Dear Kate,

I have been blessed by many people in my life, but none quite like you. You jumped on board when this twenty-one year old felt called to have a girls home. You even missed your Christmas in America so that I could have mine. I don’t know how to fully put into words all of the ways that you have blessed me. I can always count on you when I need someone to daydream about food with, complain to, or just chat. You are special, I know that sounds super cheesy, but you are. Life truly won’t be the same without you here. People keep telling me to get another long term volunteer to come stay at The Grace House, but I don’t know how I would get along with anyone as well as I get along with you. You ending up at GMI at the same time as me, was truly a God thing. I know you don’t believe me when I tell you how hard it will be for me when you’re gone, but there’s nothing quite like having someone around who understands you. Understands your English, your jokes, your food! Thank you for being amazing, for listening to our God when he called you to stay, and for being an absolutely lovely friend. This really doesn’t do you any justice, you have blessed me way more than I could ever write. All I can say, is thank you.

                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                        Love,

                                                                                                                                                                                         Me

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Gloria and Lucy on the first night I met them in the market.

It’s a hard thing, explaining to people what a “market girl” is. Especially to those people who have not experienced a real market here in Ghana. It’s a sub-culture, another world, a place you wouldn’t let your children go alone. Yet I see them, these little helpless girls and boys. Some of them wandering as their mother sells, others, have ran there seeking a place to belong. It’s an “every man for himself” kind of place, only the strongest will survive. Because of this, the weakest of them, the young children and women, become hard. Their thoughts are devoted to where they can hide the only money they have so no one will steal it, which pack of girls to sleep next to so they aren’t molested at night, and how to pay for hospital visits to check the baby growing in their belly. Their words become harsher, they spout curses at the drop of a hat, their children don’t receive a loving or affectionate tone, and speaking with kindness becomes a foreign language. Most of these women are not old, in fact, they are barely grown. Yet they are forced to grow up fast in this world of stealing, fighting, sex, and drugs. 

 

You can imagine the type of person this creates. A girl who listens to no authority, doesn’t trust anyone, takes what she can get her hands on, uses lies and manipulation to get what she wants, spits words like fire, and is fully capable of using her fists. 

Now you may be wondering why I would willingly go to these markets and bring these Imagegirls into my home. I know, that God is sovereign over all things, He is sovereign over which girls come to the house, which girls hear His message, and which girl’s life is changed. This does not mean it is easy. But I know that under that hard outer shell, inside that hardened heart, and creeping through that harsh tone, is the daughter of a king, THE ONE TRUE KING to be exact. This place is hard to access, and does not come without time, headaches, and unconditional love. But to watch Jesus save a life, to reach those places, it is worth every heart ache. Some girls aren’t ready, their market lifestyle is to far ingrained in them, woven into the fibers of their being. It is too much for them to be in a place of peace, no fighting, no struggling, no lying, no conflict. 

 

This was the case for our sweet Gloria. Seventeen years old and six months pregnant; shaped by years of running to the market instead of school, following an abusive boyfriend, and creating a mask of manipulation and lies. She couldn’t handle this new environment, so she left. Not only did she leave this house, but she left her best friend, Lucy. God planted seeds in both girls, however sometimes it takes longer for some seeds to be able to grow roots. Gloria’s seeds are planted, it may take years for them to make it past that hard stone, but they will someday take root. As for Lucy, God has blessed us by letting us watch as those seeds take root, and even begin to grow. So not every girl who comes to this home will make it. But I serve a sovereign God, whose plans for His children far exceed any which I could dream up. So I will keep my eyes focused on Him, listening to His calls, waiting for Him to show me the next heart which needs to be cultivated.

I feel like this is the thought I have on most days, as I am trying to deal with teenage girls who ignore me, talk about me in a language I can’t understand, and disobey me. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always this way. Sometimes the girls make me laugh, they help me, they surprise me, and they show love. Most of the time I don’t know what I am doing or what to do next. But the Lord is teaching me, and growing me, and moving in me.

