I started writing this last post before I left Ghana, and never finished it:
Well, today is my last day in Ghana. Even as I type these words my heart is filled with so many conflicting emotions. Joy to see my home, family and friends again but so much pain to leave the people I love here in Ghana, knowing I might not see them again. How do you say goodbye?
These last 3 weeks have been some of the hardest and most amazing weeks of my life. I have built amazing, deep relationships with people who have touched my heart in a way I never thought was possible in only 6 weeks. I have also seen and experienced things that have confused and overwhelmed me.
Many things have happened since my last update so I will only touch on a few of them. On July 31st, Pastor Enoch Thompson invited me to speak at his daughters school. There were probably at lest 100 kids and I showed them some pictures of Canada, taught them a song and also taught a Bible lesson. They all loved it so much and were so receptive to everything I had to say, it was amazing!
A not so exciting thing that happened was the day after when my backpack was stolen from the beach. Not an uncommon thing for the particular beach we were at. Money, perscription sunglasses and more. Not the best day but thankfully the really important things weren’t in there like my passport and other ID.
My last week in Ghana consisted of planning and prep for Youth Camp. Youth Camp was nothing like any camp I have ever experienced before. And nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to witness. It was very exhausting. The first night we went to bed at about 1:30am and were woken up at 4:30am. And that first night I was hardly able to sleep. There were about 4 speakers a day and when you weren’t sitting and listening to a speaker you were praying, singing, eating or trying to get just a few minutes of sleep. Youth camp was very charismatic and “spiritual”. I witnessed many people being “slain in the spirit” and “touched by God”. In my opinion, this was all a result of false teaching and was not of God, BUT please talk to me about this in person to get a full account of what happened and why I feel the way I do. This is the area where I noticed the biggest cultural differences. A friend of mine explained to me that Ghana relies much more on experience than on what the Bible says. They have a hard time reading their Bible and so when experiences like this happen to them they aren’t able to as easily tell truth from a lie because they don’t have the Biblical knowledge to back it up. I am still trying to process this stuff in my brain and heart, but definitely one of the hardest experiences of my time in Ghana.
I spent my last couple of days spending as much time as I could with my friends and saying good bye. I even got to sing a song in Twi on my last Sunday, it was so fun! I can’t even count all the ways I have been blessed and changed by my 6 weeks in Ghana. However much my Ghanaian friends say they learned from me I can say without a doubt that they taught me so much more than I could ever teach them. I have learned what true faith and reliance in God looks like, I have learned about friendship, love and the importance of quality time. I have learned that God is the same in every country and how truly comforting that is. I have learned that hope is needed everywhere. I have learned that saying good-bye is one of the hardest things to do, and that it’s much easier to say “See you later”. So to my amazing new family in Ghana I say, “see you later”. I don’t know when that will be but I pray that God would bless and strengthen you until we see each other again. I love you all so much.
It has been difficult to figure out what is next and how life should look now that I am home. I pray that the changes in me would not fade away as home becomes more familiar. I pray that Ghana would always be home to part of my heart. I pray I never forget. Thank you all for your support and love and company on this journey. It has been a pleasure walking and sharing with you. The journey isn’t over, there is still much more that God has in store and I am excited for the next step.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3: 16-21