Sunday, December 14, 2014

He Loves Me!

Being Caretaker of a small village church in Ghana means that I don't often attend a worship service "just being part of the congregation." I am always busy...making sure things get done (which, they usually have been done.) I preach. Sometimes, on a Sunday morning, I will also teach Sunday School. Then, there are all of those books in which we keep church records...attendance by age and sex, collection, special collection...are people interested in a Baptism class? A visitor two might happen before I ride my motorcycle home. Even when the pastor comes to preach and to give communion, it is a busy day for me. So, even though I am able to see God work in many ways before, during, and after the service, I don't often personally feel the renewal of my spirit after a time of morning worship in Kalsagri. It is hard work! I guess that is where personal devotion time steps in to meet that need.
Anyway, while in the States this fall, I have been attending worship at a variety of Methodist churches. And, what I discovered is something I already knew. HE LOVES ME. I could put the "He" in a bold font, because the Lord God almighty, maker of the universe loves me. Or, I could put the "loves" in a bold font because that one supreme God, sent His Son to earth to live as a human being and teach me the Father's love...and to die an ugly death on the cross so that I could be in Heaven with Him, face to face one day. Or I could put "me" in a bold print because, even if I were the only person on earth, He would still do everything possible, everything needed so that one day I could be rejoicing in His kingdom.
The first four Sundays I was in Pennsylvania, I went to four different United Methodist churches. Each one of them celebrated the Lord's Supper on the Sunday I was there. It was almost too good to be "just be part of the congregation," to worship, pray, listen to the message, and then to receive communion and meditate on the love of God. Ahhh! Balm for the soul.
Last Sunday, I attended Glenwood UMC. It was a communion Sunday. I went up front with everyone else to receive the elements...and as I ate the bread and drank the fruit of the vine, tears formed in my eyes. HE LOVES ME!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Celebrating the Little Things

Ever since my knee replacement surgery, I have been in a kind of a “funk.” Everyone says I am doing FINE. Things are going great. Healing is happening. But, I don’t see it that way. My knee is still tight because of the swelling. There are places on my knee that I have no feeling. It is hard to get comfortable at night, so I am not sleeping well. Sometimes, I have to think about how I am walking. I definitely have to remind myself how to go up and down steps. Getting in and out of cars can be a challenge, especially if the car is a small one. And I wonder…will this ever end? You see, I tend to look at what I can't do instead of what I can do.
So, this week, I FINALLY decided to celebrate the little things. What kind of things? Well, I can drive now. I was able to drive to do my errands. (Something to celebrate!) Two weeks ago, at church, I was able to go down the steps, the proper way, holding onto one handrail! A first! (Something to celebrate!)  I haven’t been able to wear jeans because my knee was too swollen.  They were too tight at the knee. A week ago, I could wear a pair of jeans for a whole day! (Something to celebrate!) Sunday, I wore “normal” shoes to church, not the sneakers that I have been wearing because I could make them loose to accommodate a swollen foot. (Something to celebrate!) The degree of bend of the knee is very important. The goal is to bend the knee at 110 degrees or more. It is a painful part of recovery! Well, this week, I was sitting in a recliner, and I was able to pull BOTH knees up and bend then like a capital “A.” I don’t know the degree of the bend, but, that was the first time I was able do that. (Something to celebrate.) Today, I went down the cellar stairs using only one handrail. Another first. (Something to celebrate!)
So, even though I seem to look at the negative side of things connected with my knee replacement, I am learning to appreciate and be grateful for the small victories. It will be several months before all is healed properly. So, I need to remind myself that God is faithful. He brought me this far and will continue to work in my life, teaching me to trust Him.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Time to Heal

