Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm back!

OK, I am back to the world of blogging. I can't believe we have been home for nearly two months! My computer's power cord went kaput 3 weeks before going home, but I continued to journal and i typed it all out when we got home. So, I have finally edited and published it, something I meant to do about six weeks ago. So, there is that, and then some info from our Sunday presentation and then a video. I will get more pics up soon, too.

Since we have been home, a lot has happened. One thing that hasn't happend is a job for Jody. But, God has been so faithful. While we were away we prayed about what to do, knowing we were going into a bad economy. Our plan, we were going to persue getting our license and growing our small business, but Jody would also look for a job at the same time. Jody really loves working for himself, and is good at what he does. We are trying to get him fully licensed so he can do more on his own. We already have a registered small business, but you need a license to do handyman jobs larger than a few hundred dollars. (It takes about $600 upfront to get your licenses and bonds and all that.) Although he has applied for nearly 100 jobs now, nothing has opened up. However, he has remained busy doing small odd jobs. All of our needs have been met. God is so good.

I have NOT applied for any jobs, and I couldn't be happier about it. We felt so strongly that I should not work, other than helping Jody out from time to time. The most important thing I can do is be a mommy. That is why I got a "at home" job to begin with. It just kind of over took.... but moving on....I am enjoying being ONLY a full time mom and wife for the first time ever.
While we were gone, our house had a sunroom added on, and then another house attached to the sunroom. It was supposed to be done in Feb and my sister was going to move our stuff in for us before we got home. Well it was done but the other house was not, and so we had to wait on the insepction. In the meantime, we had a garage FULL of stuff. I spent the first few weeks home going through the whole house spring cleaning and purging junk. Something that was well overdue. Finally, we were able to move into our new room, and I finished the cleaning and purging project. Now everything is nice and organized. If only it would stay that way...

Other changes in our life: My sister has moved in with us. My kids think it's great and brag to all their friends that their auntie lives with them. I think its great to have someone else around who actually likes to cook and doesnt mind washing a dish once in a while.

I am loving being an auntie again. I already have two beautiful nieces and a handsome nephew, but they live all the way in SC, so I dont get to see them much. Elli is so beautiful, and sweet. She loves me the most :-) Well, she might love her mom more, but that's because she is dependant on her for food. ;-)

Our church has had some BIG changes since we have been home. We have been given a wonderful opportunity to merge with a church in Camas, Wa. So, we are now a bigger church with two locations. I am pretty excited about that.

We are working on getting a 'plan' for what to do next regarding Africa. In the mean time, we are going to get started on teh list of things we can do statewide for the canaan life project. Keep in touch for updates. First thing, a website dedicated to cannan life and all the projects involved with it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


March 29th AFN Missions Day at PHC

Today was our presentation to our church regarding our trip. Except that the Holy Spirit decided to interrupt! What an awesome service.

God is calling us back to surrender. To living set apart for Him. To live diffrently. Something that has been a personal challenge for me, especially since returning from Africa.

Since I didnt get to share all about our trip, I decided to post the section of my notes that were about the trip. I write out my sermons word for word...helps me process my thoughts, so it should be easy to follow. I will also post the video and more pictures!!!

March 29, 2009 Jody and I want to thank all of you for believing in us and supporting us. We love you and it was an honor to be an extension of this Body in Ghana. But I need to tell you, this trip only wet our appetite. We are anxious to get back “home” and back to the work God has for us there.

The video you just watched was just a glimpse into what our life was like in Ghana and what the people of Ghana are like. You just got a glimpse at our true home. We love our family and we love all of you, and the luxuries of America are great, but our hearts, our home is in Kumasi Ghana. God has truly knit our hearts with theirs, and we could not get back quick enough.

Ghanaians are the kindest most giving people you will find. They are very welcoming, hospitable, and loving.Jody and I’s main goals for our trip was to first of all see how our kids would adapt, and also to get a better grasp on the Canaan Life Project.

