Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Christmas Box

One of my Ghanaian co-workers surprised me last Friday. They gave me a Christmas gift. It was such a surprise because people in this area don't typically exchange gifts. This is because the majority of the population cannot afford it plus most of the residents in this area are not Christian, so Christmas is not celebrated. But, my friend is a Christian and does celebrate Christmas, but I know that this person cannot afford to buy gifts. That's what makes this little "box" so special. It is a gift not given out of plenty, but given sacrificially.

Sacrificial gifts make me remember the sacrifice that God the Father made. He sent His Son form the glory of heaven to be born in a stable - a barn with all the dirt and smell and filth. It was because of His birth and eventually His death that makes me a child of the King. The story doesn't end there...Jesus rose from the grave, defeating death once for all. Because of that sacrificial gift, we can be victorious...in more ways than one!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Akos

Hi! My name is Akos and today is my 18th birthday. I live in Lawra, Ghana at the Methodist Orphan and Vulnerable Children Centre with my 9 year old sister, Napog. Our mother died several years ago and our father died three years after mother died. We came to live here in Lawra. I am in my last year of Junior Secondary School. I enjoy school, especially English and math. I hope to be able to attend Senior Secondary School in the fall of 2012. In Ghana, students have to pass difficult examinations in all their subjects before they can proceed to Senior Secondary School. These schools are boarding schools. I pray that God will provide the necessary school fees so I can further my education. When I attend SSS I would have to leave Napog here in Lawra.

My life is much like the lives of my friends...school, study, cook, do laundry, look after my sister and others at the Centre, go to market, etc. I am very active in my church. I attend weekly Bible study and also I attend prayer meeting at 5 AM three mornings a week. It is my faith that helps me get through each day. God is watching over me and my sister and guiding me.

Even though today is my birthday, there will be no special celebrations, not like what I have heard about in America. Mama Sue and one or two others will make sure that I celebrate in some way. I thank God for watching over me all these years and pray that He continues to provide for our needs.

Just Another Day?

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there
~ from A Charlie Brown Christmas

These words may describe Christmas in America, but they don't describe Christmas in Lawra. Of course there is no snow. There are no sleigh bells. There aren't even "carols in the air." There are no decorations. There are no gifts. The only dreams here are the dreams of eating rice and possibly meat this one day of the year. If possible, new clothes are worn, if not, then the best clothes that one owns is worn. The "ancient story" is know by few and told in church and Sunday school.

The reason for the season remains the same both in America and in Lawra.."Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger."
.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Weights and Measures

Shopping at market in Lawra can be a learning experience. It is the same in much of Ghana. In America, when I shop for fruits and vegetables, they are priced according to weight. I can buy a pound of bananas for a certain price. The same for tomatoes, onions, potatoes, etc. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. A watermelon isn't usually priced by the pound. Neither is corn on the cob. But, I'm sure you understand what I mean.

Here, in Ghana, I buy a pile of tomatoes for a certain price, a stack of onions for a certain price or an apple for a certain price. There are no scales at the market, it's all by the number of items and their size. Buying rice and maize and soy beans is a little different. Those are sold by the "bowl". A bowl holds a tad more than 10 cups...I know because I measured my bowl today. Usually, the seller will pile the grains so there is a little pyramid of grain over the top of the bowl. This is how I bought maize, guri and beans for the children. I was grateful that the rice was already bagged!

Next, I had to bag the various items for each family living at the centre as well as the rice for the staff Christmas gifts. I'm not real adept at that. I won't say how much rice ended up on my living room floor! I was instructed to make the bowls "water full" so that everyone received the same. It all was bagged and some handed out. Today I will give the rest so that the mothers will have their items to cook for their Christmas dinners. Rice and maize and special spices and canned mackerel for Christmas dinner. It's something that these people rarely have, it is a feast for them. Makes me stop and thank God for the many blessings He has given me.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Clothes

Most of us think nothing of going out and buying a new outfit for the holidays. It is almost a given. You need to have something to wear to the office party or to Grandma's house and something new for Christmas service, right? Even though we have a closet full of clothes, still, there seems as if none of them will do.

Well, last week I had the privilege to buy dresses for six little girls who had never owned a new dress that was chosen specifically for them. The boys will receive play clothes since they got their "dress" clothes in October. I can't wait to see the surprised faces on Christmas morning. Imagine...a new, fancy dress for "occasions!" I want to make sure these children have something special on Christmas day. After all, didn't God give us something special on that first Christmas? He gave us His best! So, Christmas morning, I will visit the children and give them their clothes. After church, we will have a small party complete with a child's version of the Christmas story and snacks...and gift bags! Most of all, I want the children to know that the gifts are because of Jesus and His gift to us. I want the children to know His love for each of them. Someday, I believe they will accept His love and have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. Until then, I'll sow seeds...this time in the form of clothes!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Shopping, the Upper West Way!

Christmas is quickly approaching. I have been asking people who live in the Upper West how they celebrate Christmas. For everyone who is a christian, Christmas is definitely a special day, a most holy day. People worship the new born King. As for family celebrations and Christmas gifts, those are very simple. There are no Christmas trees or hanging stockings. There are no big piles of presents. But, people do visit each other. And yes, they go bearing gifts. But, not like we would bring gifts in America. The gifts given are rice (most people can't afford to eat rice very often) and, if possible, a chicken, which would be alive! For the majority of people who live in the surrounding villages, Christmas is the only day of the year that they eat meat. It isn't because they don't like it or are mainly vegetarians, but because they can't afford it. So, Christmas here is simple, very simple.

It reminds me of another Christmas many years ago. It was a very simple Christmas, too. No one mentioned eating rice or chicken. The housing situation wasn't like the Hampton or Holiday Inn, it was simple. I doubt if it were very clean. But the day was filled with wonder, awe and worship of the new born King. People came to visit, too. They also brought gifts, simple ones - their worship of God's only Son. It was a Christmas that people still talk about today.

