Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Accra and Kumasi are poor. At least by American standards. Both cities have their places of extreme poverty---the slums of Accra, various neighborhoods of Kumasi. The cities offers opportunities--jobs, modern conveniences---and so many citizens flock to them. The real poverty lies in the villages found outside the cities, and the further North or East you go (into Muslim country) the worse it gets.
Last time we were in Ghana, we spent much of our time touring the Nation, visiting and encouraging the village churches. The first church we visited three years ago was just a few minutes’ drive from our home. The church had only half its floor cemented, and its sound system was a bullhorn attached to an amplifier. (I don’t even know how that works!)
We went back two weeks ago, and the church floor was complete, and the sound system upgraded!
The Lord is blessing them, and now they are looking to bless their neighbors in Homaenase by building them a school.
The small village of Homaenase has a population of about 1,000 and is very poor. They have only a grade school, which means after grade six, if you can’t afford to go into town to school, your education is complete. There isn’t much to do in this middle-of-nowhere town. The young men have no purpose and are wrestles, often causing trouble. There is very little hope to be found. Without a miracle, without a move of the Holy Spirit, the cycle of poverty will continue through the generations.
We visited this little village while my parents were with us. We passed out candies and small toys, read Bible stories, and sang songs. It wasn’t much, but something to break the ice and get the conversation going.
I met a young man. His name was Gideon. He wants to be a medical doctor. Without God’s intervention, he won’t ever get the chance. Still, I told him to continue to study hard and get good grades. Perhaps by the time he reaches high school, things will be different.
This is not the first poverty stricken village we have visited. But the Lord was tugging on our heart strings, and we knew instantly He had something in mind for them and for us. We will be back, to do what we can to love on them, offer hope in the form of job skills and opportunities, and tell them about our Savior.
As we were getting ready to leave, Tesia noticed a little boy. He had no shoes. (Most of the kids didn’t.) He had a stubbed toe that looked infected, and was attracting flies. She pointed him out to me, but all we had with us was some wet wipes, Neosporin and Band-Aids. Better than nothing, I guess. We asked if we could clean his wound, and his mother said yes. We did our best to clean and bandage it, and prayed for healing. Then, because it was all I had with me, I gave him my socks. Hoping they would provide a little protection from the elements while his foot healed.
I walked away broken. All the worries of things that really don’t matter were gone. What truly matter was right before me; a little boy with nothing. His lack isn’t just material things, but knowledge and understanding of the eternal truth about a Savior---when we asked the kids, after our Bible lesson, who had asked Jesus into their heart; who had given their life to Him not one raised their hand!
It is moments like these that I am convicted and reminded of how much I live to satisfy my flesh. It’s moments like these that stay with you; God’s reminder of His Eternal purpose---people. We are here on earth for such a limited time, and the only thing we can do that will last beyond our death is love and be love by Jesus, and to show others how they can experience this great love, too.