Three months ago, I was in Lawra, Ghana, enjoying life and the work God has given me...all except for one minor detail. I was in constant pain. My right knee had been bothering me for years, and, little by little, it became worse. So bad, that, after arriving back in Lawra after attending a meeting in Tamale, I called my doctor to set a date for a total knee replacement. I had one on my left knee six years ago, so I knew what I was getting myself into, right?
So, I flew back to Erie, PA. I had all the needed lab work and pre-surgery stuff done. Then, on October 17, I went to UPMC Hamot for surgery. Three days later, I was back at my sisters' house in PAIN! I don't remember the last surgery being this painful. But, then, I am a bit older! A CPM machine (to keep my knee moving at increasing angles, six hours a day) was sent home with me. It seems as if all I do is try to get comfortable, do some exercises and get on "the rack."
This time of healing has been hard on me. When I am on pain meds, I can't concentrate. Reading is difficult, if I want to remember what I read. Even watching a DVD gets old real quick. Sleep does not come easy. And, trying to get comfortable in bed...forget it! Keeping a good attitude is the hardest thing of all. Because of the pain, tightness around the knee and lack of range of motion, getting around isn't real easy.
I had therapy at home for two weeks. Holly, my therapist, was such an encouragement. Now, I am going to out patient therapy. In the 2 1/2 weeks since surgery, a lot has been accomplished. Yet, I want to be 100% healed yesterday! It takes time. A small step here, an increase of a degree in the bend or straightening of the knee - they are all major accomplishments for me. It is difficult to "sit back" and let the healing happen. Yes, I have things to do to aid in the healing, some painful, some, not so painful. I guess what it all boils down to, is do I sit around and mope and think, "Woe is me!" Or, do I thank God for the opportunity to have this surgery, this time to take life a bit slower and enjoy His love and His creation? Honestly, I have done both. But, as time goes on, I hope my attitude would be more positive and show my thankfulness to God and would reflect Him instead of feeling sorry for myself.
For everything there is a season. And, for me, now is a season of healing.

Friday, September 12, 2014

GI Kojo Goes to Church

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It was a day to celebrate at Wesley Methodist Church of the Chiraa Circuit. The Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony was going to take place, and it was a day to try to raise the funds to complete building the church.
As we got closer to the church on Sunday 31 August 2014, we noticed a few guys in army uniforms with AK 47s in their hands. The closer we got to the church, the more military we saw among the trees, by the church building…all over the place. Hmmm…why was GI Kojo at church today?
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The answer to this question was very simple, His Excellency, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, the vice president of Ghana was going to worship with us this day. As we waited for everyone to arrive and the service to start, we heard sirens…everyone got up and looked out towards the street. The motorcycle motorcade had arrived, with the drivers showing off their unique driving abilities…next came the VIPs, including the vice president. All the GI Kojos were alert, watchful, doing their job .
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The local chiefs and political VIPs attended as well as plenty of “big men.” Worship started – it was a wonderful service. The Foundation Stone was unveiled and dedicated, with plenty of people in attendance. Money was raised. And, maybe when the church is complete, the VP will come again…along with more GI Kojos!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

There She Stands

When the night seems to say
All hope is lost, gone away.
But I know I’m not alone.
By the light, she stands.

There she waves, faithful friend,
Shimmering stars, westward wind,
Show the way, carry me,
To the place she stands.

Just when you think it might be over,
Just when you think the fight is gone,
Someone will risk his life to raise her,
There she stands.

There she flies, clear blue skies,
Reminds us with red of those that died,
Washed in white by the brave,
In their strength, she stands.

When evil calls itself a martyr,
When all your hopes come crashing down,
Someone will pull her from the rubble,
There she stands.

We’ve seen her flying torn and tattered.
We’ve seen her stand the test of time.
And, through it all the fools have fallen.
There she stands.

By the dawn’s early light,
And through the fight…
She stands.

~There She Stands by Michael W. Smith


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

God Be with You 'Til We Meet Again

The day was Sunday, 17 August 2014. It was around noontime. Worship service was just about over. Announcements were being made. All was well...until I made the final announcement of the day. "I love Kalsagri. You have become my family...You have noticed that I have been sitting more frequently..." It was the beginning of a very difficult announcement. I was traveling back to America for surgery, for a knee replacement. I would be gone for 5 1/2 months...
As I spoke, I watched the faces of the congregation. The surprise. The shock. The love. The concern. And, something stirred within me. It was the same thing I experienced in August 1996, when I was leaving a camp in Russia. An 8 year old girl, an orphan was sobbing on my shoulder...and I on hers. I didn't intend to "get involved" with anyone then, just like I didn't realize how interwoven my life was with the lives of the people of Kalsagri. I was in pain (still am). I knew I needed surgery. But, oh, how hard it was to let people know I was leaving.

I was able to worship with the Kalsagri church one more time before I left Ghana. The congregation prayed for me with such faith and such love and such could God not answer their prayers? I miss them. And, my prayer is, "God be with you until we meet again."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Dog's Life

Hi! Since Maakum has not written a blog post for a while, I thought I would. My name is Ruby, one of Maakum's grandpuppies. Ruby is short for Ruby human dreams about food a lot! I am also known as Ruby Slippers, Rubik Cube, Baby Girl and Monster, although I don't know why anyone would call me a monster!

