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!

Get Involved

Learn More


Sunday, June 2, 2013


Sometimes, I wonder if things will ever change with the people I work with each and every day.  The challenges here are constant.  And even with the many guidelines we have set up for staff to follow, the ways we pray of them and disciple them into Christ-likeness, again and again, I see the constant battle of the old and the new.

This past week was an incredible challenge for one of my volunteers.  Let me tell you, this volunteer is amazing.  She is constant positivity!  Even with the things that she has seen happen this week, she exudes the love of Christ and continues to love on the kids with a deeper grace.

So, I have been having problems with a few of my classroom teachers in how they talk to the students.  I hear them from the office everyday.  I try to go in and observe once a week in each class and address issues that I see, but the problem is that there is 11 classrooms, constant people coming in to visit, volunteers to manage, plans to make for summer camps, curriculum to prepare for next year...and things get overlooked.

So, this poor volunteer has been placed in our kindergarten classroom and has seen all kinds of things...she has been witness to the usual school culture here in Ghana...despite the fact that our school culture is supposed to be different.  The teachers in that classroom had been punishing students for getting answers incorrect, threatening caning, pinching students, knocking heads...and then one of them caned a student (claiming she was in the right since that student was her child). 

The teacher came and admitted all that had been going on in the classroom, and I was so overwhelmed.  I kept thinking about how hard it must have been for Meaghan to be witness to the abuse that happens to children here.  And while my heart is for discipleship for these teachers, sometimes it feels like an endless process with no results.

When I talked to Meaghan about her experiences in that classroom, she was so positive about everything despite what she had seen.  But, my heart hurts for that classroom.  I wonder where to even begin.  Things have been addressed.  Teachers have received formal warnings.  But, is that the answer to it all?

Last week, I taught the Triangle illustration to our teachers.  It is an illustration that shows how culturally, we all address behaviors in our own lives before we address the roots of where the behavior comes from (which is a disconnect with our understanding of the Father's love for us). 

As I talked to the teacher, a pastor's wife, I saw her disconnect.  She has struggled with infertility since her last child was born.  There is an expectation placed on her as woman here in Ghana and then as a leader in the church, to bless her family with a child.  Her heart was broken as she has not been able to conceive in well over five years.  And because of that hurt, she has struggled with her understanding of God's love for her.  That disconnect has flooded her day to day life in the classroom.  She is weary.  She is tired.  And so her first reaction is frustration and anger instead of peace and love.

This place is filled with constant work.  We work to address the surface problems (showing kindness to children, etc), but the root is always the issue.  The constant struggle, for every person, is to have a full and complete understanding of the Father's Love for them.

And so I pray.  And I counsel.  And I watch.  And I pray some more.  And I hope that each and every day, the constant battle will grow less and less.  And someday, we will see a more constant picture of Christ.  Oh Lord, I pray that it will be so!

No comments:

Post a Comment