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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Sunday, July 7, 2013

No Light

Earlier today, I had called our driver to make sure he would be coming in to pick up our students tomorrow morning and to see if he could take a volunteer to the airport in the morning.  He agreed and then called Nosa this evening and decided he wouldn't be coming back.

There aren't any other options for us at this time.  Brother Odion went with Nosa this weekend to get his stuff set up for his six month stay at YYAM in Kumasi.  So, they're both gone.  It would be me driving the school bus.  And driving Paolo to the airport.  And principaling the school.  And overseeing the volunteers.  And checking in on the kids.  And...all the rest.  Just can't add one more thing to my plate right now.

So, Aunty Lydia and Uncle Atta and I trekked out to his house in Shai Hills to find out what was the matter and why he had suddenly decided to quit. 

It was dark leaving our house and before we realized it, we were in the middle of Shai Hills, our headlights the only light beaming through the intense darkness that is that place.

We found our driver's house, but Aunty Lydia exclaimed, "These people are really trying! This place with no light...". 

And it's true.  We pulled up and went to someone's house and a mother and father were gathered around a small coal pot, the mother feeding her baby, the father shining a small light towards to the mother as they chatted back and forth.

People went running and scurrying about to find our driver, voices shouting in the darkness as they went house to house (more like shanty to shanty) to look for him.

Eventually, they led us to another house, pulled out benches and sat us down to wait for him to come.  Lydia and Atta did most of the talking when he finally arrived, but I watched as the girls in the house pulled out their homework, using the light of a cell phone to finish their work, taking turns holding the light and working.  And then, watching as they pulled out their school uniforms, fanned their coal pot into bright red coals, and placed their iron onto the coals so that they could iron their uniforms for tomorrow.

We lived here at the children's village for 4 months without electricity.

I take it for granted so often.


After chatting with our driver, getting him to agree to come back to work, and climbing back into our car for the trip back home, I reflected on what I had seen.

I had seen my student's homes before.  I had been inside the little shanties as a special guest.

But, somehow, it is different without light.  To see the darkness that surrounds them, and to know that it is just one more thing that they have to fight to have a normal life.

We assign homework to our students that they complete by the light of halfway charged cell phones.

We get after them for arriving to school with rumpled uniforms when they have to work five times harder to get them as straight as they already are.

And somehow, it brought me into a place of deeper, spiritual thinking...

Knowing that even though they might come from "Christian" homes, there is an element of their lives that is lived in the darkness.

It makes me want to battle that darkness even harder. 

And it makes me want to pour love and light into those students even more. 

Jesus is the only one who can bring true hope and light and peace into these homes.  And I am praying for that hope and light and peace to emanate from me as He continues to mold and change me into a better vessel of that light.

May it be so.

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