Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I am home...at least, I think so. It is hard to feel at home when my heart is left in Ghana and Togo with some precious, beautiful children. It is hard to have an empty lap and empty arms. I didn't realize I needed the kid's love as much as they wanted mine.

I miss them. I miss hearing a cry and knowing who it is. I miss hearing Esther's laugh and Emmanuella's very grumpy cry after nap time. I miss so much I can't keep naming things because I will never stop.

The hardest part is trying to figure out what's next. Because of school, it's not possible for me to plan another  trip back right now. But I know that I am responsible. I am responsible to pray. I am responsible to advocate for homes and supplies and love for these children.

I am praying for the next step, the next way God wants me to serve the kids. I am praying hearts will break and fall in love. I pray kids will find homes, but more than that, that God will reveal himself to these kids. I pray I will never get over the things I've seen. I pray my love for these kids won't just be a cute memory. I pray the emotion and the urgency doesn't fade like I know it can.

My heart is heavy, but it is also hopeful. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and I thank you for all your prayers and support. One thing is for sure: these two months are just a beginning. There are things you can never forget, and these kids have changed my life forever.

If you would like more information about Ghana, Great Mission International, adoption, or how you can help the 147 million orphans in the world, please contact me. If I can't answer your question, I'll get you to someone who will.

Friday, July 13, 2012

One More Week

Today is our last Friday here in Ghana, which is very weird to say!

A quick update on the past week-

We started VBS, which has been CRAZY! The language barrier with these children makes it very difficult. They also don't really like to listen, no matter what we try. But today is our last and most important day. We will share the gospel. We are going to try something new and break the kids into three small groups. Each of us will present the Gospel and pray the Holy Spirit leads! Hopefully He also closes their mouths and opens their ears as well :) haha

We tie-dyed shirts with Lisa and Angela, and it was an absolute blast! The kids loved it.

We went to City of Refuge yesterday and hung out with the kids and volunteers. While we were there, John Bull brought home four children to the safe house! One of the kids was covered in scratches, and John said that he was bloody when they found him. Praise God they are now safe in a new home! The volunteers began putting together beds and cleaning the safe house. So exciting to see the work the Lord is doing!

I found out a lot of things about adoption in Togo that have me thinking. The government only allows a few adoptions a year, and prospective parents cannot choose a child but instead are matched. The prospective parent must also live in Togo with the child for a year. Definitely difficult, but I pray people's hearts will be open to God's call there. I even pray that adoption from there could be in the cards for me one day. I also pray for John's work there. He is working with the government there to make adoption better for everyone.

There are many volunteers and family coming in and out this week. Lisa and Angela are leaving on Monday, while two adoptive families and a friend of FTO are coming on Saturday and Sunday nights. Then Olivia and I will be headed to America on Wednesday.

Prayer requests:
Olivia and I as we say goodbye to the children and as we travel
Families for the children
God to open doors and hearts to answer his call to care for people around the world

Monday, July 9, 2012


I love love love Ghana, but I must say that God has laid a special love in my heart for Togo. I just got back from our second short visit there, and I must say that I cannot wait to go back!

This time, we got to Togo after the kids were in bed. I was so excited to see them that I couldn't sleep! My heart was beating so fast from excitement. I went to bed at 12:00 am and woke up at 3:00 am. I was so excited I couldn't go back to sleep! I had to be up when the kids were up. I finally heard them stirring at 5:00, so I was up and in the hallway before most of the kids were even awake.

I will never forget. Kokou, my buddy from last time, looked up at me with his big eyes. He grabbed one of my hand in both of his and just looked at me with a smile and happy eyes. Oh, I was so happy!

It is so much fun to love on the kids. It is difficult because they don't know English and we don't know Ewe or French. They receive the love just the same, though, and we were loved in return.

Another girl who is about 13 was glued to my side when she wasn't doing chores. She was so sweet. That morning, as soon as I sat down, she sat at my feet and put her head in my lap. I have been told it is a sign of respect and trust. It was so sweet and humbling. This beautiful girl is so strong and sweet and loving. As I left, I handed her a pair of my earrings. She looked up and started crying that we were all leaving. Oh, my heart.

Through FTO, money was raised for all the kids to have mattresses! There is also a building over the kitchen, a door on the courtyard, and mosquito nets coming. They also built a small storage room in the hallway for the mattresses and other things. They are also working on getting beds and other needs for the home. It is so awesome to see God work through John. He does such a good job with the homes.

Oh, my heart is sad to leave those kids, but happy for the love they receive from John, his mom, and the other people who work with the home.  Oh, God is good!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ghana Update

Aw, friends, there's only two weeks left to the beginning of my Ghanaian adventure! I cannot believe time has flown by this fast. Please be praying that we finish strong!

The past few weeks have been crazy, it feels like! I got to witness a child going home to his family. It was such an experience. Today, another girl will go home. In the coming weeks, two more kids will get to go. It is beyond exciting for them mixed in with a little sad for us, but mostly happy!

One of the funniest things happened the other day. Little Moses is 4, although he looks like he is maybe 3. He doesn't speak much English, but he is learning quickly! The most he has ever said in English to me is, "Where did you go?" But he is getting there. Moses loves to crack himself up. The other day I got to GMI and I went upstairs to see the kids. When I came back downstairs, there were 6 or 7 kids standing in the foyer. Emma looked at me and said, "Mommy, why did you tell us to come inside and go back to sleep?" I didn't tell them to, so I said, "What? I didn't say that?" Emma looked at me, "But Moses said you did!"  I looked over at Moses and he was rolling on the floor cracking up! He is so ornery, but I love it!

Little moments like this will be what I remember for years. I will remember the sound of Roselinda saying angrily when I don't pick her up, "Ohhhh, mummy." Emmanuella grabbing my hands so she can jump up and down without falling. Abu always wanting to be held, but never able to sit still. Majuwah pretending to be sick so she could come sleep with us. Mina at AoH putting on a mask and knocking on it, saying, "What is your name?" then cracking up. Esther's laugh. Mawusi asking for a goodnight prayer after a month of hiding from us. Edwin at CORM's shrieking like a girl.  Quoting all of the Village21 Church Jesus parodies with Emily.

Well, I am about to cry now. Next week we will begin VBS. We were this week, but we had a crazy weekend with a hospital visit and stuff. We are doing a God Is... theme. If you would like to partner with us and pray for each day, here is a prayer guide for the theme:

Monday: God is Creator (pray kids will understand there is one God and He is completely in control)
Tuesday: God is Just (pray kids will understand sin and the consequences)
Wednesday: God is Love (pray kids will be able to feel God's love and realize how He always loves them)
Thursday: God is Savior (pray kids will understand how God showed His justice and love on the cross and for the kid's salvation)
Friday: God is at Work (pray kids will understand that God calls us to grow in relationship with Him and how to do that)

If you would like to partner with us in these prayers, please please please leave a comment letting us know! I would love to know there are people praying for us and for VBS. We will need it! It will be a miracle if the kids will listen and be able to understand what we say. But God is good, and He is a God of miracles!

Love from Ghana!