Saturday, July 11, 2009

Water Training, Jerusalem Gates, Time to Rest

July 10
July 10

When the power went off around 6:30 am, I had already been awake a while. Once the whirr of the ceiling fan was silenced, I could hear the birds outside. For a moment, I was transported back to my very first visit to Ghana in 2001. I’d be awake before most of the household, and just lie there listening to the world as it rubbed the sleep from its eyes and began another day in Africa. The gentle chirps, tweets, coos, begin softly as the dawn creeps in. Then a rooster crows, perhaps a dog barks. Sometimes there is a patter of rain on the roof.

I love to lie quietly and listen, before human interference begins.

Once day breaks, you begin to hear people talking, cars toot-tooting, the rumble of traffic on the expressway. The sounds of people existing drown the sounds of life in nature.

*****
Once the power went off, I knew the room would get hot very quickly. I dressed for the day, then oh-so-quietly, I tiptoed to the windows. I slid the first one open and pulled the screen in place. Glancing over at David, I saw that he was still sleeping. That first puff of cool breeze entering the room felt refreshing. I dared to open the second window -- but the noises I made shutting the screen on that one woke him up. Once he’s awake, he’s at full-speed ahead J so I stepped back, let him get dressed for the day, and then I was alone with my thoughts (and battery-powered laptop to type them out!).

While yesterday was an emotional roller coaster, I think today will be a time roller coaster. We will have water training with key community leaders today. There will be some “down time” before they arrive, but while they are here, we’ll be quite busy. Then once the training ends, again there will be a chance to re-group ourselves. It is good -- downright essential -- to have some lulls in the action on a trip such as this. At times our work here can be physically challenging, but the emotional challenges drain the energy even more. Opportunities to rest, think, write, and pray are vital in order to synthesize much of what we experience.

*****
As I’m writing, David brings me a cup of hot tea (thank God for gas stoves!) and a sweet banana. I am spoiled with this breakfast-in-bed treatment. A few moments later little Kelsey, still dressed in her white pajamas, pads into the room. I shared part of my banana with her, then her mother called her and she skipped out of the room. Kelsey (age 2) and Lexie (age 4) are Rev. James and Mary’s little girls. They are quite the little hostesses in their own right -- and we all enjoy playing with them.

*****
One of our purposes here is to install some water purification systems. If we can get into a village with a way to provide clean drinking water, we can also share with them the Living Water of Christ. Today we held our first water training session. David carried the brunt of the teaching -- and by day’s end he had trained 5 men on how to set up and operate the equipment. We women gave some hygiene training, similar to what we will be doing in the villages with the women. David worked hard all day, assisting in setting up, using, then taking down the system numerous times.

Becky, Davi, and I slipped away to visit at Jerusalem Gates Academy, taking some goodies like bracelets, small toys, and a few testaments. We took lots of photos, learned many names, sang some songs, and shared MANY hugs! This was a wonderful uplifting afternoon for us. On the way back, we saw more of a bright red and black bird that we’ve grown very interested in. We don’t know what kind of bird it is, but they are absolutely shockingly scarlet, with a black “collar”. They fly similar to the way a hummingbird moves -- more of a hover than a swoop. We also have spotted some bright yellow birds, and one small bird that has a long flowing tail. (Note to self: find a photo book about birds in Ghana!)

The power went off again this afternoon for a while, and I took advantage of the time to take a little nap. We had planned to go to church this evening, but the service was going to be long and late, and we’ve had a couple of very active days, so Rev. James suggested we rest this evening. We will be “on the road” a good bit of time tomorrow, going to Potwabin for a visit with Grace and her family. We’ll install a water system there, and train a few people on its use while we are there.

As I spent some time this evening catching up with my journal and blog, I was visited by Kelsey & Lexie again. Their mom, Mary, also came in and we had some fun catching up with each other’s family and learning about some of our friends. Davi joined us, and we played some games with the girls before they kissed us goodnight and headed for bed.

Today has been a good day, with successes in the training and fun building relationships with the children. I’m thankful to God for my teammates Becky & Davi, and I’m also grateful for my husband David. He has poured “heart and soul” into the water systems, and it is a joy to watch him teach the others how to use it to help others.

Tomorrow is Saturday, and we will rise early and drive to Potwabin. I expect traffic to be heavy, due to President Obama’s visit. He is in Accra this evening, and will travel to Cape Coast tomorrow -- Potwabin is between Accra and Cape Coast, so there will likely be many people going in that direction, trying to catch a glimpse of the US president.

Blessings, yall!

