I recently went on a 5-day road trip to the Northern part of Lake Volta, to two areas which are at the center of the problem of child trafficking in Ghana. Our mission was to make contact with local pastors, begin relationships, and explore ways we can empower them to be catalysts for justice in their region.
Lake Volta from the Air. It is HUGE. Thousands of fingers stretching for hundreds of miles.
It’s drier up north…and hotter!
Leo and I arriving in Tamale
The Trusty Steed that carried us North.
That’s a lot of bikes!
2.5 hours to the lake, mostly on bumpy dirt road
Stayed the night with some friends “in the bush” who then gave us a ride via 3-wheeler to the ferry terminal. From this point on, I didn’t see another white person for 3 days. The reason I know this is because i forgot sunblock and was desperate to find someone to borrow from! But, Thank God, I found Aloe Vera instead.
Loading trucks onto the ferry is a team effort
By Golly, they did it!
This guy wanted to sell me some interesting traditional medicine remedies for afflictions Leo secretly claimed to him I had. His pantomime explanations for what problems they solved were embarrassing to say the least. Thanks a lot Leo!
This is one of the reasons we came all this way…a chance to meet the pastors on the local church council of Yeji. We introduced ourselves and IJM. We shared our hearts for Biblical Justice and equipping pastors. We offered to partner with them to train the pastors in the region to fight for justice in their communities.
The meeting went great. What a wonderful group of men! What an honest conversation and an open ear! We’ve been invited back to put on a conference.
We stopped off to show a couple of IJM videos to the boy (white shirt) who starred in them (along with his family and friend). This is his first time seeing the movies. Links below if you want to watch them also.
Day 3: the road to the next ferry terminal
shopping for yams
that’s why we need a ferry
A pastor in Kete-Krachi leading us in a powerful prayer for our work!
What a joy to meet with the local church council in Kete-Krachi! I got a chance to preach a bit from Isaiah 58 and share some of my own experience as a pastor with some congregants who have been victims of trafficking and other injustices. We discussed the challenges and opportunities we face as pastors. They are eager to get more training on biblical justice and practical skills for justice and compassion ministries that match our preaching with action!
Day 5: trying to beat the storm to the 3rd ferry terminal
we made it!
the ferry terminals are really busy
the 9 hour drive home through the Volta Region
I yam done
Today I am thankful for all the people with whom we do life in Ghana.
This afternoon we had the pleasure of hosting the Accra Homeschool Group at our house for an afternoon of crafts and outside play! It was so fun to welcome 25 plus kids to our yard. Green space can be hard to come by in the city and it was really so fun to have so many kids playing and laughing and entertaining each other – while the moms relaxed and chatted! I am thankful we have this group and a yard that can handle it!
I am also thankful for all the people who came to my rescue when our car started smoking as I was driving 7 kids to soccer practice this evening!! Two taxi drivers immediately came to look and see if they could help. Then Matt and a contingent from the IJM office showed up to help. And finally our neighbor and some quickly purchased handy, dandy rope towed our car the half a mile to our house. There is no AAA here, but I’m thankful for the many hands that pitched in.
(The shop Matt walked to and bought rope.)
(Tow in progress!)
You might be thinking to yourself, wasn’t it just last week that your sink flooded the kitchen and yep, you’d be right. Life here is rarely boring. 🙂
Today I am thankful for our plumber.
I got a call this afternoon that as our housekeeper was washing dishes – the kitchen floor had filled with water. Yep – it was one of those days – where everything goes wrong at the same moment. Turns out the the drain had broken, filled the bottom cabinet with water and then overflowed to the entire kitchen floor and then the pantry. Thank God for a wonderful plumber who when I called and said what was happening, agreed to come…and soon. I came home to copious amounts of water being mopped up, and as I was trying to put bread in the oven for the dinner we were hosting tonight, I checked my email. And surprisingly saw a whole string of emails from Amazon thanking me for my purchase. What??!? Apparently our youngest decided to order some books for herself on my kindle, also in the small time I was gone. (Her explanation was that she thought the kindle had its own money.) So I put my chicken in to cook, gave up on the vegetables because there was no way to wash them, vowed to call Amazon later tonight when our guests were gone and did what I could!
Thankfully the plumber came, was able to go and get replacement parts before the shops closed and repair the sink in time for our guests to come. I placed a brief and surprisingly efficient call to Amazon and the money was refunded. And we had a delightful dinner with some new friends!
I am also thankful this is not everyday.
*note – in Ghana there is no Yellow Pages or Angie’s List and google is actually not too helpful, so the only way to find out about workers (carpenter, plumber, welder, electrician) is word of mouth. And then sometimes the workers come, sometimes they don’t. It is really a precious commodity when you find a worker who does good work and comes reliably! After over a year here, we FINALLY a good list of folks to call for almost any situation. Seriously it is a blessing!