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“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African proverb

 

All Photos by Tana Lopez and woveneye.com

Today is so exciting. The team leaves the US and will arrive tomorrow, Friday.  Since this will be posted very late tonight, many of you will be reading this as the team arrives in Ghana, 9am US time. 16 people, 5 different states, many meeting for the first time.

We are very excited here. Many preparations have been made. It is a lot to prepare for 18 people, including Tana, the photographer, and myself. Plus, often we will have Mercia, Sophia, Vivian, Marian or other Ghanaians participating. We have made countless trips to many markets, walking for hours to find the best price on the items that we will need.  In food alone, we have bought:

1 case sardines

1 case mackerel

20 cases of water                                 

200 pounds of rice

10 boxes of spaghetti

1 case of corned beef (it is the meat for the spaghetti)

50 pounds of onions

100 pounds of tomatoes

3 pounds of garlic

20 pounds of beans

20 gallons of oil

And that is just he beginning. There are bowl, bottles, soap, shirts and much more for the programs. But to see the faces of the children makes it seem like so little.

As I met with Archbishop Justice O. Akrofi on Tuesday, he told me several stories of how he has watched the lives of children be changed because someone took the time to be with them and let them know they are loved.  He is excited that this team has chosen to come and be with people and not just send money.

I would like to share what Marjie wrote to the teams traveling tonight:

Tomorrow is the day to begin our journey in so many ways:

Some of us will meet each other for the first time;

Some of us will travel outside the country for the first time;

Some of us will travel on a plane for the first time;

Some of us will be away without our families for the first time;

Some of us will work with children for the first time;

Most of us will grow spiritually and emotionally.

All of us will be supported by each other and our Ghanaian partners;

All of us will be changed by this experience in some way;

All of us will change others because of this experience.

So, welcome the new experiences and grow from them.

We will be serving God and his people. What better way could we spend 12 days out of our lives!

Anna, Becki+, Bruce, Jackie, Ian, Marjie, Meaghan, Michelle, November, Paige, Sarah H., Sarah R., Scott, Stephanie, Sue and Zach, Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope Team Summer 2011, Akwaaba, we welcome you. Keep scrolling to see the team. – Their picture will be posted by 11 pm. Thursday. (it is 8 pm her and only 4 pm US)

Here are a few things they will see.

Our hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloth.  Yes, Obama cloth comes in many colors.

 

 

 

We met these Chiefs from the Volta region having dinner at Chicken Republic-KFC with rice or fries.

 

 

Joshua, Godwin and Comfort.  Joshua  is Mercia and Victor’s son and Comfort now lives with them (see post from last Friday).

 

 

 

 

Will your picture be here next year?

HOW MANY BATHROOMS ARE IN YOUR HOUSE?

How many bathrooms at in your house?  Mine has 2 and there are only 2 of us living there.  Recently, the bathroom at an office where I do some accounting was shut down.  I had to leave one building and walk to another to find a working toilet.  It was inconvenient but, my employer understands the need for working toilet facilites and I am sure it will be working when I return next week.

I am celebrating toilet facilites today as we at Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope REJOICE  in our recent grant from The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland to build (drum roll please) two brand new toilet facilites at St. Paul’s Primary School.  This may not be as exciting as building a preschool or medical center but for 250 primary school students who have been sharing 2 toilet–Yes that number is right.  There are only 2 toilets for 250 children and 6 teachers.

The new facility will have 6 seats for boys and a separate facility with 6 seats for girls.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! TO THE DIOCESE OF MARYLAND FROM THE CHILDREN AND TEACHERS AT ST. PAUL’S, AKRAMAMAN.

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PRESENT!

It is only November 30ith but I have just received three very special  Christmas Presents.

Gift #1.  We are getting a new website.  The new site www.gmhope.org will premier next Monday night at Stevenson University.  Stevenson, located in Greenspring Valley on Valley road has partnered with us to  create an incredible, professional website.  Professor Kannan Amr and his students, Jillian Chaney, George Dickerson, Mark Figueirdo, Arden Haley, Rachel Pavik,  Joe Wroten and  Matt Wrightson worked very hard and long hours to give us this wonderful gift.  Not only that.  They gave us a new look and a new logo.   A GIANT THANK YOU FROM ALL THE MOTHERS AND CHILREN IN GHANA AND  THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF GHANAIAN MOTHERS’ HOPE.

Gift #2.  I received a wonderful e-mail from Phyllis Mueller whose son Ian went with us to Ghana.  I shared the new logo and here was her response.

“I love the new logo.  Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope changes not only the lives of people they help in Ghana but it changes the lives of those who go to Ghana for mission work.  By sharing in Christ’s mission of giving of one’s self to help others less fortunate, we are transformed and the gift becomes our own.  A spark is ignited in our hearts. No one can go to Ghana and come away the same.  I noticed the change in Ian even before I physically saw him.  In his phone calls to me from Ghana I could hear the change in his voice.  Seeing the photos, hearing the stories from Ian and the group, I am inspired to help you there.  Something happens inside you.  Without even meeting the people of the village, you feel you want to know them, love them, help in whatever way you can.  You believe that you can change the world, one place at a time.”

THANK YOU PHYLLIS AND IAN FOR ALWAYS SHARING THE STORY OF THE CHILDREN AND BRINGING THEM HOPE!

Gift #3.  Another child has been sponsored. These twins are sponsored by Trinity Epsicopal Church, Elkridge

These twins were sponsored last January by Trinity Episcopal Church, Elkridge.  We ask freinds to sponsor children ages 2-3 attending St. Paul’s Preschool.  Soon our currently sponsored 13 children will welcome another child into the group.  THANK YOU ERIC AND MARY DERBY FOR GIVING ANOTHER CHILD THE GIFT OF LIFE AND HOPE.  We hope to sponsor all the children at St. Paul’s preschool.  Check out the new website for details.

Can you imagine what Christmas is like in a village?  There are no light up Christmas trees, no toys coming, no turkey dinner but there is Christmas and there is hope thanks to you.  What incredible love you pour out on the mothers and children by these gifts.  I hope you will join us in celebrating 5 years of service.  Many thanks to all of you who have made this day possible.

Mercia

Merry, merry, merry,  from  Debi and Mercia, pictured above with quilts made for the children by The Quilter’s Guild of Southern Maryland.

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