Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Tribute to Elizabeth
My good friend Elizabeth died on my birthday 23rd feb 2009. We go back 20yrs, way back to KT/AL days when we never missed a church service or meeting. She was well known for arriving at AL(Abundant Life) meetings with enough ground rice and soup to feed the entire group. She used to invite me and Arashia(when she was a tiny tot)for a meal or should I say meals cos she always had at least 5 dishes lined up! Efua as she was also known,was from Cameroon, but her late mother was a fante from Ghana. We lost contact here(UK) but met up in Ghana when we moved back 10yrs ago. Efua had returned to Cameroon, but decided to make Ghana her homeland and made the trip by land from Cameroon to Ghana crossing Nigeria, Benin and Togo to get to Ghana. That's the kind of person she was. Very adventurous. Although my husband and I moved back to the UK, we kept in touch my phone/ email and I always spent time with her when I went to Ghana to visit. Sometimes, she'd come and stay overnight(laden with all manner of fruit) and we'd spend most of the night laughing and talking and generally having a good time.On my recent trip to Ghana, I felt this urgency to go see her soon after I arrived. She tried to put me off and this made me slightly suspicious. The next day, the urge to see her was stronger than ever-I called and announced to her that I was going to find her wherever she was, and demanded directions to her house. She laughed out loud, told me I was crazy and went on to give me directions. Any Africans know how dodgy these can be and I got lost 2x and after following dirt roads avoiding large potholes,finally found her in a neat little 1 bed maisonette type house. She lived alone(no husband no kids) with a young maid to help her. She looked ill and had just come out of hospital having spent several weeks there. There was something wrong with her lungs and this affected her breathing her heart and other internal organs and was on strong medication. Which explained why she hadn't wanted me to come the day b4. She was the type that wants to cook you 5 or more meals to welcome you to her house. She was overjoyed to see me and overcome with emotion. We spent the next 3-4 hours praising God, praying and reading the bible, as well as catching up with some news. We hugged just b4 I left and I promised to come back to visit. I meant to suprise her with a few gifts. The next day she called me and just burst into tears saying ' Ofo, God brought you,you don't know what your visit meant to me. You came all the way to see me,you've strengthened me more than you know'. I was busy the ff week and began to call her mobile the week after that. I got no response for3-4 days. Eventually, someone (her uncle)answered and told me that 'Elizabeth passed away on mon 23rd feb' I sat and stared into space for a very long time. Finally, I took my Bible and opened to a random page. It was Mat 25:36 and this line jumped out at me'...I was sick and you visited me' I just bowed my head worshipped and thanked God for prompting me to go and see her. He knew what was going to happen, that this was the last time I was going to see her on this side of eternity,and was guiding my steps all the time. I've shed some tears, but I am happy for her too, because I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that she's busy enjoying the glories of heaven. Friends, heaven is very real and Jesus paid the ultimate price so you and I can have a place there. All you have to do is acknowledge that you can't save yourself or free yourself from your sin,(Jesus did that for you) and accept his FREE gift of salvation. This life is very short, even if you live to be 100, it's over sooner or later. Make certain of your place in eternity. I know I'll be seeing Efua again, someday. 'In the meantime, Elizabeth,Efua-enjoy rest from your labours here on earth. It was a privilege to know you. I'll never forget how you stepped in and helped in my hour of need, how you took Arashia under your wing when she was in Ghana, how you always looked for ways to bless me. You were always telling me how beautiful I was. You yearned to know about your mother and her side of your family. Now you're reconciled with your mother. Da yie, I'll never forget you'