Visitors are welcome to attend an open house at the newly completed Ghana Missionary Training Center (MTC) located in Accra through August 12, 2017. Tours run 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and tickets are not required. The new facility will be dedicated October 24, 2017.
Elder Terence M. Vinson, Africa West Area President, said he wants visitors to “see the effort that the Church makes to help and prepare these young men and women to serve missions, to provide them with opportunities to study the scriptures and to gain a deeper understanding of the doctrines of the Church.”
Elder Dale G. Renlund, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, toured the new facility, along with his wife, Ruth.
“As we walked through the halls and went into the classrooms, we sense already a real profound spirit that comes from those that have planned and built it,” said Elder Renlund. “It will be a phenomenal place for missionaries to learn about the Savior and to learn how to share His gospel.”
“I think as the missionaries come here, the things that they learn, they will take with them forever. Wherever their homes are, they will go and build the Church, always with this great foundation of what they learned here at the MTC,” said Sister Ruth Renlund.
Several local leaders also toured the MTC. “The architecture, the landscaping, the organization — everything is done orderly. And once you walk in, you know that you walked into a very disciplined and spiritually filled place that will guide you throughout your tour,” said Adjei Sowah, the mayor of Accra.
Nene Sakite II, the Paramount Chief of Manya Krobo, said, “When you get young men and women coming around here, for the teachings, … by the time they leave here, their experience will be certainly good, because of the environment.”
The original MTC was built in 2002 in Tema, Ghana, and could fit only 90 missionaries. With the growing church in Africa, Church leaders decided to build a larger MTC next to the Accra Ghana Temple. The new MTC can house 320 missionaries, and there’s room to add on to accomodate 500 if needed.
Sister Wokworum from Nigeria is at the Tema MTC preparing to serve in the Ghana Kumasi Mission. “The MTC has helped me very much because there you learn how to talk to people, and the MTC has actually prepared me these few days to prepare my mind,” she said.
The MTC is comprised of four structures: a training building, a multipurpose building, a residence building and a kitchen and dining hall.
Elder Daniel Yirenya-Tawiah, Area Seventy in Ghana, said the new MTC was built to accommodate the growth of the Church in the area. “I just look back many years ago when I joined the Church. We hardly even had our own chapel. We worshiped in rented buildings,” he said. “To have such a facility to train missionaries, to train our sons and daughters who will go out to preach the word of God right here in Ghana is just a great feeling.”
Many missionaries are coming to the Ghana MTC from west and southeast Africa. But the MTC will also serve missionaries from around the world assigned to serve in Africa to better acclimate them to the conditions and culture of the area.
“When you come to west Africa, you can’t help but love the people,” Elder Vinson said. “There’s a beauty and a gentleness and a love that comes from the people that is contagious. And as they come here, they’ll feel that, whether they serve here or serve elsewhere in Africa. And that will greatly assist them in terms of the work they do.”
The new MTC makes it easier to teach missionaries in their native language, whether that be English or French. Missionaries can also learn the language of the area where they’re assigned to serve in Africa.
Elder Isaiah Spencer Lim is from the Philippines and was assigned to serve in the Ghana Accra West Mission. He’s at the MTC learning English. “I just want to share the gospel to the African people here in Ghana because they are very humble,” he said. “And they are kind and friendly. And I just want to share the gospel with them.”
The Ghana MTC used the same design features of the newly opened Provo Utah MTC, such as the artwork, color scheme and architectural design. It was designed with many windows and open spaces.
“These principles are intended to really invite natural light into the spaces,” said Kelly Mills, administrative director of MTCs. “In the middle of all that is this beautiful protected courtyard space that’s protected from the sounds of the street, and it’s just a beautiful outdoor space where missionaries can contemplate and study and be in God’s creations.”
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.