Monday, August 1, 2011

Leave for Ghana Tomorrow!

Have you been watching my sidebar for the Asikuma project funding the past few days? WOWZA, you people are flooding our mail box!!!! It’s like a money tree out there! You should see me walk out to the curb, rip open the envelopes and then run in and update my blog! It’s so exciting! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your monetary donations! By American standards that number up there on my sidebar probably seems like a small amount, but you cannot imagine how far that will go in a place like Ghana!!!! So, we obviously ended up a little short on our goal by the date cut-off, BUT, we are still hoping and praying that more donations stream in while we are gone. Some of our team members have also offered to make personal donations for materials and construction costs on the spot while we are in Ghana so that will be a tremendous help towards the costs as well. God is doing such cool things in our hearts already…..I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this time.

Just for fun, here is Chris’s tentative construction plan for the projects (you can enlarge it by clicking the 'fullscreen' button or the '+' button on the Scribd panel below the document):

*I've removed this document because it was clogging up space on blogger*

I love how all planning in Africa must be labeled as tentative! You just never know how things will play out. :) I meant to get a separate blog post written up on the construction items/repairs needed for the children’s haven (foster home) but I’ve been a packing and organizing maniac and didn’t quite get to it. Here’s a quick run-down of what we are looking at to repair one of the four units:

-Get water supply to the home. 2 options: pipe water in OR dig a bore hole. To pipe it in, they would have to literally rip up the road in front of the land, and rebuild the road. That option would be less expensive, but would likely take months because of red tape in dealing with government entities regarding the road. The borehole would be much quicker, but also more expensive. It’s about 5000-6000 cedis for the borehole [1 Ghanaian New Cedi (GHS) = 0.66260 US Dollar (USD)].

-Water damage in ceiling needs repairs

-Roof where water is leaking needs repairs

-New screens needed on windows to protect from mosquitoes

-Enclose porch to make it a common room or make it a screened in porch

-Bathroom modernized as funds allow

-A 4X3 food area needs to be rethatched in the summer hut

There are also some furnishings needed to get the home up and running. Anita, Ghana coordinator for Adoption Advocates International, has past experience in running a foster home. She has given us some great input on all the details we are trying to work out. Here is her spin on the furnishings:

Having bunk beds built to order is the way to go. We actually had them going 3 high (the bottom bunk basically on the floor) so that we could accommodate more children. I think they cost somewhere around 150 cedis each. As far as other furnishing goes, you can go pretty basic to start--tables and chairs for eating and homework are most important. You can have them built kid-size out of basic wood for less than you could buy an actual dining table. I'm guessing 100-150 cedis for the basic table with six chairs. To that you could add some of the plastic chairs you see everywhere in Ghana--just to start. Then, as funds come in you could purchase a nicer couch/loveseat/chair set (maybe $300 US). Another thing we made for the kids at Eban that worked out VERY well was cubbies and chests of drawers. Each child had their own drawer with clothes that where THEIR clothes. And each child had their own cubby for their own PERSONAL items. In the residential home requirements they mention that each child should own property. We found this system worked really well and helped with keeping the home clean and organized.

As time and funds allow, I think Chris and his construction team could easily build each of these items. The ultimate goal is that each of our four units would house 8 kids and 2 foster moms. We will start with this one unit to get our feet wet and see how things progress from there. SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s see, a few other random things…..I’ve been talking like crazy about the cute little dresses that a bunch of friends and family have been sewing for our trip. But, I also wanted you to know that we have gotten some great clothing donations for the boys too!

When we are in Ghana, it seems that medium sized boys clothes and shoes go like hotcakes! Keep us in mind when you clean out your kids’ closets this year! We can especially use boys sizes 7-14 for khaki or cargo shorts and polos or nice t-shirts that are in good shape.

I also have been working on organizing the bible studies and crafts that we will do with the village children in the evenings. I had to do a trial run of one of the crafts to make sure that it worked. To go along with the bible story of 1 Kings 17:1-6….Elijah being fed by the ravens….we will be putting together a bracelet that says Trust God. Here is the lovely Jayla displaying the goods......

Love her! Oh man am I ever going to miss my kids on this trip!!!!!!!!!! That part does NOT get any easier. While we are gone you can tune into the red-head’s adventures with my mom here:

We fly out early tomorrow morning…..early as in flight leaves at 5:50am!!!! I’ll post prayer requests tomorrow, but no internet connection in Asikuma so you’ll have to wait to hear all the stories and see all the pictures until we get back!

My racing thoughts today are put to peace in this: Glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. ~Ephesians 3:20~


Renee said...

praying for a safe trip, Janel. your kiddos will be in good hands! can't wait to read all about it upon your return.

Kendra Dawn said...

Have a GREAT/SAFE trip. We will be thinking of you guys on your adventure!!!!!

mommakris38 said...

You are all in our prayers! Safe travels! Having a chiropractor with you will be awesome! God be with you all!