We visited Aidan’s village: Sankpem

Note: I am home from Ghana. The following is my journal entry for Sunday June 22nd. If you want to read about the whole journey in order, read the posts below. MD.

Sunday June 22, evening

How do you describe joy? I can only think of one way as I type this, while a ceiling fan blessedly breathes on my face, cooling me. Joy is going to Kushibo village, little children running alongside our van, greeting us with smiles and laughter. They held my hand, stroked my arm. One boy with an orange striped shirt followed Aidan around, holding tightly to his hand.

We took pictures and showed them to the children after each take. They laughed and pointed. They made faces or put their hands in the air when I shot a group so they would know which one was them. I don’t think they have a lot of mirrors in this village.

We dedicated the church to God, our team leader cutting a ribbon to let us all in. Elders from the tribe attended, as did the church members. We sang and danced, kind of like the bunny hop in a circle. The folks laughed at us, but in a sweet, humored way.

Several men performed ceremonial dances. They wore women’s skirts—pink, flowery, or gingham and women’s shirts (one was pink with the word ANGEL emblazoned on the top). They shook their hips while two played tribal flutes and someone else hit a traditional drum. We placed Ghanian cedis (dollars) on their foreheads. Women walked through the dancing men, mopping their faces with a common shawl.

Little children gathered around us again. I taught them funny handshakes. One sweet boy spoke limited English and said to me, “You are my friend.”

“And you are my friend,” I told him.

A little tiny girl with a maroon and white top help my hand the most. I had someone take a picture of us. She’ll stay in my heart a long time.

After the dedication of the church building, we drove to Sankpem, the village we are trying to get water to. They showed us both sites that were unsuccessful. I took pictures and I prayed over the dry ground. We met the village elder. He said thank you to us, but that he was very, very sad that we had spent so much money and we didn’t have a well yet. Would you pray that God would help this community get water? In the dry season, they have to walk 10 km to get water every single day. It is common for one woman to die while she crosses a river. Each year. I’ll never look at my faucet the same again. (All the pictures of this visit are below).

It’s still a bit surreal that our feet touched the earth of a place so far away, that Aidan got to tangibly see the village he’s been trying to get water for. I can’t quite express how that feels.

Tonight he prayed. He got on his knees and asked God to open the hearts of the people we would witness to tomorrow. He prayed for water. He prayed for much, much more. Perhaps I am here to watch my son’s soul unfold.

At the service tonight, I had the opportunity to share my testimony briefly and then sing a song. I pray the Lord used it. I felt His favor, particularly after Aidan said “Mom, that was beautiful.” A dear brother who didn’t know my own battles this week with feeling inferior and needy came up to me, grabbed my hand and prayed a blessing over me. It was just what I needed to hear. He prayed that my story (testimony) would help many, many people. Oh dear Jesus make it so. For Your fame, Your renown.

Strangely, I’m feeling alone here. It’s caused me to think a lot about France, how alone I felt there. I wonder if my loneliness corrupted my desire to minister. Maybe so. Or maybe it just broke my heart. I’m combating my feelings of loneliness by actively seeking to listen to others and pray for them. And I had the opportunity to lead our team in one short worship song tonight. That blessed me. Oh how I love to worship Jesus.

Funny story. This morning I think I saw a gray hair. It really bummed me out, particularly since one of the team members referred to me as “that lady.” Totally not intended to hurt me, but it made me feel like the ancient of days. But then I saw a beautiful pastor whose hair was flecked gray. The Lord said to me, “It’s a crown of glory.” And it was. So I’m hatching my very own crown of glory. May it be, Jesus, that I don’t grow old with angst, but that I see it as an opportunity to be wise and to minister.

Tomorrow we spend the day in street evangelism. Lord, bring many to You. Use us. Touch us. And heal us as we seek to bring those who need healing to You.

I pray I sleep tonight. I haven’t had a good sleep yet and I’m completely tired. Lord, please help me sleep.The first place they tried to dig for water. Paul, me, Aidan. All they hit was shale.The second site. Same problem–lots of little rocks, but no drinkable water. Taken with village officials.Meeting with a village elder who felt sad that we’d “wasted” our money.The Sankpem village, nestled between trees, cows, goats and sheep milling about.A Sankpem boy. How the women in the village carry water. I pray someday she’ll have a well or a spigot of fresh water to draw from in the center of her village. Would you pray as well? Like to help? Make a donation for the well funds at International Hope & Heritage.
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