So, this year, I am going to focus on the simple things - the Christ Child and how and why He came. I will give gifts - rice and maize. (I won't be carrying around many live chickens.) There will be no Christmas tree with a big pile of gifts under it. I have a few simple decorations. They are quite enough for me. I'll visit my kids, bearing gifts for all...gifts of rice and maize...and some other "fun" stuff, too. I will tell the Christmas story. And we will celebrate with minerals (soda pop) and biscuits (cookies) and we will play. But, most of all, we will thank the Father for the most precious gift of His Son.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gurggisberg

In September I met a young man at the clinic. His name was Gurggisberg and he lived in the village of Kunyukuo. He was 12 years old at the time. The left side of his face was swollen beyond anything I could ever imagine. His family did not have the money to travel 10 hours away to pursue further treatment. Through the blessings from an American couple, Gurggisberg and his father received the funds needed to travel to Kumasi and begin treatment. When he returned to the clinic in October, Gurggisberg looked stronger and the swelling on his face had started to decrease. His father was told to return to the hospital if Gurggisberg was not getting any better. A few weeks later, the father they returned to the Lawra CHPS clinic. Gurggisberg had lost weight, his face looked worse and he was very week. They were told to go to the Lawra Regional Hospital so that Gurrisberg could get strong. They chose not to go.

At this point, I am so confused in my mind. How could parents allow their child to become so ill? Why did they wait so long for treatment? But, I also know, to some degree, the way people in this area live and think. Even with funding, travel to Kumasi is a burden on the family, especially if it is during any type of harvest. People don't realize how serious an injury, or an illness could be. They just do their best to keep their loved one comfortable.

When I saw Gurggisberg on November 20, he could not stand or sit. He could not eat. We told his family that he had to go to the regional hospital in Lawra so he could get strong so he could go back to Kumasi to the hospital. So, on the 21, they sandwiched Gurggisberg in between two people on a motorcycle and tied him on so he could make the trip to the hospital. We called a few times during the week. Gurggisberg was eating porridge – a good sign! Razak saw him on Friday and he had asked Zak for some meat. Zak bought him some & he ate two bites. Razak then had to go to Wa for the weekend to attend classes. Sunday evening, Razak received word that Gurggisberg had died at the hospital that day. He was 13 years old.

So, on November 28, Razak and I went to Kunyukuo for the funeral. Here in the north, burial is usually within 24 hours. I am guessing Gurggisberg died later sometime Sunday. As we approached the family home, we could hear the weeping and wailing of the women along with the mournful "song" of the gyil (wooden xylophone.) They had him “staged” – not really laid out, but sitting in a chair - and others were digging a grave in the distance. (On closer look,to me, the grave looked like a small circular hole. I was amazed at how a grave is dug up here.) Anyway, Gurggisberg was buried Monday night. It was thought that Gurggisberg had some type of cancer.

Meanwhile, at times I still struggle. And, I get angry with myself because I can see and understand so many facets of what happened. I can understand why Gurggisberg's parents did not take him for treatment. I also can't understand why they didn't take him. Why didn't they come for the funds to travel to Kumasi to the better hospital? Why did they allow him to get so weak? I know he was a burden to the family. I also know he was loved. Living in the Upper West Region is harsh, for the farmers, for the "professionals", for the families and, for the sick.

Gurggisberg’s father was especially grateful for the care, concern, prayer and provision given to his son by people he had never met. I pray that this experience will draw him closer to the Creator of Life and not away from Him.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Night Fires

Last night, I was watching a movie and I heard a noise. It sounded as if great, big, fat drops of rain were hitting the ground. I thought, "Praise God, it's raining." We haven't had rain for six weeks. I went out on the veranda and looked closely - I almost held out my hand to feel the drops. Then, I saw it. The fires. To the left of my house & behind it, the fires were eating up the dry grasses. They were making a popping and crackling sound. The sky was lit with orange. And, when the wind started blowing, it urged the fires on towards the front of the house. After 15 or 20 minutes, it was over. The flames had died down and the fire department hosed the ashes with water. Now, there are large black areas where just 2 months ago, grasses, flowers and other plants grew. It is just a way of life here. The rainy/growing season, then after harvest the drier seasons and time to allow the gifts of the harvest to see us through the rest of the year. I wonder if it is like going up to the mountain top and then returning to the valley to put into use what God has taught me. A time to remember what God has done in the past and will continue to do. For He is faithful and I am thankful!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Power of "AND"


Have you ever thought of what you cannot do alone? You can't play Marco Polo in the swimming pool when alone. You can't get engaged alone. You can't have a surprise birthday party with just yourself. And, water skiing...how do you do that alone? Imagine being in a sack race alone...hmmm, I don't think it is possible. A person cannot truly live alone; there are clothes and groceries to buy, mail to send and receive, bills to pay...even "on line friends" and social networks!

There is power in the word "AND." Who would Beany be without Cecil? Or Rogers without Hammerstein? Fred Flintstone without Wilma? Chip without Dale? Mickey without Minnie? Would we realize there are mountains if there were no valleys? What about experiencing the refreshment of a rainfall without experiencing the heat? Or, how comforting would a warm fire be if it were not cold outside?

Even these things mentioned need their counterparts to be fully appreciated. With humans, the power of "AND" is even more important. If we live in community, working together, sharing ideas, helping each other, what an impact we would make. No longer would there be youth or adult, but now, youth AND adult, old AND new, tall AND short, experienced AND apprentice, teacher AND learner, beginning AND end, Alpha AND Omega, Father AND Son, elder AND youngster, God AND man, mercy AND grace, strength AND weakness, foolish AND wise...black AND white, faith AND works, instruction AND example...the list goes on.

What I am trying to say is that we are much, much more together than we are apart. If we use that to the glory of God, what a difference it could make for His Kingdom!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Children - A Tribute to "Daddy Philip"

Yesterday, the earthly body of a friend, Philip Tabiri was laid to rest. He was only 42 years old, leaving a wife, three young sons (ages 6, 4, and 2 years) and an adopted daughter (7 years). The funeral service was beautiful, a celebration of his life and a testimony to his faith. The tributes given by family and friends...my words cannot describe them. Ghanaians verbalize so many things much differently than Americans. I would like to share with you the tribute to Philip that was from his children...

"We are too young to understand what is happening, too feeble to bear this pain and too weak to face the challenges that come with it. The atmosphere is not the one we like.

