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, May 30, 2014

Finally...a day that made sense

Today was an abnormal Friday. We had a PTO meeting today, not my favorite day in any school term, but today, I found myself surprised.

Our executive members, parents elected by the parents to represent them to the school, asked to lead the PTO meetings from now on. I was nervous about this as it meant allowing parents to speak for us as the leaders of the school.

The meeting started off rocky. The execs wanted to get feedback from the parents, involving them as much as possible, so they brought up topics I would have much preferred stayed out of bounds. But, before I even had to say anything, one of our execs stood up and clarified everything for the parents just the way I would have. After that, I knew that it would be ok to have them lead and I could a trust that they would represent the school well. And so I sat off to the side, happy to chime in only when requested. Releasing this responsibility is such a blessing. The PTO meetings have continually brought anxiety my way. So, I was happy to watch others represent us well, but also provide adequate opportunities for the parents to have a voice.

After our PTO meeting, I made a mad dash to my office to eat lunch and prepare salaries. With such a full day at hand, I was worried about getting it done, but before a I knew what was happening, I had two crying KG's in my office after getting in trouble. If it had been yesterday, I could have easily lost my cool. But, today, I just sat them down, turned on worship music and before two minutes had passed, the crying had waned, and even eight minutes later, they were sleeping on my office floor. Salaries were completed quickly after that. Thankful that God's presence calmed the storm brewing in these two little ones (and perhaps in me too).

This afternoon, we gathered as a school out in the canteen, each class preparing something to share about an African country that they had studied this week as a part of African Union Day. Each class had studied a different country and told us a little bit about the culture, language, food, economics, etc of each country. It was such a joy to hear their studied words regarding each country, to see them dance and represent something from another culture, and to share dramas and languages from other African cultures.

Today, in the midst of the many trials that so many African nations face, I felt blessed to be a part of these people and this culture. Ghana is peaceful and loving and hospitable. We aren't at risk of persecution. We see so many things that are frustrating or sad here, but we witness even more joy and hope and love. And I saw that in the laughter of our children and staff, in the confidence of the speakers, in the presence of our PTO board. 

Today, I am just thankful.

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