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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Monday, September 24, 2012

Alex and Hannah

Alex and Hannah were rescued in June from a small Oceanside community called Kpitchakope.  If you remember my story about Florence, they were rescued at the same time.


They were living with their grandmother, a common tale in that community and in this culture as a whole, and fishing each day.  Hannah had been attending school previously, but when times turned hard, it was back to work for both of them. 


Each day, they were sent out to the lagoon to bring in small fish that their grandmother would then gut, fry, and sell each day.  For a six and seven year old, it was not a childhood at all, but a day of losing track of time, forgetting how to smile, and salt-water.


The first week that they came, it was fun to see them light up at Justice’s toys, playing ball together outside, laughing at movies, and overall, enjoying life! 


When they first arrived, I thought that Alex’s name was Alice because of how they pronounce the “x” so softly here.  Eventually, I figured it out.  Which is good because Alex is ALL BOY!  He loves to play ball, rough house with the other boys, and overall, he is a very easy-going little boy.


Hannah, on the other hand, is not quite as easy going as her younger brother.  Everything easily makes her cry.  The second day that she was with us, she saw all the older children heading out to school and snuck over to the front door of the school and cried and cried and cried, wanting to go to school and thinking that she wouldn’t be allowed.  Of course we would put her in school (as she is in now), but we always give our new kids a transition period to learn a little bit of the English language before placing them in our English immersion program at school.  She is a super-sensitive little girl, but tough as nails as well and laughs with gusto.


They have been placed in school now. 


Today, I watched as Alex, with his high top sneakers, wrote his ABC’s in his kindergarten class and then turned and helped Amenyo with his once he was finished.


And Hannah is full of smiles each day as she heads out to her first grade class.  She is in love with learning and wants to impress her teacher with all the new things that she is learning.


They still struggle with the language.  They struggle with the transition.


But, I really see their transformation more and more as I watch them Sunday mornings at our church gatherings.  Alex will come up to the front and dance the freedom dance with all our little boys.  Hannah will clap away with all the other girls, singing at the top of her voice.


It’s a joy to see them become the children they were created to be.  I thank God for their freedom every day.

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