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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Monday, July 28, 2014


Kathy served with us for about 9 months last academic year. She started up our resource program at Faith Roots, loved on our kids, and helped fill in so many gaps for me when I was overwhelmed and burnt out. I love this girl.

And she came back this summer for three weeks. She spent time working with our beloved Gaga, helping me with just about everything when I was stressed beyond belief and unsure of how it was all going to get done, and loving on our kids.

Unfortunately, a good portion of her time with us, I was either sick or stressed beyond belief and was a different version of myself...a not so fun version.

But, let me tell you, I am blessed by her friendship. She was here at CORM, in 2013, when I went through some very heavy burn out. I wondered if I was going to be able to make it here in the long run. And this girl walked beside me. Our one-on-ones would last for hours, encouraging each other, talking through the things God was teaching and growing in. She got to see me walk out the other side of burn out in 2014. She got to see God begin to speak and move in our staff. And she got to be a part of me beginning to dream again, to actually walk more in my giftedness as help was found and resources began to grow.

One particular day from her last months of teaching with us last year was burned into my memory. Our staff was struggling working together as a team, standing very divided. I felt God leading us to a time of prayer together, to pray for those that we were struggling to work with, to ask for forgiveness and to bless and encourage each other. And when I prayed for Kathy, instantly, I felt the love of the Father so purely poured down on her that I couldn't hold back the tears and began to weep, explaining to her what God had spoken to me. It made me almost weak in the knees with the overwhelming love coursing into her. Such a powerful moment. And then, I moved on to pray for someone else, the feeling gone for the moment. Later, I came home to a note from her that I still hold onto and read when I have forgotten those sweet moments of God's movement and how God has actually created me to operate, in pastoral and prophetic care of these people that He has put in front of me.

Today was Kathy's last day here. I hate saying goodbye to friends. It's saying goodbye to moments where I can be 100% stressed to the max and still completely accepted and understood (I think I might have scared off a few of the other volunteers in my craziness the last days of school). It's saying goodbye to convos that mean so much while I lay incapacitated in my bed with malaria. It's saying goodbye to the laughter that comes with ease as we watch a movie together and chat as if we haven't missed any time at all.

The thing with Kathy is that her heart is now forever divided, as it is with anyone who has spent any length of time serving abroad. She has to be home to work and live her day to day life, but her heart has a home in Ghana, so part of her will always be with us here. And that means that goodbyes are not forever. I will see her again when I go visit in the States. She will return here to visit her kiddos. And the texts will come as regular check-ins. 

Kathy, you will be missed. You will be missed because you loved so well. Thank you!

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