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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Thursday, June 27, 2013

In the Quiet

This week has not been quiet.  It has been full, and messy, and loud, and busy, and overwhelming.  Volunteers leaving.  Volunteers coming.  Plans changing.  Things looking different than I would have thought.  All good.  Just different.  And busy.  And exhausting.

Today, we had a medical clinic at our school with some volunteers who are from Heartbeat For Africa.  They're great and soared through health assessments of all 185 students and all the staff at CORM.  They were patient and gentle and loving and endless in their abilities to see more and more and more students and adults.  They were a blessing, pure and simple.

But, anything out of the ordinary for our students, well, let's just say that they go a little nut-so. 

It was loud today. 

More than one child was seen gathered around obruni cameras, gathered at the doorway of the staff lounge where the doctors were doing their job, running down the hallway, causing their fair share of noise...

But, my sweetest moment today happened in the quiet of my office...

Our girl, Hannah, was brought to the office, after going to the medical clinic, in tears.  Uncontrollable.  Inexplicable.  Overwhelming tears.  She couldn't talk.  Couldn't explain.  She just cried.  Silent.

So, I grabbed her hand, and led her to my office.  I picked her up, in all her 8 year old glory, and sat her in my lap.  She sat there stiff as a rod, until I lightly placed my hand on her back, and she collapsed against me.  She snuggled into that place in your neck that babies love to live in.  That nook of comfort.  My chin resting lightly on her head.  My arms wrapped around her body.  She shook.  Sobs wracking her frame. 

Students ran by, leaving their classrooms for lunch, screaming and shouting outside, and she cuddled in.  She quieted.  I rubbed her back, rubbed her arms, sang over her, prayed over her.  Her tears began to reside.  Her breathing less labored.  Her body relaxed. 

I kept declaring over her, "You are safe.  You are loved.  You are ok."

And then she slept.  Curled up on my lap. 

She needed that.  She needed comforted.  She needed to understand that she was ok.

You see, a year ago, almost to the date, Hannah came to live at City of Refuge.  The day that she left her ocean-side community with her little brother, Alex, and Florence and John, we hosted a medical clinic in her village.  That was her last memory of her home village.  A medical clinic. 

A stethoscope.  That's what scared her today.  A stethoscope.  It brought back memories.  It brought back fear.  It brought back uncertainty.  It brought back sadness.

And she needed to be loved on.  To be held.  She needed to be filled up.

She needed to be quieted.  Assured.  Set at peace.

So in the quiet space of my arms, God ministered.  Quieted her fear.  Released her into peace.

And this afternoon, I saw her race across the field, laughter bubbling from a place that, perhaps, is a little more whole.

 It's these moments...these quiet moments...in the midst of the chaos...when I see God's greatest work.  The work of love.  And it's in these moments...these rare and beautiful moments...that I fully understand the reason God has called me here, not for me at all.  It was for that moment.  That one quiet moment.  Just for Hannah.

That's a powerful love.


  1. Oh Hannah!! It was probably my stethoscope. I remember her that day. She was sooo thin and empty. I was so happy to learn she would be coming back to CORM and have the opportunites that the children have at Faith Roots. I can picture her on your lap and it brings a quiet smile to my face. love you Autumn.

    1. It was a rough day for her, but she toughed it out. Always blessed to remember the sweet moments where you and my mom and Aunt Peggy got to see the freedom that came for Florence, Hannah, Alex, John, and Sammy. They are different kids today...so different from a year ago! Love you!