MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY

PART ONE
My name is Dr Robert Peprah-Gyamfi, a native of Ghana, currently resident in the UK. You may want to know what type of doctor I am? A Doctor of Theology or Philosophy or Sociology?
No, I am a medical doctor.
Some, when they get to know who I am, begin by saying to me: ‘You are a doctor, and you still believe in God?’ It is a question that is not unexpected, but one which serves to show the present state of the world where the sea of faith has all but evaporated for the fact that people suppose that a doctor need not believe in God shows the state of affairs of the world we live in at present.
When one brings his/her car to the garage to request the mechanic to get it fixed, the idea does not occur to the person to inquire from the mechanic whether someone else constructed the vehicle.
In the same way, when I dismantle my computer and get an idea of how complicated it looks like from the inside, I do not question whether it was the masterpiece of someone else’s construction.
The problem begins, however, when it comes to the issue of the human body. All of a sudden some begin to talk about things like Evolution and Natural Selection. Indeed, not a few among those who have made it their profession to fix the human body gone wrong, deny the fact that it was someone who created our bodies to begin with. Astounding, really astounding.
Well, I am a medical doctor. Before I proceed, however, I want to pass a comment. Please do not let the title ‘Doctor’ frighten you. Indeed, you may as well call me Brother Peprah-Gyamfi. Yes, do not think I am superior to you, for at the end of the day we are all bothers and sisters in the Lord.
Talking of titles!
I sometimes get the impression that some of us think our titles could perhaps help us in some way when we stand before the Lord the Righteous Judge. 'Bishop, Prof. Dr., Dr., Apostle, Most Rev. Dr., Her Holy Prophetess, Rev.’may of us seek such titled and expect to be addressed by them.
Please do not get me wrong achievements should be respected. Those who have attained their titles through hard work and the stretching of the brains at University or other institutions of higher learning should be recognised for their achievements.
What I am driving at still holds, though; namely, that at the end of the day ‘naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither.’ Job 1:21
Indeed, when the bell sounds, and the order reaches me from He who brought me here to leave this world, the certificates I acquired at medical school will be of no value to me, will they? Perhaps out of respect for my achievement during my lifetime, my family may want to place photocopies of those pieces of paper in my coffin. One thing is sure to happen to those papers, however they will go rotten in my coffin together with my mortal remains!!
Yes, I am a medical doctor. In other words, I have spent several years of my life studying medical science. I have in the process stuffed my head to the point of near-exploding with knowledge that is intended to help heal diseases.
Indeed, I still practice my profession, though I am not sure how long the Master who called me to service will want me to continue on in that sphere of human endeavour.
Next, I will let you know a little about my background and most importantly how I became a Christian. Before I do that, however, I want to tell you about the conversation I had not long ago with a Public Relations officer in Cologne, Germany, who I had met to solicit his services to help promote my books.
"As someone from Africa," he began, "your parents must be very rich and influential to have been able to provide the means for you to study, to become a doctor in Europe. How could you otherwise have managed to pay for your education in Germany?" In reply I told him that what he thought about my parents was far from the truth. Neither mother who is no longer alive, nor father, still living, were rich or influential. No, they were simple impoverished peasants who struggled from the rise of the tropical sun to its fall to feed themselves and their children. "How then did you manage to come this far in life?" he wanted to know.
"I was elevated by Mighty Jesus!" I began. "Yes, Master Jesus picked me from the deep dark abyss of poverty I was born into and propelled me unto a high land. Yes, He who has power over everything under the universe elevated me from status nothing to position something! Surely and certainly Master Jesus who has authority over all that is seen and unseen promoted me from status nonentity to status entity, from Mr Naught to Mr Top!"
I was born in a small village in Ghana called Mpintimpi, the fifth of eight children. As I said earlier on, my parents were poor peasant farmers. There was no primary school at Mpintimpi at that time so I, together with other children of the village, had to walk two miles to the next big village Nyafoman to attend school. When I reached P5 a severe ailment to my left ankle joint nearly brought an end to my education. Because I was no longer able to walk to school, I had to stay away from School for two years.
Eventually I gained admission to the second cycle school at Akim Oda, the district capital, to continue my education. After five years secondary school education, I passed out of the Oda Secondary School in 1976. From there I moved on to the Mfantsipim School at Cape Coast to do a two-year sixth form course

