My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday Challenge

My Wednesday challenge is on Thursday because we had lights out last night (and I mean most of the night!).

So here's your challenge. Turn the lights out in your house and break out the candles. No TV, no electronics, just a candle, you and some good conversations with your loved ones! Try going to bed with only a candle for light! It's a new experience and I hope you'll enjoy the simplicity of life without electricity--or just thank God for the invention of it!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet Mershak. . .and a take a drive with me!

I wanted to tell you about one of the Freedom Center kids today. Mershak is such a shy boy, but he really is a wonderful boy, when he lets people get to know him.

Mershak is very good at soccer and is pretty sporty. He catches on to anything physical very quickly and loves to play sports.

Mershak is very shy, as I said before, and I think that is partly because of his slight stutter. It only happens every now and then, but I think he is a little self-conscious of it.

He really tries to stay out of trouble. He is the first one to make his bed, to get his laundry done, to do his chores. Most of the time, he prefers to do things by himself or quietly sit and play a game if football isn't an option in the hot afternoon sun.

Mershak loves to just sit next to me and hold my hand. I'm always welcomed by "Auuuuntie Auuuuutumn" in his quiet voice. Sometimes he likes to poke my skin like Ben does, but mostly he's satisfied with just sitting next to me. In fact, last week, he sat next to me for about an hour without even talking while I did planning in my classroom.

Mershak can be very sensitive. Sometimes, if he is nervous about getting in trouble, or doesn't get some "kind cash" (our money system at school), he gets a little upset. But he usually comes out of it pretty quickly.

He is just a sweet boy and I'm so blessed to know him. I'm learning that these kids are teaching me as much as I'm teaching them!

Here is a pic of Mershak:

And one last little note. . .I DROVE to and from the Freedom Center today. After school, Caleb and Mark both got in the car and Caleb immediately said that he wanted me to speed so that we could beat Daddy in the van with the rest of the crew. Well, I did my best, but Daddy beat me just at the last minute and he cut in front of me from the back roads. In any case, it wasn't too bad driving through Community 5 and 3. I don't know about ever going to Accra, but I am enjoying my drives from school! We agreed to have me drive each morning since we all are having a hard time getting to the Freedom Center by the time school starts. Here we go!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Light's Out Reflections

Today, our power went out for a couple of hours. The family went outside for awhile on the porch and we all worked on different projects (me, making tests for the coming week for the students). After awhile, it was too dark to work on the computer, so I put it away and brought out my guitar and sat by the candle on the dining room table to sing a few songs. It was dinner time, so I only got to sing one song, but it brought about some reflection for me.

This weekend was the PCC Young Adults fall retreat back home. I've been trying to keep up with their weekend of fun and, even though I'm experiencing my own adventures, I do feel like I'm missing out in some ways. The pictures showed almost an entirely new group of young adults at PCC. And yet, the faces I do know, brought such a sense of home to me. When I was singing tonight, it brought back memories of the dozens of times I've led worship with my community back home over the past few years. What an incredible blessing to be a part of that community, for their willingness to walk along beside each other, and love each other as brothers and sisters and Christ. Thinking of YOU my PCC community--missing you and sending my love.

It was also fun tonight for John and Stacy to talk about the early years of their marraige where John would set up a candlelight dinner for Stacy at least once a week. Having children has changed that a bit for them, but I love how they love each other. I think of Kat and Isaiah, T and Evan, Yona and Eric, Tony and Wendy, my parents, Debbie and Wyatt, and so many more--the couples that I really look to and see God working and moving and changing their lives so that they can serve each other better.

Yeah, sometimes the power going out is just what you need to end the day!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"This feels like Jesus feeding the 5,000!"

The title is a quote from one of our volunteers yesterday as we were preparing meals for our feeding program yesterday, but let me start from the beginning of our busy, busy day!!!

