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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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life with Katie

It's been so much fun having Katie here. It sometimes seems surreal to have her here and a part of my everyday life, and then again, sometimes it feels very normal, like she's just supposed to be here.

Sunday, when she came in, we headed back to the house after picking her up. On the way, we saw Daddy Joseph (our house father) who had been in Krache (the Volta region) for the past week at a funeral and working on some stuff for our water project. Since our van was broken down (I'm writing this in past tense as it already happened, but our van is STILL broken down), we had taken a taxi to pick up Katie and we were already full, but in typical African style, Katie climbed on my lap and we began the bumpy ride into Doryum in a very squished, and cozy taxi. Katie even stuck her head out of the window for some of the way...Ace Ventura style.

When we reached the house, they were preparing dinner, and after we ate, we saw the clouds were really rolling in. Lately, the rain hasn't been falling, even if the sky is gray and the lightening starts. Needless to say, Sunday night...the rain began to fall! And it fell...and fell...and fell. Our power went out shortly into the storm, the wind blew through the house and even caused some leaks in our roof (one that led to water dripping in on my bed and on my floor). What a night for the memory books for Katie's first night here. The kids were going crazy with the lights out, Edwin was whimpering on my lap for the better part of an hour before he fell asleep, and the generator wasn't working, so we were powerless with no way to lean on our alternative power source. Out came the candles and everyone headed to bed. Katie took her first bucket bath by candlelight (as did I--I haven't had to take one by candle before!) and we headed to bed without power. Poor girl was so tired, she went right to sleep. In the middle of the night, Edwin got up and thinking that Katie was me, pulled on her toe. That's usually his sign for "I'm awake...what are you going to do about it?" So, I heard Katie say, "Something pulled my toe" and I knew it was Edwin. She was up for a couple of hours in the night, just not really tired and adjusting to the time zone, but I think for her first night here, she definitely had something to write home about!

Yesterday was Monday and we started out the day pretty easy going. Edwin always is funny to wake up to, with his big grin, and even bigger mischief. He was curious about the new guest in "his room", but gave her an atuu (hug) right away! I think he's in love!

We taught class in the morning--I taught JJ, Miracle, and Micheal and Katie worked with Caleb and Portia. After classtime, I took Katie to the school building that we are using and showed her around. In the afternoon, Stacy, Katie, and I headed to Pram Pram to meet up with Angie to learn some beading techniques. I was pretty excited for another day out and I've heard so much about her beautiful view of the ocean and her lovely house, I was excited to explore! It's all true...her view is amazing and her house in lovely. It was fun to sit and chat and learn how to do some beads. We definitely chose a difficult pattern for our first necklace, but what can you do?! They cooked a very nice chicken soup for dinner and we had a nice time just chatting and beading together. Her girls (twin 3 year olds) are very cute as well! It was a fun evening!

Today, we had a busy day. I am probably going to wear Katie out, but there is so much to show her and so many things to do! Today, we taught class again in the morning, after some quiet time. Then, we had lunch and started to set up the beads in my room. The kids helped us find containers, though we'll have to keep looking for ones with lids. Stacy, Katie, and I brought out the easter candy that Katie brought for us and we chowed down on candy, and beaded necklaces. It was a fun (and productive) afternoon.

Eventually, the group from YYAM showed up. We'd been waiting for a YYAM group doing their DTS outreach here from LA to show up. They're spending the next week with us and we were excited for them to come. Finally, they arrived, we made our introductions and then took them out to our land. It was fun to show Katie around and for her to see what we've been working on and so excited about here. I think she was surprised and the SIZE of the vision. It's so fun to have people really get a picture of what we're trying to do here--bringing KINGDOM culture here on earth in a big way! It was so fun with the YYAM group because they really saw the spiritual taking place in the physical. They prayed over our school and houses and prophesied different things over the land and school.

One of their leaders is originally from Ghana, but moved to the States awhile ago when he got married. He totally lost his accent, but he SO REMINDED me of Tony Gapastione. (Tony if you're reading this, we need to connect you two. He's the Ghanaian YOU!) In any case, he said that a few days ago on a prayer walk, he felt like God was telling him that He was going to start raising up dreamers like Joseph. That people have lost their dream, but God was going to be raising them up again. He felt, when he saw the school, that God was speaking about this place. That God would be raising up children that dreamed big dreams and pursued those dreams and were given a chance to foster those dreams. The funny thing is...the Australian team (who is sponsoring the building of the school) named each wing of the school. One wing is Achieve (for our older students), one is Harvest (for our middle level students) and one wing is Dreamtime (for our primary students). When I told them that, it was just like God was confirming the things that Benji had heard from God. So so so cool! It was a really rich, and encouraging time with them yesterday. It just felt like I was home again, with Mark in my living room and the Young Adults around praying for each other and over the land, and prophesying into the lives of the children that will come. Rich, rich time!

Tonight, I set up the projector in my room and Stacy, Katie, and I finished up our beadwork. I did ONE necklace today. Next time, maybe I won't pick such a difficult pattern!

I'm loving having Katie here...and so are the kids! Portia is permanently attached to her and Edwin already is calling her Katie! Love it!

Tomorrow, we'll be going to the land with the YYAM team to help plant trees. Ready to get my muscles moving! And life continues here in Ghana!

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