2021 Ghana June Team Blog

Thank you for signing into our Faith Journeys Ghana Team Blog. Many of you have invested time, prayers, and finances into this so you are a part of our journey as well and we want you to follow along!


Typically, our partners in Ghana have at least 7-8 teams come serve with them throughout the year. Teams bring over much needed supplies and donations and serve tirelessly alongside the teachers and staff onsite. This year, because of Covid 19 we will be the first team coming to serve so far! Thank you to everyone who donated shoes, school supplies, socks, and other much needed items for our new found friends. It means so much to them and to us. Below is our day to day activities from our time in Ghana. 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 Ghana (Dec 2021).

Jun 8 & 9 | Day 11/12 Travel Days

Traveling these days include extra layers of complexity. We started our day off early as the entire CORM campus came out to pray over our team and send us off with blessings. We love them all so much. Leaving Jenn behind at CORM (she is staying long term to serve here with our partners) the rest of the team said our final goodbyes and off we went to begin our journey home. Several hours and planes later, we are home and processing our experience. Oh, all the things God has been up to within us and through us. Thank you, friends, for being a part of it all.


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?

Jun 7 | Day 10

Today is our last full day at CORM (City of Refuge Ministries), Ghana. I can’t begin to express how special this place is to us. We love the founders, staff, volunteers, and kids so much. Many who join us on a Faith Journey can’t wait to come back. One from our team is staying until November. Jennifer will remain to help teach reading and with sponsorships for the kids. The rest of us will begin our long journey home tomorrow. Please pray for traveling mercies.


Today started off with a torrential downpour. It delayed us from working in what Sir David now calls the Faith Journeys garden. After it let up, some of us were able to get right to work planting some plantain plants (maybe they are trees? They get pretty big!). While the others were at the school helping with reading assessments. After lunch, we switched assignments and then came back to finish packing and do some last minute writing. Faith Journeys used our prayer walk time to pray over CORM, for our time here, and worship in the prayer house. Then we had some play time with the kids.


After dinner, we had an amazing time with the directors and all got prayed over. What a sweet moment and the presence of God was felt by all of us. We are all grateful for our time here and are coming back changed. Our hearts are full. What an incredible faith journey this has been.

Jun 5 & 6 | Day 8/9

Friday was a blur of travel as we left by 4am and arrived back at City of Refuge (CORM) just in time for dinner. Saturday was a much needed day of rest. Everyone on the property had chores and laundry. After breakfast, we went to the Prayer House and enjoyed some worship and prayed as a team. God has done some amazing growth in us all. We all feel so humbled and blessed to be in this place at this moment and seeing God move through place like a wildfire. We enjoyed the R&R and hanging out with the kiddos playing hacky sac, learning to make different types of bracelets, coloring and hanging out on the playground. No matter what we have on the schedule at CORM, one thing we always do as a team is prayer walk the campus. It matters so much to the staff and even to the kids and it has become a big part of who we are as Faith Journeys. Prayer is everything.


Sunday was an amazing day! Going to church here is an experience like no other. Pastor Ato led devotions saying, "You can't start a new chapter in life, if you are still reading the old chapter". What a beautiful reminder today...if you are stuck, could this be the reason why?


The day was hot, but the team enjoyed a 3 mile hike with the older boys. The views were breath taking and we could see Gods' handiwork for miles and miles! At the end of the day, we had a wonderful debrief at the founders’ home. Thank you God for blessing us with your beauty today.

Jun 3 & 4 | Day 6/7

We had the pleasure of teaming up with the CHE team (Community Health Evangelism) to provide medical screenings to the first 150 people registered. The team assisted with taking vitals, vision assessments, providing prayer and deworming medicine to help remove parasites that are often found since Lake Volta is the only water source. Bathing, drinking and fishing in the same place. They also had an opportunity to have a much needed consultation with Dr Troy, Auntie Jammie and about 5 local nurses. Eric was given the honor of offering to pray for each person and he was so encouraged by that. He was hoarse by the end but also lit up by it for sure. It was a spirit filled day.


The miracle of the day was the drilling of two bore holes to provide clean water in this community. After two years of planning, funding and multiple failed attempts for installation, the Lord answered the plea of his people. The persistence and faith from the CORM family through all the disappointments to wait on the Lord came to fruition in a mighty way. What a glorious day in the name of Jesus!


