From yesterday, via Jake:
Day three in Ghana was another fabulous one. We woke up early this morning to make our three hour journey to Cape Coast. Cape Coast was the former capital city of Ghana when it earned its freedom in 1957. In later years the capital was moved to Accra leaving Cape Coast depleted of many of its resources and economic value. Cape Coast is now known as a fishing community as it sits right on the Atlantic Ocean and has actually become a tourist attraction because of the British Castle where over 10 million slaves were shipped out of during the height of slavery. Cape Coast is also known for its incredible amount of children that freely run around the community seeking guidance and assistance whenever possible.
Over the past two years Cape Coast has become my favorite area of Ghana partially because of the outreach opportunities available there, but even more so because of the incredible joy the people display despite very, very difficult situations.
Today’s trip to Cape Coast was centered around an outreach program that we created alongside Hoops Care International who currently is an NGO (non-governmental organization) that operates out of Cape Coast. We put on two 90 minute basketball camps accompanied with an hour Bible study and worship time for the kids. We had over 150 kids show up to the event and also had another couple hundred kids just hanging out around the courts fascinated with us Americans. The primary thing that I am beginning to discover here in Africa is the platform for Christ that we have because we are from the United States. Everywhere we go we have a crowd following us hanging on every word that is said.
My other thought of today is how the people of Africa have a never ending curiosity and desire for adventure. As Americans we have lost that desire in so many ways because we so fear the unknown. Here in Africa the unknown is what gives them a sense of hope and they are so confident that God will open the unknown for them that their curiosity never stops.
To give an example of something so simple but yet so powerful was when we went through the British Castle and out to the people of the primary fishing community where the poverty is unexplainable. Grace and I were standing out on a dock area eating nerds and lemon drops and soon we had a crowd around not because we were from the United States but because we were eating this unknown food. Soon Grace and I did not have our candy any longer and the kids with the greatest sense of joy on their face ate the candy with puckered faces and gave us two thumbs up with gigantic smiles.
I started asking myself today what if I started to find the simple joys again in life? What if we became as curious about the future God has entailed for us as the beautiful people of Africa have become? What could happen if we all put our fears on the shelf and just stepped out to the unknown world of adventure? I can only imagine what impact we all could make for Christ.
During this journey to Africa I wanted to learn from the people of Africa. I wanted to learn what God was going to try to teach me. I am still curious to see what happens tomorrow as day 4 of the adventure begins.
Good night from Africa,
All my friends with me (Lori Odle, Vander Weide family, and Coach Angie) all got to fully experience driving in Ghana this evening. I wish I could have had a camera to catch the fear and wonderment all occurring at the same time as we bobbed and weaved through the traffic!! It was one of those priceless moments.