Yaw and Vidalia Poku break into laughter as they recount how two people from two sides of the world ended up in the desert state of Arizona proclaiming God’s wonders to immigrants from their old homes.

From growing up in Ghana to becoming the pastor of a Southern Baptist church in Phoenix, Yaw Poku has traveled across the world to discover the place God had for him.

After accepting Christ as his Savior as a teen, Yaw was mentored by a Southern Baptist missionary.

“In Ghana, I sensed God speaking to me, so I came to the United States and Moody Bible Institute,” Yaw says.

He met Vidalia, a doctor from the Bahamas, in Chicago. The couple moved to Arizona in the early 2000s.

“I sensed a call into the ministry after we moved to Phoenix,” Yaw says, adding that God called him to plant a church for people from other countries. Now an established church, International Baptist Ministries reflects its name, with individuals from Sierra Leone, Ghana, the Bahamas, Nigeria, Cameroon, plus African-Americans and black Canadians among its 70 members.

Yaw says Arizona Southern Baptist and North American Mission Board leaders were crucial to the new church’s success.

“They served as catalysts to the ministry and mentored, directed and grounded me in pastoral ministry,” he says.

Yaw is thankful for Arizona Southern Baptists’ contributions to the Cooperative Program.

“The Cooperative Program provided financial assistance and spiritual encouragement,” he says. “It helped move us from meeting in our garage to a good place. Without the Cooperative Program, it would have been very difficult.”

“It reinforced my calling,” Yaw says.

Yaw and Vidalia Poku are the CP.

Because you and your church give, You are the CP.