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, September 2, 2014

Coming of Age, Post 8

I have been wanting to write this post for almost two weeks. Time has flown and when I sit down to write in the evenings, the words can't adequately express the great meaning and beauty of that day.

Last Sunday was our coming of age ceremony. It was beautiful, a completion of the vision we felt like God had set before us. 

The canteen was decked out to the nines in ribbons and balloons.

The whole place was filled with a level of expectation, a knowing that we were entering into something new...something holy.

The guys came in, dressed in kente handsomely draped over their shoulders, as the chiefs do in this place. Their feet wearing the sandals of the elders, beads around their neck.

The ladies, our beautiful girls, seemed to be floating into the place as they walked into the service. Their heads crowned with tiaras, they stood confident in all their splendor.

Our wild Mary said, "They look like angels.".

And they did.

The service was a place to honor our 12, they journey they passed through during the Coming of Age week. 

It was an honor to have 5 of our chiefs come and witness the celebration. To have Chief Opata speak into their lives the truth of the gospel instead of the traditions of old.

It was an honor to have our friends Dean and Nanama Fiavor present to pour into them on that day, to lead the ceremony in a way that encouraged the body of believers there on that day.

It was an honor to have our friends, the Sieberts, the Harms, the Okanteys, Miriah, our family, our kids and staff, present with us, to bear witness to the day at hand.

We danced. We sang. We celebrated.

And when the initiation service began, we called them all up by name. 













They stood in grace and boldness, that strange dichotomy, as they read out the pledges they had thoughtfully and prayerfully built over the course of the week. Pledges that spoke of their devotion to Christ, their promise to built the love of Christ in their lives, their homes, their future.

And then we, the leadership, were given the sweet honor of anointing them with oil and praying prayers  that come from a place of knowing them so well.

It felt like something broke free in the heavenlies. This service. There was just so much good in it. So much God in it. So much beauty and freedom and change. 

Oh, how I pray that over this community. It makes us dream bigger dreams for the future. That THIS could change Ghana.

Because, this:

They know their worth, their value as children of our Great King. They can stand in full confidence. They can smile at the days to come, because they KNOW.

Amen and amen.

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