Friday, July 1, 2011

Personal Journal Excerpts from our first weeks in Ghana

Reading out loud to my students is something I do on a daily basis (in the U.S.). Reading out loud today was a totally new experience. The students in my class were very tuned in to my every word. They did not talk or comment while I was reading. I soon realized that they are not read aloud to very often, if ever. I am going to read a book or two every day that I am here. The joy I saw in their smiles and their eyes lighting up while I read I will never forget. Marcy Gasperson (1st time in Ghana)

God's Orchestra: In the distance I hear the soft sound of drumming and a flute. The sounds blend perfectly with the chirps and coos of the birds. The kitchen staff are talking quietly with an occasional laugh and clatter of dishes and pans as they prepare our breakfast. The air is warm and humid. The sky has gray clouds with small patches of sun rays pushing through the grey.A morning at the Fair Hill Guest House. Paula Watson (4th time in Ghana)

Seeing the children at T.H.I.S, I suddenly realize, this is why I am here. This is why I traveled to Ghana. The children's smiling faces are worth it all. I do not know them, but I already love them. Hilary Griffin (1st time in Ghana)

Simone found me in the library and said something about the book I gave him in 2007 being old. “Will you bring me a new book and write a message again? When you come back I will show you.” I gave him a big hug and patted his back and he copied me and patted my back. Then he said, “If you go, I will miss you.” Then I thought; will I be back? I hope he can show me the message in a few years just like a few days ago. The pages worn, but love and friendship intact. Amanda Hobson (3rd time in Ghana)

My eyes are being opened up to the fact that my problems are so small compared to the problems many people face. The people here have so much less than I do, yet they have so much more joy. Elizabeth Hopkins (2nd time in Ghana)

I love how welcoming the people are in Ghana. Even people that I have never met before express such hospitality. They greet us by saying, "You are welcome". People that I have met once or twice greet me with such joy upon return. They are genuinely thrilled to see us again. That glimpse of purity in their eye. They are honestly, truly happy to see us back.' Akwaaba - Welcome back home. Lindsey White (2nd time in Ghana)

I want to be a sharpened tool for the Lord while I’m in Africa. I don’t want this trip to be a travel experience for myself…I want people to come to know Jesus, not just think I’m a nice American girl who came to Africa to love the children. If all they know is my love, then that will go away when I leave…If they can have the love of Jesus, then that will last for eternity. Katie Bowman (1st time in Ghana)

My heart is rejoicing and my soul sings for the chain of salvation has started to form. I am amazed everyday of God's love and his mercy. Today he allowed me to see the reward of my effort to go the distance. I praise his holy name. Jessica Hunter (2nd time in Ghana)

Familiar sounds of traveling in Ghana: Beep, beep, beep.... Beep, beep.....beep... Beep, beep, beep. Peco Sanders (3rd time in Ghana)

We went to the market today. As always, the sights and smells are overwhelming. Brightly colored spices mingle with raw fish and crabs lying upon slabs balanced atop the heads of women. Tightly we squeezed through the labyrinth of stalls and wove our way around the REAL market of Cape Coast. Amber Prince (2nd time in Ghana)

I have formed a small army at break time. We move together. We grunt together. Sometimes we all fall down. My every move and sound is reflected before me, and they copy things I did not realize I was even doing. This I think is what it means to be a father. Davey West (1st time in Ghana)

Today was the first day I walked by my classroom after teaching and all the students yelled, “Madam Aubree!” I’ve heard names of so many group members called by these precious students; but today they know my name. Aubree Lindamood (1st time in Ghana)

In class on Friday, I ask the children, "What can we give to our communities?" A boy answers, "A church." "How can we give a church?" I ask. He responds, "You can build it." Me: "What if you can't build the whole thing?" Him: "You can give a bag of concrete." And I think: Here we are, all of us, each bringing her own bag of cement. Dr. Celeste Pottier (1st time in Ghana)

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