Yesterday, we had 30+ volunteers come to us from Semester at Sea which is a college program on a ship that travels around the world for one semester. They go to classes on the ship and when they get to a port, they get to do different excursions and also do a service project everywhere they go. They docked at Takaradi a few days ago and yesterday their group left at 3:30 in the morning to drive to our place in Tema to work with us. We were expecting them to spend the night with us, so when we got up, we cleaned the rooms at our house (since they wouldn't all fit at the Freedom Center). Then, we headed over to the Freedom Center to get ready for the day there. They came shortly after we arrived, so we got busy preparing breakfast and greeting them all. Our kids were really shy at first, but they warmed up before too long. As soon as the stickers and sports equipment came out, they were ready to play! And of course, they borrowed a few of the student's cameras to snap some pictures!!

After awhile, I took the kids in for our morning meeting while the Semester at Sea kids got some breakfast. A few joined us for some songs and sharing time. Then, the college students took the kids out for some games. By then, they'd really warmed up and had lots of fun!

Eventually, I was recruited into the kitchen by Adaidai and Juanitta and the large group left for a nearby field to lead some games. A group of about 7 were left behind to help in the kitchen and packing up the boxes of food. We got right to work and they were able to work out a system so that the food got put into boxes very quickly. It took a few hours, and lots of bending over the boxes (I don't know how African woman do this all the time to cook and wash--it's painfu!), but we boxes up 1,200 meals of rice, fish, and stew.

By the time we had finished boxing, the group was back from the field and were ready to help load up the meals into the van and car. We formed an assembly line and 3 boxes at a time, sent the meals out to the van. It took awhile, but the van got completely filled with meals. And then, we were ready to head out to Tema New Town.

Unfortunately, it had started to rain and the rain here. . .well, the rain anywhere, just makes things more difficult. We were running behind time and with the rain, the kids were just desperate to get the food and go. But, feeding 1,200 kids rather than 600 is a lot more difficult. There were no lines. As soon as we opened the doors to the van, the kids just began to push forward to get the food. We even had these older boys that were elbowing through to get food. It was crazy. I almost got knocked over a few times by all the pushing. Really chaotic, but overall, a lot of kids were fed and that has to be considered a success.

We were completely soaked by the time that we got loaded back into the vehicles. It just poured while we were handing out food. So, we climbed in wet and had an adventurous ride back to the Freedom Center. Stacy, Robert, and I drove in the little car and the windshield wipers weren't working and the windows were fogging up. It was hard to see and we were praying that we would be able to see if someone crossed the road in front of us. Luckily we made it home on one piece!!

When we got back, Lucy and the rest of the cooks in the kitchen had prepared an amazing jilaf rice and chicken dinner. Yummy! So, we ate together and then, we had some time to chat with the students. John told the story of his life, how he was an unwanted child, and spent many of his nights sleeping outside under the tables in the market, sick and alone as a child in Nigeria. He told how a couple in England had recieved a vision from God of a boy named Johnbull who had been homeless, unschooled, and needed support. A man who had met John met the couple at a conference in England and connected them together. At that time, God had saved John and he was a missionary in Gambia. When they connected with John, they supported him through Bible college and through many years of his life. Through their support, when he was able to go to Bible college, he met Stacy and they were married a year later.

Many people were moved by the story of his life, and began to ask more questions about their mission, about trafficking, about their passions. All in all, I think the students eyes were really opened about many things. First of all, these students, for the most part, were not believers. Many had never experienced the kind of service project that we did yesterday. And many had never heard of the issue of human trafficking. One of the prevailing questions that they had for us was, "What can we do?". I think that if we were able to get some of them thinking first of all that God cares about the orphaned and abandoned (like John and all the kids that they have rescued here) and that they can have a part in making a difference in the world by being an abolitionist, then we have done our job well.

Everyone of the kids wrote in our guest book and most of them wrote something about how their life was changed and impacted by the trip to the Freedom Center. Wow! Many of them said something about their eyes being opened. And one even said that we were a light in a dark place (like I have prayed continually over my own life!). It was pretty powerful for us to hear that their experience had changed thier lives. I am hoping that they won't let it just change them for one day, but that they'll realize that they have a story that they can be living out that is powerful and life-changing--not just changing their own lives, but the lives of others. I think that it when you begin to live your lives for others that you really can change the world!

