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,