Thursday, April 12, 2007

Twi, Ewe at grocery store. Thu, Apr 12, 2007.

04/12/2007. 812. I was at the grocery store late in the evening. The man behind me had only two items, and I had at least a dozen. There was only one check-out lane open. I suggested to the man that he go ahead of me. He deferred to me, but I insisted he go ahead. It wasn't until he paid the cashier and said something that I detected the accent in his voice. I should have picked up earlier on his dress that he was from Afria, and was not African-American.

As the cashier started to ring up my purchases, I engaged him in conversation, asking where he was from, and what languages he spoke. He said he was from Ghana and Togo. When I asked if he spoke Twi, he was surprised and asked how I knew about Twi. I said there were many Ghanaians in Indianapolis. He spoke Engish, French, Twi, Ewe, and one or two others that I didn't recognize. I offered him books from church in those languages if he would wait for me, and he agreed.

We went out to my car, and I gave him Twi and English copies of the Book of Mormon, a Twi Bible, and Ewe and English copies of the Joseph Smith Testimony.

I forgot to give him a French Book of Mormon. I searched the car for a French New Testament, but I didn't have any in the car, though I knew I had some more at home. I showed him my phone number in the material with the books, and asked him to call me, and I'd arrange to get him a French New Testament.

He could have been in his 50's or 60's. When I talked to him face-to-face, I could see the ravages of a hard life in his face and eyes. He was a dignified and humble man. It is hard to be dignified and humble at the same time, but this man was one of the few whom I've met that are both. It was a real honor to meet someone like him, and to be able to give him material in the languages of his homeland. We spoke a little in French. I look forward to his phone call, and getting him a French New Testament and a French Book of Mormon.

He lives close enough, and is in my ward, that I could pick him up and take him to church if he doesn't already have a church to go to. But I didn't think of inviting him until I got home. I hope he calls and that I remember to invite him.

I haven't had as many of these serendipitous meetings with immigrants since moving, so meeting him was all the more special. In addition to that warm glow of humility, kindness, gentleness, and dignity that he radiated, traces of past hardships and horror were written on his face and eyes. God has blessed him by bringing him to this land of peace and freedom. What an honor if I am permitted to introduce him to more of God's blessings.

Follow up here.

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At 4/13/2007 11:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am grateful that you share such experiences. I am sure we could all learn much from this man.


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