Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Street business, Akosambo Dam, and WATER NEEDED!

Hello, everybody! We've been back in the US a few days now and my internal clock is almost reset to the correct time zone now. It's not been too hard a transition this time -- much easier than other times I've visited abroad.

While in Ghana, we took a 3-day road trip to Logba Tota. There are segments of that 3 days that stand out in my mind & heart so much. So, in the next few posts, I'm going to share a bit about this trip. Come on, let's take a ride!

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We planned to leave bright & early on a Wednesday morning to make the trip to Logba. Unfortunately, we werent able to leave quite as early as planned, due to driver difficulties: we had to *find* one! Logba Tota is in the rain forest, high up on a mountain, so we wanted to find a guy that was somewhat familiar with the roads. Chief Takyi and Richard at last were able to contract with a fellow, and around noon we finally began rolling.

Driving through Accra never ceases to amaze me! First of all, the city itself is just a beehive of traffic. People going everywhere, merging traffic, horns tooting -- AND a veritable shopping mall just outside your car window, strolling down the sides of the road! Men, women, & children carried items in pans on top of their heads or manned small stalls, selling things to folks that passed by. There's quite an assortment of things you can purchase off the street. A VERY small sample includes: water, pineapples, bananas, chocolate bars, handkerchiefs, maps, sunglasses, cd's and tapes, hats, entire outfits of clothing, underwear, shoes, socks, belts, irons & ironing boards, soccer balls, snack foods, pots & pans, tools, tires, and wheels for your car! Just about anything you can imagine, you could buy on the road through Accra!!

We finally got through the maze of traffic & headed out on the open road, toward the Akosambo Dam. After a while, we arrived there and took the opportunity to tour the dam. That was quite interesting -- the Akosambo Dam was constructed several years ago to harness hydroelectric power for Ghana. We walked up to the top of the dam, following our tour guide. The view was fabulous, with calm water on the high side of the dam, then rushing, swirling water on the lower side as it was pulled through the dam to turn the turbines and create power. If you get an opportunity, take the tour of the dam -- you'll learn a great deal of Ghana's history AND some science as well!

Once we left the dam, we headed to Kpeve. We had a couple of stops in that area before we could go to Logba. Our "motorcycle minister," Pastor Johnson, met us when we arrived. We were going to worship in his church Wednesday evening, then host a children's meeting Thursday morning. We pulled into a guest house to stay the evening. Guess what???? The guest house had HOT WATER!!! Ahhhhhh -- our first hot shower in over a week!!!!

Pastor Johnson's church is a relatively new plant by Christ Harvests. It meets in a small building constructed of bamboo walls with a tarp for a roof. The drums vibrated through the town, and the building was full by the time we arrived. David and I both spoke briefly, then Rev. James followed up. Pastor Johnson interpreted for us all. The service was rich with singing, dancing, drumming, praying, and spirituality. I loved it!

On Thursday morning we held a Children's meeting. This is common for newly planted churches. If you can attract the children to the church, their parents will also come. We had a church FULL of kids, from babies right up to older teens, and we sang songs and worshipped together. Again, we each spoke; then David & I opened the floor for questions from the kids. Boy, did we GET some questions! The first one was why was my hair white & David's hair brown!!! We got a big laugh at that one -- but they went on to ask us more in-depth questions about the USA and about God in our lives. At the end of the meeting, we gave each child there some cookies & juice.
It was fun sharing times with the kids, and we laughed and danced and sang with them in the sunshine.

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Our afternoon was a bit sobering, though.
We visited two villages in need of wells. The first one was Adigbo Tornuu -- a small fishing village outside of Kpeve. Driving along the main road, we turned onto a dirt road which narrowed to a large path barely wide enough for the van. We drove past the school building -- constructed of mud walls and a tin roof. Then we drove through the village itself. The road ended at the shore of Lake Volta, where fishermen in canoes were hauling in their catches and ladies were washing cassava root in the muddy water. A few feet from the bank of the lake, several women were cleaning fish under the shade of a palm-leave shed. The scene was lovely & placid, the lake is surrounded by mountains. The only sounds were the birds and the ladies talking or singing softly as they worked.
After talking with the ladies (& giving some children lessons in how to blow bubbles with the bubble gum we shared!), we turned & went back into the village.

We parked the van in the road (not much danger of a lot of traffic in the jungle), and walked to a small clearing in the center of the town. Benches & plastic chairs had been arranged for us; it is protocol to meet with the town chief & elders whenever you visit so you can tell them the purpose for your trip there. As we gathered together with the elders, many other villagers arrived, congregating all around us. Men, women, children, babies -- all gathered to see us.
We explained that we were from Christ Harvests the Nations, and we wanted to talk with them about their water supply. With Pastor Johnson interpreting, we took care of the formal introductions, and then began to listen.
You might think that a town right by a lake wouldnt need a well. However, this little town's plight broke my heart. They use the lake water for **everything** -- fishing, cleaning, laundry, bathing, feeding animals, drinking, cooking -- all uses of water come from that lake. BUT there are parasites in the water that cause them to have blood in their urine if they drink or cook with it. They can purchase bagged or bottled water, but for these folks that's an expensive solution. A well with a purification system would give them a much healthier existance. This is one of our major projects for the coming year.

After visiting with the people a while longer, we journeyed back into Kpeve. We had much to think about, much to process in our minds about this town of Adigbo Tornuu as we packed up our belongings and continued toward Logba Tota....

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I guess I take clean water much for granted here. I've never had to live without being able to just turn a faucet for a cold, clean, sparkling drink of water. My laundry is being washed right this moment in a washing machine. Did I worry about water when I pulled the knob to start the washer? Nope. It was an automatic action, for my part. Just dump in the clothes & detergent, select the cycle, pull the knob out, and the water just begins to flow.
My plants look a little droopy? Just turn on the water hose and they'll perk right up. And just as soon as I finish this post, I'm headed for a nice hot shower & shampoo. Yes, I have all the water I need, whenever I need it, and I can be assured that it is safe & clean.

And yet....even as I enjoy my cool glass of water, or my clean clothes, or my shower...I can see in my mind's eye the people in Adigbo Tornuu, gathered around us. The ladies, washing food and clothing at the banks of the lake...the kids, hauling water into the village in large pots, a child scooping up a handful of lake water to drink without realizing it will make him sick...

Somethings just lie upon your heart and you KNOW God wants you to try to improve the situation. That's why David & I share on our blogs. That's why we cannot be quiet about this village. That's why we want to see that place get a well.

Think about it. Pray about it.

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Waters Edge Ministry is beginning an effort to raise funds to provide the people of Adigbo Tornuu clean drinking water. If you are interested in assisting with this project, please contact David or myself at weministry@gmail.com

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You may share my blog with anyone you think might be interested!
Don't forget to check out David's blog as well at www.weministry.blogspot.com

God bless you all!
Blessings & love,
Anita <><




1 comment:

David Lee Waters Sr & Anita A Tarlton said...

Great post BBD. I know you're not comfortable asking anyone for money. But this is for the kingdom and you're out of your comfort zone. The Spirit has taken us to a new level and there's no looking back !