"Everybody is crying in the house without telling the cause. We asked, 'Where is our Dad?' We are told, 'He is gone to Accra, never to return again.' Yet, here we are with our father lying motionless, stiff and fearful looking. Daddy, get up and talk to us! We don't like the way you appear now. You cannot leave us like that. Oh God, have mercy on us!

"Is it true that we will not see our father again to talk with him, play and lie on him? Who is that cruel to treat us so unkindly? We can never forgive you, death. Death, where are you? Come so that we shoot you. This is never fair. Oh God, come to our rescue!

"We have no confidence in anyone except Daddy Philip. Who else can understand our behavior as you do? We can imagine how difficult life will be without the father's support.We know you left us with Christ Jesus. Today we bid you farewell in deepest agony. Thank you and may God give you place in heaven."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cultural Test

You have all heard the saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." I have been trying to live with the saying changed just a bit: "When in Ghana do as the Ghanaians do." This weekend has been a "cultural test" for me. When Itravel I want to know when, where, how, how much... But, the people I know just say, "Today I will travel to_______." They may know they will go by lorry & bus, but that's it. They will go to the bus station & wait in line for a ticket (at 4 AM) and go from there.

I left home Thursday. I took the lorry to Wa and spent the night. I got up at 3 AM yesterday to leave at 4 AM for the bus station. The taxi showed up at 4:30. I waited an hour for a ticket to Wenchi (traveling on a bus to Kumasi). The bus left Wa at 6:60 AM & arrived in Wenchi at 11:30. I got off, asked directions to Wenchi Methodist Hospital and began my walk. When I arrived at the hospital, I spent time with people (in the administrative office) I had never met before. The driver, who I had just met, took me to my accommodations which were made for me. I am leaving today for the lorry station with someone I just met yesterday. He will drop me off & I will ride the Lorry to the funeral in Nchiraa, wherever that is! There, I will return to Wenchi with people who work at the hospital. After that, hmmm...I need to buy a bus ticket to Accra. It might mean another 3AM day!

Sometimes, it seems as if it is hurry up & wait all day. But, it has been exciting. I can see God's hand in so much. I may not know which bus I will ride or what time I will arrive, but He does. And, he has placed people along the way to make sure I don't get lost or frustrated or discouraged. All I get (besides being very thankful) is lots of cultural input! WHEN (not if) I make it to Accra safely, I will know I have passed my "cultural test."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

God be with You Until We Meet Again!

This morning as I rode the lorry out of Lawra, I was almost sad. I guess you would say that it was a "bittersweet" moment. Yesterday I said, "God be with you until we meet again" to my language helper and dear brother in Christ, Raymond Dery. Dery will be leaving for Tamale next week where he will begin his first assignment as a pastor with the Methodist Church Ghana. I was spared that farewell, because I left first!

I am not planning to be back in Lawra for almost a month. I have a funeral, a dentist appointment, meetings in Thailand and some "down time" before I return home. But, as I write this from Wa, I am already missing home and the opportunity to spend even a few more hours with Dery learning more Dagaare, picking up some more cultural pointers, discussing Scripture and families and friends and work and farming and harvest and...well, you get the idea! God has blessed me with someone who was very patient and encouraging as I learned the basics of Dagaare. I know He has already provided "follow up" people...Gifty, Rose, Rose (there are 2 Roses, it isn't a mistake), Razak, Dora, Alex, Dery's parents...and the list goes on.

I am excited to hear how God will use Dery while he is in Tamele. I know people will be blessed, God will be glorified and the Kingdom of God will be enlarged.

"Dery, may God be with you until we meet again...and beyond! Blessings, my dear friend."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Accepting or Embracing?

I was online, "chatting" with a friend recently. She had commented on the way I have accepted the life style change and all that goes with it. The comment has caused me to ponder quite a bit this week. Acceptance? Me? I didn't accept Paul's death very well. And, there are times when I don't readily accept the task at hand, not because of it being so foreign to my American mind, but "just because." Acceptance...what does that really mean?

According to the Encarta Dictionary, one of the definitions of acceptance is willingness to believe: willingness to believe that something is true. As a Christian, this type of acceptance has been part of my life for quite a long time, even though some things are harder to accept than others. But, this is not the acceptance my friend was referring to. The acceptance she meant is defined as coming to terms with something: the realization of a fact or truth and the process of coming to terms with it.

Life in Ghana is a chain of accepting things as they are...the man pictured above is blind. He has accepted that fact. And, he was "reading" Scripture when I took the picture. People here accept the seasons of life much better than they do in America. They accept suffering and illness. They accept hard work, sometimes with little in return. They accept life without all the comforts and hang ups and things that enslave many Americans. They are an inspiration to me!

But, me? Accepting? I never thought of myself that way.All I know is that if I get upset because I have to wait more than an hour for transport to Wa, it will be a really long day! If I get upset over lack of food choices, what am I doing living in Lawra? If I get upset over the lack of hot water or electricity, what am I doing in Ghana? I am where God has led me. I am at home. And I am not just "accepting" life as it is in Lawra, I am EMBRACING it to the glory of God my Father! May His will be done!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Why?

I've been "writing" this post in my mind this past week. Still, I wonder what words will end up here. There is so much I don't understand and probably never will this side of heaven. On August4, 2011, a family was discharged from the Methodist Orphan and Vulnerable Child Centre. The mother, and four children, Papula (7 years), Sara, Rose and Paul (28 month old triplets) were being discharged to live in the village with the children's father/the mother's husband. They had been living at the Centre since the triplets were 4 days old. It was a tough day. Papula didn't want to leave her friends. But, the move was made and everyone adapted well to life in the village.

then, last Sunday, September 11, 2011, the mother and the three girls arrived at church during the worship service. The two younger girls had IV ports on the back of their hands. Papula and her mother were silently crying. (It is not appropriate to "weep and wail" in public.) All three of the triplets had been seriously ill. The were admitted to Lawra Regional Hospital for treatment. (I still don't know the nature of their illness.) Paul died that morning.

Who was taking care of these children? Who was making sure they had safe drinking water? Who was making sure they had enough food to eat? Who was making sure they were being protected from mosquitoes? Who was making sure they received proper medical care when it was needed?

