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What if you worked as a Chef and had to say freeze! to a cocktail of ingredients steaming on fire to attend to nature’s call?
That would be normal right? But what if that freeze moment wasn’t to attend to nature’s call in a cubicle next to the Kitchen. But a moment that requires a “formula 1” skill in driving to get a dying soul to the hospital?
Not clear? let me bring this home.
Imagine you were a priest celebrating Mass. And during the prayer of consecration, two people rush into the chapel and onto the sanctuary and ask you to help transport a sick relative to the hospital.
The congregation stare at you with the people on the sanctuary, signaling you not to waste their time.
Okay, what if it wasn’t about conveying a sick person to the hospital but conveying a dead body to the mortuary?
About a decade ago, when Rev. Fr. Stephen Kofi Sakpaku, originally a priest for the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra heard the voice of God in a dream to go serve his people in the Apostolic Vicariate of Donkorkrom, all he thought about was his pastoral duties and helping the rural people grow in their Catholic Faith.
Little did he know that just like St. Paul, he will become all things to all men, women and children in the Apostolic Vicariate of Donkorkrom.
It is important to note that all priests may have offered help in this form at a point in their ministry.
But in his case, Fr. Sakpaku tells Catholic Trends he had to accept it as one of his priestly duties because he is the only one with a car in the villages he works.
Initially, the idea of being an ‘ambulance and a hearse’ driver seemed daunting to Father Stephen. But he soon embraced it as a form of ministry to the community.
Fr. Stephen Sakpaku has been sharing some experiences with Catholic Trends. Take a read.
There was once a family came to call me within mass. I was preaching when they rushed to the church. Very difficult experience torn in between continuing the mass and stopping and sending the person to the hospital.
I then remembered the story of the good Samaritan and quickly ended the mass and sent the person to the hospital. Unfortunately, 10minutes after arrival, the person died.
The family was very grateful for that gesture and on the day of burial they added it to the tribute.
Carrying dead body to and from mortuary was very frightening initially. But I got used to it. Very humbling moment for me and relieving moment for poor families who could not pay between 200 and 1000 cedis for the fare of conveying corpse to and from the mortuary.
The joy on the faces of families and tones of appreciation inspires me.”
Father Stephen has found joy in serving his community in this way. The priest’s dedication and kindness have endeared him to the villagers and inspire them to continue supporting his ministry.
This love for him and his ministry, has resulted in an interesting phenomenon Catholic Trends will share with you in the next episode of our storytelling on a man we believe deserve the title, Church militant. Keep reading Catholic Trends.