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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Saturday, November 6, 2010


Our internet is finally up and running. I'm so excited to check in on all the news from friends and family. It's so strange how even a couple of days has me feeling so disconnected from my loved ones back home.

We are finally moved into our home in Doryum. It was a crazy couple of days, with all of us waking up with aches and pains and suddenly muscles were sore where we were certain there weren't muscles before. Our first night in Doryum, I was more than a little overwhelmed at the task we had ahead of us. We had arrived at 8:30 in the evening, and as we drove into the compound, there wasn’t a spare foot that hadn’t been covered in tables, chairs, wood, bags of clothing, and children. The electricity was only at ½ current, light so dim, it wasn’t even worth it to have it on. The fans weren’t able to spin and night was hot and humid. I honestly thought, “What did we get ourselves in to?”. Everyone took turns in the bathroom, all lined up with our buckets of water (for water has not yet been brought inside the house) and sponges in hand. I watched the dirt of the day slip down the drain, the dirt of Tema, which I’ve called my home for the past three months, and imagined what our life would look like here in Doryum. As I laid down to sleep on a mat on the floor, my body was so weary, yet it took a while for my brain to slow down as I lay processing all that a move to the village will entail. Finally, sleep overtook me, and despite the heat, my first night in our new home ended in peaceful dreams.

When I woke up, I looked out the window of my new room. There wasn’t another house to take my view. No sound of cars driving by. The voices outside my window were those of little children just waking, and of breakfast being prepared, and of chickens (always the chickens). The view out my window was that of Africa. There isn’t anywhere else in the world just like this place. Trees that only belong in this landscape. High grasses. Bushes as green as if it were spring (though it seems to be summer here all year round). And the mountains, the beautiful mountains of this place. And I thought to myself, despite all the challenges that moving to this place might bring, this is just where we need to be.

The past couple of days have been a flurry of busyness. . .settling into our new rooms, unpacking, moving things around, creating room, and creating a home. It's definitely not quiet here in the house. The voices of 20+ children echo all the time, except for when it's time to sleep. I am never for want of company or a hand to hold. I get to spend more time with my little Edwin too. Every morning, his two hands that reach up for a morning hug are all that I need to remind me that this isn't about ME and space and so many living together, it is about THEM and their healing and loving them with the love of their FATHER in heaven. And now, with the house settled in, it is beginning to look more like a HOME. I loved the houses in Tema, but they were big and cavernous and now this is more like a home. Together, sharing the duties and living together as a family.

The other day, the NYU students came by to spend some time with the kids. Trevor and Sam said something about being recharged everytime they come to spend time with the kids. I replied telling them that I was glad that they were able to recieve so much from the kids. Often times, I feel drained after a long days work with all of them. And as I thought about it, I realized it wasn't because I didn't like spending time with the kids, but it is because we are a FAMILY now. I'm part of their family, not just a passing fad in their life. It's easy to laugh together, and it's easy to get tired with them, because that's what it's like when you live together as a family. I love that I get to be in this family for this season. What a gift!

Keep your eyes looking for pictures on facebook of the new place!


  1. Thanks for the update Autumn! I will be praying for your transition as you make your new home in Doryum! Love you friend!!!

  2. Hey Autumn it good to hear that you all made it safe to the Dyrum and I will be praying for your transition to a new life in the city...love you my friend

  3. I loved your description of your new view! You wrote that beautifully.