I have so many questions! In the midst of it all God is still God and He is still good. I want to know why this child died. His death seems as if it is a needless death, a preventable one. I wonder...How do missionary doctors handle the "needless" and "preventable" deaths they see everyday? I pray that God will give the the strength, courage and wisdom to continue their life saving work. It is not in vain.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff"? Sometimes I wonder if the person who coined the phrase ever had their computer crash. I wonder if they ever had one of those days when everything goes wrong. I wonder if they ever had one of those days when they burned dinner for company arriving in five minutes. I wonder if they ever had blood gushing from their finger, wondering if it is okay...

Living in Ghana has opened my eyes to so many things. I have seen people literally make life and death decisions every day. I have seen mothers wonder how their children will be fed on a particular day. I have seen both children and adults drink the nastiest looking water. I have seen parents wonder if their child will live or die in the next 24 hours. I have seen people not only survive, but gratefully live with very meager means. Then, there's me...

I have wonderful family and friends both in America and here in Ghana. I have wonderful friends all over the globe. And, they ask me, "Sue, what do you want me to send you?" "Sue, what can bring you from Accra?" "Sue, how can we help you and your kids?"And, I answer them with my lists, my requests. But, more and more, I have been prefacing these lists, these requests with the words, "These are WANTS, none of these things are NEEDS."

Living in this type of culture/environment changes a person. The changes come slowly, discreetly, but, they do come. A person comes to realize what is important in life. And, even if it is a pair of glasses that don't arrive when I thought they would, life still goes on without them. It's no big deal. The things that matter...faith, hope and love. And the most important of these is love, the love God has for a fallen world and the love we give to Him and to others. The rest is small stuff.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Just One Little Drop

In the world's eyes, I am just a "normal" person. I haven't accomplished any great feat or have never found a cure for a incurable disease, my grades in school were just average. I am just like most of the world...a sinner. Yet, I have been saved by grace. And, THAT is what makes all the difference in the world!

Living in Ghana, in the Upper West Region, is no big deal. Not to me anyway. I have gotten involved in the life of the local church, in the lives of the children living at the Centre and in the administration of the clinic. People in the community have noticed that I am becoming more and more a part of them. Yet, here, I am not doing any "big" or "great" thing - in my eyes.

I spoke with someone today who had just returned from seeing the bishop of the Northern Ghana Diocese. Evidently, I was one of the topics of conversation. It seems that living everyday life in an area in which I live has created a ripple effect. People have been noticing, watching. Lives have been touched in one way or another. Encouragement has been received. People are being empowered. None of it is in "big, huge ways" but in individual lives. Yet, who knew? I was unaware. Praise God that He can use someone ordinary, like me, to do His work!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New Name

Names are very important to Ghanaians. The Dagaaba people are no exception. A name can tell a lot about who you are, the circumstances of your birth or of your family. For example: Dery is a name given to a baby boy after a previous baby boy in the family died as an infant. Debuo is a name given to a child whose father died before the child was born. Barvier is a name given to a child who has been born on the final day of the Bari Festival (a Traditional festival) if there were no casualties during the festival. Bonyelli, the name of one of the girls who lives at the centre, means "What have I done? What is wrong?" (These questions are coming from the mother.) Papula is the name given to a child who has been born with fair skin, even though the skin darkens with time. Ayou is given to a child whose parents died while the child are still young.

So, when Dery told me that I was becoming a "Dagaarapog" - a Dagaara woman - he said I needed a Dagaara name. Hmmm...most of the ones I have heard have not been very positive. But, Dery said he would pray and let me know what name comes to mind. Monday, he told me my name..."Wasonti" (pronounced wa (a as in want) sewn tea) which is made up of three words. "Wa" means come, "son" means help, "ti" means us..."come help us." He said that God had sent me here to help the people, so the name fits well. I pray that I can "live up to my name" with God's help. I do not want to be an enabler. I want to be an "empower-er!"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sanctuary

While living in western Pennsylvania there were many times and seasons of life when I felt as if I was distant from God & He from me. It seemed as if prayers were just bouncing off of walls and ceilings. I would become a person whom barely resembled the real "me." During those times, and others, I knew I needed God. I knew I needed to spend time with Him, open my heart to Him and pour out all the feelings and emotions and "stuff" and just let Him be God. I needed to know He was right there with me, beside me every step of the way. And, I knew that there were many times He carried me. I knew I had to leave the distractions of my job and my home and be alone with Him - no distractions. The sanctuary became that place for me. It has been a place where I could open myself up and be honest with God. I could let the walls come down. Since then, the sanctuary has become "home" to me. Safe. Secure. Holy. I don't need a crisis to be there. I just need to be closer with God and the sanctuary, no matter where I was, turned out to be that place - even in Ankaase, Ghana!

Since I have moved to Lawra, the sanctuary has not been a place of peace and refreshment. It has not been a "safe" and secure place where I could bare my soul to the Lord. Church politics, the knowledge that people always expect me to do something, provide something be some one, they have all kinds of expectations of me. I can't fill them. No one can. So, the sanctuary has not been that restful place for me...

Until last Wednesday. I woke up with a compulsion in my spirit to go to the sanctuary. I knew God was waiting for me there, He would meet me. I was not in a state of crisis or "woe is me." But, I guess I just needed that quality time with the Lord. So, I went.

And, I knew I was "home"!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sacrificial Giving

I like to think of myself as a "giving" person, a person who gives of myself and my resources because I want to, not because I have to. But, have I really given sacrificially? Have I ever given from a standpoint of costing me something? Have ever I given out of my "poverty?" I think in my entire lifetime I have, but only a few times. Usually I give out of my excess. And, many times that excess seems to be need & I want to hang on to whatever it is instead of letting it go.

Thursday, I rode my bicycle to the Dery yir (the Dery house). I had to deliver some notices for church on Friday morning, but had never been to the house, so this was my "practice run." I met Dery's mother and father and other members of the household. After visiting for a time, I got up to leave. As is the custom, Dery got up to walked me and my bicycle down the path to the main road. He had put a bag of groundnuts in my bicycle basket for me to take home and enjoy. Dery's family grows enough food to feed themselves without extra to sell at the market. This year, someone allowed the goats to eat some of the crops. There really isn't any "extra" food to share or to give away. Yet, that's exactly what Dery did. He gave sacrificially. It cost him and his family food for a meal or more. He gave from his heart, out of his poverty, trusting God will provide.

