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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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Humans of New York and How It Made Me Homesick

Have you ever checked out that website Humans of New York? If you haven't, you can check it out here.  I love following them on Facebook, just seeing these brief glimpses into the lives of the many who live and work in that huge city.  Sometimes, you get to witness moments of brokenness that have haunted a life.  Other times, you witness the joy of love.  Or the disappointment of broken dreams.  Or the happiness of a life well-lived. 

Yesterday, I saw this lady:
Who said this:

"What's been your greatest accomplishment?"
"Keeping in touch with distant friends and relatives."
"Why is that important?"
"It's important to always have people who remember you at various stages of your life. It's especially important as you get older, because there are less of those people around. And they remind you who you are."

And that was it.  I was homesick.  I was homesick for those people that remind me who I am.  The ones who send me pictures of their babies or their new shoes or the latest family drama.  The ones who dig in deep and ask the hard questions and honor you with your words and create space to challenge and love you well.

So, that beautiful old face reminded me of these beautiful faces, faces that I know so well, faces that mean so much to me because they have witnessed so much of my life and I have witnessed so much of theirs. 

Gotta start with my Jenni-girl because she LIVES in NY, so why wouldn't a picture of a random NY'er make me think of this girl.  Love her.  Encouraged and challenged by her.  Miss her hours of deep conversations and the way that she makes me laugh.  Do not miss neck snuggles.

And Katie--the girl who makes me laugh so hard, encourages me by walking right by my side through the challenges, awesome with kids, loves purely and wholly. 

And these two, Bristol and Cameron, generous and giving, loving fully in such amazing ways, fun and full of laughter and adventure...these two capture my heart.

And Lauren, I think she makes me laugh harder than anyone I have ever met.  She also challenges me.  I love her heart.  I love singing silly songs with her about spiders for hours.  I love just BEING with her.

Sarah is all things sweet and beautiful.  She is an encourager.  She is selfless and lovely and giving and I love our friendship.  She is just all kinds of awesomeness.

And all these people!  They are my family.  I could write a paragraph about each one...
Evan--friend, encourager, soulful, great depth, teacher, father, full of humor
Christina--beautiful, rich friendship, chocolate-lover, wise, heart for issues of social justice, mother
Eric--hard-working, loving, encouraging, loves to dig into those theological issues, father
Yona--fun and funny, so friendly, welcoming, good listener, loyal, honest, mother, gets me caught up on all things America
Joanna--so funny, dedicated and hard working, self-disciplined, wise, loyal, honest, so many midnight convos
Isaiah--ear hugs, wisdom, makes me laugh til I cry, engaging, great depth, father, expects "real" in relationship
Katty--she makes me laugh, is so wise, gracious, hospitable, mother, encouraging, challenges me
Jake--encouraging, teacher, introvert but knows that his presence is wanted to engages, hospitable, funny

And this girl, my Blabey, who missed our retreat where the above pic was taken, but this girl is full of light and life and love and loyalty.

And of course my family, who supports and encourages me and keeps me grounded. 


I am not me without them.  And without the many more that support and love and encourage me.  Today, I miss you.  You are such a part of my heart and I'm praying for you today.

All my love.


  1. Thanks for the shout out Autumn! I hope you are able to come to New York while I'm living here and get to meet some of these awesome New Yorkers...although I have yet to see a featured Human of New York...and I live here! Anyways, it's so true that getting to experience so much life with someone is so good for us, and I'm so thankful for your support and love. Know that you are deeply loved and missed, but also supported in what you do in Ghana, and who you are! Love you my friend!

    1. My Jenni! Love you so much and can't wait to see NY with you sometime. Maybe we will run into this guy when I come! That would be super cool!
      Love you so much!

  2. You are surrounded by an amazing group of people. I picture them as a pile of presents with sparkly wrapping paper strewn about. Gifts from a generous God.

    1. I am, Marilyn! So true! And am so grateful to God for all of these beautiful gifts! Am thankful for you too, the encourager that you are, the ways that you desire to pour into me and each of us. You are a blessing!