Scholarship recipient applies lessons to life
After watching her mother suffer a stroke due to taking incompatible prescribed medications, Lena Kuffuor-Afriyie, 19, decided to pursue a career in pharmacy.
A sophomore at the University at Buffalo (New York), Kuffuor-Afriyie received an Ethnic Scholarship administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
Celebrate World Communion Sunday
Find materials to help tell the World Communion Sunday story. Order posters and leaflet/envelopes to promote the offering by calling United Methodist Communications Customer Service, 888-346-3862. While Oct. 4 is the official date for the observance, churches may receive the offering at any time.
Half of the World Communnion Sunday proceeds fund the Ethnic Scholarship and the Ethnic In-Service Training programs, related to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The other half goes toward World Communion Scholarships administered by the General Board of Global Ministries.
Traditionally, United Methodists observe World Communion Sunday on the first Sunday in October (Oct. 4 this year).
Kuffuor-Afriyie says she was called into her ministry at Ghana Wesley United Methodist Church, Brooklyn, New York, at age 13 after hearing a musical performance by the Ghanaian Methodist choirs in North America.
"I wish to open my own pharmacies in Ghana because there are some remote areas where people have no access to the proper materials for good health," says Kuffuor-Afriyie, whose parents are from Ghana, West Africa. "My motivation is my mom, of course, and my desire is to sow seeds into lives of others, hoping that at least one will also be inspired to sow a seed into another individual.
"My passion for pharmacy comes from my childhood experiences of watching my mom painfully swallow various prescribed medications for all of these conditions doctors always came up with," she says. "I wished to do something to help but could not. Then [my mom] suffered a mild stroke. ... I was so curious about what was going on with my mom's health and all the different medicines, so I made it a goal to pursue pharmacy to answer all of the questions for myself.
"Using these pharmacies as windows to health education," she continues, "I would like to be able to provide knowledge to local patients about their conditions and how to maintain themselves, even with no hospitals nearby.
Kuffuor-Afriyie considers any opportunity to serve in her church as her ministry.
"My ministry is everything from singing in the senior and youth choirs, to organizing the youth for an activity, to leading church service as a liturgist, to accompanying my pastor to a conference as a church representative."
Kuffuor-Afriyie is an encourager.
"[God has] given me the spirits of [singing,] openmindedness and acceptance of others. ... With these gifts, I want to be a vessel of comfort and support for those who need it."
The offerings on World Communion Sunday can help students pursue educational goals and relieve financial burdens, she says. "It would be a great blessing for me," she wrote on her scholarship application.
Heather Peck Travis is a freelance journalist living in Glasgow, Ky.