When they climbed on the bus, exhausted, wet, and inspired, we got the chance to pray for them before they left and my prayer was that the words that they heard would not be forgotten by friends, and parties, and the busyness of school life, but that they would REMEMBER what we said about God, and what we told them about trafficking and how they can be a part. We'll see what the future holds for these new abolitionists!

Keep your eyes open on facebook for new pictures of our adventures yesterday!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Ghanaian Challenge

Today's challenge for you. . .add an "o" to the end of your words occasionally or when you are really excited about something. This happens in just about every sentence that they speak and the "o" can really be drawn out at times. Here's a few example. . .

A common song that we sing in our church services is "Hey, my God is good-o".

"Oh wow! It's hot-o!"

"I love that song-o!"

So my challenge, throw a little "o" love around in your conversations. See if anyone notices, and even better, if anyone joins in!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Monday Blog on Tuesday

Usually I blog on Mondays about a kid that I'm working with, but today, we will blog on Tuesday. Last night, John and Stacy had to take Mama Theresia to the hospital (malaria among other things), so I hung out with the kids and watched The Lizzie Mcguire Movie. I love that movie. . .even if it is for kids, I love that movie!

Anyway, today, I want to introduce you to Miracle. He is one of the Omorefe kids and he is 8 years old.

I first met Miracle through email last year. Stacy wrote asking for advice on what she could do with him. He (along with Rosemary and Paul) are John's youngest siblings and they moved to Ghana from Nigeria in February. When they came, Stacy decided to homeschool Miracle along with her own 6 year old, JJ. He had a really difficult time learning how to read, and though he was 2 years older, he struggled far more than JJ. But, after lots of practice and encouragement, Miracle began to read and he began to learn quickly.

This year, my favorite moments with Miracle are when we take our walks at night. Miracle comes next to me and holds my hand and asks me to tell him a story from when I was a child. He will listen to the story and say "mmhmmm" as I tell him each part. Then, the next night that we go walking, he'll ask me to tell him the exact same story by saying, "Auntie Autumn, I want you to tell me the story of when the cow was in your basement. . ." and he'll finish the whole story but still want ME to retell it.

Miracle loves sports. He is very competitive, even in every day things, but especially with sports. He can dribble the ball, even with an arm that doesn't quite work right, run fast with a soccer ball at his feet, and loves to play games.

Miracle LOVES attention, so when someone is not giving him the attention that he wants, then he will make up a reason to get the attention. Usually, his attention-getting behavior has to do with finding some random cut or scrape on his skin, picking at in, starting to cry and begging for a bandaid. If this doesn't work, he'll usually pick some kind of a fight, and come running with tears down his face for having been hit for something he started. Gotta love his perseverance. . .eventually he'll do something to get attention!

Miracle loves to answer questions and tell stories at school. He is usually one of the first to raise his hand, even if he doesn't know the answer, but he always wants to try.

He is SUPER ticklish. I think it's one of those ticklish things where it is just painful it's so ticklish. You tickle him and not too soon afterwards, he'll just start cringing and tell you to stop. But, he'll sure get to giggling for awhile before I let him go!

Overall, I love how this little boy loves others. There are times when he is so gentle with Justice, or so kind to Caleb, or so giving to JJ--I know that he is a boy that will grow up to be a man of integrity--if only we can get him past the attention-getting thing! haha

Here's a pic of Miracle:
(my uploader isn't working on this website, so you'll have to copy and paste the url into your browser)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Challenge and a New Face to Meet

So, because of the busyness of my last week with the school starting up, losing some staff members, and gaining a new teacher (YES, we hired one yesterday), and getting all kinds of wonderful surprises in the mail, I wasn't able to make my normal weekly postings. So, two new ones for you today:

First, I wanted to tell you about one of the kids at the Freedom Center. His name is Benard and he is a funny kid. He is so playful and kinda sneaky--like he tries to tickle people and then pretends that it wasn't him.

