Written by Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey
I was in my law office at Asylum Down when two visitors walked in.
“Captain, we are from Asylum Down Presby Church. We are celebrating our new outreach 1st Anniversary at Dzakpatra and we want to invite you to be the chairman –
I could not believe what I was hearing. You people from Asylum Down, Accra, travelling all the way to Dzakpatra in Volta Region to open a church there?
No, no, no, Captain. Dzakpatra is not in Volta Region. It is four kilometres from Adeiso in the Eastern Region.
Oftentimes I boast to my close circle of friends that thanks to Local Government I know every nook and corner of Ghana, but Dzakpatra in Eastern Region? Very well! I will come. When?
Sunday 26 May 2019. No problem.
I told my father in law’s daughter late Saturday night that tomorrow Sunday I will be going to Dzakpatra, so wake me up early. She ignored my advice and allowed me to sleep on till 7 O’clock – I woke up, furious.
Gloria, why didn’t you wake me up – look at the time. “Dzakpatra is in Volta Region – it’s too far,” she responded.
I have this personal choir newly formed, NOBLE VOICES, and they were already in my house. Quickly I got ready with military speed, and by 08:00 hours we hit the road in a two-car convoy: objective – DZAKPATRA.
A little along the Nsawam bypass we made U-turn and then turned right on the main Asamankese highway, asphalted. At Adeiso, the district capital, we turned left on the Bawjiase laterite road, and after about three kilometres, turned right also onto a feeder road, and after about one kilometre, we hit the Ewe-speaking 500-man small community called DZAKPATRA, full of thatch roofed huts, haven of small fetish gods, led by the “ALAFIA” god.
According to an account, the village has been in existence for ONE HUNDRED YEARS, full of all manner of rituals, don’t eat this, don’t do that on this day, don’t talk to this person… bondage and servitude to the devil, SATAN.
Every attempt to send the Christian Gospel there fails, time and time again, until the Asylum Down Congregation of the Presby Church decided to storm the village in April 2018. They did a lot of fasting and prayers, set up a special task force, did a lot of legwork, and finally, on Sunday 27 May 2018, the first-ever Christian Gospel Church Service took place at DZAKPATRA.
One year on, the church has taken root. They have a congregation of 140 souls, including about 50 adults, and the remainder children. The whole community is made up of illiterates, there is no school there.
The Presby Church is trying to build a chapel and looking for funding to open a school and a clinic. For the first anniversary, virtually the whole of Asylum Down Presby Church Accra travelled to DZAKPATRA, in buses, private cars, and 4×4 Land Cruisers.
I got there just as the service was about to begin, and reader, it was a wonderful service. There was this extraordinarily good looking songstress, Abena Kyerewah, who led the praise and worship segment, and there was so much ecstasy and singing.
I was touched to the bone marrow when about 30 children – NONE OF THEM IN SCHOOL – came to perform some Sunday School agbadza drills, and as they sang and danced, I imagined their age mates at Cantoments, East Legon, and Airport Residential Area… the devil is King in the land of IGNORANCE!
“For lack of knowledge my people perish.”
I was nearly moved to tears when during the sermon, the Asylum Down Presby Church Pastor, Rev Adarkwa, upon seeing me seated in the congregation, acknowledged me and started singing my popular song “M’atwen Awurade Anim…” then walked to where I was sitting and gave me the microphone to continue…
(Reader, don’t you think I should contact the composer of that song for some dividends in his copyright earnings, since I have contributed in some degree in popularising his song?
To my shock, the Appeal for Funds yielded almost a cash of GH¢7,000, not counting pledges. I promised them that if God answers my secret prayers, I will build a clinic for them and task my fourth born, Dr David Effah-Dartey, now on duty at Tema General Hospital, to see what he can do in medical services to this community trying to break out of the stranglehold of the devil.
It was now 3:00 pm, and the service was over. My personal four-man gospel group, NOBLE VOICES, took centre stage, as over fifty commemorative pictures were taken, together with the Queenmother, no, the Chief of the village, Nana Baffour Ampofo Opare, a woman in the role of a chief!
At one stage of the service, the Pastor invited the Asylum Down Presby Choir to sing an anthem. I was scanning through the programme brochure at that time, then raised my head, reader, to see the leader of my personal singing group, Stephen, acting as the Choirmaster, conducting the Presby Choir, and singing merrily with the rest of the NOBLE VOICES.
I was stunned! Wonders, they say, will never end.
We got back to Accra finally around 7pm.
To God be the Glory.