This time of year we are all focusing just a bit more (hopefully) on all of the blessings in our lives. We in America have so much to be thankful for. And as a Christian, I feel especially thankful that, as wonderful as this place can be, it is not my eternal home.
I tend to write a post at Thanksgiving about things I'm thankful for. And this year I am no less thankful for the amazing luxuries in my life. Luxuries like...running water, air conditioning/heat, abundant food, a strong house, medical care, medical insurance, free education and FREEDOM to choose what type of education, and my family. However, today I find myself focused on other blessings in my life--the ones in Ghana.
To M: Sister, few people here in America realize what an amazing woman you are. This is because you are so humble that your true colors are somewhat hidden from them during a short visit. They don't see how you wake at designated times throughout each night to pray to our Heavenly Father--how you cover their children in prayer until they are united. Not everybody can see your heart for the orphaned and the vulnerable (adult and child alike). They don't see you trekking through the bush, on a mission to locate a family you know is in need. You are a woman whose heart has been broken for the poor and destitute; the orphan and the widow. Today, I am thankful that you are my friend, and my colleague. And on behalf of the vulnerable that you assist each day, thank you.
To J: What can I say to you J? You are the needle in the haystack. You are the one that some don't think exists within Ghana. In a place where corruption is passed off as part of the culture, you stand up and say, "No. This is not my culture. My culture is above this. Giving thanks and respect in the form of gifts is in my culture. Corruption is not." To me, you are the best of Ghanaian men. You are strong, and yet level-headed. You are a leader, not a boss. You are man enough to be broken by the plight of the families and children you advocate for. Sometimes it amazes me how God brought our paths together. Really! A chance meeting in a very remote part of Ghana? Only God, my friend. Only God. Speaking of which, I know you call yourself a Christlim, but I am praying that some day you will be spending eternity with me. For Christ to have you as His servant on this earth would be a blessing to man. Either way, you are doing God's work. I will always thank God that He allowed us to find each other.
To C: Oh Auntie, you can't know how much of my heart you have. To me, you are the ultimate protector. You are fierce and loving. You stood up and loved my daughter when fear kept everybody else from getting close to her. You are the hands of Christ. Your love knows no bounds--not by race or color or tribe or age. You love all and protect all. I want to jump for joy at the thought of spending eternity with you! My children will once again be with their Auntie. I am so very thankful that one day several years ago you came to inquire about how you could help. My life would not be the same without you.
To P: Oh my brother! I wish that all people could look right into your heart and see your true intentions. You are rough around the edges. Some people mistake your intentions because they cannot imagine a man in Ghana who simply adores caring for children. If they spend time with you they will see that God has gifted you with the ability to parent many. They will see that the love in your heart knows no bounds. They will see the man I see--the one who gladly gives the food off of his plate to one that cannot fend for himself. Thank you for the love you give to these children. Thank you for caring for my own son--keeping him in a safe place until I could be united with him!! I pray that all of your efforts are blessed, and multiplied.
To R: R, you can't know how much your guidance has meant to me over the past 4 years. Your heart's intentions are always pure. I never, ever have to question that. For that, I am thankful. I am thankful also that you took in my son at the time when he most needed someone to care for him--even if for only that few days! I'm thankful that so many children who may have otherwise died are now living, and have a hope and a future because you were willing to be the feet of Jesus.
To Ghana: You--you are such a small little country. And yet, you are giant in my heart. Sometimes you are my best friend and other times you are my worst enemy. Anybody who visits you and comes away with one feeling of good or bad, has not really known you. You are not good. You are not bad. You are both, and much more. You have provided my heart with many opportunities to grow over the past 4+ years. I am a different person because of you. I am thankful for you, Ghana.