September 2012 – Akosua Frimpong survived an abortion, was raised by an aunt who was a pagan priestess, and endured a tragic accident that resulted in the loss of a limb.
Yet in the midst of such a difficult life in Ghana, West Africa, God saved Akosua. Now, having moved to the U.S., she lives to share the power of the gospel with any who will listen.
Not 'a whole child'
In 1979, Akosua's mom was raped and became pregnant. She decided to have an abortion, but three months later she discovered she was still pregnant. The doctor who performed the abortion did not realize that she was carrying twins - sparing Akosua the same fate as her sibling.
"My mother went back but the doctor said it was too late [for another abortion]. If he performed any additional procedures she would die," Akosua told AFR's Today's Issues. "She decided that she would keep the baby."
When Akosua was only three months old, her grandmother died of breast cancer, leaving Akosua's mother without help. She was sent to live with an aunt who was the priestess for a village that worshipped an idol.
Because she was considered illegitimate, Akosua could not be baptized into her aunt's pagan religion.
"You have to be a whole child, meaning you have to have a mother and father. I was a bastard according to them. So, even to them, I did not deserve to live. I didn't deserve to be baptized into the pagan religion," Akosua said.
She lived with her aunt until she was eight years old, at which time Akosua returned to live with her mother.
Tragedy struck yet again in 1989. When she was nine, Akosua was standing in front of her house when an 18-wheeler skidded off a nearby road and thundered downhill, smashing into four cars.
"All of the cars were totaled, and I was sandwiched between them," she said. "Every bone in my body was broken - literally every bone. And my left leg was severed. The bone was broken and was twisted around."
The doctors who examined the nine-year-old gave Akosua's mother terrible news: the damaged leg had developed gangrene and had to be amputated.
Found by the Shepherd
Yet, through all the chaos and tragedy in Akosua's life, God was working. When she was 11 years old, a missionary representing Gideons International came to her village and brought Bibles for the children.
At first it seemed as if circumstances would once again conspire against Akosua. Because she was missing her leg, the adults in the village considered her cursed. While the other children were allowed to sit, listen to the missionary and then receive Bibles, Akosua was told to go sit behind a nearby tree.
Afterwards the missionary saw Akosua crying because she had not received a Bible, so he pulled out his own and gave it to her. She related: "He said, 'God loves you.' Then he marked a portion of it for me. I found out later it was Psalm 23, and he read it to me. He knelt beside me and then he said that he loved me, too. The translator was telling me that God said He loves me. I said, 'Really? Take me to Him.'"
Akosua thought that the gods lived in the forest as she'd been told, or that they were the spirits represented by idols. "So, when I said, 'Take me to Him,' [the missionary] said, 'No, God is in heaven - He is the God of all creation.' I said, 'I want to know him.' That is how I began the quest and thirst for God," she said.
Two years later, missionaries from Nashville, Tennessee, came to her village and led Akosua to the Lord.
She moved to the U.S. in 2005 with a passion to study law. In the meantime she travels as an evangelist, telling anyone who will listen about the God who saved her from an abortion and, later, from hell.
Her mother became a Christian on the same day as Akosua. What about the pagan aunt?
"We're working on her," she said with a smile.