Wednesday, June 27, 2012

She's back; Christian's fund; Sponsorships; Boy with Compound Fracture; Asikuma Library/Comp Center Updates

She's Back!
My mom arrived home from her trip to Tanzania a few days ago!!!!! She has just begun blogging about her trip…you can read her stories and see photos from her 2 ½ week adventure at her blog here:


Christian's GRACE Fund
Thanks to all of you who have so kindly donated to Christian’s GRACE (Generosity Results in Adoption for Children Everywhere) fund. The current tally is at $3702. [To see the original post with details click HERE.]  God keeps telling me to hang on and we will eventually get to that $4000 mark! From here, I will no longer be doing tally updates, but will let you know once we reach the goal!


I had a handful of people contact me about wanting to be George (and family)’s sponsors! That was quite exciting! I ended up matching him with the family who contacted me first. For those of you who are interested in sponsorship, it is probable that more children like George will be identified on our trips, but we prefer to allow God to lead us to the individual cases. This is not going to be a quick/immediate program that we will set up (if it even becomes a ‘program’). It will take time. In the mean time, there are many children in Ghana in need of sponsorship who have already been identified and placed into an actual sponsorship program through our adoption agency - Adoption Advocates International. Our agency does adoptions, but their first priority in-country is family preservation which happens through humanitarian efforts. Adoption is always the last option. Keeping a family together is the first aim. Specifically, our Ghana program coordinator, Anita, has many children identified in Ghana who are *SO* in need of educational sponsorship (like George and his sister are). I cut and pasted a little excerpt below off of one of Anita’s recent/awesome/thought provoking blog posts:

Orphaned and vulnerable children need education in order to survive their circumstances. Period. You can give it. There's a million and one different organizations with sponsorship programs (of course I recommend Adoption Advocates International). Children in other countries don't take education for granted like our kids do. They cherish it as if it were gold. They beg for it. It's all they would want for Christmas (if it were their tradition to ask for anything for Christmas). I CONSTANTLY have people writing me from Ghana asking me if we can add more kids to our sponsorship program, but I can’t sponsor the ones I already have waiting…. [You can read the full blog post here]

These educational sponsorships through Adoption Advocates International are at $35 or $40 per month. If you can consider it, contact Anita for more information:


The Boy with the Bone Through His Arm: Update 
Had a few people wondering about an update on the boy with the bone through his arm. Also, so I can stop referring to him as that, his name is Dotse. :) On June 5th we received this email from our in-country staff member, ‘K’:

Hello Jake,

Glory and honor be to the Ancient of Days. Yesterday, Dotse and I went to the hospital in Koforidua as planned. We went straight to Dr. Abdul Rahman, and after surfing through the boy's hospital folder, he gave us Friday, July 6th, as his admission date and might be operated in that first week of July. We could not meet Dr. Ofori-Atta in Koforidua, as he told me on phone to rather meet him with the boy today at 8:10 at Akosombo VRA hospital. He would like to check the severity of the case, and then advice Dr. Rahman as to what to do or how to go about the whole thing. It means that I am mailing you from the hospital right now and we have just got out of Dr. Ofori-Atta's office. He says he would communicate with all you guys about it.


Jake was not happy with that proposed admission date, and emailed the doctor directly:

Dr. Ofori-Atta,

‘K’ just informed me that the boy Dotse would not be able to have surgery until July 6th. Can I ask why it takes so long to get him for the surgery with such a severe fracture? I totally understand that things in Ghana work a little differently than in the United States, however, I am curious: If I personally lived in Ghana and my own biological son had a fractured arm, would it take that long to have a surgery to get it fixed? I am just trying to understand the process as God continues to lead us in helping as many youth as possible.

Jake Sullivan

From there the doctor and Jake exchanged a handful of brief emails, and Jake was told to have Dotse at the hospital instead on June 15th. ‘K’ got him there, only to be sent home because there were no available patient beds….the update from ‘K’ that day (June 15th)…..