I often visit Maakum, especially when my human is out and about. I have been known to whine at her front gate until she lets me in. Then, she feels sorry for me. (YAY!) So, she brings out my water bowl and my toys!

So, I start to play with bunny. But, then I realize that I am not the center of attention. Imagine that! Maakum is drinking coffee and reading her Bible! So I whine...a lot. And I look at her with my big, Eeyore type eyes. And, it works! I am now comfy on her lap, ready for a small nap!

After my nap, I decide I am a tad hungry. So, the eyes and the whine go to work again. Maakum grumbles small, but I know she is only teasing...she loves me...and she goes inside to bring me some summer sausage! Do I have Maakum trained or what? Then, I let her know I want more. She goes inside again, but, this time she comes out with banku with fish, one of my favorite Ghanaian dishes. I dig in!

I am just a bit messy when I eat! Now...time to play again...and she says, "I'm not a dog person." Huh! What am I? Chopped liver?

My visit to Maakum is almost human is on her way. But, one more thing Maakum lets me do....

somehow I got on Maakum's bed. I don't know how it happened...maybe Scotty beamed me up. :-)

That's all for now. I need to do my duty as "guard puppy." I'll be back again if Maakum forgets to write!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Lied

It is true. I have been lying to you. I have finally come out of denial. My knee pains me a lot. It keeps me awake at night. It shoots sharp pain up my leg when I drive my moto because of the angle I need to have it to drive. It makes travel very challenging. I limped from my kitchen workspace to my refrigerator today. I cannot wait a year for a knee replacement. I have called my surgeon to find out what my options are. (Two years ago he told me that he would do surgery whenever I wanted…it was that bad!) It is like a constant toothache or worse.
So, pray for me, for my knee and for health decisions that need to be made. (Surgery has been scheduled for Friday, October 17, 2014.) I cannot live in Lawra like this and do what I need to do/want to do. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Life in Lawra - Cow in Hole

So here's the thing...I almost had fresh beef today! The chief's cattle were grazing through my front yard as I was disposing of some leftovers from my grandpuppy, Ruby. I heard a SPLASH. " What was that?" I wondered? I looked up and saw a cow in a cement water collection hole. The cattle were being herded by some small children, so I called to them. Then, I told my neighbor, who is a daughter of the late chief. She KNEW who to call. And, she called PLENTY of people!

A man who Beatrice, my neighbor, called "uncle" came. He tried and tried to free the cow, pulling this way and that, even putting his fingers up the cow's nostrils to get good leverage. Eww! When some small boy came, the boy pulled at the cow's horns and Uncle pulled the cow's tail. It looked like it would hurt. (Can a cow's tail get broken?) Needless to say, the cow did not get out of the hole.

Finally, the Fulani man, who is to take care of the chief's cows, came. Uncle jumped into the hole and pushed the cow up, while the Fulani man and children pulled up from outside the hole.

The final result? A freed cow...who was not very happy to have been in the hole. Needless to say, those of us watching, watched from a safe distance. No beef for dinner tonight!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Life in Lawra - Sunday

Yesterday was Sunday. In my mind it was a "day off" because I didn't have to preach. I woke up early and made croutons to serve as a snack later in the evening when I was going to have guests. After that, I made a tuna macaroni salad to have after church. If I made it before church, it would have time in the refrigerator, so it would be cold when I ate it.
I drove my motorcycle out to Kalsagri so I was there by 9:00. Church was not starting until 10:00 because the Superintendent Minister was coming to do a Thanksgiving service for a woman who had died two weeks ago. Plus, he was preaching and serving communion. Thus, my "day off" feeling.
When I arrived at church, the benches were set out, but nothing was ready for communion. The plates and cups were so dusty and dirty. So, I sent a couple of people up to the borehole to fetch water. I had a few anti-bacterial wipes in my backpack that we used to wash the things needed. When the water arrived, very cloudy and dirty looking, we rinsed the dishes. Then, we were able to set up for communion.

Since most of our singers and drummers had traveled south to try to earn money, our song leaders and drummers were young this week. They did a fine job. 

Later, as others arrived, the children went to the children's service and the adults took over the singing and drumming.

