Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jake's Ghana Trip Journal ~ Day 6

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Today we were all up with the rooster’s crow. The construction guys were headed to begin putting the roof on at the library, Doug and Emma were heading home as they had to leave two days earlier than the rest of the group, and Brittany, Typhanie, Nick and I were being picked up by Kofi to head to Kwahu to visit his new orphanage.

Kofi is the individual who handled our adoption of Justice and God has reconnected us recently through Adoption Advocates International. He will now be overseeing our adoption of ‘Y’ and ‘A’. Kofi was running on American time today as he was at the hotel to pick us up right at 8am. Typically in Ghana if someone is supposed to pick you up at 8am that really means 9:30 or 10:00. We often refer to time as American time or Ghana time when trying to figure out when we will actually leave for an activity or eat a meal. I think this is the first time this week that anyone in Ghana has operated on American time.

When Kofi arrived we piled into his vehicle and were off to Kwahu. We also have a few other sayings while we are in Ghana - “Nothing is as it seems” and “Always, ALWAYS expect the unexpected.” Well today that was never more true. I was under the impression that Kwahu was about an hour and half to two hours away. After about three hours into the trip we stopped at an Americanized rest stop which was the second unexpected surprise of the day. We bought some popcorn, crackers, went to the bathroom and then were getting ready to pile back into the car when Kofi points out into the distance and said, “See that mountain?” We said, “Yes.” Kofi followed up by saying, “Well Kwahu sits at the top of that mountain and it is the tallest mountain in Ghana and then he said, “We should be there in about 90 minutes. “ Yes today we are in the midst of the unexpected, but very excited about what God is up to.

As we climbed the mountain in our car I looked out my window and saw the beauty of God’s creation. I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life than being in the midst of the jungle slowly driving up the mountain. As I was enthralled with the beauty I looked down and all the beauty sunk to the bottom of my stomach and I now feared for my life. About three feet from my window was the cliff that dropped at least a few thousand feet. All that stood between us and the cliff were these two-foot poles that would likely not stop your car even if you did hit them. The thought did go through my mind that I may die climbing this mountain to Kwahu, but as we climbed the beauty of the area became greater and greater and my thoughts turned back to the wonders of God.

We had finally arrived at the orphanage that is still in the midst of construction, but is going to be an incredible place to care and love for the orphans of Ghana. Kofi has put all of his own money into the place up to this point and is about $15,000.00 - $20,000.00 away from completing the construction.

Once completed he will move the kids from the foster home (that is currently at his personal residence) into the orphanage. I am certainly looking forward to seeing how God wants us to partner with Kofi and his mission. I loved his vision and his obedience for what God is calling him to do in Ghana.

Kofi’s vision does not stop with just the orphanage. He has bought 32 plots of land that he hopes to develop that will ultimately fund the orphanage’s daily expenses and care for the children. He has started building the foundation of a 96 unit apartment building that he would rent out to the local people and would also serve missions groups and families adopting as well. The thing that is so interesting about Kwahu is that many of the wealthiest people in Ghana have vacation homes in the area. There were million dollar mansions surrounding mass poverty because of the beauty of the place. Many of the top executives from Ghana build get-away homes up in the area. Kofi thinks he can tap into that market with his apartment complex. He also has future plans on the land to develop a boarding school where the orphans and foster children would receive their education. Kofi dreams big and I know that God has big plans for Kofi and the orphans of Ghana.

After visiting the construction site we went over to the current orphanage/foster home that is located at Kofi’s house in Kwahu. The house is about a 500 sq/ft. three bedroom complex currently housing 14 children.

Many of the children in the local community also hang out there throughout the day. The coolest part about all of this is that Kofi got married in October and his wife is 100% behind what God is calling them to do. She is the primary caretaker of the children in the home and is a few months pregnant with Kofi's first son. There were also a few other part-time house mothers helping out and serving Christ through the care of the orphans.

The kids were incredibly well behaved and cared for. We spent the next four hours hanging out with the children reading books, jump roping, walking the village roads, and sharing the love of Christ through our desire to love them.

It seemed like just a few minutes had past when in reality four hours had gone by and it was already time for us to make our journey back to Asikuma. As we traveled through small villages, unpaved roads, hundreds of speed bumps, dodging random goats and cattle we finally made it back to Asikuma around 10pm. As I opened the car door and we pulled into the hotel there was peace and quiet for about 30 seconds until I heard footsteps running down the dirt hill to the hotel in the distance. Then I heard voices yelling “Hi Dad! We are glad you are back!” It was Albert, Fredrick, Manche, Asare, and their partners in crime. They had waited all day for us to get back and the hotel cooks kept the food out for us so we could feed as many kids as possible when we returned. That night we fed about 30 kids and we all laughed and joked into the night before they finally had to return home.

There are times on this journey that God has called me to in which I question it all. I question the best methods, I wonder if we are really making lasting relationships, and for me whether the youth God has called me to disciple are really getting it. Well, tonight God confirmed it all. Over the course of one year I have gone from obruni (white man/foreigner), to Mr. Jake, to Dad. As I crawled into bed that night I went to bed with a peace that only God can provide.

No comments: