Eric Owusu is said to have helped hundreds of people join the Church in Ghana. As described by Elder Dwayne Morrison and Sister Vicki Morrison, serving in the Ghana Accra Mission, Brother Owusu is "not like anyone we have ever met before."
Brother Owusu helps interpret the discussions for missionaries serving in Koforidua. On a number of occasions, he has helped the Morrisons teach local people who cannot speak English.
"Once, under a spreading green tree, we listened in awe as Eric gave the discussion in three languages Twi, English and the northern dialect of Ghana. Along with his other priesthood responsibilities, four afternoons a week he uses his knowledge of the scriptures to explain the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to his fellow Ghanians," Elder and Sister Morrison wrote in correspondence to the Church News.
Brother Owusu, who joined the Church in 1996, is a farmer when he is not helping the missionaries. He grows peppers, peanuts, watermelon and cabbage. But he seems most adept in growing testimonies of the gospel.
There are countless others throughout the Church in Africa who are living and serving in their wards and branches, and in their communities and nations. They are factory supervisors and facilities managers. They are secretaries and surgeons. One, Gideon Muliro Matwale, is the archivist for the National Museum of Kenya. Not all of them were aware of the Church at the time of the 1978 priesthood revelation, but as the 25th anniversary of that June day approaches, they all speak of the blessings the restored gospel has brought their lives. Here are some of their accounts:
Angelina Adjaye of the Nungua 2nd Ward, Christianborg Ghana Stake, wasn't even a member when she was asked to help in the Takoradi Branch in 1983. Her cousins were members when the branch was created in 1979. "They needed people," she recalled during a telephone conversation, and so she was asked to help with a youth class.
"What I was teaching the youth was something I liked," she said. And she loved the hymns. She was baptized and in 1986 became the first sister missionary from and for Ghana. She served in her own country. "It was great. I even learned from the people I taught. That helped me to strengthen my testimony." I say in the first graph it was during telephone interview.
She works as a secretary in the Church's area offices in Accra and has served over the years as a branch Relief Society president, seminary teacher, counselor in stake Young Women presidency, and is now the ward Young Women president.
Elder Daniel Chimobi Akunne, serving in the Ghana Accra Mission, has been a member for seven years. He was the first in his family to be baptized in Ohambele Nkoki, Nigeria. His two brothers, three sisters, and mother followed him into the Church.
"It was dark and now it is light again with the restoration of the priesthood," Elder Akunne told fellow missionaries recently. "Jesus Christ brought light into the world. Then all the light left the earth, and a restoration was necessary."
He is spreading word of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with his companion, Elder Utieyin Trevor Wyse from Warri, Nigeria, whose family joined the Church 18 years ago when he was 5 years old.
On Dec. 3, 1991, Joseph Wafula Sitati and his wife, Gladys, sat with their children in a sealing room in the Johannesburg South Africa Temple the first Kenyan family to do so. In correspondence to the Church News, Brother Sitati, who served as the first president of the Nairobi Kenya Stake, said his wife described it as "overwhelming and beyond anything that she could describe with words." Their daughter, Elizabeth, said she "felt like being surrounded by angels in the sealing room."
"We were not particularly conscious of being the first Kenyan family to be sealed in the temple, but as we reflected upon what we had gone through, it was abundantly clear to all of us that one could not start understanding the true meaning of the gospel of Jesus Christ until one had been sealed in the temple."
Emmanuel A. Kissi, an Area Authority Seventy and former patriarch of the Accra Ghana Lartebiokorshie Stake, is a surgeon who was baptized with his wife, Benedicta, in Manchester, England, on Feb. 8, 1979. The following August, after returning to Ghana upon completing his surgical residency, he was ordained an elder in stake conference.
Since his return to Ghana, he has run a clinic in Accra to help his fellow countrymen. Brother Kissi is featured in a 1991 Church video, "Lives of Service," in which he speaks of turning down professional opportunities in Europe. "My colleagues couldn't understand why I wanted to return," Elder Kissi related during the film. "I told them the British people want me but my people need me."
He was, indeed, needed. During the period from 1989 to 1990 when the Church was banned by the Ghanian government, Church affairs were administered by Brother Kissi, who served as interim mission president. (From: April 2002 interview with Brother Kissi by Elder Norman Noorda and Sister Sharon Noorda, former public affairs missionaries in the Africa West Area; Deseret News 2003 Church Almanac; Church News articles.)
E-mail: [email protected]