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, May 14, 2015

Getting Ready to Go

My friends...it's been awhile.

It's not on purpose that I have been so silent here, but...time.  Time is always the problem these days.

It has been a busy season.  I feel like this past month has almost been a time of birthing something new.

A couple nights ago, I couldn't even wrap my mind around the list the laid before me.  A couple well spoken words and the list was delegated out until it was more manageable, and here I am tonight, reflecting and considering all that lies before me.

I sit here tonight, listening the crickets chirping around me, the voices of the languages that I have yet to learn, the pounding of the drums coming from the boys house just down the street, and I recognize that I am home here.

This year has been groundbreaking for our ministry.  I feel like we have stepping into something new and sweet and challenging and good.  In all of that space, it is still hard.  Because relationships are hard and messy and not clear cut. 

But, more than anything, I have seen more and more, that God is calling us into a place of deeper restoration.  I have seen us walk out shorter accountability.  I have been a part of calling up, speaking out, moving forward. 

This season has been so sweet.

Last night, I was given the privilege of speaking into our kids and staff for our Bible study time before I leave for the States.  I began to reflect on the amazing gift I have been given to know these kids and know them well.  For most of them, I was here long before they came.  For some, I came only shortly afterwards.  I have lived with them.  I have heard their fears.  I have shared in their tears.  They have seen the hard and messy and ugly parts of me...and I have seen their hard and messy and ugly parts too.  And when I think back to my DK...my Abigail...my quiet Aaron...my feisty Mary...my sneaky Benard...my Dora...my Florence...all I can see is restoration.  I think of where they have come from and where they are going.  All I can see is restoration.  Oh, this season is so sweet.

I leave tomorrow to the States.  It has been the longest that I have stayed in Ghana without a trip home.  There have been times when I have called home in tears...I have been tired and worn out and so in need of a break.  But, oh, in the midst of that, I seen such goodness.

I have seen how our worship has deepened and the collective roots of faith are beginning to sink down into His love.

I have seen how grace is beginning to transform relationships.

I am seeing how vulnerability is beginning to shape the culture and we are discovering that secrets can't be held here.  Freedom is desired and expected and a right of each and every person, no matter the age.

Whenever I travel to the States, I usually try to identify a couple of good stories that I can tell over and over again, that really shares the dreams and vision of CORM and the amazing work that is being done here. 

To be honest, it's going to be hard to narrow them down this time. 

Even in leaving, I recognize that, while I feel so much more at peace than any other time that I have ever left before; I actually have a team that I know can manage my work without me; I also feel so much more connected to this place.  More and more of me is finding it's way into the red dirt soul of this land, of its people, of this sweet place.

I'm excited to share the tales.  To share the vision.  To share this work of restoration happening here in Ghana.

I'm excited to stand face to face with my loved ones back in the States and talk and love on each other and laugh and catch up. 

But, even in the excitement that can hardly contain itself, in the getting ready to go...I sense the rooting here.

In Malvin's hugs first thing everyday.

In the shouts of "Auntie Autumn" as I walk through this place.

In gentle touch of a friend as they pray for me.

In the hours of time logged in front of the microphone with my Keliy and the rest of the team.

I am known here.  And the getting ready to go is also a process of getting ready to leave.

I know that same process will happen when I am preparing to return back here to Ghana in just a couple of months.

Sometimes, I tell Keliy that hard that is being a missionary in a land so far away.  This is just one of those hard things.  The coming and the going.  The constant state of goodbye.  The pieces of your heart you leave wherever you go.

Goodbye Ghana.  Hello U.S. of A.