Julie's Trip to Ghana

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Ghanaian Mission Trip

Image: 1group shot

14th January

Staying in Accra city. Visited the Methodist Rafiki Village in the morning which is an orphanage housing 45 children at the moment.

Then on to the Methodist Conference office where we were introduced to the President of Conference Most Rev Dr Paul Kwabeno. A very interesting shopping trip followed when everyone wanted us to part with our money.

The evening saw us sharing with the congregation at Calvary church in both food and fellowship. A very busy but wonderful day. And I forgot to mention that because we were stuck in traffic on the way to the church service a police escort was called to guide us through!

Image: 2welcome

15th January

It's been a busy day although much of it was spent travelling.
Leaving the hotel at 8am, we travelled to the Cape Coast to see a slave museum. It was distressing to think about how many people were held in tiny spaces waiting for the slave ships to arrive and the terrible conditions they suffered in.
On to visit a retired bishop where we received fresh coconut water, being very warmly received. The bishops wife lived next door and wanted to greet us as well.
The evening was spent at our welcome service. We processed into the church, lead by the Boys Brigade band. The Brigades were all present, probably about 60 children in total.
To sum up, the service consisted of lots of singing (some of it lead by our little group) and dancing, preaching by Rev Andrew Letby and a variety of presentations including of musical instruments to the Boys Brigade from the Liverpool and Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury Districts and also tops and wall hangings for our group. All finished off with food and drink shared with new friends. A fantastic night. God is good!

16th & 17th January

After travelling two full days from the south to the north of Ghana we finally arrived in Tamale.

18th January

We went to the opening of a church in a rural village which was built with funds donated by Rev Paul and Deacon Kina Sanders, Methodist ministers from the UK. Not having realised this beforehand, it was great to see the link between their generosity and the privilege of us being present at the opening of the church.

I had the honour of handing over the keys. People from all around the area just appeared because they heard vehicles arriving and also because of a drum call. The church was full, particularly with visitors from Tamale city, the locals couldn't get a look in!

The community is very poor with no local health care, no schools and no running water. There are many challenges as we compare the differences between Ghana and the UK, both economically and in the church.

19th January

Today we travelled two hours to a service in another rural community. The service had been going on for some time when we arrived. We were welcomed and encouraged to join in with the dancing which was great fun although I really wanted to have a go on the drums! I preached on the Prodigal son and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. We gave gifts and received a gift of two guinea fowls in return (don't ask!).

It feels like we have never stopped eating. Lots of rice, plantain, chicken and fish. Feeling very blessed that I've had the opportunity to share in this experience .

I had intended to post earlier but the signal here is very weak.

The building that looks like a church is actually the Bishops manse and the pictures of people dancing are from the service this morning.

20th January

A travelling day, around seven hours in the mini bus from Tamale to Kumasi so not a great deal to report other than the plethora of stalls at the side of the road. We were told that people set up small businesses selling various products to make some money but don't register them because they can't afford it. The Government is not good at keeping on top of these things so they don't collect taxes which could be used to help the economy. At the same time, it's understandable that the stalls are not registered because people are very poor.

21st January

This would have been a very good day if it wasn't for the fact that several of us were feeling ill. We went to visit a Methodist vocational training centre and school where we saw the children being taught in their classrooms and young women learning skills in hairdressing, beauty and sewing. With these skills they have a greater chance of getting a job. Some of our group taught the girls how to make a Victoria sandwich cake but I missed that because I didn't feel well enough to join in though it sounds like they had fun.

I don't know whether I've mentioned it before, but every other billboard on the roadside is for a church or church event. They are huge and at regular intervals along the road. You wouldn't get away with that at home!

This is a typical street scene. Women carry baskets etc on their heads holding their wares.

23rd January

Morning devotions by the pool in Accra. Homeward bound very soon.

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