When have I last given like that? Lord, teach me Your way of giving!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Holy Detachment

I wrote this last Friday, but could not get online. I am "connected" now, so here is what I wrote:

Today is “one of those” days. My mind has been preoccupied with thoughts and prayers for one of the children who were discharged from the Centre yesterday. The children went with their mother to live in Biafor with their father, other siblings and their father’s other two wives and their families.

By American standards, the children did not have much while they lived in Lawra at the Centre. But, they had a bedroom with beds in it, screening on the windows to keep out the mosquitoes, clean water was close by, the school was near and…there were children around to play with – friends. At their new home, they will sleep on the floor. The window does have a screen on it, but not a metal one and it already has a hole in it. The water and school are not as close as they were here in Lawra. There are children around…step brothers and sisters as well as older brothers. There are children in the village, too.

The triplets, Sara, Rose and Paul are almost 2 ½ years old. They will quickly adapt to their new surroundings. Papula, though, may be a bit different. She is 7 years old. She knows what she had in Lawra. Now, those things, those people are gone…her friends, her bed, what she has come to know as “home” over the past two plus years.

I talked with Papula, prayed with her and said, “Good bye.” When I left Papula was crying. I know she needs to be with her family. I know that she is not alone. Now, I have to let go and let God be God. He knows what’s best. He will watch over her. I have to believe that and trust Him. He watches over the “least, the last and the lost.” I am so grateful that my God is a God who cares. It is now my turn to “let go and let God.”

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Privilege

This morning’s staff Bible Study was part 2 of the creation story found in Genesis chapter 1. We started where we left off last week, at verses 14-19, day 4 of creation. The verses were translated into Dagaare and then a discussion followed. As we talked about these verses, Aa-Denuu, an older man who was not in attendance last week, spoke up. Aa-Denuu had never heard the creation story! (He is a Traditionalist.) He was enthralled with it. He listened and even participated in the discussion. I asked him if he would like to see a picture book with the creation story in it. He said that, yes, he would like to see it. He is open to hearing about the One True God…the Creator! I praise and thank God for granting me this privilege of telling someone the story of creation for their very first time! Pray with me that one day Aa-Denuu would know accept, embrace and love the Lord God Almighty.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Boy and His Fish


I have been trying to think of what to post…something profound. But, no thoughts came to mind. So, instead I am posting the story I wrote for my Dagaare lesson this past Friday. The translation follows. Enjoy!

Bie tɛri zim kpɛɛ.
A zim kpɛɛ be a laalɛduor puo.
A zim yiɛlu, “N bɛ bori fo ɔb me.”
A zim zona yi ne do tie.
A deblɛ buol o, “Sik wa!”
A zim kpɛɛ zorɛ dabie sik wa.
Lilkpɛsɛpla yakna a tie sazu.
A lilɛ nyɛna a zim ne yakna a kyɛn a zim zie.
A lilkpɛsɛpla ɔba a zim.
A deblɛ kohena a kulen bonso a lilkpɛsɛpla ɔba o zim.
Baar.

The child has a big fish. The big fish was in the small yellow bowl. The fish said, “I do not want to be eaten.” The fish ran outside and climbed a tree. The boy called to him, “come down!” The fish was afraid to come down. A big black bird flew above the tree. The bird saw the fish and flew to him. The big black bird ate the fish. The boy walked home crying because the big black bird ate his fish. The end.

Monday, July 25, 2011

There's no Place Like Home

There's no place like home, there's no place like home...and I have been home in Lawra for a week now. It is so good to be here. I have missed my own bed, my kids, my friends and my church family. Although circumstances and situations may drive me crazy (and to my knees) at times, there is still no place like home!

This past week seemed to be more hectic than most, but it could be my imagination since I haven't been here in a month. The week started out with worship...a good place to start! Then, two meetings with the bishop and the staff and management of Lawra Methodist Integrated Health Programme. Next, language lessons and visiting the kids, cleaning out toys, getting shelves fixed, hanging a mosquito net, Bible study, market, surprise visits from friends, laundry, quarterly meeting at church, preparing to lead staff Bible study, post office, customs, immigration, bank, paying bills, every day type of "stuff to do" and finding out on Friday that I was to preach on Sunday...plus more!

My spirit is being refreshed and renewed that God's mercies are new every morning. That He is always here with me and I can do all things not in my strength, but in His. And, as long as I remain in Him, I will always be home!

Friday, July 15, 2011

He Will Supply All You Need Just in Time – The Rest of the Story

Ever since I had decided to return to Lawra with or without my passport I have had such peace. I have been enjoying my days and calling to see if there has been any news about the visa and passport. Trust is not easy for me. During this time I believe that God has been trying to take me to a new level of trusting Him. I have felt as if a burden has been lifted off of me.

Late this morning I received a phone call from Mr. A. He was at Ghana Immigration Services. He had my passport, with my resident visa in it in his hand. Praise God!

Yesterday, I bought a bus ticket for Wa, about 2 hours from Lawra, for tonight at 10 PM. When did God supply my need? Today, Corrie Ten Boom’s father was right…God will supply all I need - just in time!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

He Will Supply All You Need Just in Time - Page 3

Have you seen the movie. Facing the Giants? Some of the themes are never give up, never back down, never lose faith. In the movie, Grant Taylor's football team has had six consecutive losing seasons, finances at home are stretched to the limit and his wife desperately wants to get pregnant. After an encounter with God, Grant decides to live out his faith, praising God when they win, praising God when they lose. The school he coaches at has had a revival. Kids were giving their lives to Christ, asking for forgiveness and trying to lead lives that would honor God. When the team won a game, they praised God. When the team lost a game, they praised God. By the end of the movie, Grant's team wins the championship, his finances are on the upswing and his wife is pregnant.

When I face giants in my life, it rarely works out like it did in this movie. There are a lot of situations that I wanted changed, things I wanted to happen, relationships strengthened...and, it just didn't happen. I guess my life isn't a 112 minute movie.