We sang plenty yesterday. The pastor had to preach and serve communion at the Lawra church before he came out to Kalsagri. He had told me that he would "fast track" the service in Lawra. Someone finally came who could translate for me, and we started the service. Scripture was read, songs were sung, visitors were introduced and welcomed, prayers were prayed, announcements were announced, the offering was taken...still no pastor. The "day off" feeling had long since left me. Where was he? Oh, one more song...he finally arrived, at 12:15! He once again welcomed the family of Afie, the woman who had died. People stood up and gave testimony of how Afie's life had touched theirs. The pastor did the Thanksgiving part of the service, thanking God for the life of this precious sister in Christ.

Now, it was time for the sermon..."Come to Me all you who hunger. Come to Me, all you who thirst..." Then, communion. The service was over by 1:30. So, I am thinking, "Yeah! Naptime!" WRONG! Someone had delivered a letter to Rev. Baiden early Sunday morning. It told of the death of a man in Techiman. He and his wife were from one of the villages of Kalsagri. Would the pastor please visit the widow and do the widowhood rites for the deceased man's wife. So, first we had to find someone who knew the family and knew directions to the family house. According to Tradition, the man was already buried, but the funeral and grieving were still going on. So, we "hopped" on our motorcycles, in search of the bereaved family. We did find them, but, then, we had to search for the man who had visited the pastor that morning. As we walked from here to there and from there to over there and from over there knee was paining me with every step because of the arthritis. We did find the family house. We greeted everyone and sat down. We shared our mission of why we had come.

Then, the widow was found and brought to us. Again, greetings and sharing our mission. There was much discussion on when the widowhood rites would be done because the widow wanted to return to the south before she moved back north to the family house. She finally agreed to have the pastor do the rites now, while he was there. I didn't understand most of what was said because it was in Twi and Dagaare. So, I looked in my Liturgy book when I got home. First the pastor gave thanks that the two has said their marriage vows and were true to them. He had the woman put her hand in the hand of a male relative who would represent her husband. The pastor talked about the vow of living as man and wife until "death do us part." Now, death has separated them and freed her from that vow...and the hands were separated. He prayed that God would be with her during this time and again thanked God for their marriage.

He had the widow kneel. Then, as he prayed for her, she was anointed with oil. It was a short service filled with symbolism. I was glad that we could be there for the family.

I got home at 4:00 in the afternoon. I was exhausted. And, I was having guests at 6:30. So, I quickly ate and rested. Then, the sky was getting dark. I received a text, "Can I come early? Looks like rain." "Sure, come on over now."

So, Sarah and Sydney came over at 6:00 for our "girls night out" with Hassan, the three year old son of Sarah's fiancé. We watched it rain small, and watched the sky get dark and watched the candles glow as we talked and got caught up on each other's life.
The evening ended about 8:15. I was tired. I brought the things in and collapsed on my bed. It was a busy, but good, day in Lawra!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Church Meeting

Last Saturday, we held a church meeting in Kalsagri. (The above picture is the parking lot!) It was scheduled for 2:00 pm. I did not choose the time. The congregation chose the day and time. I drove out to Kalsagri so I would be at least 30 minutes early. I drove up and down a couple of kilometers of hard road (paved) honked my horn so people would know it was time to come to the meeting. And, at 2:00 there people there besides me!
But, I waited. By 2:10, there were about 15, by 2:30, there were thirty. I thought that was really good for people who have to take care of families and farm in the morning and don't wear watches or own cell phones. (I need to keep that in mind.)
After greeting and a prayer, we started the business of the day. I read our latest financial report. It was not very exciting. Only a few people fell asleep during it. Then, on to more important things...what to do with the people farming on our land? Do we allow them to continue? (Yes, until we need the land to build.) What do we give the Bishop as a farewell gift? (A traditional smock.) Who will volunteer to teach the children? (Janet - student, Hagar, Francis, Clarissa, Nicodemus.) Who will serve as Communion Stewards? (Janet - adult - and Yebedaa) Who is taking weekly attendance? (Janet - student, Nicodemus) Will we have a Harvest as a fundraiser this year? (Yes. November 23, 2014) Alex and Winifred have been serving as Financial officers. They agreed to continue. How many have chickens and other fowl? Are you interested in having them inoculated. (Plenty own them and YES, please set up an inoculation time.) What do you want the church to provide during the Harmatan season? (Soap making classes, Bible studies) What would you like our future building project to be? (A larger church)
So much was accomplished. There was plenty of discussion and debate. A lot of decisions were made. I pray that God will bless the willingness of these people to lead their church!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Visit from John

Last Friday morning, I was outside my house early (6:00), taking pictures of the gorgeous sunrise. I was thinking about hopping on my motorcycle (in my Christmas jammies...they were long sleeved and long trousers) to take some pictures along the LawSec road when I saw a young man walking towards me. He was carrying a torch (flashlight) and a small, black book, which looked like it could be a Methodist hymnal, but was really a King James Bible. I greeted him. He told me he was being spiritually attacked, could I help him?