We have been in our new home for two weeks now, and I would love to thank everyone who has supported us with everything! It is truly amazing the difference between the life they were living just a short time ago and now. The place we live was truly God ordained, it is perfect and the people here are lovely, even with what very little they have. It is much poorer than where we were living in Accra and there are many people who need help, so of course, I think this is the perfect place for a missionary to be. This past week I was blessed to be baptized in the ocean near our home. Mr. Reid Beebe baptized me while Robin, Kristie, Sydney, Kate, and my girls supported me from the beach. It was a beautiful experience and I was so grateful to be able to start this new chapter of my life with so much grace and love.

However, I am afraid the honeymoon didn’t last long! In my last blogpost, which is on the FTO blog, I remember saying that I was afraid. To be honest with you I still am. I’m afraid that I am doing a terrible job, that this is all going to fall apart, that these girls won’t be effected at all. Honestly I could probably go on for a whole book about how I feel completely inadequate for this job. But as I see Lucy carry her Bible from room to room, I know that if nothing else, I can help grow their relationship with Christ. These girls have come here with hard hearts, rough language, rude behavior, and harsh instincts. But God didn’t ask me to go out and find the most perfectly mannered, open hearted, Christ loving girls I could find. He asked me to go out and find the broken, the lost, the needy, and help them. Just do it.

Robin read Psalm 51 at my baptism, and I have to say I thought it was perfect. If you don’t know it, it talks about how “God I am sinner, I have sinned against you, I am sorry. Make me clean, make me whiter than snow. I was rebellious but now I will teach the rebellious your ways and sinners will return to you.” (not a direct quote) I was in such a different place, not long ago. I was rebelling, turning away from God, and I was getting lost. So, God knows that I am weak, I’m not strong enough to do any of this, except by his strength. And no matter how much I tell myself that I am not adequate for this job, it is not true. God has made me perfectly adequate for this, and he is continuously giving me everything I need. I thank God that he is sovereign over my life, nothing happens which he does not allow to happen. I continue to remind myself of this truth, and it makes it easier when he is teaching me and growing me in things that are hard.

Thank you all for the love which you have bestowed upon The Grace House. It is amazing to see what Christ’s Body can do when we listen to Him.

So I have a mega update for everyone, I haven’t blogged in a while so it probably isn’t surprising. For the last few months we have been working on our market ministry in Accra. There are about four girls who we regularly work with between the ages of 16-18. When we first met them, two of them were pregnant, since then the other two have become pregnant. The market is not an easy place to live, they sleep outside of shops on the ground, don’t get regular meals, and are subjected to physical and sexual abuse. For a long time I felt like God was placing on my heart to work with girls and I wanted to have a girls home here in Ghana. As of about a month ago, God’s plan is unfolding. After one night in the market when we witnessed one of the girls’ boyfriends beating her, God was telling me it was time. I couldn’t wait for everything to be perfect for me, God’s timing is already perfect. So with the support of Feeding the Orphans I will be taking in a couple girls. I hope to share with them the never ending love of our Savior and guide them into a good and moral life. I am blessed to have Kate, the other volunteer at GMI, to help me transition and support me for a few months. I know that I cannot do this by myself, nor do I want to. Not everyone has the opportunity to leave everything behind and serve in Ghana, but I want to invite you all to join in this mission. I will be going back to America for the month of December to spend time with family and hopefully get to personally speak to a few of you and share with you the beautiful plan God has for these girls. This won’t be easy, but we know that with God, all things are possible!The girls have given me permission to share their personal stories with you, so I will introduce you to them very soon! If you want to help us on this mission, any donation is a blessing. You can donate to Feeding the Orphans, just write “market girls” in subject.

From Ghana With Love,

Meagan

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“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good..” Too often I find myself only giving thanks to the Lord when that “big thing” happens. 