What did happen, though, was the realization that God is all I needed to be complete, to be fulfilled. God was my strength, my fortress, my shelter, my hope, my provider, my healer, my...I can go on and on. He has been building His character in me. Imagine that! The characteristics of God, growing, taking root in me. It is a miracle for which I am thankful. Oh, there have been plenty of struggles, just as there were struggles in the move, but they weren't resolved in an hour and a half. It is a lifetime of learning, growing, trusting, becoming more like Him.

Now, my giant is the unknown about my resident visa. I have decided to return to Lawra with or without my passport tomorrow. I want to go home (to Lawra). I need to go home. I need to totally trust that this situation is in God's hands and that He will supply all I need - just in time!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Still Waiting

Here is yesterday's journal entry:

"Good morning, Lord. This morning I am filled with anxiety instead of trust. I want to trust, I choose to trust, but the anxiety seems to creep in. O God, I want my passport today so much that I can taste it. (yum!) I don't want to go back north without it. And, as I listen to others tell me how long they've waited for their passports, that trust and Your peace diminishes bit by bit. Help me to surrender it to You. O God, I do surrender it to You. Fill me with Your peace. Let me experience a new level of intimacy with you. My life is in your hands."

Mark 10:27 "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."

Mark 11:22 "Have faith in God," Jesus said.

Monday, July 11, 2011

He Will Supply All You Need Just in Time - Page 2

In my post on Saturday, I said that Mr. A. and I went to Ghana Immigration Service. Here is page 2 of the story:

The person that we needed to see wasn't in, so we turned around and started down the hall to the stairwell. Unexpectedly, an Immigration worker "Psssst - ed" at us and told us to come back. She took us into the office of one of the guys in charge. We told him our story & he sent people out to find my folder. An hour later, he was ready to go home and there was no folder. So, he told us to return on Monday and to skip reception and go straight to the office where visas to Americans are granted.

Mr. A. arrived at Immigration first. So, when I arrived there this morning, people were already looking for my folder. A half hour later, we were told that my folder was lost. They had contacted the records department to see what information could be gotten from them. Mr. A. offered to go back to his office to make copies of everything that was submitted with my resident visa application. While doing this, Mr. A. received a phone call. My folder was found! Praise God!

We were told to call tomorrow to see if we could pick up my passport. I saw mine today. I know it is there...will I have it so I can make plans to head north on Wednesday?

I praise and thank God that we pushed for the passport now. Who knows how many more months would have gone by before it was discovered my file was "lost." So, even though I don't have my passport in hand, God has me and this situation in His hands!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

He Will Suply All You Need Just in Time



Waiting is never easy. I know. That is all I did yesterday, or so it seems! I had a dentist appointment at 10 AM. The driver was to pick me up at 9 AM. He arrived at 11. Yes, I called him. It didn't help. When we got to the dentist, I had to wait an hour before they could take me. I was so grateful that I could be seen! After that, I went to Methodist Headquarters to inquire about my passport. (I have been waiting "patiently" to hear that my resident visa has arrived.) The person who I would accompany suggested we wait before we go to Ghana Immigration Services because they might not all be back from their lunch break. So, I waited a half hour. Then, we went to Immigration. He spoke to the person in the reception area, asking if my passport was ready. She would inquire about it. Two hours later, we still had heard nothing. So, we were going to leave. But, Mr. A. decided to take a chance & go to the office to retrieve it in person. So, we went up to the office where Americans would be approved for a resident visa. An hour later, we left with no visa in hand. But, God's hand was in this...I kept thinking of a story Corrie Ten Boom often told:

"When I was a little girl, " I said, "I went to my father and said, "Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ." "Tell me," said Father, "When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?" "No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train." "That is right," my father said, "and so it is with God's strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need just in time"

I know I will have my passport just in time, not mine, but God's. Stay tuned...Monday I hope to post "The Rest of the Story."


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Will Praise Him in the Morning

The last several mornings I found myself singing praises to the LORD all morning long. Won't you sing with me?

O Lord, our Lord
How majestic is Your name in all the earth.

O Lord, our Lord
How majestic is Your name in all the earth.

O Lord, we praise Your name!
O Lord, we magnify Your name;

Prince of Peace, Mighty God,
O Lord God Almighty.
How Majestic is Thy Name
~written by Michael W. Smith

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tradition

As I was reading the words in red in my Bible, one verse really caught my attention. It was in Matthew 15:3 "And why do you break the command of God because of your tradition? I live in an area of the world where traditions are very important. They are ingrained into every fiber of life. Even the largest religious group in my area follow the "Traditional" religion.

Jesus was talking with some Pharisees and teachers of the law. They liked to stick to the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. Jesus called them on this. The people in my area have so many traditions that go against not only the letter of the law, but most importantly the spirit of the law. They don't know Jesus. Many have never heard His name or His word. Their world is full of Spiritual darkness.

I pray that I may be the candle light that pierces the darkness of some of the Dagaaba people. "Lord, use me."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Made to Crave

Did you ever think that we were made to crave? Usually we hear that cravings are bad for us. We should resist them. In reality, God made us to crave! Imagine that...made to crave! That gives me permission to crave a LOT of things or does it really? Lately, I've been craving Tupperware. I think it is because every time I cook rice, before I cook it, I have to strain the ants out of it. In my mind, Tupperware would solve the problem! In the last two weeks, I don't want to admit how much time I've spent drooling over stuff on the Tupperware web site. (It is so easy to surf the web while I'm in Accra!) I am dreaming of it...no, I am craving it. Is that so wrong? Just a few sentences ago, didn't I say that we were made to crave? So, craving Tupperware is OK, right? WRONG!

"God made us capable of craving so we would have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them." (from Craving God, by Lysa Terkeurst)

Remember the story of the rich young man from Matthew 19? He asked Jesus what he had to do to be saved. Jesus tells the man to sell everything he owned & give to the poor & then he would have "treasures in Heaven." The man walked away sad because he craved his riches & probably the place they gave him in society more than he craved a relationship with Jesus. His riches are the one thing that consumes him and he just doesn't seem to be able to see that although his money could buy anything & everything he wanted, his soul was malnourished.