Since day 1 that I arrived, he loves stealing my camera to take a few pictures.

He also is obsessed with my skin. He's told me several times that since I'm in Africa, my freckles will begin to spread out and my skin will turn black. Or, he'll rub my arms trying to get to the layer of skin underneath that will be black. Or, he pokes my arms and likes that my skin looks white underneath his pokes. I keep reminding him that it hurts my skin just like it would hurt his skin, but I think he's ultimately still trying to poke through my skin to the "black skin" underneath.

Benard loves to play soccer.

He enjoys school and tries really hard, even though it doesn't come easy for him.

His newest thing is trying to convince me to do his work for him by saying "Please, I beg you". It's too funny for me to take serious, even though he is pretty serious! He doesn't enjoy spelling, so this is when he usually asks me (or begs me) to please do his work for him.

For some reason, my uploader isn't working on this program today, but here is a picture of Ben from facebook:

As for YOUR GHANAIAN CHALLENGE for the week, this one is a fun one.
One thing that I quickly learned about John is that he calls everyone "Charlie". People at the market when he's trying to purchase something, people that he's passing along the road, when he's trying to get someone's attention, or even with people he does know, he'll joke around with them and call them Charlie.

Stacy says that it means "friend" here in Ghana. So, your challenge this week is to call people "Charlie". Shout out the window of your car at a stranger, "Hey Charlie!" to get their attention or wish them a good morning. Make a few jokes with friends and refer to them as "Charlie". I am looking forward to hearing the responses you get! Have fun!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Who knew cheese could express such love?

Yesterday, I got cards in the mail and today. . .CHEESE!

A few weeks ago, I told my mom how much I miss cheese (and all milk products) while here in Ghana. So a couple days later she had emailed to say I had something in the mail. I've been waiting and sure enough, I opened the box that she sent today to find:

Velveeta cheese


dark chocolate M & Ms

Yummy! Thank you Mom! Love love love it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A little love

Yesterday, I was given the great surprise of recieving some cards in the mail. I don't know how long it took for them to arrive, but it was so fun to get to open them and read the words from friends back home.

When I was given the cards, some of the kids were in the classroom because we were working on homework. They were so funny! They started jumping up and down and screaming--and of course wanted to have everything that was inside the envelopes.

Carla, a teacher from Brentwood where I taught for three years, sent me a birth announcement of her little baby girl, Natalie. What a doll! Abigail asked if she could keep the picture! So funny!

Then T sent me a card and a little "care package". Of course, the kids all wanted the chocolate and gum. I had to keep the package under my arm until I left because every time I turned around, someone else had their hands on it. But even better than the chocolate and gum were 2 beautiful pictures of Brylie Kay and a cd with a song by Cory Asbury. SOOOOOOOOOOO good!

You can hear it here:

So, thank you friends for making me feel so loved today with your notes of love and encouragement! What a joy to have so many who love me and encourage me from so far away! What a blessing!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dance with Me Lover my of Soul

Dwelling in this song this morning:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Day of School

For all the nerves that the first day usually brings, today went suprisingly smooth! I think part of it had to do with the laid back attitude of Africa. It made it a little bit easier when I didn't feel so much pressure to be on top of my time.

We started school a little bit late this morning. I was able to get to school early and from the mess that I left yesterday, we were able to put it together before everyone came for our morning assembly. So, desks were ready, projector plugged in, everything was together for our big day. We got started a big late, but I just considered it running on African time. We all gathered in my class for pledges and the school song (a song I wrote based on our school verses, Eph. 3:14-21). The kids loved it. Then, we had out morning meeting. We are talking about the Fruit of the Spirit and talked about LOVE--how to love one another and love God. Definitely a good talk to have since all day, we had to break up fights. I don't know is up with that, but leave them alone at recess, and all of sudden someone is crying because they've been beaten.

