Sunday, March 25, 2012


Yesterday I went to Kasalgr for some "holy hanging around"time. I spent most of my time with the children. But, even before I started hanging out with the kids, I saw a woman sitting by herself, looking as if she was very worried about something. So, I sat down next to her and began to speak with her. This woman's name is Jeri-ba. She was born in the town of Jeripa, so her parents named her after the town. She has been blind since infancy, she said something happened to her and she became blind. She doesn't remember ever seeing at all. She is very bitter about her blindness. Here, in the Upper West, a women's worth is placed on her ability to fetch water and to farm. Jeri-Ba cannot do those things.

I tried to encourage Jeri-Ba. She has an amazing sense of hearing. I told her that I don't know why God allows some people to be blind. But I do know that He has a purpose for her life. He did NOT abandon her. As she sits, she could pray for the farmers, for the crops, even for the children that she hears playing. If she opens her ears to the voice of God, there are all kinds of possibilities. In my mind, I can see her becoming "Maakum" (Grandmother) to so many little ones.

I ask you to pray for Jeri-Ba. Pray that she would experience the love of God. Pray that she would hear God's voice. Pray that she would be open to the possibilities that God has for her. I will pray, too. And, I will visit her, and I will be her friend, encouraging her and helping her to "see" what God has in store for her life.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


This is the dry season in Lawra. And as I look around Lawra and the surrounding area, all I see is dirty brown dirt, lots of it. Dust is in the air and everyplace else. Everything is tinted with brown. Even the leaves of my house plants! There is hardly any color - except the few trees and other plants that have deep roots. This is a harsh time for the people who live here, especially for those who make their living by farming. They have small house gardens right now so they will have food to eat.

Roots...deep roots...the trees and plants with deep roots can survive the "storms" of the season.

It makes me wonder; to I heard about or talked with at least five people whose families are going through major storms of life...HIV positive, ICU, a death, etc. How do people cope? I know years ago when I went through a season of storms I barely got through it. It was my faith that kept me going, even though to me it seemed almost non-existent. Just like here, where only those plants with deep roots survive, it is those people who have deep roots of faith that will survive the crisis of life. I know I couldn't get through all the circumstances and pain in my life without Christ. And, I know others can't either. He will not leave you. He will not leave me. That comforts me. I hope it comforts you, too.

10 Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (TLB)

Baby Albert

This is baby Albert. He and his mother, Lydia, are the newest residents of the Lawra Methodist OVC Centre. Albert's mother is HIV positive. Albert was tested yesterday and, praise God, his test came back negative. The problem is Albert's father and the families don't want anything to do with Lydia or Albert. They had no place to go. So, they came to us. Lydia is on medication. And, since Albert is six months old, he will be weaned from breast milk to help protect him from acquiring the HIV virus.

This morning we gave Lydia soy milk powder. Mama Ester will tell her how to prepare it. Albert may not be happy for a couple of weeks, he will want to suck the breast milk. But, he will get used to the other. And, I pray that he will have the opportunity to grow up to be a man of God, just like another Albert who has impacted my life. (Thank you, Albert S.)


This is Mabel, a dear friend of mine. As you might guess, she is Ghanaian. She is from Accra and has chosen to live in Lawra to help women in the north become financially self sufficient. She sews beautifully and teaches women how to make simple things so they can earn some money. The women who come to learn have very little and can barely afford the necessities they need to sew. Mabel's non profit organization is called Bridge Female Missions. She incorporates faith with skills training in order to help women improve their living conditions and make life easier for women in the poverty stricken areas of Ghana.

Mabel says she is a social worker, but I believe she is much more than that. She is a person who lives her faith, who believes in God and trusts Christ and is lead by the Holy Spirit. Her house in Accra is available to rent. She is praying that someone will rent it so she can stay in this area for two more years. She says that there is still much work for her to do. I know I want to see this dear sister stay in Lawra. I pray that God will hear her prayer and answer so she can continue her work in the Upper West Region.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Life has been crazy lately. I have been working on a report for the Manageress of Lawra Integrated Health Project for three days. Evidently, there are people who know less about the computer than me! So, I was "elected" to type it, format the charts, etc. Then, there's the monthly reports for the Christian Health Assoiciation of Ghana. I'm in charge of making sure the children's statistics are gathered, reported and accurate. So, I devised this little book (not a little black book) to record all the info. My mistake was working on it last week, Saturday & even at 5:30 Sunday morning. I didn't even want to cook yesterday & I had plenty of good food in the house. If Rose didn't come, I would have never cooked. (She was worried about me working so much, so she came to mop my floors!) I have been doing too much. It has been hot, in the low 100's, and I am no longer young. Plus, my baby toe still hurts. (Whine.) I think I broke it about ten days ago. So, today I decided to call my team leader to tell her I was running away to Wa for the day & possibly the night. She said to spend the night, too. The above picture is the outside of my room. By American standards, it is ok. By Upper West Standards, it is the best...a/c, hot water. a towel AND soap! I think I will go and relax now, maybe even have some time with God while I drink a cold Coke! Tomorrow afternoon - back to reality, but refreshed with a renewed spirit within me. 

Worlds Apart, but Still One Body

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Yesterday I went to church in my jammies. Well, I didn't actually GO to church in my jammies, but I attended nonetheless. I attended a service held back in Corry, PA on Christmas Eve. And my heart was overflowing...with gratitude for the DVD of the service, for familiar Christmas carols, for a sermon that I could understand (by the way, "all is well"), and especially grateful for God the Father sending His Son to earth, to show us how to live, how to love, how to deal with every day situations and how to deal with the crisis that come our way. Most importantly, Jesus, the Father's Son, showed us the way to the Father, the way to spend eternity with Him He gave life purpose and meaning. The service ended just like it does at my home church, with the lighting of the candles from the Christ Candle - Jesus, the Light of the World. And, I sat on my couch on March 11, 2012, watching people light candles, singing along with them with tears in my eyes, missing them and so many others and knowing that In Christ we are all one. And, if we are in Him, we are never far away.

Thank you, Pat and Sally!

A Healing Touch

Last week, while working at the clinic, I went into the dispensary to ask the Manageress a question. I greeted the client sitting in there, and shook her hand. Immediately I was told, "Don't touch her hand, she has leporsy on it." I was surprised, not at the leporsy because it is common here, but what seemed to be a lack of compassion. Maybe in my case "ignorance is bliss." I couldn't help but think of the numerous times Jesus reached out to the untouchables of His day. He didn't carry hand sanitizer in His pocket, He didn't run to wash His hands - at least we are not told He did. What we do know is that much to the dislike of His disciples, Jesus touched many, many people who must have longed for a human touch, a healing touch. The human touch is comforting, it lets us know someone is with us and that they care. When babies are exposed to the human touch they grow up to be more confident and less "clingy," it is easier for them to become their own person. If that can happen to a child, imagine what a positive touch can do to an adult, especially one whom people are afraid to touch! It gives them dignaty, it communicates care and, in a small way, passes on the love of Christ.