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, October 1, 2011

A New Picture

Today, Stacy and I headed to Accra to do a little bit of shopping for school. We are using an American curriculum at our school, and as thorough as it is, it is also lacking in many ways. So, today, we went to find supplements for math and social studies.
Stacy and I don't really get out much by ourselves, so it's always fun to do something different by ourselves. Well, right off the bat, we told our taxi driver to go to the WRONG part of Accra. Whoops...we just blamed it on the fact that we're obruni's who don't know Accra very well. Oh well!

We finally made it to the bookstore though and spent a good amount of time perusing until we found just what we were looking for and the things that we'll eventually need to add to the list of books and supplies we'd like to find for our school (like a money poster based on Ghana's money system).

After making it through the crowds of people back to our taxi, we saw a copy shop and I had MASSIVE amounts of copying to do this week as most of our teachers are finishing up their units and needs tests run off. I remember that when I worked at Brentwood, I would have a good hour of copying to do each week, but it is a different story when you don't have a copy machine at your school...when you don't have curriculum for each student...yeah...just different! We were at the copy shop for probably 3 hours today copying stuff off.
While we were waiting, we had an interesting opportunity to view something that we have heard about here in Ghana, but we haven't really seen in action. It seems like every time we turn around here, we see the great need and wish that we could stretch our hands out in a million different ways to influence the people here...to help...to touch...to guide...to love...but it just isn't possible for us to do it all!

Today, we saw a picture of the Northern Region girls down here in Accra. Months ago, we had heard stories from a friend of ours about how girls from the Northern Region of Ghana are sent down here to Accra to find work. They come down to Accra, and suddenly have lost all their support systems, have to find a place to live and a job. Most of them end up selling small things on the street or in the market, like bags of water or biscuits. They sleep anywhere they can find a space, which puts them in extreme danger of so many things. Many of them are raped in the night or are easily swayed by the lies of some man and end up getting pregnant. Then, they have to carry babies on their back, their loads on their heads, as they walk around selling all day. Most of them are Muslim and speak a different dialect than many who live in Accra. And when I say that these are girls, I’m talking GIRLS!

Today, Stacy and I sat in the copy shop and watched some of these girls come back after a morning of selling. They came to get food to eat and rest a bit before they headed back out to the market. I would guess that the girls were 12-16 years of age. They sat down on some rickety carts sitting against a block wall where someone had scrawled “Do Not Urinate Here” and ate, laughed and told stories together, and one tried to sleep. Their clothes were torn and dirty, the work of days and days out and about selling. Their children were being taken care of in a nearby house and every once in a while, one would come out to see their mama. Then, the girl would throw them onto their back and wrap them up in cloth and take them back with them to the street.

Watching them today, I reminded me so much of our girls here at home. Some of the girls were saw today were probably about the same age, yet you could tell that they had lost their innocence. Their eyes were older…tired…and yet, there was something in them that still longed to play and be kids themselves. Oh, the work that needs to be done here.

It’s so true what the Bible says…the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few.

Even this week, our old pastor from Action Chapel, Community 9 in Tema came to see me at the school and he was telling me about villages around our area that are simple mud huts, no electricity or running water…here in Ghana only 45 minutes from a developed city, there are still people living in absolute poverty. The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few.

Today, we went to Accra to run errands, but we got a picture of something that we had never seen before—the life of a group of women—girls really—the joy and sorrow of their life and the lives of their children. Oh, Ghana…what will we do to end this cycle of poverty?


  1. We walk this tight rope - one the one side is Jesus saying "you have the poor with your always" (Mk. 14:7) and on the other side is our extreme abundance - bringing forth this great desire to somehow fix it all. And then I look inside myself and identify those areas of my own spiritual and psychological poverty because I don't take all I'm given. My fears, my lack of faith. It just reminds me that you, Autumn, have chosen the best thing - and there are those who will stand in heaven as a memorial to your commitment and love.

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us Autumn