We also had the chance to play with the kids again. It’s always a joy seeing their smiles and experiencing their excitement. Despite language barriers, the heart of a child and the sound of their giggles is the same across the world. The reciprocal learning, even during playful moments is so awesome.


This team will be forever changed by being witness to this, friends. Forever changed. God bless you for being a part of their journey. You may not think you played a role in any of this but if you have been praying or sowing then, believe me, you have... and we are so very grateful.

Jun 2 | Day 5

Today was the hardest day so far mainly due to the very long (12 hour) journey and the extreme heat. But it was by far the most rewarding. The ladies taught the women in the community about female health. HIV is prevalent here. And many get parasites and pee blood from drinking the lake water.


The guys helped clean and paint the “office of staff” room which doubles as the only teacher’s bedroom. Teachers are assigned school by the government. Many of them don’t even show up when they learn of their assignment. They refuse to go somewhere with so few resources. God bless the ones who stay.


We celebrated the local advocates who decided to step up and make a difference in their own community. And we all gathered around and prayed into their future and over the mama elder. Finally we got some time to play with the precious children. They don’t speak English here but they sure can give and receive love well.

Tomorrow we are doing a health clinic for the community with blood pressure checks, vision, immunizations and de-worming. What a gift to be here. The team has done amazing stepping up to every challenge. Knowing God is with us every step of the way.

Jun 1 | Day 4

Our day started with training for the upcoming visit to the lake and I (Eric) went into town to get a couple SIM cards for some volunteers and to the harbor to get a pickup truck full of frozen fish and chicken. Something that would take 30 minutes in the States took almost four hours. The towns and cities are so overcrowded. People, cars, mopeds, horses, goats, chickens, construction trucks. Horns honking constantly. Dust. Dust everywhere. I had a new appreciation for what this ministry does just to feed all the mouths here. I was stressed as a passenger. For just one trip. They do this all the time. What servant hearts these people have. I’m humbled.

Besides training we got a chance to shop at the CORM store and buy some things the single mothers made by hand to help support them and all the hard work they do. Then we prayed together as a team for our upcoming trip to the villages around the lake. What a special time. Our team unity and bond is so strong. So special. I’m grateful and blessed. However dark where we are going may be, we go knowing we carry His light.

Finally we played with the kids after dinner and helped with some homework. What a good day.


Also I made peace with the rooster. One of the staff members even moved him away from our window so we could sleep last night. I love these people.

May 31 | Day 3

I heard awhile ago that God created us not just to rest from our work but to work from our rest. Man was created on the 6th day, and the very first full day on earth was a day of rest. Then God put him to work in the garden. I’m so glad we rested yesterday with church, prayer, and play because today was a full day of work for our team. It was also a very fulfilling day. We first visited CORE where single mothers are taught how to create clothing, accessories, and bags to bring in income for their family. We were blessed with an unexpected teaching from Daddy Johnbull on wisdom. Not only do these amazing ladies learn a trade here, they are invested in spiritually.


We then had our campus assignments of helping with the garden and the land that produces vegetables and fruit for this community plus we helped out at the school to make sure the books in the library all had their proper reading levels clearly marked. This involved using iPads on very unstable WiFi to look it up for each book. Then writing the number on a color coded sticker and finally sorting them all and placing them in order. The process takes hours to go through several dozen books. We wrapped up our day with prayer and helping the kids with their homework (prep as they call it).


It has been such a blessing to do meaningful work. We know the kids are using those books to further their education. We know the garden helps feed the community and these beautiful children. And we know prayer works. God is up to something. God is doing something. Right now. Making a way for someone. We are so blessed. Amen! Tomorrow we have training for the lake and leave at midnight. Thank you for your prayers and support.

May 30 | Day 2

Sunday is a special day at CORM as the whole community comes together to worship, sing, dance, and praise the Lord. It’s so beautiful to see different tribes and nations represented under one roof. Today we learned that if God said it, its true. But we must act upon it. And that you must die to self to truly live. The team is learning the truth of that message. Knowing who we are in Him and loving others as He loves us makes us all come alive. Every moment spent with a child here is a priceless moment. We also heard a little about the challenges and darkness the people in the villages around the lake are facing - to know that we have an opportunity to bring light to those dark places touches my heart. Just a smile can make a difference in a child’s life. We are asking God to move in a mighty way. Then after church we got a much needed (short) nap. We (Eric) is exhausted. Thanks to a special visitor that likes to hang out by our window every night. The rooster starts crowing at 1am and stops just before dawn. I think he’s broken.


