I have spent one glorious week in beautiful Ghana. It still feels surreal to wake up here every morning, but I am quickly adjusting to the culture and way of life here in Accra. It will be impossible to update you on absolutely every experience I have had in the last week but I will try and mention the key moments for you.
I have now finished my orientation process here which was basically making sure my vaccinations and health information was up to date, informing me of some cultural do’s and dont’s and getting some tips on how to be safe and how to respond and relate to the opposite sex. All this has been very useful as I get to know the people here and meet what seems like hundreds of Ghanaians. Although there are some things you just shouldnt do here, Accra is very accepting and becoming more modern. So if you do happen to do something offensive like pointing with your left hand, you will almost always be forgiven because you are white, or Obruni.
I have been very surprised at how many SIM associates are here in Ghana, even just in Accra. I have met almost all the Accra missionaries except for 2 families who are away on home assignment. There are 2 families who live here as well as 3 part timers who will be leaving soon. 2 from Wales and 1 from Swizerland. There is a wonderful lady named Lotti who is the guesthouse manager and will be here for one year. And of course my boss is the wonderful Sherri, who has been here for 8 years. She takes care of all the part time associates as well as does work with many different youth and children programs in Accra.
On Saturday, I got to see the church I will be attending and meet many of the people I will be working with in the worship ministry there, as well as the pastor. What wonderful people! They are working really hard to have a contemporary music program at their church and they even have a small choir! They are so excited to have me at their disposal. They are so eager to learn everything they can about music, I just hope I can be of some help!
And then Sunday was church. What an experience! I think everyone should experience and African church service once in their lives. Everything is loud and everyone is moving! The music just makes you want to dance, and the way these people are so on fire for the Lord is inspiring and humbling. I am definitely looking forward to spending 6 weeks with these amazing people.
On Monday I started observing some of the things I will be doing while I’m here. Sherri, Nono (part timer from Switzerland), and I traveled up this mountain/hill thing to the Winners Family School. This is a Christian school that is run by a pastor and probably has at least 200 students. The children in Ghana are amazing! They all want to meet the new Obruni (white person) and they just have this way of making you feel so loved. I will be teaching 4 classes on Monday mornings. We will do a BIble story, a couple songs and a memory verse in each class. The children are for the most part very well behaved and so eager to hear what you have to say, I am really looking forward to it! I also received a surprise visit from Pastor Enoch! I will get to go to his daughters school and lead their worship service on July 31st as well as visit his church soon!
Tuesday we didn’t have too much going on but Sherri took me to the Challenge Book Shop. This is a book shop that was started by a different organization that SIM has now teamed up with. Publishers send them Christian books and resources at really really discounted rates so that people here can afford them. It was really amazing to see how many books they had and how accessible these tools were to anyone who wanted them. They also have a van that is available to churches around Accra to take out and out on a sort of evangelism night. The van has a fold out screen where they will show Jesus films, and they will also do prayer and a time of worship. I also went to the market to buy some cloth to make some African dresses and went to my first Twi (the main language here) lesson with my tutor Sarah!
Wednesday I back to my church where there is a school from Monday-Friday. Sherri teaches a Bible story to all of the children and we will sometimes be able to go in and do some crafts or songs with the kids. On Monday and Wednesday evenings there is a kids club at the church. On Mondays we do a Bible story, memory verse and songs and on Wednesdays we mainly do singing, and dancing and a memory verse. The kids even have a chance to sing a solo in front of their friends if they want 🙂
And today. Thursdays we are off!! Sherri, Lotti and I took a trip to the beach today! It was so beautiful! Palm trees everywhere and the sand was so soft. It was so amazing to be at the ocean. Unfortunately it started to rain so we couldn’t spend as much time there as we wanted. Next Thursday we might take a trip to Cape Coast, which is a must see I am told, as it is a piece of Ghana’s history.
I forgot to tell you about the food! So far it is delicious! I have tried fried chicken and rice, jolof (not sure on the spelling) rice and Red red. Red red i black eyed beans and fried plantain. It is really good but can be very spicy, as with most things here. i have to eat the food in moderation to help my stomach adjust 🙂
So, I know that is a lot to read, but if you made it through, congratulations! I guess to summarize my week I would say that I am in awe. I am in awe of these amazing people, who have so little yet love people and their Lord with everything they have. I am in awe of this beautiful land. I am in awe of our amazing God, who is the same God here in Africa as He is in Canada. I am in awe that He would love me and take me back time and time again as I realize over and over how truly fallen I am. I am truly blessed to be in this place, to know these people and to serve my God. Again, thank you for your support and love, as I learn and grow and serve here.
– Pray for more than just surface relationships to be built with the people I meet, but especially those I will be working with in the worship ministry
– Pray for a clear and receptive mind as I learn Twi.
– Pray for the children to have receptive ears and hearts as they hear the word of God.
– Pray for God to continue working in and changing my heart as He has already been doing.
Thank you! Praying that the peace and joy of our Lord is overwhelming your hearts and lives, as you live for Him!
Pastor Enoch and I
Winners Family School