to be around. He came to faith in Christ and we had a going away party for our son to go to Dakar Academy boarding school and our Muslim friend was in our home and he said, “This is the first Christian home I’ve ever been in and I’ve never seen as much love as I’ve seen in this last two hours.”


LLOYD CHINN: And just that testimony of him coming to faith, from his love, and being in a Christian community it was just really powerful for him.

HANS FINZEL: That’s exciting.

LLOYD CHINN: The other one is David; he’s a Baptist pastor in the Nkwanta area. I’ve seen him grow and develop over these last few years and he was very timid as a leader initially. As we were getting ready to come on home assignment I went to his church and just saw him teach and I said, “I’m just amazed at your growth and your ministry.” And he said, “What can I say? You are my example for what we do.” And that was just a testimony of what God is doing. Sometimes you are in ministry but you can’t see the fruit.


LLOYD CHINN: And when others you have spent time with affirm that, that’s just very rewarding.

HANS FINZEL: That’s exciting. Well how can we pray for you, Lloyd? You and Jan and your kids?

LLOYD CHINN: Well just as we get ready to go back, just for our hearts. We miss the field and just preparation to go back – spiritual vitality. Community and being in the States. Are two big ones.

HANS FINZEL: Yeah. So you have really fallen in love with the country?

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely.

HANS FINZEL: And the people.

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely.

HANS FINZEL: And do you have some colleagues there that are your partners in your vision in training?

LLOYD CHINN: A lot of it has been myself and just some other national leaders there in the country.

HANS FINZEL: So you do have some national leaders who are your colleagues?

LLOYD CHINN: Yeah, I do.

HANS FINZEL: Okay, great.

LLOYD CHINN: You know one thing, we work with the Bible Church of Africa and we try to partner with the national church and we feel like that is a benefit.

HANS FINZEL: Does the country have a lot of churches or is it a pretty unchurched country?

LLOYD CHINN: Ghana has a lot of churches in the south but when you reach the Muslim north the churches get fewer. Ghana has typically been put on the stats of 60% Christian but on the ground there is a lot less and there is a lot of cultural Christianity in Ghana.

HANS FINZEL: But not real Christianity.

LLOYD CHINN: Not real Christianity.

HANS FINZEL: A final question – what can you share with our listeners… God has obviously burdened your heart for Ghana, this country, and what can you share with our listeners about the country? What else do you want them to know about so that perhaps they can pray for this country and, you know, how would you describe…

LLOYD CHINN: One thing that I would love for those who are listening to pray for is those still consumed by tradition; the African tradition of religion or ancestor worship and all that it entails because a lot of our people - our churches - are first-generation believers. Their parents are still idol worshippers and just that the light of the Gospel would fall upon those who are still bound in those two issues.

HANS FINZEL: So even though they come to Christ, they still… It’s hard for them to leave…

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely.

HANS FINZEL: … those family traditions and idol worship and to really make a clean break.

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely. Make a clean break.

HANS FINZEL: You know I’ve never been in a country in the world where people are a blank slate. You know, even when they come to Christ people are trapped in all kinds of false religions and animism and spirit worship and that’s certainly rampant on the continent of Africa.

LLOYD CHINN: Absolutely.

HANS FINZEL: Yeah. Any final thoughts on Ghana as you go back?

LLOYD CHINN: My final thought is, um, I’m just looking forward to hitting the ground.

HANS FINZEL: Yeah. Well we appreciate you and Jan. Your son has gone off to college and your other child, your daughter, is she still at Dakar Academy or is she going off to college?

LLOYD CHINN: Well she’s just graduated from college.

HANS FINZEL: Oh she… Oh that’s right, she’s older.

LLOYD CHINN: Jeremy will be going back to Dakar Academy in the fall and he’s looking forward to that.

HANS FINZEL: That’s fantastic. Well we wish you all the best as you go back. Thank you for being on the program today.

LLOYD CHINN: Thank you, Hans

HANS FINZEL: Lloyd and Jan Chinn in Ghana. Again, our website is WorldVenture.com and if you’d like to know more about the Chinn’s or our ministry in Ghana, you can look under “missionaries” for either the country of Ghana or their name – C-h-i-n-n. Thanks for listening today. This has been Missions on the Frontline. We’re here to expand your vision and make you aware of new and exciting ways you can be involved in missions around the world. Visit our website WorldVenture.com for more information and the latest news and updates. And don’t forget to drop me a note. I would love to hear from you if you have questions about missions that I could address on the air or I could just write you directly. We’d love to hear from you. If you have ideas for programs you’d like us to focus on, that would be great as well. You can email us at Frontline@WorldVenture.com. Visit MissionsFrontline.com for show notes and previous episodes. And remember, if you’ve missed any shows, just visit MissionsFrontline.com to listen online or subscribe to our podcast. This has been Hans Finzel, president of WorldVenture. See you next week on Missions on the Frontline.

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Tags: Africa, Chinn, Ghana, Houston, Texas


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Comment by Etienne Silue on September 21, 2012 at 2:58am

I would like to know how some body can get a job?


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