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 22, 2011

Snakebites and New Babies

So, this week, I experienced a few "African" things that I have yet to experience.

Thursday was our monthly PTO meeting and we had a pretty great turn-out. The meeting was full and the parents were all participating. Near the end of the meeting, one of our guardians of one of our sponsored kids (John Apaw) decided to leave a little early. She has to be nearing 90 years of age and she got a head start on the crowds. Well, she barely got down our road when a snake came out from the bush and bit her. John, the brave boy that he is, took her walking stick and killed the snake. By that time, word had reached us at the meeting and as the meeting closed, everyone rushed to her aid and got her in a vehicle to take her to the military hospital. Once they got to the hospital, they told us that there was no anti-venom there (a very foolish thing since they train their men and women in our bush which is where the woman was walking). So, they took her all the way to Dodowa (another 45 minute drive). By the time she got to the hospital, her blood pressure was too high to give her the anti-venom, so they had to give her a drip and wait for her BP to come down before they finally gave it to her. John has been going every day to check in on her and they still haven't released her. She is the primary care-giver for John and another little boy (probably 2 years old). Stacy and I had even talked about her that very day that we don't know what will happen to him if she was to die. Well, she's getting better and hopefully will be out of the hospital tomorrow. I felt so bad for John who had to stay home from school to care for the little boy. What a life!

Then, last night during our prayer meeting, our neighbor called us. They are a young couple (the wife is only 18 and was pregnant with her THIRD). Around 2:00 am they called and Amelia had gone into labor so John and Stacy raced down to take them to the hospital in Dodowa. Here is the healthcare system in Ghana: When they got to the hospital, they wouldn't admit her because she hadn't been to any prenatal classes there. So, they told us we'd have to take her to Accra. Mind you, this is the emergency room of the local hospital and Accra is an hour and a half away while Amelia is in labor (3-4 minute apart contractions). Stacy and John really spoke up about it and finally they admitted her once they said that they needed to report this hospital for it's lack of care of patients. When John and Stacy went in to see the labor room, the night staff was all ASLEEP in the room. Yeah...crazy! In any case, Amelia had a fine baby girl and she came back home this morning. We went to see her today and the baby is beautiful. They live in a tiny little room (her, her husband, and now the three little children) with just mats on the floor. So, we went through some clothes to bring them over there for them. The new baby will get her name at her naming ceremony after 7 days.

After these two incidents, I realized that this community is beginning to see us as part of their own. Who do they call on to help them? The NGO down the road. So, even when it's difficult here, I can see that we are beginning to look more and more like the hands and feet of Jesus to these people. And, I think that is what it's all about.

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