Keeping the Beat
Today, Alfred dropped off two cartridges of ink for my older HP printer that the school loaned to me because it is almost impossible to get ink for it anymore. He made the dangerous three hour drive here in a tro-tro (a taxi made from a small van).
Today, Alfred dropped off two cartridges of ink for my older HP printer that the school loaned to me because it is almost impossible to get ink for it anymore. He made the dangerous three hour drive here in a tro-tro (a taxi made from a small van). When my Macbook Air died here last March because of the heat, I took it to Accra and handed it over to Alfred, who took it to an associate who restored my hard drive. You can only imagine how highly I think of this man.
Alfred K. Kumah is thirty six years old. He is single and he is currently dating Mabel, one of the subjects of an earlier article I wrote (she is a graduate of our church music program here at the Evangelical Presbyterian Seminary). Alfred is a P.K. (that is a “preacher’s kid” or a “pastor’s kid”). He is the middle child of nine children from two marriages, right in the middle, with two older brothers and two older sisters and two younger brothers and two younger sisters. Moving with his father as he relocated from church to church has taken him from the Northern Region of Ghana, to Togo, West Africa and the Ivory Coast. At twenty five years old he moved by himself to Accra (the “big town”, the capital of Ghana) where he has worked as a laborer, security guard, assistant purchasing officer, internet café worker, a representative for Red Bull and for a Tour agency. He has continued his education in Visual Arts and has taken computer classes that specialized in design and advertisement. Like many children of ministers, Alfred has struggled with a since of calling. They know from their parent’s lives exactly what it means to give your life to the church and that is often enough to reject that path. So I ask him; why study to be a Catechist (licensed minister) and not a Pastor? He said “let’s see how this goes first”.
So, meet Alfred; he has more technical skills and knowledge than I do (that may not be saying too much), he has a love for Jesus, a deep care for his church and a serving spirit. His class mates elected him “prefect” (the one who interacts with the teachers and administration on behalf of the students). He currently works with his church as the “I.T. Specialist” (Information Technology) and specifically handles all matters that have to do with I.T. He also does work for the West Volta Women’s Fellowship. He is working with the Seminary on a new logo for the school. The other thing you need to know about Alfred is that he has musical talent. He plays the electric bass, lead guitar, the Jazz drums among other instruments as well as singing for the Praise Team for the church he attends in Accra. I have often seen him move over to the area of the musicians during chapel here and pick up a drum. When that happens, the tempo of the song seems to grow faster and the participation of the audience seems to come alive as he pours his love for God into the song.
When I asked Alfred what the hardest thing is about having an ex-pat for a lecturer, he replied; understanding the accent (What? I have an accent?). He and few others place their phones on my desk while I lecturer, using them as a recorder and listening again to the lectures to prepare for the tests. When I asked him about the best part of having an ex-pat for a lecturer, he said; getting glimpses of a different culture and how they understand and follow Jesus.
Alfred says: “It is my dream to have my own band that would accompany me on evangelism work, since my main focus is to work as an Evangelist and not limit myself to the work of a Catechist. It is my prayer the good Lord equips me fully for the spreading of His word and winning souls into His Kingdom.” May God grant his prayer!
Gary Luallin serves with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. He serves as a university professor.