Our kids did great. They adapted better than us! They did miss their family, but they really enjoyed Africa. Which was such a relief to us. Our prayer has always been that they would share in the work God has given us to do, not just be there because we made them.They had to put up with a lot. Bad food, long car rides, people constantly swarming them and touching them, but they took it like champs.

Son was really not going along with the whole food thing. He is a really picky eater, but by the end he was asking for more. And he will tell you his favorite thing about Africa is that there is no melted cheese, which he absolutely hates. But he loves pizza---go figure!

Daughter is a trooper. She ate everything without much complaint, and reached out to the other kids, and even got up and sang a song with mommy during church. God’s little gift to her was during our last few days, Frank’s neighbor, and good friend came home from Accra, and brought his daughter with him. She is Daughter’s age, and she knows all about Hannah Montana, so they played “Hannah montana” for two days straight. Daughter thought it was amazing.·

Canaan LifeCanaan Life Project as most of you know is was founded by pastor Frank to help get his people out of poverty by teaching biblical financial principles. It teaches the people to tithe, and save, and run their own small business.Speaking of tithing.

Africans know how to take an offering. They have a minimum of 4 offerings on Sunday morning. Your first is the tithes and offerings. Then there is an offering of worship, then an offering of thanksgiving, and then, and this was my favorite, the tithes, in which all of the members/regular attenders brought up their offering records with their tithe in it. They do not mess around!

Although he has been working on this project for over 2 years, he has not gotten very far. Nothing happens fast in Africa. He has several participants in Kumasi, but is having trouble moving beyond the Kumasi church. It is not the program itself, which is great. It is getting the people on board with the concept that God does not mean for them to be poor.

They believe that they are just to keep on keepin on until Jesus comes back. For most of them, when we came to tell them about God’s desire to bless them, it was the first that any one had ever told them that God desires for them to prosper and be successful. And these are people in the church!

We are working with generations and generations of strongholds. Ghanaians are extremely hard workers, but they have a lazy mind set, believing that anyone who has more than them should give them a hand out…sound familiar?? That lazy mind set has kept them in bondage. It has kept them poor and ignorant.

It is a stronghold that will take a new generation rising up and saying, no, I no longer choose to live as a pauper. I am a kings kid and I am going to live like one. It is going to take a new generation to say, God has given me the gifts and talents to care for myself and bless others. We are not talking, either, about a prosperity message of mansions and bmw’s. we are talking about prosperity to have enough to eat and live.

On our way to Oda, we stopped to get some coconuts. We bought about 12 at 10 peswe's each. The man was so happy. He said God had heard his prayer that he would sell a coconut today. Who knows how long he will have to make that small amount of money stretch. This is just one example of the poverty in Ghana.This is the practical ministry need in Ghana. The hands on need.

Canaan Life needs further development of educational/discipleship classes and well as implementation and oversight of the program in the villages. This is what we will be doing. While we are here in America, we will be working on developing materials for the project and raising funds and grants for the project. When we go back, which we hope is very soon, we will be the project coordinators. Traveling to the villages to teach and help with the program and other various projects.

This practical need is not the only need. Ghana, much like the American church is very religious. They take church very seriously, and EVERYONE believes in God. But for many, that is as far as it goes. There is no intimacy with the Father. There is not a knowledge of the father’s heart. God said to make disciples, not converts, but sadly, the church has failed so much in this area. We leave people with a dangerous half knowledge of the ‘good news.’ It is more than a get out of hell free card. Jesus has so much more to give us, if we will only follow him. We want to teach them to follow.

And then, there is the ‘other’ side of Ghana. The dark side. The side that the girl inside me who so desires to take the road less traveled wants to see touched for Jesus. Ghana is 50% professing Christians. The other half is Muslim. Do not believe what the media and our ‘president’ want you to believe about this religion. It is not peaceful religion. It is a religion that is destroying lives around the world while the majority of the Christian world just sits back and watches.

