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, November 25, 2010

It was a Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving day, I have come to realize, is a LOT of work! But, the rewards are amazing.

Stacy and I worked hard yesterday and today getting everything together for our Thanksgiving meal. In the end, we made sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, green salad, fruit salad, snickers salad (it's pudding, whipped cream, milk, and snickers--and it's awesome), turkey, and then came dessert--pumpkin pie, apple pie, and chocolate cake. Yummy!

The guests started showing up mid-morning today and we decided to have a 2:00 lunch. So, by 2:00, everything was on the table, we were all dressed in some nicer clothes, and we were ready to chow down. I had the kids work this week on wall decorations (some different things that they were thankful for), so we had put those up on the wall. The power was out all day, so we had to start up our generator for the songs that the kids had prepared. Then, they each told everyone what they were thankful for. They were so nervous about it and had been practicing all morning, but they did so well and everyone loved it!

We all chowed down on a mixture of American and Ghanaian foods. And it was awesome! It really hit the spot! Miracle was sitting next to me and the whole time, he kept telling me how good the food was and how much he liked it (but then, he ended up giving me some of his American food so he could go get some jallof rice). And once the desserts were brought out, WATCH OUT! Especially our staff girls. . .they were so funny! Everyone loved the chocolate cake (thank you Aunt Peggy) and the apple and pumpkin pies turned out perfect (even if the crust was a little thick). It was a delicious way to end the feast.

After eating, we all hung out chatting and the kids turned on some music to dance to. Everyone just enjoyed a good time eating together. Later, Auntie Letitia's girls taught our girls the dance that they will do for the Christmas program. It's beautiful! And then, clean-up began.

By the end of the day, you saw us all in groups of a few here and few there, everyone tired and dirty. I mean, you should have seen Edwin and Justice. They just had a ball today! They were so dirty and both of them just cried and cried when they had to go get a bath. BOYS!

So, now, I sit here in my room (the power came back on about an hour ago), and I'm tired and weary, but I am SO GRATEFUL for my Ghanian family here. There were moments today that I really missed the Roberts (who I've spent the last few Thanksgivings with), and the other Beatniks. and friends A few moments today where I really wished my family were there. And then, there were these beautiful moments when I realized that these people have really become such a part of my life, that I felt at home. I don't think I've EVER sweated so much on a Thanksgiving. And I don't remember seeing fufu and green bean casserole on the same table before. But, these people have become family and today, I felt at home. I'm so grateful for this place that has really just embraced me!

And, I give thanks for YOU back in the States. You are the ones who love and support me. You, amazingly, know when I'm down and need to hear from you in an email. You send me packages and cards that blow me away. You encourage me, uplift me, and the thought of seeing you in just a few weeks is so exciting to me! It is amazing that I have such a wide-spread, world-wide family.

All in all, I recognize that God has given me joy because of the gifts of people in my life. Thank you for being a gift to my life. Tonight, I am worshipping God for this faithful love that is shown to me by his faithful people!

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