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24
Saying goodbye to Ghana by Kim Lawson
May 24, 2011

We arrived in Accra at about 5:30...a quick 10 hour drive :). No tires rolling across the road, no flat tires, no detours, but Bruce Y may have forever ruined our Christian loving reputation forever! (You'll have to ask him for the details, but it involved a piece of chewed gum, an open bus window and some beautiful Ghanaian kids :) We were still amazed at the roads under construction as we approached Accra, and the crazy way they drive. We were thankful once again for Simon and Stephen's skillful driving, and God's protection.  



We stayed at the Earlbeam Hotel again...each in the same rooms we had before. Dinner was very tasty, then Dauna, Joe and the youth jumped into the outdoor pool for some acrobatic antics. The pool was clean and refreshing.

We all awoke in our own time, and the bus left the hotel at 9:30 am for the market, and our Compassion host and driver picked up Joe and I a few minutes later. Peter was our host & translator. We drove about 45 minutes to the large host church that facilitates the Compassion program for about 250 local kids. We met the pastors and coordinators, watched highlights of their 5 year anniversary celebrations here in Ghana, and it was special because our sponsored child was one of the kids on the video...we were so excited to finish up so we could meet him in person! What we didn't expect that everything we did would be on film! The whole time, Jimmy was videotaping us, and Peter and others were taking lots of pictures. Ellen, one of the coordinators came with us as she knows Prince from working with Jim every Saturday at the program he attends. Joe said it felt like we were celebrities...we were the 3rd sponsor visitor to the project from Canada. We then drove to his school. We were a little early, so we walked down to Titanic Beach on the ocean front which the school overlooks. Palm trees, water, but not a vacation destination...small peddlers shops, big cargo ships on the horizon, and the 'slums' where Prince lives.

As we walked back up the hill to the school, Peter let us know that we were expected to recognize and pick out Prince from the class of about 50. What pressure! We met the teacher, Madame Joyce, and then we walked into the front of the classroom as they introduced us and I started scanning the class. As they continued to speak, I saw him. When I looked his way, he looked down. When I looked at him again, he looked down and to the side again. I knew for sure it was him :). He was so shy! As he came up to the front to meet us, he slowly leaned closer to me and I knew he accepted us. The class sang and danced for us, a girl asked us about the snow in Canada, we met his deskmate and took pictures with him and all of the classmates that were also Compassion sponsored kids. We then went to the school mistress's office to sign him out for the rest of the day.

From the school, we drove down the dirt alley towards his home. We avoided the large puddles, and followed him through tight winding pathways under hanging laundry and past many other doors with neighbors watching us as we wondered which door would be his. After our final turn where there sat an old man mending a large fishing net, we came to his home. A single room with three plastic chairs out in front under their laundry. We sat and his grandmother, aunt, uncle and sister Deborah came to meet us. We gave Prince his soccer ball, and showed him the things we brought in his new Roots Canada backpack. He showed us he knew how to skip with his new skipping rope, and the translator Peter showed him how to use the yogos and frisbee. We took pictures with his family and the neighbors, and headed out to the 'Chicken Inn' for a chicken burger & Prince enjoyed his favorite food, rice.

Prince was spoke very quiet when he spoke at all. He seemed to understand what we said quite well, but occassionally Ellen would repeat what we said because they have a hard time with our Canadian accent. By the time we parted ways, my heart was in my throat as I watched him walk away with Ellen. I smiled when I saw him put his new Canadian baseball cap on backwards like the boys would back home. No matter how different our worlds are, boys will be boys and we really are all the same.

We met the team back at the hotel, had dinner and packed up for our crazy drive to the airport. We will be flying through the night, and I am ready to sleep! Normally I've been going to bed by 9 pm and our flight departs at 10:45, and this day has been very emotional. We heard about the volcano erupting in Iceland, but they expect Heathrow should be just fine for our connecting flight, although later in the week there could be a challenge. As we've learned more while here in this incredible African country, God is in control, and we need to thank Him for our blessings at all times.

God is Good!!

Filed under: Missions Blog

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