It's that time. The time that is so bittersweet for me. It is time for Home Assignment.My home Assignment will be July 21 until November 10of this year. It is time to connect with the people and churches who have partnered with me in the past, to say, "Thank-you" and to update them on what has been happening in the Lawra area. It is also a time to invite others to partner with me in this ministry. It is also a time for personal and professional development. And, time to connect with family and friends face to face. Time to stop in the office. Time to "debrief." And, a time to worship in English! As you can see, there is lots to do!
This doesn't happen overnight! There is a lot of preparation for Home Assignment. And, that is complicated by being thousands of miles away with interruptions in electrical, phone and internet services. Add to that the time difference...and a variety of schedules! I have been contacting people since February, trying to set datesand to schedule talks, a "meet and greet," a dinner, transportation, etc. It hasn't been easy. There is a church or two that I haven't been able to track down yet! Aside from the "job" type stuff, there is also finding a place to stay, a car to use, a phone to use, and internet other than Mc Donald's.
Now, with my departure from Lawra only a day away, I have been working on the really hard part...tying up loose ends and saying "Good-bye" even if it is only for four months.Sunday, July 10 was my lst Sunday to preach in Kunyukuo until November. Bible study is over for now - it is farming season and everyone is busy.Even though I have only been in Kunyukuo a short time, I can't believe I am leaving already. It's hard to say, "Good-bye." On my morning walks, I greet the sanitation workers who are out so early. And, my eyes start to tear up. What's that all about? I hear, "Maakum" shouted by a child who is across the park. I return his greeting with a smile inmy heart.I am going to miss my morning people. I walk down the road some more and greet the elderly woman whose name is Faati. And, I see Junior at his house, anxiously waiting for me to arrive. I spend some time with him, playing an impromptu game. As I leave him, I am grateful for the worship music on my iPod, it gives me a distraction and focuses me on the Lord and not on a heavy heart as I say my "Good-byes." I will miss these friends of mine. I continue on to Ali's Tea Shop to greet Ali and have a mini Dagaare lesson. I stop to eat, too, since my food supply at the house has dwindled. Right now, there are children playing on my veranda. It will be so quiet when they leave.
Yet, I can't wait to see my sister again, to see my brothers. I look forward to seeing my friends. And, yes, I look forward to eating food that is non-existant in my world. I look forward to being with churches who have welcomed me and have joined with me in ministry in Ghana. There are many things I amexcited about doing while I am in the US. Even so, part of me will be in Lawra, part of me will be in Kalsagri, part of me will be in Kunyukuo.
It's hard leaving the people I have grown to love over these five plus years. I pray God's protection on all of us while we are apart. And, in November, what a sweet "homecoming" there will be!