We could always tell when we were going into a more Islamic section of town without even being told. It was more poor and sad and more hopeless than other parts of town. The upper ¼ of the country, called the upper volta, is almost completely musilm. Because of the violence, the entire region goes under cerfew and military control at 4pm in the afternoon.

Our dear Cecilia, whom we love, says it will make you cry and cry. She says the people are so sad and dirty, and simply hopeless.All the other stuff is great, and I know God has called us to do it. Canaan Life is a wonderful evangelistic opportunity, but our desire is to see the many people groups of Ghana that have yet to hear and understand who Jesus really is and what he did for them. And it doesn’t stop in Ghana.

The Ivory Coast has always tugged on my heart. All of the west African nations are in need of the gospel. See, they are the road less traveled. They are the ignored African territory. But just imagine, if there is a Jesus movement in these nations that are open to the gospel but primarily Islamic, just imagine what they can do to their neighbors to the north, the closed nations of the middle east?

Many have asked what is your plan? What did you do and what do you want to do? When are you going back? I wish I had all those answers. While we were there, we preached, built relationships, studied and promoted the canaan life project, and did a lot of waiting around. A lot of waiting. A lot of reading and praying and dreaming and talking. Our plan? What we want to do? We want to go back, set up camp, and get to work. And we want to do it soon.

In the mean time, there are hurting and broken people in need of a savior wherever we go. We are going to keep our eye on Africa. We are actively persuing his call and actively persuing getting back there. In the next few weeks you will begin to get more information about what we are doing while in the US to help with Canaan Life, and what our plans are for returning. But in the mean time, we are going to be hard at work here. Gone are the days of idleness. We cannot afford to be ilde. The church cannot afford to be idle any longer. God’s calling is active no matter your location.

March 12--Trip Overview

Trip Overview…

We accomplished what we set out to do, which was to get a picture of what is going on with canaan life and what needs to be done, and what our role would be in that. We will be bringing you more details on that soon.

The second objective was to introduce our children. This was very successful. They did great, and they adapted wonderfully.

We want to thank all of you for your love and support. We saw many lives touched while we were there, but none more than ours. Our hearts are renewed with a vision and passion for the people of Africa.

What now? Well, if it were up to us we would be on the next plane out. We will be taking the month of march to get settled and debrief. Then we will begin to pray and speak with our leaders about what we do next.

One thing we know for sure, time is slipping away from us and there are still so many that need to hear the gospel! Both here and in Africa.



Feb 12, 2009
Today was a major bummer of a day. This afternoon our external hard drive, which had all our movies were lost. I tried everything I could think of to recover them, but it didn’t work. Nothing had happened to it, either, so it was strange and quite sad. I will certainly be bringing it back to the store. I hope they let me return it.

Then, this evening, again, nothing abnormal happened, but my computer’s cord would not work. It wouldn’t charge the computer. Now, not only no movies, but no music, email, journal, nothing!!!

Aside from these two tragic events, we had a good day. We went to the church/school to teach, but we didn’t. We will next week. We also met with George regarding the dam project. Not sure what we accomplished, but it was a good meeting! J

Feb 13, 2009
Today was a good day. Nothing much during the day, but we stayed over at Franks after dinner and I had a good talk with Cecilia. She showed me all the pictures of her dresses, and one from when she was a baby. She told me about her family and then and showed me a picture from her Christian wedding. She and Frank looked so young!

While we were talking and there was an obituary on the TV of the ‘sudden’ death of a 107 year old man. He was a family member from her father’s side. She said that her grandmother lived to be 110 years old. She was never sick, slipped while doing laundry and broke her hip, she died a few days later. She also said in the villages that often people will lived to be 120, 130, sometimes even 140!!

Feb 14, 2009
Valentines Day.
Today was a fun day. First, we gave the kids a whole cedi to spend at the little store. They love going to the store across the street, and now they had their own money to spend! All during and after breakfast they kept saying Im ready to go home (aka I want to go spend my $$)

Finally, we go to the store and they each choose a pop and lots of little candies or sweets as they call them here.

