This week we were on the move, traveling to Abomosu to the north of Accra and to Cape Coast to the west.
While we were at Abomosu the missionary couple there; the Bingham's received the sad news that their young friend, Raymond (14) had died that very afternoon. We met Raymond on our first visit to this community. He was very sick then, spending time in and out of the hospital. The family said that on the day he died he had been playing with his little brother and had colored in a coloring book. He was happy. We are glad this was their final memory of their son.
It is hard for us to understand some practices here. When death occurs, children are buried within hours of dying (as if their lives have little value? We don't know why), while older people are not buried for months after they die. (Yes, I said months), and at great expense to the family. The Bingham's helped purchase a little casket and Raymond was buried before nightfall. How grateful we are for the knowledge of life after death. Because the Savior's resurrection bought total victory over death, we too can have that hope. One church leader expressed it this way, "The Resurrection is brought to pass by the Atonement of Jesus Christ and is pivotal to the great plan of salvation. We are spirit children of heavenly parents. When we come to this earth life, our spirit is united with our body. We experience all the joys and challenges associated with mortal life. When a person dies, their spirit is separated from their body. Resurrection makes it possible for a person’s spirit and body to be united again, only this time that body will be immortal and perfect—not subject to pain, disease, or other problems." We have total confidence that this will be Raymond's experience.
At Cape Coast our favorite activity was to meet with 5 recently returned missionaries, and one had just gotten home the day before! Working with President Davies of the new Yamoransa stake, we oriented these RM's to various options for their futures and taught principles of SR. We love these young people and want so badly for them to be successful. Pres. Davies gave them some wonderful counsel on careers and education (he is a high school teacher) He also told them, "The time will come in Africa when all the leaders of the church will be returned missionaries." We have no doubt about this. The church is only 36 years old here in West Africa but already many of those in their 30's-40's are RM's and hold leadership positions.
"Whatever our age or circumstance, let service be our “watchcry” Serve in your calling. Serve a mission. Serve your mother. Serve a stranger. Serve your neighbor. Just serve." Carl B Cook
Elder and Sister Lambert
Pictures: The Mintahs
Cape Coast/Yamoransa RM's with Pres. Davies