Monday, January 14, 2013

Updates from Jake in Ghana

Thanks for praying that God would lead the team to those in most need. Jake was brought to this little girl early this morning in Asikuma. Her name is Prosper.
She has deformed legs and is mentally handicapped/delayed - due most likely to neglect from the stigma attached of having lame extremities. Her mother has been praying for someone to get her a wheelchair so that she does not have to sit in the dirt all day. Our Foundation will be able to purchase a wheel chair for her before Jake leaves, thanks to the donations that Kingdom Cares International receives from many of you! On these trips, when we walk outside of our hotel gate in Asikuma, we are immediately confronted with needs. People are hurting and suffering and in such need everywhere you turn – it is almost suffocating. We’ve learned that we can’t help them all, rather God has taught us to help the ones that He places in our path - to see the individual, like He does. 

The Drake students started teaching in Asikuma today! They are spread out, helping at 4 different schools in the community which are a mix of governmental and private schools. One of these 4 is the school that our Foundation helped to upgrade by constructing the library and additional classroom starting back in August 2011 – Asikuma Presbyterian Primary School. The students are also teaching at Godwin International, which is the school that the children in our sponsorship program attend. Below are some pictures Jake took of the Drake students teaching at one of the private schools (not funded by the government) earlier today. To give you an idea, to attend this school it costs 12 cedis per term and there are three terms in the year. 1 Ghana cedi is equivalent to less than 1 U.S. dollar (depending on the fluctuating exchange rates of course). Here the students are being taken through grammatical exercises…


and here they are learning their capital and lowercase letters in the dirt.
Desks in this particular school are sparse so the older kids/grades get the desks and the younger ones go without. School in Ghana is taught in English so there is not much of a language barrier – other than getting adjusted to accents. :)

Jake also took a trip to Godwin International school this morning to begin checking up on the children in our sponsorship program. You may remember Emmanuel from one of our last trips (read his story HERE) - our Foundation was able to purchase antibiotics for him to treat a massive infection that had taken him over due to a botched circumcision. Emmanuel was one of the children God used to start up our sponsorship program.  Since identifying him on that August trip he is now being sponsored to go to school. Jake got to see him at school today…

When I talked to Jake on the phone today he said Emmanuel is doing really well. The school master noted that he is attentive and engaged at school, and Jake was encouraged because Emmanuel could communicate to him a bit in English! He could not speak English before, but has learned this in school. Jake said in person Emmanuel looks very healthy and looks also to be eating well. Emmanuel’s siblings (who are also sponsored) were not in school today and Jake later found out why. ‘D’ who checks up on the family (and was the one who led Jake to help them in the first place) came and found Jake at the hotel tonight. She said that the family ran out of water today. They only had one bucket of water for bathing, so they chose to bathe the oldest, Emmanuel, and keep the rest home from school. Apparently the water bore hole they use is a very long walk. Each person in the community is only allowed 1 bucket of water per trip - (you can make 10 trips and get 10 buckets) and the mother was not able to gather enough buckets before school today. It is culturally unacceptable for a parent to send their child off for the day without a bath. I've always thought it funny that they take a bath and then head right back out into the dirt, however in Ghana bathing twice a day (sometimes 3 times per day) helps protect against disease.

George was another one that God used to start our sponsorship program. You can read his story HERE. George and his sisters were put into our sponsorship program last summer and are also now attending school thanks to their sponsors. As mentioned in his story, George’s father travels for days at a time to farm, so he and his younger sister are often cared for by their oldest sister (Ruth – pictured below in the middle). Neighbors also assist, but George and his siblings definitely go through waves where they are looking quite ‘rough’, as they are currently….these are the times when their father is away.  Their sad little faces just tug at my Mommy heart.

Ruth wasn't in her school uniform today because it was dirty (as part of the culture she will receive punishment for this at school).  I imagine she did her best to get her siblings together and ready first, and put herself last. 

George has some sort of infection on his head right now. I believe this is ring worm of the scalp.
Jake is planning on taking him to the medical clinic tomorrow to get it checked out and to get him medicine.

I also got this sweet picture of ‘our girls’ Yaa and Adjoa at school today. :) 
Jake and I started adopting these two orphaned girls in September of 2011. Months later an aunt stepped up to care for them, so adoption turned out to not be the answer for their situation. From there God led us to adopt Jennifer and Jasara, so we now consider Yaa and Adjoa our ‘adoption messengers’. Yaa and Adjoa are in our sponsorship program, and every trip we are so eager to check in on them. Each of our teams seems to fall in love with these girls, and we are thankful that their aunt is taking good care of them.

Lastly, you might remember poor, little Graham. I last blogged about him HERE. Since then, it was a struggle to get an exact answer on what Graham needed. We thought it had been communicated to us that Graham needed medication for his heart to get stronger in order to have surgery. However, as it turns out, the doctors aren’t exactly sure what is going on with his heart – other than they know there is a hole in it. They are now saying that Graham needs an analysis that lasts for 6 months in which he constantly goes into the doctor, dye is put in his blood, and then they chart how it is flowing. Then they decide about surgery from the results. Call me crazy, but to me this doesn’t seem like the best use of time, however, there are also no other present options. Graham’s family had gotten through 2 months of this 6 month analysis when Graham’s father lost work again, and they had no money to go to the doctor. Our Foundation is pledging to provide for this 6 month treatment analysis, but we are hopeful that God will intervene and show us if there is something else that can be done in a more timely matter. I cannot imagine how Graham’s mother feels as she continues to wake up and hold her suffering boy in her arms day after day. Would you all be willing to pray a prayer of faith along with me? That God will miraculously heal the hole in Graham’s heart without the need for surgery? I’ll be praying to this end.

Mark 16:15-18
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Graham pictured with Jake and Wisdom - one of our new in-country staff members - earlier today.


cometcat1 said...

Janel: I have enjoyed your blog for a while and have especially been moved by your latest posting. As a mother and a grandmother my heart breaks for these children. I want make a donation for your work...I see a link on your that the best way, or can it be sent right to you? Thanks. God bless you and your family. Cheryl O'Brien, Carroll, Iowa

Janel said...

Cheryl - this is AWESOME! Thank you so much! I have more updates coming later today to continue to show how donations to Kingdom Cares are put to use in Ghana. Yes, you can either donate using the link on my sidebar or you can mail a donation directly to us at: Jake Sullivan, 315 Ridgewood Drive, Huxley, IA 50124. Donations are payable to Kingdom Cares International. Thank you for your support!!!!!!