Then home to rest. We are going to go to the craft village and pizza at noon.

Well, at noon, er…uh…2pm. We head to the ATM. I need to get money before we go. Well, that’s not going to happen today, BOTH ATM cards and 2 ATMs I am still getting the same message, Invalid Transaction. A quick, yet paniced call to dad and we find out that our account is fine, but some of our banks ATM cards have been compromised. Ours must have been among them. We will have to wait until Tuesday (Monday’s President day) for dad to confirm and then transfer the money to our personal account. No craft village today.

Instead we go to see the bats. There is a part of town where all the bats tend to congregate. There were a lot. This place happened to be by the Kumasi Zoo. Frank asked how much it was. Again the broonie gets the shaft. 3 cedis for each adult, the Ghanaians are only 1. Still 3 bucks for a zoo is not bad.

The zoo was small. Only about 20 exhibits, not including the 1000s of bats flying over and living in the trees above you. There was nothing fancy about the exhibits, simply cages with a sign.

There were ostriches, snakes, turtles, crocodials, lions, porcupines, baboons, monkeys, and chimps.

The chimps were by far the best part. They surpassed all monkey exhibits in the US. They would perform—hang upside down, do flips, put out their hands for food, etc… If you threw food at them they would catch it. If you didn’t---watch out! They would fling poop or spit water at you. One baboon threw it at Jody, but he blocked it with his hand. They were really neat.

After the zoo we went to pizza at a small resturaunt at a hotel. They advertized oven baked pizza and Frank says it’s pretty good.

We ordered two. One cheese and one with the works. (Ham, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, artichokes)

They only had one size, equivalent to a US small. And they were 12 cedis each (about$10). It was worth it. They were really good. Malachi ate 4 pieces—2 of which were with the works. Something he never would have done at home. The kids loved it.

After pizza we drove around for a bit and went home. When we got home a storm began. We sat out and watched it, the wind cooling us down. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

February 15, 2009 ELLI IS BORN!!

Today we spoke at a small church in Kumasi.

Daughter summed up her feelings about Sundays quite well this morning. She said, “Is it Sunday?” I said, “yes.” She said, “Oh man, Sundays are always so long!”

That is true, especially for them. They have to wear nice clothes and sit still in a long service that is really hot, with nothing to do, that is in a language they don’t understand.

Son expressed his same feelings during church. He said he felt like he wanted to go home (in Kumasi), because church was hot and long.

During church Daughter was entertaining herself by cleaning her shoes. I looked back and she has rubbed the bottom of her shoe with her hand and then looks at her hand and licks it! It was so gross, even the pastor next to her told her to not do that; it’s bad for you. Oh, that girl!

After church we went home to take a nap while we wait for lunch. Right as we are about to fall asleep and right after Malachi already had—coby comes to the door. It is time to eat.

We get up. We wake up Son. Quite reluctantly. We go over. Walk in and dinner is not ready. It’s not even close to being ready. We were not happy. It appears that Coby decided it was play time.

Finally, dinner is ready. It was so good! Cabbage and Califlour, chicken, rice and a sauce. It was a good sauce, a little spicy but not much. Son ate two helpings of it!

After dinner, we went home to finish our nap. At about 3:30 I get a text that Elli is on her way. Jenn’s in labor. After our nap, we went over to franks for a bit and visited. They were all happy to hear about Jenn and prayed for her.

We went home and waited anxiously for news. The kids prayed for Jenn and Elli. We went to bed early and slept with the phone next to us. I certainly wish I were home right now. I am so sad I am missing her birth.

Finally at about 11:30pm I get the call that she is here. I am so happy, but sad that I am not there. Now, I am anxious to get home to meet my niece.

February 16, 09 Monday

Today we went to the school to teach. I taught English. We were supposed to leave at 9, so I could have time to review the lesson before my class at 10:35am. We got to the school at 10:20am. Thankfully it was a test day. So I didn’t have to do much.

