Serving as a volunteer at the Christiansborg Stake Center in Accra feels like a dream-come-true to 20 year-old Marcel Djama. Indeed, it was because of a dream that he has arrived where he is today. Marcel grew up in Abidjan, Cȏte d’Ivoire. He and his younger brother and sister were raised primarily by their mother, since their father passed away when the children were very young. She supported them by selling in the local market. She taught her children to respect adults and encouraged them to attend church. However, Marcel was not interested in church and refused to attend with his mother and siblings. He avoided people who tried to get him to go to church. He believed in God but he was very stubborn about attending church. After finishing his secondary education he wanted to play football and for two years football was his primary focus.
One night Marcel had a dream that he didn’t understand. In the dream a man told Marcel he should go to Ghana. Marcel told his mother about the dream and they discussed what it could mean. His mother said, “You don’t know anyone in Ghana. What are you going to do?” Marcel had no answer. Later Marcel had the same dream. This time the man told him, “I told you to go to Ghana, why haven’t you gone?” After the second dream, and feeling that the dream was from God, Marcel and his mother decided he should go to Ghana. Although she didn’t want to see her firstborn go, Marcel’s mother gave her permission and helped him leave for Ghana in the spring of 2014.
Arriving in Accra, Ghana, knowing no one and not speaking any English, he turned to God. He recalls, “I said to God, I need your help. Because of you I came here. I don’t know anybody, please help me.” After some thought, Marcel decided his best hope might be to get help at a church. He found a taxi and managed to communicate to the driver to take him to a church, any church. The taxi driver, though not a member of the LDS Church, happened to take Marcel to the New Town ward in the Tesano Stake.
The Lord had truly answered Marcel’s prayer by leading him to this Church. The bishop of New Town ward, Mark Gohi, is from Cȏte d’Ivoire and speaks French. He befriended Marcel, gave him a place to live and arranged for the missionaries to teach Marcel the gospel. Bishop Gohi and his brother, Joseph Gohi, also a member of the ward, helped by interpreting the missionary discussions. He was amazed to learn that there is a living prophet on the earth. When he learned about Joseph Smith and the restoration of Christ’s Church, he felt something new. He felt he had found the living Church. After a month of studying with the missionaries, Marcel was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Marcel began attending the ward literacy class taught by Brother Alowsort, using the Church manual Ye Shall Have My Words. He learned English quickly, speaking English fairly well after only three months. The Church has made a big change in Marcel’s life. He has learned so many things and his life has more purpose. He is enjoying his service as a volunteer at the Self Reliance Center at the Christiansborg Stake Center. One of the biggest changes is that he now loves going to Church. He serves enthusiastically as ward mission leader and is preparing to serve a full-time mission. Besides serving a mission, his goals for the future are to finish his education and become an interpreter.
Marcel is grateful for the changes his membership in the Church has brought into his life. His mother is happy that he is going to Church. Marcel hopes to bring his family into the Church someday. Marcel noted that some people are afraid to do things. They don’t trust God. He bears a strong testimony that when we turn to God, he will be with us.