"O Lord, forgive me for the times that thoughts and images of Tupperware consumed me. Forgive me for the times I have given it a place in my life that only belongs to You! I want to give that up so I can crave You more. I give to you my thoughts, my cravings, my time. May it glorify You. In Jesus name I pray. Amen."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rejoice, Rest, Renew, Revive, Research, Restock

I have spent the last 2 ½ weeks in Accra. I had some things to do here and my friends needed someone to stay at their house. So, it was a match made in Heaven! Although I miss my home in Lawra, I feel that I have been blessed by God because of the many things I have been able to do while here.

I was able to REJOICE with Raymond Dery (my language teacher) and his family as he was commissioned as a pastor with Methodist Church Ghana. Dery has a burden for his people and it is the desire of his heart to see these people have a day to day, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Any congregation he will serve will be blessed!


I have also been able to REST while here. When I left Lawra, I had malaria. So, rest wasn’t an option. I didn’t feel like doing anything! I had made reservations for a night at Hilburi for a 24 hour vacation & I wasn’t going to cancel that. I had started to feel better. Hilburi was just what I needed! The scenery was beautiful! The bed was comfy. The food was delicious. Since I left Hilburi, I continue to pace myself, trying not to go overboard with “stuff to do” in a day, but making sure that I’m not a “slug.”

RENEWAL should be a part of every day. (That is my opinion!) I enjoy having my morning coffee or tea on the veranda with GOD. I have been using the book, Praying the Attributes of God by Rosemary Jensen, along with my Bible & journal. I am always amazed at what GOD has to say to me, if only I would listen!


REVIVAL has come in a variety of ways. But, I think the one I noticed the most was attending church (or churches) this past Sunday. I didn’t realize how much I needed to worship with the body of Christ without having any expectations or responsibilities laid on me. I felt a release as we sung the first song and the tears started forming in my eyes with gratitude to the Father. That service, along with the online service of First UMC, Corry really revived my soul, my spirit.

Since I have been in Accra, the internet connection has been so much better than the connection I have in Lawra. I have been able to RESEARCH a variety of topics related to birth defects, developmental delays and prenatal care. I’ve been in touch with some people in the medical field who might be able to help out the children and families that I work with. I have also been working on my Dagaare dictionary & have called Dery on the phone to ask him how something is translated into the local language.

Last, but not least, I have been able to RESTOCK. Food choices in Lawra are slim. Even fresh fruit & vegetable choices are slim. So, I have enjoyed being able to go grocery shopping and buying canned goods and cheese to take up north with me. Fruits, veggies, jelly and a variety of other things will be stocked on my shelves when I return.

It seems as if I have been in Accra for a long time. But, it has been necessary. Along with the other things that I have been able to accomplish, I am still waiting on my passport. I need to take it with me to Lawra to present it to the immigration officials there. So, I wait, I call about it, and I wait some more. All the while I know that God has had plans for me while in Accra. This has NOT been wasted time. To God be the glory!

Friday, July 1, 2011

White with Black Stripes or Black with White Stripes?

Have you ever noticed that there are times that you are so familiar with something you cease to really "see" it? You don't notice the little differences or even the big, obvious ones. Take zebras as an example. Are they white with black stripes? Or are they black with white stripes? Or is it something all together different? I get so used to seeing things a certain way, that I miss out on so much more!

This may be a real stretch of my imagination, but, this morning I was reading and praying from the book Praying the Attributes of God by Rosemary Jensen. I was reading about the graciousness of God. One of the Scriptures was from 2Chronicles 15:2: "The LORD is with you when you are with Him.If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you." I've read that how many times in my life. No big "aha" moment ever happened. Not even today. But, then, a page and a half later, I read, "Thank You that when I want to be with You, You want to be with me. When I go looking for You, You will let me find You; but when I reject You, You won't force Your way on me."(based on 2Chronicles 15:2) And, the thought came to me..."Boy, is this self serving or what?" "It's all about what I want, not about what God wants." Who is the servant & who is the master here?

And I prayed, "LORD, forgive me for my selfishness. Forgive me for making it all about me and not so much about You. I invite You, I beg You, to come into my life a bit closer, a bit deeper than ever before. I want all of You in all of me. Forgive me for the times when I didn't want to be found by You, when I hid or turned my back on You. I want to live for You and in You today and always! In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen." Italic

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baby Snakes or Gifts from God?

Kristabel, 3 1/2 years old

There are a number of children in the Lawra who have been born with major developmental delays. No one seems to be able to give definitive answers to questions such as, "Why did this happen?" "What could have been done differently?" "What do we do to help this child?" The closest thing that I get to an answer is there was poor nutrition of the mother during pregnancy & no prenatal care. The children have no muscle control when born. They are like a wet wash rag, very limp. Most of these children are not welcome in their home villages. The Traditional beliefs are that these children are born as snakes and they should live as snakes...in the woods, where, some are actually left to die.

Linda, age 2 1/2

Praise God that He doesn't see these children that way. And, neither do some of the parents. You have met Ebenezer in the past. He has the biggest smile in the world!And, Kristabel's parent's see her as a gift from God! Many of these children do learn to move by themselves, using their arms and many do learn to walk, but years later than normal.


Kopog, 4 years old

Pray that God will give wisdom & understanding as we try to help these children in whatever way possible. They are unique, unrepeatable miracles of God. Their lives have meaning and purpose. I pray that others will see God in them!

Gifty, 6 years old





Sunday, June 26, 2011

All Hope is Gone!

This is a picture of Bernice when she was 4 years old. She was a happy child, walking, talking, playing, even going to preschool! She was a typical little girl, the joy of her parents.
Then, about a year ago, when Bernice was 10 years old, something happened. Her mother doesn't know what. It seems that almost overnight, Bernice could not walk, could not talk, was not able to play or do any of the things she had been doing. She can't even bend her right leg at all. Who or what robbed her of the rest of her childhood? No one knows. There are not any medical personnel in the Lawra area that can give her parents any help, any hope for their child.