This evening we played card games with the kids. They love it. They love, love, love playing games with mom and dad. After that, we read some from swiss family robinson. Then, early to bed.

Feb 17, 09
We had the day off, so we did some pre-packing and cleaned up the room.

At dinner (which was vegetable stew with fish) we brought over the toys and gifts we had. We gave coby some rescue heros and cars. Quedru, we gave a dool with several outfits, a bottle, and feeding tray, and a purse. Lucinda, we gave a doll. We gave Linda and the baby some lotion and receiving blankets. The rest of the toys we gave to Cecilia to do what she like. She said she would bring them to the church to use in Sunday school. She said they also need toys for nursery kids.

The kids really enjoyed giving their gifts and seeing the kids play with them.
Feb 18
Today we when we went over to Frank’s we saw Lucinda playing with her doll. She was carrying it everywhere. Her mother came over just to say thank you. She was so grateful.

Today we went to the church to meet with George about canaan Life. It was a good meeting. George is a vital need for Canaan Life. Bringing management to Frank’s vision.

Linda had her baby today. Via C-section. So Frank and Cecilia and I and Malachi went to the university to see her and to get some money from the ATM.

He is so cute! Linda was still in recovery, so we didn’t stay.

Feb 19
We were supposed to teach today, both Jody and I, but the truck is broke and frank had to leave early for court, so no teaching.

We spoke to Cecilia quite awhile today about old methods of discipline. She said that in the old says, parents would mix ginger and pepper and put it by/in your nose, ears, eye, mouth.

They also beat you with a cane, either on your hand or your back or legs. If you were really bad, they would hold your arms and legs and beat you. Some parents would even take their kids to the police and have them beat you, if you were really bad.

WOW! Sure glad I wasn’t an Africa kid.

They still “beat” kids with a cane. Nothing like what was described. They may get one on the rear or the hand, but that is it. Even the schools do this. BUT, this I must say, the kids respect adults and are very well behaved.

We had a great dinner of fried chicken and yam chips. Yummy! After dinner, we all went to the hospital to see Clifford. He is so cute! Linda seems to be doing well and will come home this weekend.

This afternoon, when we were talking about going to see the baby, Son asked if the baby drank mamma’s milk. I said yes. He said, I have seen lots of baby’s drink mamma’s milk in Africa. It was so cute, and so true! There really isn’t a “bottle” option around here. Formula is WAY too expensive. Even orphan babies are usually wet nursed.

After two weeks with no water, we finally have water. Yay! But then we (and all the pastors staying for the conference) tripped a breaker. So, no power, but we have water again! The power was turned back on soon.

This weekend is the annual NTA Ghana council conference. All of Frank’s pastors come into town, and most are staying in the conference center. It will be a very busy weekend for Pastor Frank.

Feb 20
Typical day in Africa. We went to the church with frank because Jody had to teach…or not. They took a field trip! So we are in the hot office for nothing.

Frank has his pastor conference, so we will be here awhile.

During our office visit, we were served porridge. It smelled so so good, but it was the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten in my life! It burned, and was sour and bitter and spicy all at the same time.

Feb 21
Today, we went to a funeral. It was Frank’s uncle who passed away. It was quite an ordeal. A BIG ordeal.

When someone dies, the family gathers that day. Then there is a celebration one week after the death. Then, sometime after than anywhere from a few days to a month, there is the funeral, which is on a Saturday. EVERYONE comes to the funeral. First there is the burial, not as widely attended, mostly for family. But then there is the memorial portion. People come, there is LOUD music. You greet EVERYONE, shaking their hand. Then you sit and visit for a moment. Then, you are brought to a courtyard where you are fed or given drink, depending on what is being served and what time you come. Thankfully, we only had sodas. Then you go back and sit and visit. During the visiting, you make a donation. A receipt is made out, and an announcer announces who you are and what you gave. Then you sit down, and EVERYONE, comes to you and shakes your hand and says thank you.

Certain clothes are worn, and they are either red or black or a combo.

