here’s a video a friend put together about my trip
Well folks, I made it home safe and sound. Please know that this journey would not have been possible without your prayers and support. As cliche as that sounds, it’s the truth. As I continue to adjust back into life in the states, pray that I do not forget where I have been. Pray that these last few months will radically alter the course of my life.
Pictures from the final stage of the water project:
I’m happy to say that we finished plumbing in the tank this afternoon, and from now on we will have running water at the house! Thank you all for making this happen.
With less than two weeks left in Africa, the wrap-up has begun. The pace tightens, and I am surprised by the second wind I’ve gotten urging me to finish well. All this to say, my blogging time is a little cramped. Here’s what’s been happening:
I’m happy to say that we’re making good progress on the water project. Most recently we dug a 100ft trench and buried the water line which brings us a giant step closer to running water. We also worked out some kinks in my original plan (that pun’s for you dad) which will allow us to use the bathroom even when the GRUB – Ghana Residential Utility Bureau – isn’t pumping us water. (I made up that GRUB stuff, but the rest of it is true)
I spent the last week and a half in Ghana’s Upper East region at an orphanage in the rural crop lands of Bolgatanga. A friend from California joined me and we were able to spend quality one-on-one time building each other up and speaking truth into both our lives. It was during this time that I began to see with amazing clarity the ways these last few months are going to shape the rest of my life.
Lastly I would ask for prayer. Specifically that the devil will have no say in the things I make my priorities in these last few weeks. That the people I am to love, the conversations I am to begin, and the places I am to visit will be chosen by the lord. That every last moment would bring Him glory…
Began work this week on the early stages of operation water closet. First problem to address is drainage. As it is now, water from the baths empties onto the ground and is expected to soak in or evaporate. However, with lots of people bathing the water collects in stagnant puddles brimming with germs and mosquitos.
The older boys and I spent a day digging in mud and sewage to rework some of the trouble spots.
Then back-filled our hole with rubble which will allow excess water to quickly soak into the ground.
The lord blessed me tremendously, through many of you, with the necessary funds to move to Ghana for the summer. The result in me, the growth I’ve experienced, has been more than I could have ever hoped for. But the lord’s plan for me in Africa has turned out to be so much bigger than my personal development. As the funds continued to pour in from the most unexpected places, (seriously, you’ve got to hear some of the stories) it became clear that I was being sent to Ghana in order to be a blessing. That commission was sealed in me when the baggage man at the airport, a complete stranger, handed me a fistful of bills, clapped me on the back, and told me to help somebody needy.
So what does “blessing” mean?
The orphanage where I am living has no running water. Every drop required for drinking, washing clothes, cooking, and bathing must be collected from a giant PolyTank or fetched by wheelbarrow in plastic jugs.
An indoor bathroom was recently added to the building and plumbed with a toilet, sink, and shower. However, these things are of very little use without running water. The unusable shower-head sits up there looking pretty as I bucket bathe below.
The eternal significance of this project is debatable, and it certainly isn’t too glamorous, but the long-short of it all is this: these people poop in a hole and shower from a bucket. I can help change that. Stay tuned for more super-exciting bathroom updates!
My first month in Africa is over, and I realize I am doing a terrible job keeping people updated on how my trip is going. Pardon all the poetry, here are the facts:
I live in Teshie, Ghana, on the coast, about 30 kilometers east of Accra. I eat, sleep, and spend most of my time in an orphanage called Nyame Dua (tree of God).
There are eighteen boys, ages 4 to 16, who call this place home. I spend my days teaching the younger ones how to count, how to color inside the lines, and why it isn’t right to take Desmond’s crayons.
When the older boys get home from school we usually play soccer or work on a building project, (chicken coop, clothing rack, swing, soccer goals, etc…) then finish out the day with a bible study.
My free time is spent journaling, exploring, learning, visiting our sister orphanage, napping, taking pictures, reading, praying, running errands, doing pushups, preparing for bible study, adventuring, or searching for American food.
All this doesn’t even begin to sum up life here but I hope it gives you a glimpse into what’s going on.