ELDER TERRY.....Two weeks ago we drove to a small Branch that is about a 3 and a half hour drive from Accra. On Sunday we attended Sacrament Meeting, and I met with the Branch Clerks to assess their technical needs and teach them more directly.
One of the Branch Clerks in that group is named Wisdom Oforikumah (He's also the Branch Executive Secretary). While Wisdom is only 18 years old and somewhat quiet, he is a spiritual giant. At the end of our session, I invited him to come to Accra where I could provide him with additional training and give him a PC cable that his Branch needed. Given the distance and cost I didn't really think he would come there.
The following Wednesday he called me to ask when would be a good time to visit and without much thought I told him that next Tuesday at 9 am would be a good time for me. In other words, I spaced on how far away away he was. He ended up not making it to the office till noon. When I took him to my office, he mentioned that he was sorry for being late. He had left at 5 am but traffic had been much worse than he expected. That's when I realized just how far he had come! He had spent all that time and money taking a number of different taxis and buses to come and visit me!
In my office, I provided him with some technical documents and chatted with him about his schooling and career plans. Turns out he's still in high school and wants to be an electrician someday. The first thing he wants to do when he graduates in April is put his paperwork in to go on a mission. His attitude and quiet demeanor just touched my heart. At the end of our discussion, I asked him to go up another flight of stairs to our storage room where I could get him the PC cable. We ran into our Area Doctor and he asked Wisdom how his foot was doing. That's when I looked down to see his horribly deformed club foot! Dr. Hill explained to me that Wisdom had come to him the month before to ask if the doctors could amputate his foot and replace it with a prosthesis – so he could go on a mission! Dr. Hill had told him no, there would be no amputation because at Wisdom's age that would probably bring on even more complications! But he also told him he could go on a mission anyway! I didn't know what to say, but it was clear looking at Wisdom's beaming face that he liked the doctor's answer!
When Wisdom left my office, I went out to take a walk around the Temple and get my wits about me. I tried to imagine what this young man must be going through – he was actually willing to amputate his foot because he thought it would prevent him from going on a mission! He had spent over six hours on an arduous journey to come and visit me and he had just left to make the same journey home! He serves two important callings for his Branch and now wants to serve the Lord full time! He's dealt with his club foot and more all his life!
All to say, I've had quite a few experiences like this. I just hope I can measure up to what many of the Ghanian Saints have here. In the meantime, I'm keeping Wisdom in my prayers!