Tangent, sorry! Anyway, after our morning meeting was our Bible lesson. We are talking about creation right now and the kids were interested and involved in the lesson. After that, we seperated out to our individual classes. My class set up their tables and most of the day, I spent explaining procedures of the class. They really got into team points. That was really fun! For the most part, even if not everything was accomplished today, I would count it as a successful day. There weren't many in-class problems and the kids seemed excited about their work.

One disappointment was one of the teachers and our office administrator (they are a couple) decided not to accept the job. They had originally accepted the position, but based on salary, didn't think it was a wise choice for their family in the end. We were really disappointed and now we will need to look for another teacher for DK and Abigail. We'll see how that works out.

All in all, a great first day. Now, if I can just get enough energy to teach the rest of the week! Will hopefully post classroom pictures soon! Keep your eyes open for that on Facebook.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's Just a Normal Day

The longer I've been living here, the more it feels normal to live here. When I first arrived, the culture was so different that it constantly felt like I was being barraged by something new. As I've now been here for almost 7 weeks, the things that culturally overwhelmed me in the beginning just feel normal. So, when I come to write a blog, I struggle to find anything new to talk about. Everything seems "same old, same old". Today, I figured I'd just tell you about some of the random things that have been part of my days lately.

*Been reading "Mockingjay" via downloaded Kindle on my computer. Totally enthralled. I think that had something to do with the dream I dreamt this afternoon about rescuing a giraffe on the Colorado river with the Beatniks and Cinderella's Prince Charming. Random!

*Feel like Stacy, John, and I are constantly talking about new ways that God can use them here in Ghana--water purification and harvesting, ecological buildings, a fair trade company with some of the single moms, logistics company for adoptions, outreaches in Tema New Town and Chinduri, all kinds of projects--the ideas just keep flowing!

*Laughing at the funny things the kids do--like Justice (1 yr old) pushing JJ (6 yrs old) across the living room, or Caleb being so involved in his play world that he forgets we're still walking home and waiting for him to catch up, or Miracle asking to repeat the story of when the cow stuck her head in our basement window when I was a kid.

*trips to Accra means a chance to rest my brain from all the thinking and prep I've been doing lately--even if they are only for a couple of hours!

*Writing things on my to-list that I already finished just for the pleasure of crossing them off my to-do list.

*Planning for grades 1-4, and 8th grade. Whew! What a job!

*Spending time with the kids at the Freedom Center--giving lots of hugs and handshakes, playing games, and hanging out.

*Spending lots of time on edhelper.com and superteacherworksheets.com. Thank goodness for them or I don't know what I'd be doing with my class come Tuesday.

*Sorting through supplies (thanks to all of you who donated to the school--we're ready!) and coming up with teacher materials (thanks Tami for all the Brentwood materials I was able to change into Faith Roots materials).

*Meetings, meetings, meetings--been meeting a lot with other teachers and our intern in prep for the "fall" (there is no fall here--only rainy and dry season).

*Praying and worshipping--been spending a lot of time praying over this school, over this season, over this time--want to see what God has for me and how long I should be here. In that too, I've been spending a lot of time either with my ipod or my guitar at hand (more with my ipod lately than with my guitar) with some good worship, that brings me back to who I am in Christ.

*Trying to keep updated on stuff at home. Love that some friends have been sending me "blogs" of what their day to day life is looking like. Makes me feel like I'm not that far. And others have kept up with me here or on Facebook or skyping with me when they can. Thank you! I need that to feel like I'm connected!

*And there are just some random thoughts of mine. . .off to another normal night of sleep and into a normal day (the day before school starts) tomorrow. Be praying! Gotta a lot of work to do with the teachers before our big day on Tuesday!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Learning more about Love

