In an event full of music, singing and dancing, members of the Church in West Africa helped kick off the Light the World initiative on Nov. 30.
The Church’s Africa Newsroom reported that hundreds of guests came to the start of the celebration in Cape Coast, Ghana, which included a distribution of food and supplies to those in need.
Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Africa West Area, thanked the crowd for being there that day at the kickoff. He spoke of how his presidency’s responsibility is to watch over the Church from the east side of Nigeria to the west coast of Senegal — an area that includes millions of people.
“For some reason — and I believe it was heaven sent — this Light The World kickoff came to Cape Coast, Ghana,” he said. “It could have gone anywhere, but it came to Cape Coast, Ghana, because of you and because of all of you doing exactly what has been said, joining together to unify our feelings and our efforts to lift Heavenly Father’s sons and daughters wherever we go.”
Quoting Doctrine and Covenants 50:24 — “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” — Elder Nielsen asked all gathered there that day to join together to Light the World and “make it a perfect day for those that are lucky enough to cross our path every day.”
Several dignitaries were involved in the official kickoff, including Cape Coast Mayor Ernest Arthur. He pledged his support to the Church and thanked them for providing food for those in need, including elderly, widows, widowers and disabled in his city.
“This will go a long way to light the world of all beneficiaries and give them peace of mind,” he said. “I wish to plead to other organizations to emulate our Lord Jesus Christ in serving others to bring light to the hopeless and needy this festive season and beyond.”
Imam Mulvi Abdul Hamid also spoke, saying he counted himself fortunate and blessed to be with them that day.
He referred to Matthew 5:16, where Jesus Christ says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.”
“This also conforms to the teachings of the Quran,” Hamid said. “For peace to prevail in the world there is nothing like, ‘I am a Muslim,’ ‘I am a Christian,’ ‘I am a Jew,’ ‘I am a traditionalist.’ We need to help each other. We need to support each other. We need to also be tolerant enough to accept each other so that we can have peace prevailing in our society.”