Imagine treating the Sabbath as a sabbath? That’s how we passed our Sunday. An afternoon filled with rest, playtime, coloring, and prayer. Please stand with us in prayer for our new friends here at CORM. Pray for the older kids who are discovering who they are- that God give them wisdom and favor in all their endeavors. Pray for the young ones; that they feel the love of God all around them and for all the staff who work so selflessly to care for everyone. Friends, we are so blessed to be here learning and living the true rhythms of grace. God is good.

Just know that the team is doing well. We have made it through many challenges the journey and day 1 threw at us and everyone is in great spirits. Our unity and bond is strong and so special. We will keep you posted throughout the week as we are able. The cell towers have been getting maintenance and go out often. God bless !

May 29 | Day 1

We have made it safely to Ghana! We know God is with us every step of the way. So many potential roadblocks - he saw us through. We are so blessed to be back “home” where everyone is so kind and welcoming. We arrived in the middle of prayer night at CORM which was so full of life. You should see these kids worshipping! We went to bed at 1am and our familiar rooster friends started crowing at 2am. Ha! At 6am, Tracy and David left on a hunt to find one rogue luggage bag that belonged to Tracy but was tagged as David's and was "hopefully" now at the Accra Airport (yes, we found it!). This afternoon, we had volunteer training with an overview of how CORM began, it's mission, and some of the do's and do not's as we serve alongside them these next few weeks. As a team, it has really hit us all that we are going to be seeing this thing full circle by going to the lake. The actual lake where some of these young boys and girls have been rescued from. What a humbling thing. It's a feeling we just can't really put into words right now. And it's a big deal.


Meal times have been good. We've had Ghana Ramen and Rice Balls and it's been delicious. Both Jeff and David are the newbies, having never been out of the country but they are loving it, culture shock and all. Jeff has jumped right in playing basketball with the boys and David is hanging out as well. The kids love asking him about all his tattoos-those are a rare thing in Ghana. This is a picture of some of the boys explaining their "ninja" game to Tracy. You'd be surprised how many games these kids just make up. I'll have to tell my son about them the next time he tells me he's "bored". Miss Jenn is enjoying reconnecting with familiar faces and has been playing cards with the kids today. Overall, we are well, friends. Getting acclimated to the weather, the time change and the lack of technology. Overall, not a bad way to live. Love you all. Thank you so much for praying. Keep it up.

May 27 & 28 | Team Travel Days

We are on our way to Ghana. God came through already and we got through our first leg to MIA. LONDON is next. Pray our team makes all flights and there are no road blocks.


May 22 | 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!

Apr | Pre-Trip: Training

Thank you for signing into our Faith Journeys Ghana Team Blog. Many of you have invested time, prayers, and finances into this so you are a part of our journey as well and we want you to follow along!


Typically, our partners in Ghana have at least 7-8 teams come serve with them throughout the year. Teams bring over much needed supplies and donations and serve tirelessly alongside the teachers and staff onsite. This year, because of Covid 19 we will be the first team coming to serve so far! Thank you to everyone who donated shoes, school supplies, socks, and other much needed items for our new found friends. It means so much to them and to us.


In April, we completed our team training and left there more refreshed and empowered than ever before. Our team of 5 could not have been more different, honestly. This is a group of people only God would have brought together. But gathered in the quiet of the North Georgia mountains we met with Holy Spirit who brought us together as one truly beautiful, unified team. This was our first co-ed team for Faith Journeys - and it will not be our last. The Kingdom of God is represented so well when we all are standing together like this, learning from and lifting one another up. We spent time learning about discipleship, the Word of God, and how to serve others in a way that preserves dignity... and in between all that we also shared some of our personal struggles and were able to pour love and prayers over each other in the process.

God’s presence has been tangible and we have felt so spiritually safe to share together in this place; this room of grace. These trainings are much less about “what we’ll be doing in Ghana” and much more about “what God wants to do in us”. We're humbled and grateful at the opportunity to lead these amazing people. God has absolutely been preparing each of us for such a time as this.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of the friends and family who are praying and supporting us in this journey.

Blessings,

Eric

Are you interested in joining our next faith journey? We are currently taking applications for Ghana (Dec 2021).


#Ghana #cityofrefuge #training #faith #volunteering #Africa #discipleship #shorttermmissions

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