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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Saturday, April 26, 2014


Many people ask about the scary things that inevitably come with living in Africa.

Snakes? Sure, we have them. But, since development came in to our little children's village, they haven't been too bad. The occasional little guy, the rare cobra, the puff adder...all have come to visit but only on rare occasions.

Spiders? Yep. But, we just let them be and they let us be.

Mosquitos? Absolutely. Experiencing malaria 6 times, I would say that they are a big pain, especially if we have a night without electricity. That's when you really understand the power of a mosquito.

Termites? After it rains, they come out in their numbers, hovering around anything that involves light. By the time morning comes, the ground is covered with the wings and the kids come out with their little containers, collecting the now helpless, wingless critters,watching them squirm.

But, the worst of all is perhaps the smallest of all...the ant.

What do you know about Charles Taylor? Never heard of him?  This Liberian war lord ruled the country of Liberia with all kinds of fear and violence for years. You can read more about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Taylor_(Liberian_politician)

Our ants are named after that dictator. Give you an idea of the pain these tiny red ants can cause?

They cover our ground, invade our homes, and cause all kinds of trouble. In a country where the sandal is the preferred choice for footwear, these ants take full advantage. If you happen to step on their path, they can cover your feet quickly, their bites stinging your feet and legs. Then, when you have finished swatting them away, they leave little welts that rise up and fill with pus, a painful little pimple that takes forever to heal. And if you are lucky, they heal without infection (I am not always lucky.).

They seem to find solace (and death!) in my bathroom and on a weekly basis, I sweep out hundreds of these annoying Charles Taylor's. On occasion, they have chosen not to die. Unknowingly, after my bath, I have grabbed my towel and wrapped it around me to be surprised with hundreds of ants covering my body and welts in the most uncomfortable of places. A quick rinse under the water and they are down the drain, but the welts remained, reminding me of these little tormentors.

I guess they are a reminder that even the smallest in the Kingdom of God can make a difference. 

So next time I get attacked by these little monsters, I will have to remind myself of this truth. Ha!

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