‘God is in the details of my life’: Missionary in Africa finds his cousin’s baseball shirt

The shirt traveled to Ghana from an Idaho Deseret Industries store in what Elder Call says was no coincidence

As Elder Brayden Call — a full-time missionary in the Ghana Kumasi Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — walked down the street in the town of Offinso, he did a double take.

Missionaries often see people there wearing donated clothing that has come from the United States. But on that day in January, Elder Call saw a boy wearing a T-shirt that said Caldwell on it.

Elder Call is from Caldwell, Idaho, and the T-shirt was of the Caldwell Allstars — a local baseball team for which Elder Call’s cousin used to play.

Intrigued, Elder Call stopped to talk to the boy and take a closer look at the shirt. When the boy turned around to show him the back of the shirt, Elder Call could see that the name Call had been removed above the number.

A boy in Offisno, Ghana, wears a Caldwell Allstars T-shirt that was donated to the Nampa, Idaho, Deseret Industries store and sent to Africa. The name Call has been removed from the back. Elder Brayden Call, a full-time missionary, saw the boy and recognized the shirt in January 2023. | Elder Brayden Call

The shirt was the same one that Elder Call’s cousin, Sedrick Call, had worn and later donated to the Deseret Industries store in Nampa, Idaho. The shirt had traveled from Deseret Industries to Ghana to the location where Elder Call was serving.

“I was jumping up and down overjoyed just because I couldn’t believe that was actually his shirt,” Elder Call wrote to his father. “My companion thought I was crazy.”

Sedrick Call prepares to play baseball as a boy in Caldwell, Idaho, in 2014. The same T-shirt was later donated to Deseret Industries and sent to Africa, where his cousin, Elder Brayden Call, spotted it on a boy in Offinso, Ghana, in January 2023. | Provided by the Call family

Elder Call did not find it a coincidence. He had been serving about 14 months on his mission at that time, and while he was adjusted to missionary life and wasn’t feeling any homesickness in particular, he was struggling a little bit with remembering his purpose and why he was on a mission.

This also happened right after Christmas and around the time of Elder Call’s birthday. His parents felt bad for not being able to send any gifts to him through the mail. 

While Elder Call said he was perfectly fine without any gifts — especially having seen humbling circumstances in Africa — he did not find it a coincidence that spotting a shirt from home happened around his birthday.

“God still gave me a pretty cool gift,” he said. 

Elder Brayden Call, from Caldwell, Idaho, is serving a full-time mission in the Ghana Kumasi Mission. He is pictured here in early 2023. | Provided by Elder Brayden Call

Elder Call’s father, Caldwell 5th Ward Bishop Duane Call, said it could not have been a coincidence, either. 

“I don’t know what the odds of that happening are, but they are pretty astronomical. It was a fun experience for my son and a nice connection to family back home,” Bishop Call said. “To me, it is one of those tender mercies provided by a loving Father just to say that He knows and loves one of His sons serving far from home.”

Bishop Call said his son worked at the Nampa Deseret Industries for a short time before his mission. Deseret Industries is more than a thrift store; it offers training and on-the-job experience and career and technical education, in addition to new life for goods. Items not sold in stores are sent around the world for humanitarian relief.

Of note — Elder Call’s cousin who donated the shirt is also an Elder Call, serving in the New Zealand Auckland Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Meanwhile, the boy who received the shirt has attended Church a few times with his neighbors, whom the missionaries were teaching that day they met in January. And now the boy’s family has started to learn more from the missionaries about the gospel. 

As for the surprise of seeing that shirt at that particular time on his mission, Elder Call said it “allowed me to see how much God is in the details of my life. He truly does care about me all the time.”

Sedrick Call plays baseball as a boy in Caldwell, Idaho, in 2014. The same t-shirt was later donated to Deseret Industries and then sent to Africa, where his cousin, Elder Brayden Call, spotted it on a boy in Offinso, Ghana, in January 2023. | Provided by the Call family
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