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, December 3, 2011

Saying Goodbye to the Omorefes

I have been in Ghana for a year and a half (give or take a little bit), and I have had the absolute priveledge to travel home every 6 months or so. It has been a welcome relief and such a blessing to be able to see my family and friends for a little interm break every so often. What a joy! This next trip back will be my last for an entire year. I’m a little nervous about being here for a whole year without returned back home (as I so enjoy my break times with my friends and family and crave that relational time!), but I am looking forward to what will happen here with CORM this next year.

John and Stacy and the rest of the Omorefe family left yesterday (Saturday, December 2) for the States. It has been TWO WHOLE YEARS since they have returned home. They have made so many sacrifices for their family so that they could move here. I’m often in awe of the things that they have chosen to do instead of the way that they could have lived back in the States. But, when God calls you into something, you have to listen (I know this from experience!!).

I’m so excited for them to get the chance to go home. I’ve been praying that they will find the time to REST amidst all their traveling and responsibilities. I also know from experience that traveling home is not always easy! Sometimes, it is as much work as being here and doing the ministry work here. There are certain things expected of you, and in so many ways, and so many different time, you just have to be ON. That part is difficult. Sometimes it seems like you simply can’t be yourself, but you have to be City of Refuge Ministries. I’m praying that they’ll be able to manage that back and forth time—know how to set boundaries to rest so that they can come back here refreshed for more time of ministry.

And I’m praying that JJ, Caleb, and Justice will simply ENJOY time with Grandma and Grandpa Corbin. Justice won’t even remember them, so it will be such a special time for them. JJ has been talking about snowmen for weeks now, so I know I’m going to see some tanned Omorefe children out in the snow on facebook sometime soon.

In any case, now that they are gone, we are here by ourselves now and have to kind of fill in these big shoes. Nosa has been amazing and runs the place with a quiet efficiency. Aunty Lydia has gotten the house in tip top shape in no time flat and everything sparkles by 8 am. I try to step in where I’m needed—a little time with Malvin and Edwin usually helps Lucy and Portia out a bit—running errands in the car, entertaining kids with basketball games, etc!

Out of the Omorefe children, the transition is a little different. They are moving from a house with 22 kids to a house with 3 (now that Justice, JJ, and Caleb are gone, there is only 3). I think Miracle feels lost the most though. He had to fight for attention (in sometimes really crazy ways) this past year, and now that we are in one home again, I think he was expecting to get all this attention by being the youngest of the Nigerian Omorefes. We’ve had to kind of lay down the law with him, and with Rosemary (about kitchen rules) and Paul (about working with the other boys when there are jobs to do), but for the most part, the transition has been pretty easy.

Things are running…it’s different these days, but it works. I think that part of the reason that it’s working so well is the very reason that we DID live together for the past 13 months. We saw each other on good days and bad days, sick days and happy days. We kinda figured out how we all operate and we are now a team. Sometimes, it wasn’t easy to forge the team. We definitely saw our share of not so easy times, but we are working it out and I’m pretty proud of my Ghana family. When the going gets tough…the tough gets going…that’s how the saying works right? And we’re living it out for sure!

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