Hmmm...old white woman, young black man, 6:08 in the morning. What to do? I asked his name. "John." "Are you the John I spoke with in Kalsagri?" "Yes." I invited him onto my veranda and we began to talk. I realized I was over my head in this. John had a tormented soul. I didn't know all of the cultural spiritual beliefs and battles, so I called Razak. He would know what to do. He said he was on his way coming. Meanwhile, Fortune, the woman who helps me twice a week arrived. (Good sigh.) I served water and began to prepare tea. Razak arrived and sat with John and talked.
John said that when he tried to sleep, three bears would come to chase after him. He was sure if he was anointed with oil and American water, that this would stop. Razak spoke truth to him. He asked John about his beliefs and what was he doing to prevent these spiritual attacks. So, they talked some more. Razak told him that American water wouldn't help. And, even being anointed wouldn't help if John didn't take some action in this situation. God wasn't like some magical wizard, say and do the "proper" things and all would be well.
After the guys had their tea and talked for about an hour, we prayed. Razak anointed John with oil, asking the LORD to protect John and watch over him and draw John close to Himself. Would you continue to pray for John, too?

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Kalsagri Funeral

Early yesterday morning, I was informed of the death of one of the church members in Kalsagri, Afie Yongpugre Songneh. Afie was one of the older women of the church, one I called, "Maakum." (Grandmother)  Here, in the north, the body is "staged," items from the person's life surrounds them. Mourners come and grieve and throw coins on te ground. The coins will be used to pay the grave diggers.

The casket is ordered and made the same day. There are no casket shops! The calabashes and pots are broken underneath the staging area. Afie used these items in this world, and will need them in the next. This is how the transition is done. Next, goats were sacrificed. It is believed Afie will need these in the next life, also. 

The Very Rev. Ernest Baiden came to Kalsagri to lead the funeral service. After prayers, scripture and a sermon, which included an invitation to know Jesus as Lord and Savior, a collection was taken up for the family to help alleviate funeral costs.

Next, the graveside service. the family and friends of Afie formed two lines and the pastor, myself and the casket passed through, then, the rest followed.

The grave was hand dug, which is no easy task on the savannah. The earth is hard and I am sure a pickax was used part of the time. The step on the side of the grave was for the grave diggers to stand on while they straightened the casket inside the grave. 

 As the words, "From earth to earth" are said, a shovel full of dirt is thrown on the casket. The same for the words, "From ashes to ashes." And, for, "From dust to dust." The sound of the dirt and stones hitting the top of the casket are a reminder of our mortality...and Who gives us life!

Final prayers are said, a benediction and a song. Then, greeting the family, once again, offering our condolences and inviting them to the service that will celebrate Afie's life. Afterwards, we join the family under the mango tree and visit with family and friends before leaving. One topic of of Afie's relatives wants me to be his second wife!!

I pray that the Christian example that was seen these past few days will speak louder than any words preached. Seeds were sown. Praise God!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

School Discipline

Here, in Ghana, I often see adults with a stick in hand, ready to discipline a wayward child. Caning is an acceptable form of discipline, even in schools. But, some schools are trying to get away from that type of punishment. If a child gets in trouble, they may have to pick rocks up from an area on the school grounds that is in the process of being cleared. Weeding is another punishment that is given. Try weeding in the sun when the temperature is in the 90s. No fun at all! Digging a hole for whatever is needed is also a punishment that is used. Also, sending a child to fetch water can be a disciplinary action. There are so many "manual labor" kinds of punishment that I have heard of and seen.
Recently, while traveling, I saw all these school children kneeling on the dry, hard ground, in the scorching sun. They knelt there for several minutes. I had never seen that before, so I asked about it. It was corporate punishment - punishment for the entire school! People would walk up and down the lines of the students, making sure they were in the correct position. The students had to remain there until the signal was given to get up. Caning was no longer allowed at this school, so this form of punishment was being used.
Hmmm...makes one wonder about the consequences of one's actions!
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wedding Bells? I Think Not!

