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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Friday, December 6, 2013


I haven't written for a long time. It has been so incredibly busy and writing has not been on any of my lists.

But, can I just say...I love our ever-expanding community here in Ghana.

My first Thanksgiving in Ghana, we were living in Downtown Doryumu. All of us in one house. We took the day off of school and Stacy and our friend Letitia and our staff girls and I cooked and mashed and boiled and peeled and baked all day. John got up early to put the turkey in the oven, which we had moved outside because it was so hot inside, and we woke up to VERY done turkey. Finally, when all the food was done, we ate. And we danced and sang and ate some more. And we laughed and played and ate some more. 

Each year, our Thanksgivings have grown and expanded and it has been a gathering of so many friends from all over the world. And then, we have invited our school friends to join us the following day for fellowship and fun and Thanksgiving. 

This year was no different, though I definitely felt more and more that feeling of "family" that comes with  years and friends and food. 

Our friends came early and we peeled and chopped and cooked and boiled and baked. And thanks to the many sweet, sweet friends that sent goodies with Kristin and Victor and Pastor Judy when they came in October, we had apple pie and pumpkin pie and cheesecake and cherry delight and turkey and ham and rolls and green bean casserole and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and salad and...we had Thanksgiving. Over 50 people came to share in the goodies and the company and the fun.

And the next day was our school celebration and more friends came and our students shared what they were thankful for and our cadets marched and our choir sang and I was filled with such immense gratitude...

What began with just a dream...just a drawing on a napkin so many years ago...is now living and breathing. There is life and movement and laughter and grace.  I saw just why God has called me here. And my only response is gratitude. 

As I watched over 300 people served their Thanksgiving lunch meal, I was blown away.

Gratitude...that is all we have to give when we live our lives in places of seeing the impossible become reality.

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