The NTA church came, about 40 in all in one group entrance, to be an example and say we are here for you in your time of need. It is one of their ways of evangelizing.

There is dancing. One person will get up and dance and people will surround them and like “brush” them with their hankie. It is their way of saying we are here to lift you up when you are down. This funeral lasts from early morning, around 5 until after dinner time, around 6/7.

Then, the next day, the family, dressed in black and white, get together for a meal of thanksgiving. This happens after church and lasts all afternoon.

Finally, the next day, the family gathers one last time to sort out family matters such as the will and take care of the funeral bill, which is paid for by the donations. Then they will decide what to do with the remaining balance. This time is also used to resolve any existing family disputes.

And, that is it for the funeral…until a year later. Then there is another big celebration, celebrating the anniversary of the death. This is always advertised by posters around town. This is also when the tombstone is put in place.

During the funeral, which was really boring for those of us who don’t speak Twi, Daughter was so board. She said it was the longest day of her life!

She was slouching all over the place, and I kept telling her to sit up and put her hands in her lap, and to sit like a lady.

After the funeral, Frank asked what I was doing, and I told him, I was reminding her to sit like a lady and to mind her manners. He said that is what he thought. A lady came to him and asked. She thought I didn’t want Daughter touching the chair, because I thought it was dirty. But then when she came over to thank us for our donation, Daughter shook everyone’s hand, so she changed her mind about being offended.

I was so hungry on the way home, but too scared to say anything, so I just prayed lord, please let them have us over for yams and chicken, but not if its anything else.

Lo and behold! Yam chips and chicken! Yay! It was like 8pm, so it was cold, but still good. We ate fast, and then we went to bed. It had been a long day.

Oh, right before the funeral, we did have jalapo rice. We had to eat fast, and didn’t really have time to finish, so Coby got his rice in a plastic bag. Son wanted more, so he got some in a plastic bag, too. He ate it all, some before the funeral and some after. He loves it. He is truly African now!

Feb 22
Today was Sunday. Our final service in Kumasi. Jody spoke on Joseph, it was great message. Very sad, though, I am ready and not ready to go home. I want to see my family, especially Elli, but I am not ready to leave here for good.

Afterwards, we napped and had peanut butter soup. We also walked to the store, and guess what we found?! Chocolate chip cookies! AWESOME! They are so so good.

Feb 23 09
Today we just hung out as we are winding down our trip. The plan is, which changes often, to leave for winneba and accra on Wed. We will stay in winneba until Sunday AM and then go to accra. We’re gonna stay in a 11 cedi/night hotel with no ac. That should be interesting.

Fried chicken again for dinner. It was pretty yum. I love it. Cecilia made fufu for herself and Jody asked if he could beat it. She agreed. They all thought it was so funny! He did Ok, but will have to work on his technique. The Collin finished the job. Making fufu is quite an art. You take boiled yam, casaba, or plantain. Place it in a wooden bowl that his wet. Then you take a large stick with a flat surface (this is usually made from bamboo) and beat it. While one person is beating it (usually a man) the other person (usually a woman) gathers and folds while adding just a bit of water with her wet hands. She also picks out any imperfections. This is all happening within the rhythm of the beating of the fufu. So, you gotta pay attention and hope the beater is, too, so that you don’t lose a finger. In about 20 minutes, you have fufu!

Feb 24 09
The past two nights neither Jody nor I have been able to sleep. Last night we were both up until 2am! We mentioned this to Frank and he said it’s home sickness. He says whenever he is about to go home the same thing happens to him. Hmm. Never knew that.

Today, Anointing came over and brought Jody a tie. It was very kind of him. We’ll miss him.

We also noticed today that there were some hot pink chicks (as in chickens) running around the yard. What is the heck?---ask Malachi would say. We asked Frank about this and he said the farmers will paint the chicks pink so that the hawks will think they are bloody and dead and will not eat them. That made me feel a whole lot better---I thought it was some sort of radioactive freak of nature!