Dotse and I are just back home. There are still practically no free beds at the male ward to admit him. St Joseph hospital is the only of its kind here and thus the hotcake! Always full of patients. He carried out a review on Dotse and advised him to keep taking the drugs. On the way coming home, he claims to be feeling much much better now and the pains have increasingly reduced! We thank God in all things, Jake! In summary, Dr. Rahman is still referring us to the first week in July for a new appointment; for this reason that it is in that week many previously admitted patients would be released. It is also worth informing you that he says we have to pay a cash deposit of GHC 1000 on that appointment date before Dotse could be accepted. We count on the Lord for help and only he knows things we do not know.


I always like to include the exact email communications so you can really see how things ‘work’ in Ghana. So, as of right now, Dotse is still scheduled to be admitted on July 6th, but even that sounds like it might not be the actual operating day. We were really hoping that we would have our adoption decree by now so that Jake could be in the country this first week in July (to file our I-600) and go with Dotse to the appointment (but we don’t have the decree yet). Dotse continues to need someone to stand up for him and be his voice. Otherwise, we fear that he will continue to get the run around. There is a praise surrounding Dotse’s situation and that is that two families who read of his situation felt led to contribute to his hospital fees.  Right now the admission fee of 1000 Ghana cedis (which is $600 U.S.) has been covered, as well as the costs for his 'drugs' which is Osteocare - a bone strengthening supplement, the recent transportation costs for the hospital trips, and other small fees. We still don’t know how much the actual operation will cost. For right now, July 6th is the day to keep in mind for Dotse.


Asikuma Governmental Primary School Enhancements

Finally, I wanted to include the following update on more progress with our Asikuma school enhancements and library project. I last left off here as I detailed what was accomplished on our recent March trip.

In order for the students in this primary school to pass the entrance exams into secondary school (to go to high school), they must be proficient with use of the computer. Until now, they had no running computers to practice/learn on (you may remember this post from a previous trip in which we observed that students in a school similar to Asikuma’s were learning the computer keys off the chalkboard). An exciting update from ‘K’….

Saturday, June 23rd:

We constantly give glory to God, in whom we have the strength for every kind of good deed he is using us to do.

Here are a few exciting news for you :D. The six(6) computers are in since yesterday and I have sent them to my house for the mean time. This because Sampson hasn't finish with painting the inside of the rooms and I'm still waiting for him to do that. Also, that same yesterday, we erected the big sign for the school and all are looking really beautiful here - just so glad:D!!!

Next is that, the electrician I have got has succeeded in bringing the power in both the KCI-CYBERCAFE and the second room this afternoon. It is now left with Sampson to finish with the painting, then I send the computers in, as I'm already in contact with one ISP (internet service provider) that claim can get our computers connected. They asked me to call again on Monday for confirmation :D, then, they could send an engineer down maybe in the week to fix those.


A few pictures....the sign...

The electrician at work. :)

The computers!
The computer center will double as an internet café and printing center (eventually) in which the public can pay a small fee to use. The internet café is a very typical service in the less rural parts of Ghana, but the first of its kind here in rural Asikuma! The computer center will also be opened up to neighboring schools to use for a small fee.

For those of you who donated to this development for the school back in February, it was only by your donations that we have been able to bring this computer center/internet café into reality. Your donations bought these computers, and your donations are what we have used to pay the electricians, Sampson, and numerous other workers who are completing this labor. Again, THANK YOU!

We are hoping that the computer center/internet café piece can get finished up in the next few weeks so that our team of August 2012 tripsters are able to officially stock the library shelves with the donated books! So far we’ve shipped a little less than half of the donations and they are ready and waiting in Ghana. However, we still have close to 5000 POUNDS (!) of school supplies and books that are packaged up and waiting in Jake’s office to be shipped. When gas prices went up, shipping for these tubs alone was estimated to be $12,000-$16,000. Good grief! We are looking into a couple of organizations who may be able to help us ship them for a fraction of that cost….still working on that.

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