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2019 Ghana Team Blog

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of the friends and family who prayed and supported us in this journey. You can scroll from the bottom of the blog to the top to read in chronological order.

Are you interested in joining our next faith journey? We are currently taking applications for Colombia (Nov 2019), Ecuador (Mar 2020), and Ghana (July 2020).

July 12 | Day 9

Final Day: our journey home is beginning and we’ll be on American soil in about 15 hours. We’re all excited to come home, sad to leave Ghana, and filled so deeply in our spirits. We poured out a lot on this trip but the Lord was faithful to fill us up to overflowing. Below, the top left is a picture of Johnbull praying over our team and our ministry just before us heading to the airport. What a blessing it is to partner with an organization that prays with us and for us.

Here are some questions to ask your loved ones when they get home. Answering the standard “how was your trip?” is harder to put into words.

- What serving activities were you a part of? - Tell me what was most unexpected about your journey. - Tell me one of your favorite moments with your team. - What about with someone from City of Refuge? - What was the hardest part of this experience? - What do you miss most about Ghana? - How can I be praying for you now that you’re back? - How can I pray for your new friends? - What did you miss most while you were gone? - What is most difficult about being back home? - What is God teaching you as you get back into your routine here? - How do you want to remember this experience going forward? - How did God change your view of the world? - What did God teach you about Himself?

July 11 | Day 8

Today was Staff Appreciation Day. In partnership with another team here, our team was able to bless the staff here at City of Refuge. They work so hard and it was great just to pamper them a bit. Pedicures, manicures, massages, prayer time, and art stations. Our team was so selfless during this- most of them had never touched someone else's feet before and some of them were assigned to work in one area and ended up in another, The level of flexibility and humility was so beautiful to witness. These women are amazing.

Overwhelmingly, the prayer requests made by the staff were to be able to do the will of God, that His grace would be sufficient, and that they might do their work well so that their service would honor Him. With hearts like this serving here, it’s no wonder that God’s favor rests upon this place.

May we all be more like this Lord. May our greatest cry simply be to remain close to you and to serve you well. What an example these people are to our entire team.

While the school teachers were over getting their spa treatment, some of our volunteers covered their classrooms and helped the students make appreciation projects. It was such a fun day!

July 10 | Day 7

It’s been quite a day. The first half of the day was filled with prayer. We did our daily prayer walk and then sat in on Children’s chapel. Sir Timothy taught on the value of patience and it was a great message. Mid-morning Daddy Johnbull, Mama Stacy, Auntie Jammie, and Dr Troy took several hours out of their day to pray over our team individually. These leaders are so incredibly busy which made this sacrifice even more special.

After prayer time, we were invited to sit in staff meeting to hear a guest speaker from YWAM (Youth with a Mission) who came to speak to the group on our identity in Christ. It was touching to be included and the speaker was really great. At the end of the meeting, we handed out cookies as part of appreciation week (cookies are a rarity where we are so this was special).

This evening, we had Bible study with some of the other volunteers as well as some of the middle school girls. Tomorrow we’ll be loving on the staff here all day with massages, pedicures, art stations, and treats. We’re excited about it.Our stomachs are feeling a little better. Thanks so much for praying.

July 9 | Day 6

It’s hard to believe we have only 3 days left in this place. Summer and Danielle spent this morning with Pastor Ato and Pastor Dominion praying and worshiping as part of the evangelism team. Tori and Susan were tutoring in the resource room and Jennifer and Tracy were finishing up on the classroom mural. Dominique helped a bit in the kids library re-binding books. Honestly, the mural is so incredible that the staff asked if we’d be willing to start another one. Praise to the artists within our team who’ve led us so well in this and to the extra helpers who made it that much more fun.

A few of us have had some mild stomach issues so we’ve rested a little more today than usual. Please keep us lifted up in prayer. We really want to be present while we’re here. After lunch, Tori helped prepare spaghetti dinner in the kitchen alongside the other team who is here. It’s part of staff appreciation week so we took over the job of cooking from the kitchen staff tonight.

Dominique and Summer helped bake cookies and donuts which will be distributed to staff this week. It's not easy making these from scratch for so many but these ladies took the opportunity to connect with some of the long term volunteers in the process, so that was fun. Danielle drew a few more caricatures of the kids and she was surrounded by many kids admiring her work. Their faces lit up- it was really fun to watch.

July 8 | Day 5

It was a busy day today and so fun. We started the day off with Summer leading us in devotions. After that we prayer walked the campus and then divided up. Summer and Dominique helped out in the resource room tutoring some of the newly rescued boys. Jenn and Danielle were working on the mural at the school and Tori, Tracy, and Susan spent time at the administration office praying over the staff and interns who work there.