I was born into a society in which the belief in the Supernatural is widespread. Even those who are adherents of traditional African religion which centres on idols, still believe in Otwediampong Nyakompon or Almighty God
As I was growing up in our little village, I was exposed to Christianity on a regular basis. There were several churches in our little village. Though my parents did not attend, they did not bar any of their children from attending At school we began and ended the day in the Christian tradition. When we gathered at the beginning of the day in what was termed ASSEMBLY we went through a form of Christian Devotion; the day of schooling was brought to an end by way of a Christian short closing prayer.
One of the subjects at BK or Bible Knowledge was thought to all children.
Even as I write I do remember the passionate manner in which our Year Eight teacher narrated the exciting stories surrounding the friendship between David and Jonathan and also the tragic romance between Samson and Delilah. Still right up to the sixth form stage, though I believed in God, I could not call myself a Christian. The issue of suffering in the world in the presence of a loving God had made a sceptic out of me.
Something happened during the period of my sixth form education at Mfantsipim that would have an important bearing on my future life. Towards the end of my two-year stay at the famous school that produced the likes of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, one of our classmates was killed a in tragic car accident.
I was so touched by the sudden death, I began to ponder over life, and in particular where I would spend eternity should I meet a similar fate.
Before the body of our companion was driven to his hometown for burial, a memorial service was held in the large school chapel in his honour.
Among the songs we sang on the occasion was Hymn 157:
The words are so significant to my own personal conversion that I have decided to reproduce them here, in full.
Jesus Calls us! Over the tumult
of our life’s wild restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice
soundeth
Saying: Christian follow me.
As of old, apostles heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and
kindren
Leaving all for His dear sake.
Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying: Christian love Me more!
In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
That we love Him more than
these.
Jesus calls us! By thy mercies,
Saviour, make us hear Thy call
Give our hearts to Thine obedience.
Serve and Love Thee best of all.

I am not a person easily overtaken by emotion. As we went through that song, however, the words touched my heart to the extent that I could hardly suppress my tears.
I began to reflect on the hymn. Though, as I just mentioned, I believed in the existence of God and attended church regularly, I could neither boast of a personal relation nor a full commitment to Christ.
Yet on that day, as we were bidding goodbye to our departed classmate, the new call of Jesus the Lord, to follow Him, came home even more powerfully to me.
Even as we sang the song I dipped my hand into my pocket, removed a pen and placed a big mark on this hymn, number 157. That was the only song in the whole book to be singled out that way.
At that time it was customary to take the GCE A Examination in May/June . The results of the examination were usually released towards the end of September. Successful candidates could gain admission to one of the three Universities existing in the country at that time.
After the examination, I moved on to Accra in July to stay with some friends to await the release of the results. My dream at that time was to attend the Ghana Medical School in Accra. I felt at that time that it was a goal that was attainable.
Though my parents were not rich and did not have contacts with higher places, I thought I could come out with good grades that could guarantee me a place at one of the two medical schools in the country. Tuition was not only free at University at that time; students also did not have to pay for boarding and lodging. Besides that, there was a loan scheme that guaranteed cheap loans to students.
In view of what I have already said about my parents, it is understandable that travelling abroad to further my studies was completely out of the question for me. I had big dreams that of becoming a doctor and using my position to help the poor. I kept my dreams within the realm of what was possible, however.
One day in early September 1978, I chanced on a cousin of Kwadwo, a good friend of mine, on a street in Accra, not far from where I lived. Eventually she accepted my invitation to come round for a visit.
During the course of her visit, she began all of a sudden to talk to me about her new-found friend CHRIST THE LORD.
That she of all people should be calling on the name of the Lord was, to me, a miracle, based on what type of life her cousin and others had told me she was leading.
Her testimony, powerful as it was, probably would not have moved my heart. Just as I was reflecting on it after her departure, however, my eyes caught sight of my Methodist Hymn Book, the same hymn book that I had sung from at the burial of my schoolmate a few weeks before, lying on one corner of the writing desk.
Even to this day I cannot explain why I decided to pick it up. The moment I got hold of it, behold, it opened up at Hymn 157, the only hymn marked in the book, the hymn that had spoken to my heart so powerfully a few months before at the funeral at Mfantsipim.
The lines stared me in the face:
Jesus Calls us! Over the tumult
of our life’s wild restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice
soundeth
Saying: Christian follow me.
As of old, apostles heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and
kindren
Leaving all for His dear sake.
Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying: Christian love Me more!
In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
That we love Him more than these.
Jesus calls us! By thy mercies,
Saviour, make us hear Thy call
Give our hearts to Thine obedience.
Serve and Love Thee best of all.

I read through the whole hymn, verse by verse.
I re-read it the second time.
Goose-pimples formed all over my body as I went through the lines.
For a while I could hardly control my tears.
The testimony of the servant of God alone probably would not have been enough to move my stony heart. But that sign-the hymn-following so closely on the heels of her touching testimony was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
‘The Lord has found you at last,’ I said to myself......
TO BE CONTINUED