I grew up in a pagan home and a pagan village in Ghana. Everyone I knew worshipped idols and sacrificed animals to the gods to ask for protection and to honor them when we harvested our crops. We feared that if we didn’t do these things, the gods would be angry and cause sickness or trouble for us. We assumed that any bad thing that happened to us—even a headache—was because we had offended a god.
The nearest school was several miles from my home, so I couldn’t attend. Then when I was 10 years old, an Adventist school opened in a village nearby. At last I was able to go to school! I quickly learned to read and write, and soon I became a leader among my peers. But most important, I was learning about Jesus.
The school required students to attend church, but my parents wouldn’t allow me to go because they feared that something bad would happen to the family if the gods became angry. I wanted to go to church, not so much because I believed as because I didn’t like being different from the other children. I thought of running off on Sabbaths to attend church, but my parents made us work with them in the garden on the weekends.
I watched the kids at school. Not all of them were Christians, or even Adventists. I noticed that the Adventist children were honest and kind. But even more important to me was that not a single Adventist child died while attending that school. That seemed extraordinary to me, for many children died in my idol-worshipping village. In my mind it was Jesus who kept the Christian children from dying. I began listening more carefully in Bible class. The more I learned about Jesus, the less interested I was in the idols my parents worshipped.
When I started junior high school I went to live in the village where the school was located. At last I could go to church! I had forsaken the idols my parents worshipped, and before long I accepted Jesus as my Savior and was baptized.
I didn’t tell my parents, for I feared what they would say. I didn’t want to go home and have to explain why I wouldn’t work on Sabbaths. So I made excuses to stay at school. But my parents urged me to return home. Finally I could avoid it no longer; I went home. That’s when I learned that my parents knew that I had become a Christian.
My father told me that if I didn’t work on the farm on weekends I couldn’t take food back to school with me. But my mother brought me food when she came to the market. When my father refused to pay my school fees, I took jobs to pay my own fees. By God’s help I managed to finish school.
The church gave me opportunities to learn leadership skills, and when I graduated from high school I was church treasurer and had become a lay preacher. I love sharing God’s love with others and know that God has called me to be a pastor.
I’m now studying theology at Valley View University, the Adventist university in southern Ghana. My parents can’t help me pay my tuition because there are many other children in the family who need to go to school. God has provided help through scholarships and a job on campus. I know that He has called me to do His work and will see me through.
Although my parents haven’t become Adventists, they respect my faith. They know that the education I have received in Adventist schools has made me who I am. But only Jesus has made me whose I am—I am His alone.
Please pray with me that my family will experience a salvation through Christ and a loving relationship with God such as I now enjoy. God has blessed me so abundantly in sending me to Adventist schools. I want to serve Him the rest of my life and teach others that they, too, can have the blessings He has given to me. I’m eager to go to work among my people and teach those who live in darkness about the wonderful light of God’s love, Jesus.
Your mission offerings have helped establish many schools in Ghana. This quarter part of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help Valley View University build a church where all can come to learn about Christ and worship Him. Thank you.