When the power went off around 6:30 am, I had already been awake a while. Once the whirr of the ceiling fan was silenced, I could hear the birds outside. For a moment, I was transported back to my very first visit to Ghana in 2001. I’d be awake before most of the household, and just lie there listening to the world as it rubbed the sleep from its eyes and began another day in Africa. The gentle chirps, tweets, coos, begin softly as the dawn creeps in. Then a rooster crows, perhaps a dog barks. Sometimes there is a patter of rain on the roof.

I love to lie quietly and listen, before human interference begins.

Once day breaks, you begin to hear people talking, cars toot-tooting, the rumble of traffic on the expressway. The sounds of people existing drown the sounds of life in nature.

*****
Once the power went off, I knew the room would get hot very quickly. I dressed for the day, then oh-so-quietly, I tiptoed to the windows. I slid the first one open and pulled the screen in place. Glancing over at David, I saw that he was still sleeping. That first puff of cool breeze entering the room felt refreshing. I dared to open the second window -- but the noises I made shutting the screen on that one woke him up. Once he’s awake, he’s at full-speed ahead J so I stepped back, let him get dressed for the day, and then I was alone with my thoughts (and battery-powered laptop to type them out!).

While yesterday was an emotional roller coaster, I think today will be a time roller coaster. We will have water training with key community leaders today. There will be some “down time” before they arrive, but while they are here, we’ll be quite busy. Then once the training ends, again there will be a chance to re-group ourselves. It is good -- downright essential -- to have some lulls in the action on a trip such as this. At times our work here can be physically challenging, but the emotional challenges drain the energy even more. Opportunities to rest, think, write, and pray are vital in order to synthesize much of what we experience.

*****
As I’m writing, David brings me a cup of hot tea (thank God for gas stoves!) and a sweet banana. I am spoiled with this breakfast-in-bed treatment. A few moments later little Kelsey, still dressed in her white pajamas, pads into the room. I shared part of my banana with her, then her mother called her and she skipped out of the room. Kelsey (age 2) and Lexie (age 4) are Rev. James and Mary’s little girls. They are quite the little hostesses in their own right -- and we all enjoy playing with them.

*****
One of our purposes here is to install some water purification systems. If we can get into a village with a way to provide clean drinking water, we can also share with them the Living Water of Christ. Today we held our first water training session. David carried the brunt of the teaching -- and by day’s end he had trained 5 men on how to set up and operate the equipment. We women gave some hygiene training, similar to what we will be doing in the villages with the women. David worked hard all day, assisting in setting up, using, then taking down the system numerous times.

Becky, Davi, and I slipped away to visit at Jerusalem Gates Academy, taking some goodies like bracelets, small toys, and a few testaments. We took lots of photos, learned many names, sang some songs, and shared MANY hugs! This was a wonderful uplifting afternoon for us. On the way back, we saw more of a bright red and black bird that we’ve grown very interested in. We don’t know what kind of bird it is, but they are absolutely shockingly scarlet, with a black “collar”. They fly similar to the way a hummingbird moves -- more of a hover than a swoop. We also have spotted some bright yellow birds, and one small bird that has a long flowing tail. (Note to self: find a photo book about birds in Ghana!)

The power went off again this afternoon for a while, and I took advantage of the time to take a little nap. We had planned to go to church this evening, but the service was going to be long and late, and we’ve had a couple of very active days, so Rev. James suggested we rest this evening. We will be “on the road” a good bit of time tomorrow, going to Potwabin for a visit with Grace and her family. We’ll install a water system there, and train a few people on its use while we are there.

As I spent some time this evening catching up with my journal and blog, I was visited by Kelsey & Lexie again. Their mom, Mary, also came in and we had some fun catching up with each other’s family and learning about some of our friends. Davi joined us, and we played some games with the girls before they kissed us goodnight and headed for bed.

Today has been a good day, with successes in the training and fun building relationships with the children. I’m thankful to God for my teammates Becky & Davi, and I’m also grateful for my husband David. He has poured “heart and soul” into the water systems, and it is a joy to watch him teach the others how to use it to help others.

Tomorrow is Saturday, and we will rise early and drive to Potwabin. I expect traffic to be heavy, due to President Obama’s visit. He is in Accra this evening, and will travel to Cape Coast tomorrow -- Potwabin is between Accra and Cape Coast, so there will likely be many people going in that direction, trying to catch a glimpse of the US president.

There are photos posted today at http://picasaweb,com/weministy/Day4#
Be sure to check out Dave's blog at http://weministry.blogspot.com
and Becky's blog at http://craigandbeckycheek.blogspot.com

Blessings, yall!

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