I think something that I'm learning here is just more and more about love. God LOVES his people.
Today, Stacy and I were talking about this problem of evil in the world and how God allows certain things to happen, but God is good. Oftentimes, we blame Him for things that the Enemy is busy doing. But, God is good and God is love. Everything that doesn't look like that, is the work of the Enemy.
I've seen God's love in some powerful ways. . .
*the friendship of an amazing family
*the never-ending love of the kids
*the upheld arms of Edwin, Portia, and Justice
*the warm arms of new friends like James and Gifty, Letitia, and Sister Linda
*the broken heart for the kids I saw on Lake Volta
*the love I see poured down over the angry, the confused, and hurting kids I work with
*the ways that I see God connecting his community here and in the States
*through Sydney and the way she desired to feed the hungry-the hands and feet of Jesus
*the laughter of the ladies at the Freedom Center
*the music at Action Chapel each Sunday
*the gentle way Miracle holds my hand when we go on a walk
*the giving nature of the Omorefes
*the amazing way that my friends and family have loved on me from miles away

God is good and He is love. I'm so glad that I get to be witness to his love here in Ghana.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ghanian Challenge Wednesday

Today's Ghanian Challenge was brought about by our dinner meal tonight. Caleb, who sits next to me at the table, was wanting more chicken (this is a common problem--he eats all his chicken and doesn't eat his rice). So, I let him know I'd give him some chicken when he finishes all of his rice. Well, he finally finished and I handed over the piece of chicken I'd been saving. Instead of being excited for the nice hunk of meat I set aside, he put it back on my plate and said, "No, I want the bone." Then, he took all the chicken bones from my plate to chew on.

Your challenge. Eat some chicken and chew on the bone too. They'll chew the ends off and suck out the morrow and sometimes eat the whole piece of bone if it's a smaller chunk. We even entertain Justice (the one year old) with rice and a chicken bone for dinner. He'll chew on it (and even hide some under the table for chewing on later). Yum Yum! Enjoy your dinner!

Here's Caleb--can you picture this cute little face devouring a chicken bone?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I didn't get to share about one of the kids yesterday (I was busy playing 2 games of Scrabble and a game of Beans before I went to bed), so I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce you to one of the other kids at the Freedom Center.
MARY!!!!! Here is a picture of Mary and Nina on Nina's last day at the Freedom Center.
Mary is nine years old and she is a big ball of energy. Everything excites her! She's excited about playing games with the other kids, she's excited about school, she's excited about shaking your hand. . .she just loves everything!

Mary reminds me of some of my students from the past few years. She is one of those kids that works really hard at pleasing someone. She just loves to be loved on.

She likes to play this game that they play here where they kick their feet and jump and count points (I haven't figured this one out yet). Apparently, she's pretty good! She usually wins!

The boys like to pick on Mary. I think this happens for two reasons 1) She's loud and she will definitely make some noise if they do anything--which can be fun for them and 2) She fights back. She is a fireball when those boys come after her, especially Robert. Robert is the oldest and loves picking on Mary--but she doesn't take it. She gives it right back!

Mary loves to laugh and smile. You can usually pick her laugh out of a crowd. She's a very happy-go-lucky girl.

Mary, Mary, Mary! I'm looking forward to teaching her in my class this year (even though the boys have made it very clear that they aren't too excited to have Mary in their room)!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Busy Few Days

Whew! It has been a busy past few days. Lots of work on the school and lots of work for an outreach that we did today. So good!

I have these crazy mixed feelings about the school starting up. The past few days, I've been working really hard to get the papers all together for our teacher training and schedules and finish testing the kids and all that jazz. That has been really good to feel like I am getting some work done that actually has a physical product! Sometimes, I have felt like I'm just working and working and not knowing where I'm going. This has felt really good to have our binders put together (with our new school crest--thank you Stacy!).
In other ways, it has felt really overwhelming! I met with one teacher today and she has never taught before. She was so unsure of herself and worried about teaching, but I know she will do well. It's hard to instill that in her--to know how to lead well when I feel so unsure myself at times. But, confidence is key. I am a good teacher and all I can do is help them to learn the curriculum and good strategies for teaching. Even if I don't have any experience as an administrator or principal, I can do my best to lead this team (and prepare future teams). Whew! A big job, but I know that I'm here for a reason.

