Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My Kalsagri Peeps

I drove out to Kalsagri for what I thought would be a quick trip. I needed to pick up some information for a letter I was writing. I was wrong. It wasn't a quick trip. Here's what happened...

I stopped at Alex's house for the information I needed. No one was home. But, I did hear voices nearby. A couple of little children came to greet me. I greeted them and, in my "best Dagaare," I said I was looking for Alex. They looked at me like I had three heads! My Dagaare wasn't THAT bad! Then, a man came over. I told him that I needed information from Alex or at least the key to the church, so I could look it up myself. He said his father wanted to see me. And, while I went to his father, he would find Alex. So, I went to see his father - the Chief Regent.

I greeted the Regent and others. His daughter, Grace, was there with her baby, Richmon. I could tell right away Richmon was not "normal." And that is why the Chief Regent wanted to see me. He was concerned for his granddaughter. He wanted to know if I could help. I explained that I do not have a medical background. But, I have seen many children like this. (My guess was CP, but, I didn't say anything.) I told them that the possible cause of the child's problems could be a variety of reasons. I have seen children like this whose parents cared for them, loved them, included them in family life and, in time, they learned to walk. Sometimes it takes years, but, it could happen! I gave Grace a few suggestions of things to with her daughter. And, then, we prayed.

Alex did finally come. He gave me the information I needed and we began to talk. Nicodemus joined in. They were telling me about the church and how much they missed me. They told me Wisdom broke his arm and Razak went to Clementia's husband's funeral when I traveled. We talked of Rev. Baiden's funeral and people expressed how much they loved him. They told me of the problems with the new Caretaker. (They want me back. It's nice to be missed. These people are family. For a culture that doesn't express much emotion, my Kalsagri family hugs me!) They are going to speak to the pastor this weekend. 

Then, we went to Clementia's house to greet her. She was still in mourning. I spoke with her, telling her it is okay to grieve, to cry, to be sad. They all have their place. I also told her that Christ will give her peace. and comfort. I encouraged her to hold on to her God and He would give her strength.

These are just the people I spent time with. There were so many that greeted me and asked about my travels.  They don't treat me like a "rich white woman." These people have become family to me. They have accepted me as their own. 

And I wonder...God, why me? What did I do to deserve all of this? All of these blessings? And I am grateful. Very grateful.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Proud Mama

Sunday, I preached in Lawra at the Bethel Society. It was good to be in Lawra again. Bethel is my Ghanaian "home church." But, I do get more nervous when I preach there. Even though there are plenty of village people who attend this church, there are more educated people attending there, too. So, I allow that to put more pressure on me. I have to keep in mind that the sermon can't be too complicated for the uneducated, but not so simple as to be "boring" to the others. Oh, why do I worry about those things? I really don't have to. If I listen to the Lord, all will be well. And it was. 

I was at the church to worship. To preach. To be in fellowship with the people of God. Yet, I also had a couple of "Proud Mama" moments. The woman who interpreted for me was Akos. (Her Christian name is Paulina.) When I met Akos in 2008, she was 12 years old. I looked at her and I thought, "Oh, Lord, she has become such a sweet young woman." She is dedicated to serving her Lord and her church. The way she lead the worship service and the singing....I am sure my face was glowing I was so proud of her and the way she has dealt with all of the challenges life had given her. (She has completed Senior Secondary School and is working in the office at the Methodist clinic in Lawra.) Akos also interpreted for me as I preached. She did an excellent job. He voice was strong. The inflections of her voice were perfect. And, she helped me to keep the attention of the people. Thank you, Jesus! I wish she could be with me in Kunyukuo!

Then, as I sat up front, facing the congregation, my eyes fell on a handsome young man wearing a long sleeved shirt and a tie! His name is Richard and he is from Kalsagri. He finished Senior Secondary School last year and is now in his first year of nursing school in Lawra. He is doing well at school and looks forward to the day when he will graduate and will be gainfully employed. When that happens, he will be able to help his family and be a leader in his church.

These are two of the "kids" the Lord has given me. When I think of them, I smile. When I see them, my heart is full of joy. And, I am grateful.