Man whose life changed through Christmas ministry to speak at First Baptist
Published 8:21 am Thursday, November 5, 2015
The course of Kojo Abakah’s life changed when as a 12-year-old in Ghana, West Africa he received a Christmas box from Operation Christmas Child. He will tell his story this Sunday at First Baptist Church in Elizabethton at the 10:45 a.m. service.
He grew up in a family of nine children with very little.
“We lived in a clay house, and I remember going to school with no money, no food,” recalled Abakah.
One day at school, Abakah said volunteers with Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, brought in boxes for each student containing presents and told them that Jesus loved them.
“I can’t say how grateful I was, whenever I rolled that yo-yo, I would remember, ‘Jesus loves me,’” he said.
He kept the box under his pillow for a long time after opening it, remembering that sacred message and the love he felt through people’s generosity.
Abakah was very involved at his home church, Living Way Assembly of God, where he participated in mission trips, was active in the music ministry, taught Sunday school and served as the church custodian.
A missionary friend bought his ticket so that he could come to America in August 2012, and his church gave him $200 also.
He wanted to go to college, so he prayed and did research and believed God wanted him to attend Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee.
He walked across the street from campus where he met members at Tusculum Baptist Church and was welcomed warmly. Member Sheree Hopson said they asked him how he would pay for school, to which he responded, “God will provide.”
Since then, church members have raised funds for his tuition, which has continuously been paid in full.
“He just goes on faith,” said Hopson. “He is an amazing young man and a committed Christian.”
One member took him to get winter clothes in his first semester, though he said he had enough. When he got in her car and saw the Operation Christmas Child box in the back, he said, “I know that box.”
He is now an official spokesperson for OCC to help other children. He will graduate Tusculum in 2016 and plans to take his medical education back to Ghana to help his people.
“Thank you, thank you as you are doing this ministry, it means a lot to me because the seed of God was sewn in my life, and I am here today because of the good work that you started through this ministry,” said Abakah. “God has blessed me through that box.”