Tonight was our outreach in Tema New Town. This is a part of the city of Tema that is very poor. You drive down by the harbor, and it's as if you're suddenly in a back village. Very underdeveloped...lots of children running around... poor area. We got to work with Edwin's mom (Edwin from the Freedom Center) to help her out. She cooked our fish for our feeding program. She is a beautiful lady. I feel so bad for her--HIV positive, but wants to live for her children. God, give her your grace day by day!

Anyway, let me back up and tell you how we got around to having a feeding program in Tema New Town this week. Earlier in the week, when Nina was still here, we ran into a family that is adopting here in Ghana. They brought their whole family to meet the two kids that they are adopting. Sydney is their oldest daughter and she was so excited to come to Ghana to meet her sister and brother. She read all about Ghana and heard about the children that are orphaned here, the trafficked children, street children, and the lack of clean drinking water in some areas of the country. So, she put out a plea. She made t-shirts to sell and raised over $8,000 to feed the children and build a well. So, when we ran into the couple, we wanted to help Sydney put her goal into place (she's only 11 by the way). We hired Edwin's mom to buy the fish and fry it up. Then, all the ladies at the Freedom Center cooked up rice (I mean trash cans FULL of rice!!!) and the stew. They cooked all day today. After it was all done, we dished it into take-away containers and stacked it in the vehicles to go to Tema New Town. We were able to feed 600 children with the food that we brought. What an amazing treat to get to be a part of a ministry like that. Such an opportunity! Thank you Sydney for your heart for the "least of these".

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What a day!

Today, we had quite an adventurous day. I don't have a lot of time to write since it's already kind of late, but I'll give you the bulletpoint version.
*Nina and I taught the kids to play 4-square. All kinds of fun.
*John, Stacy, Nina, and I went to the market to buy souvenirs for her to take home. We got some great deals and she'll have some nice gifts for people back home.
*Went to the Accra mall for a yummy lunch.
*Ran into a couple that are adopting here in Ghana and made a cool connection. One of their daughters raised $8,000 to dig a well in the Volta region and to feed hungry street children. We are going to help her put together her feeding program for this weekend.
*Got some speakers for our projector for the school and outreach programs.
*Went to Tema New Town to start talking set up for the outreach for the girl's feeding program this weekend. Got to meet Edwin's (from the Freedom Center) mom. She just gave birth to a little girl and she is precious! We prayed over her are hoping that God will just protect that little girl.
*After the crazy road into Tema New Town, we were driving back to the Freedom Center and the plate that holds the engine up came apart and fell on the ground. It was loud and a little scary. Stacy jumped out of the car and ran across the street thinking that something was going to explode.
*We hung out in community 2 by our broken down car for the mechanic to come and do some repairs so we could get it to our house. We played with a bunch of kids who thought we were amazing (since we were obrunis). It was fun!
*In the midst of all that, we found out John had lost his wallet somewhere in the shuffle of the day. Pray he finds it!
*We had this awesome man (Thomas) tough us back to our house where the mechanic came and fixed the car.
*We sat down to eat some fufu and somehow. . .it has been a little oversalted. Soooo. . .I got my first taste at bangku. Not my favorite food I've ever eaten . . .
*Water was turned off tonight, so it's bucket baths for now.
*John and Stacy came back with some awesome meet and soda as a treat later tonight. YUMMY!

All in all. . .quite an adventurous day!

What a day!

Ghanian Culture Challenge

So, here's your Wednesday challenge. . .

When you greet someone, shake their hand and then snap your middle finger and their middle finger together before leaving the handshake.

This is definitely a skill I have to practice. One of the kids at the center, Benard, has made it his mission to help me figure out the snap part. We shake hands several times and try the snap until we get a good one! It takes a little getting used to, but once you get it, you'll greet like a pro!

In other news. . .
**My skype connection with Katty wasn't too great. We only got to chat for a few minutes before it just wouldn't connect anymore. Bummer! But it was good to see her face for a little bit.
**After skyping with Katty, Evan came online, so I got to chat with him a bit and then got to talk to T and see Brylie girl. SOOOO good!