How do short term missions to Ghana change lives on both sides of the Atlantic?

I have been leading short-term missions to Ghana for short-term mission for 6 years.  I calculated the other day that 4o people have traveled with me to do mission in Ghana and 8 new missioners will travel with me this summer.  Four people have done return missions to Ghana, some more than once.  Two others will make return trips this summer.

What is it causes people to give up their vacation time, raise funds and agree to travel thousands of miles to eat strange foods, live in less than perfect conditions, work hard in the heat, and want to do it over and over again?

Read this note from a past missioner:  

“Hey Debi,

I am very interested in going back to Ghana in the summer of 2011. I would love to go on a construction type trip, but whatever trip is going will be great. I’m trying to get the ball rolling early with fundraising. Could you let me know if there will be a trip going out then? Also, will the cost be about the same as the trip I went on in the summer of 2008? My first trip grew me a lot and I feel that I would be in a good place to go next summer. Thank you so much for your time. Sincerely, John Arey”

Short-term mission trips help those in need and help those to help to grow.  I would love to hear from former missioner with Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope and other groups.  How did your mission trip affect you and those around you?

Keep tuned for updates.

One response to “How do short term missions to Ghana change lives on both sides of the Atlantic?”

  1. “Debi Frock must have put our team together while on her knees in prayer. The Lord gave her two educators and two laborers; just what was needed for this trip. I was one of the laborers and was so excited to be going to serve in Africa, a lifelong dream.

    During our initial team meeting, Debi asked what our gifts were and why we thought we could make a difference. As we went around the table sharing, I felt a little inadequate. There was a priest, two teachers, a strong man with experience in the field, and several had even been to Ghana before.

    Then there was me. What was I bringing to the table? I was not a professional. Rather, I was a 62 years-young mother of four with a heart for the Lord. Those were my only qualifications.

    Yet what a blessing; the Lord was sending me, a Susie Homemaker from West Virginia to West Africa armed with great love for God’s people. Apparently I had all the qualifications I needed!

    I had the easiest job of all. I did not have to follow any itinerary. I was not responsible for teaching a class, for public relations, or for making the necessary arrangements to pull this trip together.

    I simply followed the team through each day, loving those that the Lord put in my path. I saw them through God’s eyes.

    On this path I found Erica, who was to become my new best friend. She also has four children and lives next to the school in a cinder block home with two rooms and dirt floors. Her kitchen was a small fire pit out in the yard and the living room (also in the yard) was under a straw roof held up by sticks. This was very different from my home.

    Although we became friends and enjoyed each other a lot during my two weeks there, there was one instance that stands out in my mind as typical of her beautiful character and Christ-like spirit. After a few hours of painting one day, I found I needed a ladies room.

    I was not going to find one like I was used to in this African village. Off I went into the dusty bush, tissue in hand, to find a little privacy. With so many children wanting to help with everything, (and I mean every-thing!) I could see I would have no privacy.

    I did not know what to do. Then I remembered Erica.

    I stood in her doorway, embarrassed, covered in paint with toilet paper in my hand. Erica was also embarrassed. Her hair was not combed and the children were not dressed. She was fixing them breakfast while breast-feeding the baby. We were two women who did not speak each other’s language.

    Through God’s grace we understood each other. We spoke with our eyes and smiles. Erica took me to a small corner inside her home.

    During my time in Ghana, Erica opened her heart and home to me. She let me love her children and we played with her chickens. Saying good-bye was very hard. We all hugged each other and cried a little. Then I gave her a small but important gift – a roll of toilet paper. Nothing much, but a memento of time and love shared.

    I will never forget her or the time we spent together.

    The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful journey and many poignant memories. I went there to be a servant and I was served. I went there to minister and I was ministered to. I went there to love and I was loved.”

    -Written by Colleen Hurley, Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope Volunteer

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