When missionaries from Africa and the Pacific Islands come to the MTC in Accra many of them have not received their temple ordinances or patriarchal blessing. Some have lost one or both parents to disease or civil war and quite a few are the only church members in their family. The Missionary Training Centre (MTC) arranges for these missionaries to receive their patriarchal blessing and temple ordinances. Some are sealed to their parents at this time.
Two of our dear Sisters will be going home next transfer at the beginning of August. One of them is from Vanuatu. She lives on a remote island, which is several plane rides and at least one boat ride from her home. Her situation makes it virtually impossible for her to receive church supplies and the closest Temple is in Fiji.
At a recent Zone Conference this companionship approached me asking for help. They explained their need for temple garments to take home with them as they would both find it very difficult to receive any once they were home.
I thought it would be an easy matter to go to the distribution centre at the Accra Temple to fill their request. Imagine my surprise when told that their supplies were low and the items that these sisters requested were 'finished.' 'Finished' is a Ghanaian term the locals use to describe a situation meaning they are 'out of stock' or there is none left in the shop. Their stock wouldn't be replenished until after the Sisters had returned home!
I was deeply disappointed. How could I help? A few days later we were at the Area Office talking to the people in the travel section. We also needed to talk to Brother Ebow Ghartey regarding some documentation for our new Mission President, President Simpson. He is a delightful man with a strong British accent - having lived and studied in England for 8 years. As we chatted we became aware that his role is to look after the distribution of all materials for the whole of West Africa. We mentioned that the stock of garments here was low and he seemed surprised.
Then and there he took us to the distribution centre and introduced us to the managers. He asked them to give us 4 boxes from their warehouse - 2 for each Sister. They explained that they always kept a supply in reserve for incoming African missionaries who receive 8 sets when they enter the MTC. When the Sisters came in for Missionary Leadership Council (MLC) I explained what had happened. As they happily paid for their garments, they told me that every day they had been praying that God would help ‘Sister Munro’ to get their garments. This was a miracle! It was one of those precious times when you feel that by a set of unusual circumstances and 'coincidences' God answers prayers and concerns. The sisters‘ prayers definitely helped lead us to meet Brother Ghartey that day.