Amazing Shirt Tale: A 7,000-mile Coincidence Or A Sign From God?
It's 7,086 miles from Caldwell, Idaho, to Offinso, Ghana. The African town lies on the south end of the huge African panhandle (can I call it that?) in the western part of the continent.
That's how far Elder Brayden Call — a full-time missionary in the Ghana Kumasi Mission -- had to travel to his service area for his mission.
In a wonderfully written story by Mary Richards on thechurchnews.com, it's outlined that that's also how far a shirt once worn by Call's cousin in Idaho had to travel to reach its current owner.
The shirt was the same shirt that Elder Call’s cousin, Sedrick Call, had worn and later donated to the Deseret Industries store in Nampa, Idaho. The shirt had traveled from Deseret Industries to Ghana to the location where Elder Call was serving. “I was jumping up and down overjoyed just because I couldn’t believe that was actually his shirt,” Elder Call wrote to his father. “My companion thought I was crazy.”
Call's cousin once belonged to an all-star baseball team in Caldwell, Idaho, and the shirt caught Call's eye as he was walking the streets of Offinso. After all, how often do you see clothing from your hometown when you're thousands of miles away?
But Call was even more amazed when he stopped the young Ghanan and asked him if he could take a couple of pictures of the shirt.
Again, Richards picks up the story:
The name Call has been removed from the back. Elder Call’s father, Caldwell 5th Ward Bishop Duane Call, said it could not have been a coincidence, either. “I don’t know what the odds of that happening are, but they are pretty astronomical. It was a fun experience for my son and a nice connection to family back home. To me, it is one of those tender mercies provided by a loving Father just to say that He knows and loves one of His sons serving far from home.”
The rest of the story is this: Call's cousin Sedrick, who had donated the shirt that eventually made its way to Ghana, is also serving a mission. He's in New Zealand. And the boy wearing the donated shirt is taking the missionary lessons with his family in Offinso.
And Elder Nathan Call? Here's what he wrote to his family:
"It allowed me to see how much God is in the details of my life. He truly does care about me all the time.”