ImageI forget sometimes to give Him thanks in all things. If we lose power I thank Him when the power returns, but I forget to thank Him in the darkness for blessing us with electricity at all. I thank Him when the water is flowing from the tap, but I forget to thank Him when there is no water, for simply blessing me with life.

Thanksgiving was the theme of the weekend in Ningo where we were doing an outreach with the Beebe’s. The day started with singing and prayers in Palace Chapel, and then it was time to go outand “Save a SinkingSoul”. That was the title of the event. So, in small groupswe went out and tried to show the love of Jesus to anyone we met. Some people declined our invitations to come to the church, while others continued to follow us. When we came back to the church, it was packed! There wereat least 300 people there, probably more, mostly children. Right away Reid Beebe got up to speak to the non-

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believers who had joined us and invited them to give their lives to Christ. There were about four women whom I saw raise their hands and begin their journey into Christ’s love.

After the Lord won new believers for His kingdom, we began to hand out books for school, uniforms, shoes, clothes, and food. I wish I could explain to you the feeling you get when giving a child a new piece of clothing. ONE piece of clothing, and they were so happy, so grateful. And the only way I can describe the feeling is that it’s somewhere mixed in between joy and a sickness in your stomach. The joy comes from the gratifying feeling of truly clothing the naked, answering the call, going out and making disciples. But the sickness, it almost overwhelms that. We are giving them one new thing, maybe some shoes, and some books for Imageschool, while I can honestly say that I probably have more clothes here in Africa then some of the entire families that were there. Granted many things have been left by fellow missionaries for me, but really I brought maybe a third of or less of my clothes with me. All I can thing about as I am giving them clothes, is how much I have. How much is sitting in my closet in America, and how much I have here in Ghana. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly thankful for all the things that have been left and brought for me here in Ghana. But it weighs on you a little bit, there’s no way of getting around it.

 

I have been blessed to see many souls get saved here in Ghana, so I will ask you to pray for the new believers. That they will be given the true picture of what it means to be a Christian, that it is a 

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battle. That their faith will be tested and grow stronger, they will endure persecution, they will go and make disciples, and they will find peace in God’s unfailing love.

 

With Love From Ghana,

Meagan

So here it is, after six months I have decided I should probably keep everyone updated on what I am doing in Ghana! Because so much has happened in six months, I’m not sure how I could fill you in on all of it, but I will do a quick recap.

I arrived in Ghana on March 1st, the plan was to stay for three months to be a house mommy to thirty some kids in GMI orphanage. The plan quickly changed to 10 months, and then changed again to a forever kind of thing! For the first three months I was the only volunteer in the house, so I became the teacher, the principle, the nurse, the mommy. It wasn’t always easy, hearing the constant “mommy, mommy, mommy!” but I didn’t come here expecting it to be. While doing things in the home, I was also doing some other work with a Feeding The Orphans missionary family who lives here. We delivered food to families in need, helped support single mothers and give them jobs with FTO, get new children sponsored for school, and lots more! Another thing that I got to do in my first months was try A LOT of new foods! I ate bush rat, snails, chicken bones, and all the other traditional Ghanaian food. In July the house got two more mommies. I now have people to share the responsibilities with, and boy is it nice! I am no longer the only teacher, I don’t have to run back and forth between crying children, and when needed I can go hide in a quite place for just a few moments. 

I wish I could fill you in on every detail of the last six months, but that would probably take another six months to write it all! So I will just start from now. 

Yesterday, after an almost 20 hour bus ride, I got home at 4 a.m. from Bolgatanga, which is in northern Ghana. I went with the missionary family, the Beebe’s, and met up with another volunteer there. I was able to experience another orphanage home for a week, as well as go to different villages and share the “Jesus Film”.