I know that "Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness..." But, How does that answer questions of a parent, especially if they don't know Jesus? How do parents deal with "malformed children" (the term used here in Lawra) in an area where there is such a stigma placed on families and children such as these? It is believed that if a child becomes like this, the spirits have been spoken about wrongly or the parents or child did something to displease the spirits and this is the result.

My God is bigger than all of that. My God could heal Bernice, if He so chose. He could do it immediately. He could do it through medicine and therapy. Or, He may do even a bigger miracle and give this family the hope of Jesus Christ. He may become their first love, their Lord and Savior. My prayer is that God will use me and others to help Bernice and her family not only physically, but would give them a spiritual healing also. May the Father be glorified!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Imagine No Malaria

As an American, living in the United States most of my life, I never gave malaria much thought. But, now I live in Ghana. And, malaria is a deadly disease, sucking the life out of children and adults every day of every week of every month of every year. Taking preventative medication is not 100% preventative. Neither is sleeping with a treated mosquito net. They definitely reduce the risk of the disease, but they are not 100% fool proof. I know from experience. I had malaria last week. Before I realized I had malaria, I thought I just had a bad attitude, I was being lazy. I needed to "suck it up" and write my sermon, do my laundry, etc. I was sick for 2 1/2 days before I realized what was going on.

I live in an area where when the outside temperature is in the mid 90's, it is a cool day. I have often wondered if I would ever be cold again. Then, malaria struck. I was freezing! And, an hour later, I was sweating so much, my clothes were drenched. I didn't want to do anything, just lay around. Food just did not sound appetizing. Then, I'd feel fine for awhile. The next thing I knew, my temp was over 103 degrees.

I have access to medicines, to mosquito nets, to clean drinking water, to ice when I was so hot, to medical care if I need it. So many of the people I live around do not. They don't have so many things that I take for granted because I do have access to them just because I was born in America.

Please, please, I beg you, pray for the elimination of this disease. Provide nets and medical care for those who can't afford it. And, do it all in the name of Jesus, so the Father may be glorified in all we do for the eradication of malaria.

Imagine...no malaria!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Annual Conference - Ghanaian Style

This week is the Annual Conference of the Western Pennsylvania United Methodist Church. I have always loved going to Annual Conference. Yep, I'm one of those "weird ones" that enjoyed it. I like the fellowship, the worship & doing the business of the church. What I don't like is long winded speakers and just attending to "rubber stamp" items that have already been decided.
In Ghana, things are a lot different. We met at at a church, not a college campus. There were 100+ people, not 1800. Seats were assigned for each "society" (church) or circuit. Laity meetings were held outside. We stayed at local guest houses (hotels), many with shared toilet & shower facilities. And, when a person was speaking, he/she must be ready to answer some very pointed questions asked by the bishop!
Meal preparation was done by members of the church...three meals a day, for over 100 people everything cut, sliced, diced, stirred, prepared by hand and cooked over a wood fire.
The pastor spouses met every day, too. They are so spread apart in the Northern Diocese that this was an opportunity for them for fellowship, study and to learn a few new skills. Here, it is widely accepted that if you are traveling & need a place to stay, you can find a place to sleep at the pastor's house. So, hospitality is expected from the pastor's family!
Some days were hot & the meetings long. These two young boys did what most of us wished we could do! Imagine being relaxed enough to sleep on the hard ground!
So, to my friends at Grove City this week, enjoy! Do the business of the church without getting involved in the "politics" of the church. And, in it all, may Christ be gloified!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

No Picture Necessary

Little by little I have been realizing my life has changed. I do things and wonder about things that I wouldn't do or wonder about while living in Pennsylvania. I hope to "enlighten" you about some of those things.
~About two months ago, a roll of toilet paper fell into the toilet. It was a new roll & the toilet water was clean, so I let it dry and then I used it!
~When traveling, rest stops are few & far between. Oh, and there are usually no "facilities." I have peed behind bushes, out in the open along side of the road, in between buses in a parking lot, behind a building, and a few other places I'd rather not think about!
~There is no place for toilet paper when you stop at the above mentioned rest stops.
~When I buy meat, it is in small hunks. So, when I bring it home, I look them over & bag them to freeze. And I wonder...is this tongue? What is this? Hmmm...I don't want to know. Some pieces never get eaten. They get frozen only to be burned in the rubbish! (Like the chicken head & feet.)
~I have left my luggage at "the bus station" while going shopping. Nothing was stolen!
~I have accepted rides from people I had just met.
~When I see something black on the floor I wonder if it is or ever had been alive. Or maybe it is left behind by something that was alive. Or maybe it is just dirt.
~Last night, I wanted to cook rice for dinner. The rice was teeming with ants. So, I rinsed it about six times & then cooked it. Yum!
~Every time the power goes out, I can hear my mother telling me not to refreeze meat. I have no control over these things. Prayer before meals and thanking God for food eaten is very important!
~After being away from Lawra for almost 2 weeks, I have been told that my skin is very white and that I have "grown fat." I guess I better put walking into my schedule when I return to Accra.
~While washing clothes by hand, I have noticed how quickly the rinse water becomes dirty. Do you ever wonder about the rinse water in your washing machine? Look at it...do you want to wear clothes that have been in that?
~Ghanaian dresses don't have pockets. So, when traveling or even just walking around, the best place to put a cell phone or money is in your bra.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On the Road

This past month I have done a lot of traveling. I have come to the realization that I am way too American when it comes to travel. I want to know the answers to all the questions: When? How? with Whom? Where? How much? How long? Will there be a bathroom stop? All those important kinds of things. Well, here is what I have learned:
  • If your bus of choice is full, take a tro tro.
  • When wanting a specific Metro bus, be at the station by 4 AM, no matter what time the bus is scheduled to leave.
  • It is acceptable to show up at a friend's house at 3:30 AM to spend "the rest of the night."
  • Shopping at road side stands can be done along the way
  • My idea of a bathroom stop is quite different than reality, but, when in Ghana, do as the Ghanaians do!
  • There are no pockets in typical Ghanaian women's clothing. Your cell phone can tucked into your bra.
  • On a Metro bus, there is no such thing as a center isle. It fills up quickly with everything!
  • When traveling through the night on an OA bus, try not to get a seat directly below the speaker.
  • Most people are quite friendly and very helpful.