Last week I received another marriage proposal. By the same man who asks me EVERY month. You see, he works at the Lawra Water and Sanitation Authority. And, when he is there when I pay my bill, he proposes marriage to me. In the past, I have told him, "I am too old. There are younger women here." He responded, "I see them come and go. It is YOU I want." I said, "but I am 60 years old. I am too old." He responded, "I am seventy years old. You are not too old."
During our latest discussion of marriage, I smiled when I turned him down. He said that because I was smiling, I meant that I really do want to marry him. He told me, "In Lawra, you can find love the market, in Lawra towne, at the river..." "...and, evidently at the Lawra Water and Sanitation Authority," I responded. He laughed. He told me we will have an April wedding.
So, there you have it. This 70 year old man wants to marry me in April. I don't know his name. If I asked, it would probably seal the deal. I don't know if I will be the only wife or the second or third wife, maybe even the fourth wife. I didn't even tell him who to talk to about a bride price!
Hmmm...I think I will send someone else to pay my water bill next month!

Desert Song

This is my prayer in the desert, and all that is within me feels dry.
This is my prayer in the hunger in me, my God is a God who provides.
And this is my prayer in the fire, in weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So, refine me, Lord, through the flames.
And I will bring praise. I will bring praise,
 No weapon forged against me shall remain.
I will rejoice. I will declare:
God is my victory and He is here.
And this is my prayer in the battle and triumph is still on it's way.
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ, so firm on his promise I'll stand.
All of my life, in every season, You are still God.
I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship.
This is my prayer in the harvest, when favor and providence flow,
I know I'm filled to be emptied again.
The seed I've received I will sow.
~ by Hillsong

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A New Opportunity

In 2013, an Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) was done here in Ghana. Eight thousand (8,000) second grade students from all over the country were assessed. Both English reading skills and the local language reading skills were tested. (English is the national language.) The results were unbelievable! Overall, not one student could read a primary two level story, 50% could not read a single word of the story, 44% were struggling readers - reading less than 10 words a minute, 4% were able to read with SOME understanding, only 2% could read fluently and understand what they read.

Literacy in the local language scored even lower. 86% of the Dagaare speaking students could not read a single word of Dagaare. 10% were struggling readers. 4% were able to read with some understanding. No one could read Dagaare fluently and understand what they read.
So, as an elementary education teacher, one who has taught reading in the past, the very distant past, I have started to go to the Kindergarten class last week. (There are six more weeks of school this year.) I wanted to evaluate what the children knew. So, I started with letter recognition. The highest score was 10 (ten) out of 26, the lowest was 0 (zero) out of 26. Both of these students were in the KG 2 class...they have completed almost two years of school! (You must keep in mind, most of the parents are illiterate.)
For the remainder of this school year, I will work with the Kindergarten students. In September, when the new school year starts, I will work with the lower grades and start reading clubs for the upper grades. And, I will watch and listen to see what God has in store for me! (I will still be taking care of the Kalsagri church, I am not leaving that!)

The Making of a Garden, on a Savannah!

For almost two years I have wanted a garden. So, when my friends, Tula & Gary were coming to visit and Gary was planning on planting me a garden, I was very excited. When Gary came, the reality of life on a savannah hit him, as well as the rocky, clay filled soil. Needless to say, a garden was not planted. It was ok. Gary did plenty of other things.

A few weeks ago, I threw some watermelon seeds into a hole. And, God grew them! So, my dear friend, Jonas Delle, took it upon himself to make sure I had a garden, a safe place for watermelon to grow where the sheep, goats and cattle would not eat them. 

One day, after work, he came with his CUTLASS to dig/cut out holes in the hard earth. These were pole holes - holes to put in poles which would be part of the fence. The fence would be made from nym branches which he cut down and removed leaves and whatever else was on them.

My two friends, Gabe and Sydney came to help build the fence. But, Sydney and I are not Ghanaian. We did NOT want to build a fence in the heat of the afternoon.

So, when the poles were in their holes, we pleaded with the guys to let me lash a fence together small, small, each day, in the morning, before it got hot.

The guys agreed and we stopped our work for a photo op!

It took a week or so, and plenty of curling ribbon (I used what I had) and the fence was finished.

Now, the next step...making cages for bell peppers and banana peppers and tomatoes. The carpenter, David, said he just cuts the wire with the wire cutter on a pair of pliers. Where are Chuck and Gary when you need them?

The almost finished product! Seeds were planted, and I did finish off the fencing on the right side, by the house. I've watered my seeds, God has been giving PLENTY of sunshine. I will wait patiently for the harvest!

Honor the Lord with your wealth and the first fruits of all your produce,
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Proverbs 3:9-10