This evening we spent time playing with the kids and enjoying our time with them. Each of us have developed special friendships while here and it’s been great to see how God creates special God moments out of regular conversations. Tonight Ghana played Tunisia during the World Cup. Our whole team agrees we’ve never heard a crowd erupt the way this family at CORM does when their team scores a goal. Our ear drums are suffering but our hearts are full.

July 7 | Day 4

Sunday Sabbath. What a lovely day it was (hot but lovely). We started the day at Bible study followed by Church service. Church at CORM is so special with passionate prayer, fun worship, and a moving message. We were in that non-air conditioned building for several hours and loved every minute of it. After service, it was time for lunch and relaxing. Several of us hung out at Pastor Johnbull and Stacy’s home to watch the USA women win the soccer World Cup. Woot! Others played cards or made bracelets in the cafeteria.

While we were hanging out Danielle was so sweet to draw some of the kids. Some of them literally skipped out of their room with their drawing in hand. It made them so happy. Another team of ladies arrived today and they’re all very nice. We’re working with them to put on a staff appreciation event later this week and we’re excited to meet them.

July 6 | Day 3

Today was our day to see some of the sites in Ghana. We visited Boti Falls, Akaa Falls, Umbrella Rock, and the Botanical Gardens. It was so great to see some of the natural beauty Ghana contains and to experience some of life outside of City of Refuge.

Here’s the perspective we gained:

- Religion here in Ghana is an intermix of many things. A majority of people would say they are Christian but they also have a lot of traditionalist beliefs. As an example, our tour guide at the gardens was pointing out certain trees and telling us where in the Bible they were found. He would also point out other trees planted by the British and say they were not growing well because Ghanaian land was angry at them for stealing their gold. 😊

- Ghana is absolutely gorgeous. The land, the falls, the people. This place is really so beautiful and it was worth trekking 500+ steps to see those gorgeous waterfalls.

- City of Refuge is truly a Refuge in so many ways for these children. Compared to the standard living conditions in most of the villages we past, this place we call CORM is resort-style living. We cannot sing its’ praises enough.

- We have an amazing team. These ladies have been so great with one another. Lending each other “cedi’s”, helping one another up the steep staircases, praying for each other; overall just being so great about looking out for their sisters. It’s been a blessing to witness.

July 5 | Day 2

Our team worked so hard today... and we had fun doing it. Our day started with devotions and praying over the campus. As we were finishing laying hands on the Redeemed House (where the single moms and their babies live), we heard a voice from the window say “amen” with us. She said “thank you so much. I was praying with you.” We started our mural project at the school today. Susan went into town to buy the paint with Matthew, one of the staff here. The round trip process on a trotro (taxi) took about 3 hours and finished with Matthew and I carrying gallons of paint about a 1/2 mile onto the campus. Imagine if it took you all that just to start a painting project? Life in Ghana. It was joy filled though. Matthew bought me a street donut on the road, held my hand as we crossed the street (frogger style), and laughed more than I could handle.

Tracy and Jennifer spent the morning in the resource room helping to tutor some of the newer boys here at CORM. It’s a difficult task because the boys are all at different academic levels but so fulfilling too. 4 months ago many of them were working countless hours on a lake for their master. Today, they have the freedom to learn. At the end of the day, Jennifer gave the classroom teacher an ice cream as a token of appreciation for the hard work she does. Madame Janet was so touched. I was too.

Danielle and Addy took the lead on our mural project. Addy is one of the boys here and he’s so talented and helpful. We were thrilled that he and Matthew were able to join us. This type of paint only comes off with turpentine so there is a picture of Matthew kindly wiping the paint off Dominique. He spent several minutes doing it for all of us.

Friday nights are for dinner at Daddy Johnbull’s house. Fried rice with chicken and he served about 20 people before serving himself. The servant leadership here is amazing. Finally, tonight is movie night so we went into the cafeteria with all the kids to enjoy a movie and kettle corn popcorn.

July 4 | Day 1

Happy Fourth! 🇺🇸 We has a great first day today. We had an in depth volunteer orientation followed by a campus tour (earning about the amazing aquaponics garden from Matthew is always a highlight). Great time for some of us reconnecting with familiar faces and introducing them to our friends. In the afternoon, we were blessed with time with Pastor Ato as we talked through the upcoming evangelism tours we’ll be going on in the coming days. To celebrate the 4th here, we were served a proper American meal with burgers, chips, beans, and apple pie!

Thank you for all your prayers. Our team is doing fantastic. We’ve learned so much about this incredible ministry today and the great work they do. Tomorrow our work begins.

July 2 & 3 | Team Travel Days

Our team is on the way! Please keep us all in your prayers.

July 1 | Prayer Send Off

Our team shared a special time of worship, prayer and commissioning alongside several friends and family members. Together, we prayed for discernment, protection and to be fully surrendered to God's purposes through every bit of this journey. We also prayed for City of Refuge, our partners in Ghana. We leave to begin our journey soon. Please keep us lifted in prayer and you'll hear from us again when we're on the other side of the world!