Romans 8: 28
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
My Dearest Family,
I am a week behind, but Koforidua became a Stake on June 25th. It was President Heid's last Sunday in Ghana and he spent the weekend with us in Koforidua. Because a Stake was being created from a District we also had our Area President, Elder Vincent from the Quorum of the Seventy, presiding at the meeting. One other Area Seventy came from the Ivory Coast, and the previous Nigeria, Lagos Mission President from Ghana. The four of them were staying in a hotel in Koforidua and Elder Gillam and I were invited to dinner with them on Saturday evening.
So there I was chomping on Pizza and Salad sitting right across from a Quorum of the Seventy. He was telling us stories of going to Mali and Senegal with Elder Bednar to dedicate the land to the preaching of the Gospel. It was great. I spent the most time talking with the Nigeria Mission President from Ghana, Brother Ahadjie. He is a great man and I was so impressed with his story. Brother Ahadjie joined the Church in Koforidua in 1980, three years after it was introduced in Ghana. He was called as the first Bishop in Koforidua and he was in that calling when the "freeze" came. Ghana was under a Military Rule. The Ruler had heard that the LDS Church was teaching that blacks would not go to heaven and that it was teaching against the culture of Ghana. The Military sent soldiers and police officers to the Church's buildings and locked them down. Brother Ahadjie was in Accra and ran to the Mission Office to find his wife but the soldiers would not allow him through the gate. He looked through and saw the Mission President being escorted at gunpoint from the Office to a waiting car. The Mission President saw him and yelled, "Bishop, go take care of the saints in Koforidua." Brother Ahadjie returned to Koforidua and upon reaching his home was arrested and jailed. He spent a few weeks in jail and then on probation for the next few months.
The freeze started in June 1989 and ended in November 1990. He kept on telling us that instead of hindering the growth of the Church, it rather boosted it! Before the freeze, the military had sent spies into the Church to pose as investigators and to find out what the Church was teaching. After the freeze ended, most of the spies joined the Church! Many of the soldiers that were guarding the buildings picked up Church materials and began reading. They too joined after the freeze. He talked to one guard as they were searching the Mission Office and the guard said, "It looks like you are operating a Kingdom on this Earth." All he could say was yes, yes we are.
I love to look at the spiritual side of this. Many of us are facing challenges that look like they are moving us backward, that we are losing ground, that we are regressing and becoming less. But as Romans teaches us, everything will work together for our good if we just trust in God. You are His work and His glory. He created you and you are what brings Him the greatest joy. Love Him and trust that the obstacles that come are there to grow you, to move you forward on your path to becoming.
I love you all and thank you for the support over these many months. Keep moving forward with Christ.