Other than that, nothing much today. Oh, but we are not leaving tomorrow. Car problems again. We’ll leave Friday. Maybe.

Feb 25
Today we went to the Post Office box to see if our package from Susan and Krista made it. After 3 hours, we still don’t really know. Let’s just say, the Post Office workers aren’t in a hurry to help. T hey wanted a tracking number, but when we said we didn’t have one, they wouldn’t even go look to see if it came. What a bummer. They said if it comes before Friday that they will call us…I don’t have my fingers crossed. That they will call, that is.

We went to Wed night church. It was a farewell service for us, but it rained, so there was only like 5 people there. Well, at least they told us that’s why there was only 5 people!

We said good bye and gave a final word of encouragement. The lady that our church helped by a hair dryer for several years ago gave me a thank you gift. A beautiful cloth a photo and a letter of thanks. It was, of course, presented to me. One thing we have learned is that anonymous giving is not the way to go around here. Everything is a presentation followed with handshakes of thanks.

Feb 26
Today we got ready to leave. We are not leaving now until Saturday, and we will stay in Winneba until Wed. We packed up most of our things and cleaned out most of the room. We spent the rest of the day resting and spending time with Cecilia. She was making palm soup. It is quite a process. You start out with the palm nut/seed. You boil it for a day, and then all of the oils begin to come out. You press out all of the oils, and use that to make soup. It is pretty good, without the fish.

Feb 27
Papa’s birthday was today. I am pretty sure the kids were the first to say happy birthday, since they called him at like 6:30am Oregon time.

We had a very special treat today. Collin’s bother, the judge we met in Accra was in town. He lives next to frank and owns the small store we go to, which his brother runs. Well, he has a daughter who is 8. Her name is Aquia. She and Daughter played together all day. Aquia knows about Hannah Montana, and even has the DVD. So, that was WAY cool. Daughter was smitten. They played “Hannah” all day long.
Before dinner, it rained. All of the kids played on the porch during the downpour, but they didn’t stay very dry, playing in the water seeping through the gate. They had so much fun. Daughter says she is sad to be leaving Aquia tomorrow.

I can’t believe tonight is our last night in Kumasi. Two months goes by fast. Too fast.

Feb 28 Final Day
Today, we left Kumasi. It was really hard. I cried as we said good bye and as we left town. I am not ready for this adventure to be over. I am not ready to say good bye to my family here in Kumasi.

This morning, we finished the packing and cleaning up of our room. We had some fufu and packed up the car. We took some final pictures and said good bye. Gabriel will be driving us to Winneba. We were in the car and on our way by noon. The kids took a nap and 4 hours later, we were in Winneba.

Winneba is the poorest city in Ghana. It is about 45 minutes from Accra. They are known for fishing and smoked fish which they export around Ghana. It is way below the poverty line for all of Ghana.

That said, the beaches are beautiful….except for the excessive trash. We are not staying at the hotel we were told about. Instead, we are staying at a “resort” that is right on the beach. It is a pretty nice place. We feel really luck to be staying here. It is going to be fun.

We got all unpacked…unloading all 11 bags. Then we went and got some dinner at the restaurants and went and put our feet in the warm water.

Then, after showers (an over the head shower, what a treat) it was bed time…at 7:45. Our room is small with only 1 double bed, so dad and Malachi are on the floor. The ladies get the bed.

Mar 1
Final Sunday. Winneba was one of Jody’s favorite places from last time. I didn’t go last time we were here, I went to another church, so I was excited to check it out. WOW! It was LOUD and they were into it! It was a great church service. I spoke on Standing and God’s armor.

There is a blind man there, whom Jody remembers from last time. He really gets into the service and has someone watch for him so he can dance.

The service was LONG, and afterwards we went back to the hotel. They brought us dinner, jalapo rice. We ate and then spent the afternoon playing in the water. The kids loved it. They have never been able to place in the ocean without freezing.

After a swim, we got cleaned up and went to get a soda. Half the church was at the restaurants. There was a soccer game on, so we hung out at watched it while the kids played on the playground.

