Monday, November 8, 2010

Sierra Leone and My Bucket List

Well, you can probably guess what item on my bucket list I will be checking off just by reading the name of this post! Coming up in March 2011 over spring break, I will get to take my first ever trip to Sierra Leone, West Africa!!! I couldn’t find a good map showing both SL and Ghana so here are two images showing each so that you can see where they are in comparison to one another….pretty close:

All of the trip planning/details are still in the works, but an exciting opportunity has come up for Jake and I to spend about 1 week’s time serving at an orphanage in Sierra Leone called The Covering. The Covering is part of an organization called The Raining Season, which I have blogged about before. You can read about the Raining Season by clicking here. The Covering has an awesome blog which you can check out here:

There are many purposes for this trip, and let me start by saying, no, we are not leaving Ghana in the dust!!!!! In fact, the main reason for this trip to Sierra Leone is to get our feet wet in an orphanage setting which will ultimately benefit the project we have started in Ghana. You may remember me saying that Ghana has very few orphanages because many have been shut down due to ill and corrupt practices. In fact, one of Ghana’s most celebrated orphanages, The Osu Children’s Home in Accra, was recently the target of a 7 month undercover investigation in which there were horrifying findings of the treatment of the orphans residing there. You can find the article about the investigation by clicking here. The title of the article is ‘Undercover in the Orphan’s Home of Hell’ if that gives you any idea of the details you will be choking down as you read.

Anyways, you know from my previous posts that it has been on the radar within our Ghana project to start a home for orphans in Ghana. Our initial vision was to have the orphanage alongside the academy/school which we bought the land for on one of our previous trips. However, God completely guided us in a different direction for the orphanage home following our visa disaster trip in June. In the months following that trip it became clear that the idea for the orphan home was not to be a long term vision….instead it could be started now. I am going to be detailing this more in some upcoming posts. God’s guidance for the orphan home has really been spurred by the events surrounding the initial visa disaster with Justice. If it weren’t for our unfortunate visa delay in June, none of this orphanage stuff would even be rolling yet…..but it is…..and I can’t wait to tell you more about it!

Jake is also gearing up for his next trip to Ghana coming up at the end of December this year. I decided to sit this one out since I will be accompanying him on the trip to Sierra Leone. Jake has wanted to do this trip in December as an outreach opportunity for any of the kids/coaches in his Kingdom Hoops program. To date there is 1 other coach going, 2 girls from his 8th grade girls team, the Vanderweide family (they were going to be the host family for Prince) and my mom is also going! There are a few others pending. My mom has already been blogging about some cool and personal things that God has done to reveal to her that He has a clear purpose for her to go! I believe she is also going to be blogging some more this week about the trip details. You can find her blog here: I’ll also be blogging some more about the trip hopefully later this week. :)

1 comment:

Marti said...

Wow Janel! That's great! We sponsor a little boy who lives at The Covering! Maybe I can convince you to snap a few extra pics of him while you're there and bring him a few small treasures (we live in Ankeny and could easily get you a few things...)? His name is Osman Bundu but I guess they gave started calling him James. He is only about two yeats old.

We are planning a trip to Zambia in the fall (2011) to start checking out some possibilities there with a ministry called Give Life...thanks for sharing all God is doing in your lives!