West Africa

16 years ago I traveled to West Africa for the first time.  I was a single college student, on a team of other college students, working alongside Liberian refugees in the Cote D’Ivoire. It was an eye-opening experience that challenged life as I knew it.  I suddenly had friends who ate only one meal a day, witnessed women carrying large baskets on their heads, saw all the trash we made piled up across the street from our guest house, children in little clothes whose belly buttons were the size of small balls (due to infections), knew people who had no jobs and no answer to the routine question, “what did you do today?”.  It was also a rich time of seeing immense generosity from those who had so little, embracing singing for the sake of praise (and not based on ability), reveling in the beauty of the land – blue skies, brown dirt and brilliant green plants…

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In January, I will travel to West Africa for the second time.  This time as a wife, a mother of 3 growing children and I wonder what we shall find…

-Joy

Going to Ghana!

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our blog!  We’ll use this site to share with you about the adventure ahead of us.  If you don’t know yet, we’re moving Team Robbins to Accra, Ghana in West Africa.  “You’re doing what?!?!” you might ask.  or “Why?!”

We get those questions a lot.  The short answer is that Matt is doing a field office fellowship with an organization we’ve both admired for 16 years: International Justice Mission (www.ijm.org).  In Ghana, there are thousands of young boys that have been sold into slavery.  IJM Ghana is working to set them free and bring their oppressors to justice.  We want to be a part of that!  So Matt will use his pastor-skills to be a church mobilizer – a pastor to pastors- equipping Ghanaian church leaders for the long, arduous, holy work of justice ahead.

The longer answer is that we have fallen in love with the God of Justice.  This is how so many suffering Israelites over the years have known God.  A God who hears the cry of the oppressed and acts heroically on their behalf.  We are inspired and motivated to know that God is not absent or uncaring in this world of so much injustice and suffering- where young boys can be taken from their homes and made to work long days with little rest, love, or food.  The Bible teaches us that God cares passionately about that!  He hates it!  God yearns for rescue for these kids, accountability for those who would harm them, and a total change in the societies that would allow this to happen.  God wants to lead His people in courageous acts to do this work.  We have been so deeply inspired and instructed by the work of IJM and we count it a great privilege for the opportunity to come alongside the heroic and brave staff of an IJM field office for a season and help the cause.

Thanks for checking out the blog.  We hope to see you back on here often: reading, commenting, praying, asking questions, going on this journey with us!  See you back here soon!

-Matt

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