Mar 2 Monday
Today, we went into Accra to go to the craft market. We get there, and get out and Malachi has to go to the bathroom. He said in the car that he had to go number 2. Jody took him to the bathroom, but only accomplished #1. Ok, we are on our way. The market is always crazy, because everyone is trying to sell, and you have to not act interested and trust in your guide to barter for you, so you don’t get ripped off. I was prepared for a long day.

Well, about 30 minutes into it, Son is crying. I realize he is probably hungry, so frank buys him a soda to tie him over, but the vendor has to go and get it. In the mean time, he breaks down. His tummy hurts. He tells daddy, I gotta go, and I gotta go now. So Jody had to run with him to the bathroom. They barely made it. Poor guy is “running”. We meet up with him, and I bought him some Imodium. He WOULD NOT take it. So, this day has gone downhill FAST. So, I said, give me 10 more minutes and I will be done. I and Frank go into the market, I picked a store, and just bought what I thought would work for people. I am about to leave and run back to the car so we can take him home when I get a call. It is Jody. Son wants a lion. (He could not decide earlier). He is also feeling better. I get him a lion and we get on our way.

He is fine now, even though he has NOT taken the medicine. We decided to get some pizza on our way home. We got pepperoni pizza. Well, it was NOT pepperoni. It was cut up hot dogs on pizza. No one ate the hotdogs. They got picked off. Yuck.

We went home, took a nap, and then went to the beach again. Then some dinner and bed. Tomorrow will be our last full day here.

Mar 3
Today, Jody went to go meet some guy who is an inventor. Frank wanted to meet him. They didn’t get to meet him, you have to write a letter and request an appointment. While they were gone, the kids and I hung out, got some lunch and finished Swiss family Robinson.

When Jody got back, we spent one last afternoon at the beach. Tomorrow, we will head home. We are so very excited and so sad, too.

Mar 4-Final day.

Today we packed up and were on the road by 9am. We went into accra and went to the accra mall. WOW! It was SO COOL. It was a touch of the western world in Africa. Two supermarkets, a book store, and several European stores, with a few American ones, too. They had a real food court, and even a real movie theater with new releases. We got REAL pepperoni pizza and real ice cream. They had nice bathrooms. One in which I found a one peswe, which I needed to complete my collection. Thank you Jesus for that little gift.

After looking around for a bit, we headed to the Trade fair. We went last time on our way from accra to Kumasi We looked around for awhile, but after a bit, we were just done and ready to go home.

So, at about 4, we headed to the airport. We went to customs, and the lady asked if we had kids. We said yes, and she said OK, and passed us through. It pays to have kids when going through customs.

We got all checked in about 6, and waited. And waited. Finally, three hours later, we are on the plane. The kids fell asleep right away. Jody and I stayed up watching movies. We would sleep on the next leg.

We got to Amsterdam and were so tired! But the end was in sight. We found a bathroom and took “showers” and got new clothes on. Then we found a mc Donalds, and at 6:30am in the morning, we had hamburgers and French fries. The kids were SO SO excited. They ate it up fast.

Then, we decided to “cross into Amsterdam” so that we could go to the starbucks. We wanted to get KT and Brian a city mug. And some coffee for ourselves. First coffee in 60 days. It was SO good.

Well, about 20 minutes after our mcdonalds and starbucks binge, it was payback time. Yeah, the tummy does not like fast food and coffee after 60 days of good eating.

Finally, back on the plane. I was so exhausted. So was Jody. But neither of us slept. I think it was the combination of excitement and real movies that just needed to be watched. The kids slept for a few more hours and then watched movies the rest of the time.

Finally, we landed. We were home. It was so good to see Ellie for the first time and the look on the kids faces when they saw their nana and papa was pure joy.

We are home now, but our hearts are still there, and we are open and ready for the next chapter God has for us. When will we return? What will we do while we are here? Only time will tell, but one thing remains true. We are not our own, we are bought with a price and where HE goes, we will follow.