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, July 14, 2011

Robert, my prayer warrior

I remember that Robert was one of the first kids at City of Refuge that I felt like I had an extreme burden for. Robert was injured in a football accident several years ago and endured nerve damage to his hip. Because of that, he had to relearn how to walk and still walks with a very bad limp.

I remember when I first came, I was searching for a doctor, somehow, someway, that would be able to repair the damage done. I wanted to get him adopted out to the States so that his medical care could be better taken care of (you don't even want to hear the horror stories of the hospitals in this country!). But, despite all of our efforts here, Robert remains--a boy with faith the size of a mountain and a contagious joy! (New development: Robert might possibly have to opportunity to be checked out by a doctor in Tennessee thanks to our friend Kristin.)

Robert is my goofball prayer warrior. This boy knows can pray! And he prays with great faith! And he prays all the time! I love Robert's heart for the Lord. He is sensitive to the Spirit and I've learned that Words of Encouragement are his love language. You say something negative to him and it sticks with him, but you tell him something positive, and it will make his day.

I remember one of my first weeks teaching here, when we were still living in Tema, Robert had gotten in trouble for something in class and despite his age (he had just turned 15 at the time), tears welled up in his eyes, but he absolutely refused to talk to me. After awhile, he came and said, "Auntie Autumn, when I got in trouble, it hurt my heart and when that happens, I can't speak for awhile. I'm sorry!". I melted at that. After that, I have found that it is easier to deal with any behavior problem with Robert with a soft word rather than a harsh one.

Robert is a HUGE class clown and as the oldest among the kids at City of Refuge, he definitely leads the boys into some goofy trouble at times. But, he has turned into a pretty decent student. He is extremely behind in his school work (only at a grade 4 level), but he works hard and I'm proud of the work that he accomplishes.

I pray, along with Robert, that one day, God will heal him. That one day, he will walk normally again. That one day, he will live without pain. But, until that time, I know that my boy will have faith the size of a mountain and contagious joy, bad leg and all.

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