To be a Christian, a true disciple of Jesus, is to be a personal participant in Christ’s mission.
— Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah
The president of Heritage Christian College, Dr. Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah, is a man with a clear message and an unclouded vision. He shares his thoughts in a way that draws everyone in.
For Americans, learning to say his full name can be a stumbling block, but he’s content simply to be Dr. Sam—a name that fits his style of keeping his message uncomplicated.
At a recent gathering (April 30, 2018) at Abilene Christian University, Dr. Sam spoke first about Heritage Christian College and then about what it means to live as a Christian.
His key line, which he asked his audience to remember as the “one take-away” from his remarks, was the line quoted above—a line worth repeating:
“To be a Christian, a true disciple of Jesus, is to be a personal participant in Christ’s mission.”
Then Dr. Sam talked about how to make that happen.
“You and I participate in the mission of Christ when we identify a need,” he said. “You can be here or wherever and still participate. The mission field is right on this campus.”
But first Dr. Sam talked about Heritage Christian College (HCC) being “established as a Christian response to a national need,” in his words.
The need? A need to deal with the employment situation in Ghana that propels Ghanaians to leave the country, undergoing great hardships to find work elsewhere.
“They want to be productive,” he said. “But the system is not helping them. They migrate.”
Heritage Christian College offers education that focuses on ethics, technology, and entrepreneurship, thereby equipping students to help themselves.
“They will be able to set up their own businesses,” Dr. Sam said.
Secondly, by providing jobs, they help others. Also, they can give back to Heritage Christian College and the communities in which they live.
Dr. Sam also talked about HCC’s forerunner and affiliate, Heritage Bible Institute, noting that 136 students are training to become full-time ministers at the Institute.
Saturday evening’s audience at Abilene Christian’s Chapel on the Hill represented a mix of ethnicities, ages, nationalities and vocations. Some university students from African countries participated in the event, including Rwandans who took a few moments to remember the 1994 genocide in their country. They concluded with the thought that love can defeat the politics of hate.
Dr. Sam also concluded his comments with some strong thoughts. He started his speech talking about the way his own life unfolded thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit, referring especially to his time as a graduate student at Abilene Christian and the way other Christians had helped him. He ended by saying the same life-changing experiences can happen for all believers, whether or not the goal is as grand as establishing a liberal arts college.
“No matter your education or race, you can be a key participant in the mission of Christ,” he said. “Offer the best you can.”
A college degree, money and experience are not prerequisites for participating in the mission of Jesus Christ.
“You only have to identify a need,” he said. “If it’s something God is challenging you to do, it’s
going to amaze you how he’s going to bring it to a successful end… Apply yourself. God is going to use you to do great and wonderful things in his Kingdom.”
Clothed in smart Ghanaian attire and standing tall behind the lectern, Dr. Sam did not close by pointing to himself as a servant of God who has seen success and wonderful things. But he could have.