The home was in a place where you can walk outside and see mud huts around you! Honestly, it’s crazy to see. Coming from America, even living in Accra, and then there are still people with no electricity, no running water, and they live in a house completely made of mud.  The first day I was there one of the neighbor boys was at the house carrying his little sister. He couldn’t have been more than ten, and he was wearing a filthy shirt and the dirtiest underwear I have ever seen. his hair was completely filled with dirt and sand and it looked like he had not bathed in weeks. Mrs. Beebe gave him a shower, which I’m sure was completely new to him, and she gave him new clothes. We took him home to explain to his mother where he got the clothes, and we saw the little mud room he slept in. No light, no windows, no doors, nothing, just a little mud room. 

There are about half the amount of children in the Nyame Dua Bolgatanga home than what I have at GMI, so it was great to be able to give them each attention. All of the children were so sweet and so grateful for everything. There is one baby there that broke my heart, I know he could break anyones heart, he is special like that. He is one year and three months old, but he is tiny. His skull fused together without allowing his brain to grow, and his breathing is so labored. When that baby tries to cry it’s like he stops breathing all together and that’s when you just want to sit there and cry for him. All you can do is to tell him how perfect he is and how wonderfully he was created by God. We are praying that he could be adopted soon, so that he can have surgery to allow his brain to grow.

While weren’t at the home, we were showing the “Jesus film” in different villages. The first night we had everything set up, there were hundreds of people there to watch, but within ten minutes of the film, the generator went out. Sitting in complete darkness for over an hour listening to them try to solve the problem, gave me the chance to look up at the magnificent sky. Looking up at the stars and remembering once again how tiny I am, I just had to laugh! I was sitting in a village in Africa, in complete darkness, with children all over my lap who can’t speak English and a broken generator. As we like to say here, This is Africa. We had to return the second night and show the film again, at the end we were able to welcome new believers into Christ’s family. It made all of the waiting worth it! The next village we showed the film in began with empty seats. I was so worried, there was no one in the seats except for some kids in the back. But sometimes you just have to let go and let God because when the movie started playing, the people started coming. By the end I was able to see that the seats were overflowing, and again we rejoiced as we welcomed new believers into Christ’s family.

As our trip was ending, we shared the “Jesus Film” in the home, and had a party with the kids. The next morning was filled with hard goodbyes and see you soons, and then the we started our journey home. I will just say this again as I tell you of our journey home, this is Africa! We left the house and headed for the bus station, and we realized none of us had the tickets. Reid Beebe still had our tickets, but they were already hours into their journey back to Accra. After waiting an hour and a half for the bus and explaining our ticket situation, we were finally on the road. The ride seemed to go on forever, as the bus driver continually stopped to pick up people on the way. Of course no bathroom on the bus, so every four or five ours we were given the opportunity to stop. And let me tell you, these stops aren’t like American rest stops! You usually have to pay 20 pesewas (10 cents) and you can go in and squat with a bunch of women over a giant urinal, or in a little cement stall on the street that only goes to your shoulders, so everyone can stare at the white lady as you awkwardly try not to pee all over yourself. Needless to say Ghana bathrooms are not easy! Finally we were getting closer to home, and with about three hours left to go, the bus stops and everyone starts running off of it. the other volunteer and I had no clue what was happening, so we were obviously the last ones off the bus when we realized that it was smoking. We stood outside in the dark and drizzling rain as we waited to see how long would be added onto our trip. It wasn’t too long, when I think they decided that they could just drive the rest of the way with whatever problem was causing the bus to smoke. Finally, at 4 a.m. we made it home. We had a wonderful two hour sleep and then it was time to get up again for morning devotion!

There  it is, my last six months in a very tiny nutshell! Next time, I am hoping I can share with you all the small, fun, scary, exciting, crazy details. And I promise the next post will come complete with pictures. Thank you to everyone who has supported me this far, may God bless you! We are praying for you all here in Ghana, and hope you will do the same for us! 

                                                                         From Ghana with love,

                                                                                            Meagan