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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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Leaders of "Now" Mentoring the Leaders of "Tomorrow"

This year, we have seen, more and more, a need for our kids to be mentored, discipled, encouraged...but we have been at a lack trying to figure out how to do that with so few hands on board. It has felt like an overwhelming concept.

And then, along came Stanley Osei, who works in our school office currently. This man is amazing, deeply rooted and has a way of helping to engage our feeble attempts with the people and culture here into these amazing opportunities for our kids. (On a side-note-- we are so excited about the possibilities in front of us in expanding our ministry through Stanley and his fiancé, Brittany. They are just that awesome!)

And so, a couple weeks back, we held our first Mentorship orientation for 15+ Ghanaian University students who just have a heart to serve. It was beautiful to see them hanging out with our kids, hungry to engage and speak into their lives. They will continue to mentor our kids for the next year.  

And this past weekend, through a connection with our old friend, Edgar, and our FTO friend, Tim, we welcomed a group of young adults who work in the finance industry in Accra. When I heard they were coming, I was worried that our 20+ kids here and the 30+ kids from the community that attended would be bored by a presentation about how to get into the finance industry here in Ghana. I thought it would be a talk on business or money. But, I came away inspired by this group of young professionals.

They came in with a notebook and pen for each student, encouraging them to write down their dreams and the things they hear that inspire them.

And then, they took turns sharing about their life or the lives of others who inspired them as youth. One talked about dreaming up ways to design and create jewelry and clothing and still work a regular weekly job that allowed her to support her family. Another talked about growing up in a village in the Volta that you can't even find on a district map, but how he was chosen by a NGO to go to senior high and he began dreaming of his future. Now he has finished his University degree and works at one of the biggest banks in Ghana.

Another spoke of how he grew up reading John Grisham novels and when he heard John's life story, he knew he could make his dreams happen too.

And then...this happened...

And I watched as they pulled almost 60 kids into the hallway to talk one on one with them. To dream with them. To encourage them. To inspire them.

But, it was I who walked away inspired. And encouraged.

You see, I see the floodgates opening as God is calling up the "now" to speak into the "future". And it is a powerful thing to witness.

I talked to my mom about all these things, these connections beginning to happen. She reminded me that we haven't needed this before. But, when we cry out to God in a place of need, He fills...and fills abundantly. She is right. We haven't needed this yet. But, now we do. And it is happening in a really powerful way.

God, open up the floodgates. Release your presence through your people. We are ready for You to move. And change. And inspire. And encourage. And stretch us. We are ready for more of you.

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